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Improving the Health of Rural Americans (Recorded Session)

November 14, 2023


This recorded session will be available on November 14. This is a panel discussion with Dr. April Phillips, DNP, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC; Dr. Joanne Keefe DNP, MPH, FNP-c, CNE; and Susan Schafer, ARNP. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Audra Cave, DNP, FNP-BC. 

The preparation of advanced practice nurses with a focus on rural health has been part of Frontier Nursing University’s mission statement for many years. The delivery of rural health care can have challenges not seen in urban health care. This session presents advanced practice nurses who will discuss their experiences in rural health care and offer guidance for practice.

This is a recorded session.

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Dr. April Phillips, DNP, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC

Dr. Phillips has dedicated her career to the provision of mental health services to underserved populations in need. She currently serves as the clinical director of the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program at Frontier Nursing University (FNU). She is also co-chair of the DEI Committee at FNU and will complete a DEI fellowship in 2023. Dr. Phillips earned an MSN and DNP from Frontier Nursing University. Her clinical area of expertise involves the integration of mental health services into the primary care setting. As the medical director of several community-based health centers, she has led a number of initiatives to create integrated models of care. She continues to serve as a guest speaker on the topic of integrated models of care at the national and international levels. As a National Health Service Corp ambassador, she has collaborated closely with several members of congress and former Gov. Susanna Martinez (NM) to increase the availability of mental health services in rural underserved communities. She maintains a current clinical practice in Southwestern Colorado working with clients of all ages.

Dr. Joanne Keefe, DNP, MPH, FNP-C, CNE

Dr. Keefe is an Epidemiologist and a Doctorally prepared Family Nurse Practitioner who lives in a Frontier area of New Mexico. She has a passion for Rural Health and Herbal medicine. Dr. Keefe graduated from FNU with both her MSN and DNP and has been teaching in PC702 for 8 years. Her overarching goal is to increase kindness, particularly in the nursing profession.


Susan Schafer, ARNP

Susan Schafer has been a nurse for 35 years, and a WHNP for 25 years. She has been working at the same Women’s Health Clinic in Davenport, Iowa for almost 31 years. Susan started at Community Health Care – Edgerton as an RN and went back and got her WHNP. In her role as WHNP, she serves a large, diverse population.



Dr. Audra Cave, DNP, FNP-BC
Dr. Audra Cave is the Clinical Director of the Department of Family Nursing at Frontier Nursing University. Previously Dr. Cave was a Regional Clinical Faculty, Course Coordinator, and Course Faculty for Frontier Nursing University. Dr. Cave has served as a clinical preceptor for Frontier NursingUniversity, Winston Salem State University, and Loyola University Dr. Cave is an alumnus of Gardner Webb University (BSN) and Frontier Nursing University (MSN and DNP). Dr. Cave’s research focus was in Childhood Obesity. She practices clinically in a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center serving a rural community in Western NC and lives in Shelby, NC.


November 14, 2023
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