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Living the Dream as a Nurse Practitioner (Recorded Session)

November 15, 2023



This recorded session will be available on November 15. This is a panel discussion with Donna Brunson, PMHNP; Dr. Charles Davis, PhD, MSN, FNP-C, RN; Dr. Torica T. Fuller, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC, FNP-C, WHNP-BC, CDP, CGRN, CPN, NRCME; and Kaitlyn Rychlowski, MSN, APNP, PMHNP-BC, PMH-C. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Joanne Keefe, DNP, MPH, FNP-c, CNE. 

Obtaining a professional dream takes vision, resilience and tenacity. This panel of nurse practitioners pursued advanced nursing education to reach their career goals and have a greater impact on the health of their communities. From various backgrounds and specialties, these nurse practitioners will inspire as they share why they answered the call and what it takes to get there.

This is a recorded session. 

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Donna Brunson, PMHNP

I am currently a board-certified Psychiatric nurse practitioner. I received my associate in nursing Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, TX. Received my bachelor’s in nursing from Incarnate Word University, In San Antonio, TX. I received my master’s degree in Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner at Mid-Western State University in Wichita Falls. I am currently working on my doctorate at Capella University. I have been in mental health for over 15 years.

When I think of my dream to be a nurse, I cast my mind back to growing up in a home with two alcoholics who did not have an education. My father never went beyond the third grade, and he could not read and write. My mother never got beyond the eighth grade and had difficulty with reading. As a child I only attended school from the first grade to the fifth grade. We were often homeless, and schooling was not a priority. My eight siblings and I did not even understand or realize what we were missing. When I was in my early thirties, I decided to get my GED and go to school. I can be frank and say the GED was exceedingly difficult, I had to take the test twice. I have the idea to become a nurse for several years.

I finally took that leap, which was the most terrifying thing in the world to me at that time. My inspiration to get an education was fueled by the love of my children and the good support and encouragement of a close friend and my spouse. This was a huge step for me. I had only worked as a housekeeper and a janitor in my life. I can be honest and say I was extremely excited but so terrified to stand on the campus of a college. I remember thinking how beautiful the campus was and how green the grass was. I remember thinking I am just not as smart as the other people here. Over the next several years, spending over one hundred hours in the math labs in the English writing labs, I remember so many good instructors and the encouragement from them. I was able to become a registered nurse and then receive my bachelor’s degree and then receive my master’s degree in psychiatry. I am currently working on my doctorate. As it looks down that road in the past and the road to the future. I am living that dream. and I am grateful every day for it. My biggest joy is working as a nursing instructor passing on that love of education and love of being a nurse practitioner.

Dr. Charles Davis, PhD, MSN, FNP-C, RN

Charles (Charlie) R. Davis (Class 154, 2019) is a Family Nurse Practitioner with Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, NY) and a Nurse with Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School (Croton-on-Hudson, NY). In addition, Charlie is the author and primary investigator of numerous healthcare related presentations, publications and inventions. Charlie says, ” I didn’t find Frontier, Frontier Nursing University found me. Frontier was presented to me as part of my undergraduate nursing studies at Stony Brook University where nursing luminaries and pioneers, such as Mrs. Mary Breckinridge, were discussed.  I knew at that moment, Frontier Nursing University was my school of choice for advanced healthcare education.”  As an example of Frontier Nursing University’s ethos’ influence and Mrs. Breckinridge’s inspirational impact on Charlie, he conceived, assembled and led a disparate team of school leaders, healthcare administrators, philanthropic organizations, and local, state and national politicians that resulted in the construction and opening of the 1st School-Based Health Center in the Mid-Hudson Valley Region of New York State in the spring of 2022.  Although the Webutuck School-Based Health Center is open to all students, its focus is on meeting the primary healthcare needs of the district’s significant population of underserved, underinsured and most vulnerable youth.


Dr. Torica T. Fuller is a resident of Raeford, North Carolina (NC). Dr. Fuller has over 20 years of nursing experience with the last 10 years as an advanced practice provider (APP). She is a dual-certified Advanced Practice Family Nurse Practitioner by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and she is certified by the National Certification Corporation (NCC) as a Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHNP). Dr. Fuller has worked as a Clinical Bound Transition Coordinator (CBTC)/Course Faculty at Frontier Nursing University since April 2023 and a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) at the Cumberland County Health Department for the past 9 years, specializing in Women’s Health, Maternity, Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases (STIs, TB, Hepatitis C, etc.). She also serves as a preceptor for FNU. Presently, she serves on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Nurses Association (NCNA) and she is currently the founder and chair of the Advanced Practice Provider (APP) section of North Carolina Public Health Association (NCPHA). She was the Co-Chair of the Academic Practice section of NCPHA serving from 2020 to 2022. On a personal note, Dr. Fuller has been married for the past 24 years to Dr. Taijuan O. Fuller.

Kaitlyn Rychlowski, MSN, APNP, PMHNP-BC, PMH-C

Kaitlyn Rychlowski is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who practices in rural Wisconsin, serving adults living in underserved communities. Kaitlyn is certified in perinatal mental health through Postpartum Support International, where she also serves on the Wisconsin Chapter Board of Directors and volunteers as a coordinator connecting perinatal women and families to support, education, and resources. Through her volunteerism with Postpartum Support International Wisconsin Chapter, she serves on a committee which recently developed and launched a new program offering free postpartum doula services to underserved mothers. Kaitlyn specializes in perinatal care and is passionate about providing medication management and supporting women and families during pregnancy, postpartum, infertility, and loss. Kaitlyn graduated with her MSN from Frontier Nursing University PMHNP Class 191 and was awarded the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Student Leadership Award.


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.


November 15, 2023
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