Elizabeth Aquino, PhD, RN
Dr. Elizabeth Aquino is the Associate Director for the Master’s Entry to Practice Program and an Associate Professor at DePaul University’s School of Nursing. In this position, she is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the largest graduate nursing program at DePaul University.
Through her research, leadership, and community service, Dr. Aquino shares her expertise to address the disparities that ethnic minorities and underserved communities face that impact their health. She promotes a vision of healthcare advancement in Illinois and nationally by serving as a leading voice for Latinx nurses on local and national boards, advocating for the nursing profession, and providing services and resources to Latinx communities.
Dr. Aquino is the current Treasurer for the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) and Immediate Past-President of the NAHN-Illinois Chapter. Under Dr. Aquino’s leadership as NAHN-Illinois President (2017-2019) along with an active Executive Board and membership, Illinois became the largest NAHN chapter. The Illinois Chapter visibility increased locally, nationally, and globally; more partnerships with leading organizations were developed to advance the organizations’ mission; and more financial support was established to enhance membership benefits such as increased scholarships and professional development opportunities. Dr. Aquino has helped lead the All of Us Research Program initiatives to increase Latinx participation in Illinois; additionally, she has collaborated on presentations and publications that share NAHN’s work to increase Latinx outreach and involvement in the research program. Dr. Aquino is the first Latina President of the American Nurses Association-Illinois that represents the interests of Illinois’ 190,000+ registered nurses and helps drive policy and advocacy efforts in the state. She serves on numerous boards including: the Board of Trustees of Edward-Elmhurst Health System, Board of Directors for Alivio Medical Center, Board of Advisors and founding member of the Health Council for Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Chicago, Board of Director of NCEMNA, Board of Director for Prevention First, AHA National Diversity Leadership Committee Member, and AHA National Empowered to Serve Ambassador.
Over the years, Dr. Aquino has received numerous awards and recognitions for her leadership and service. Awards distinctive to leadership include: Designated 1 of 5 Hispanic Nurse Trailblazers Everyone Should Know (2019), Negocios Now 2019 Who’s Who in Hispanic Chicago Health Care, UIC Power of Nursing Leadership Pinnacle Leader Award (2018), NAHN Janie Menchaca Wilson Leadership Award (2018), NAHN Top 40 Under 40 Nursing Award (2017), Nueva Latina Estrella Award-Health Category (2015), Top 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders in Illinois (2015), and LaRaza Mujere Destacada Award-Health Category (2015). Awards recognizing Dr. Aquino’s service include: DePaul’s Women’s Network Women of Spirit & Action (2018), AHA Multicultural Initiatives Heart Beat Award (2017), Top 10 National Ambassador for AHA-Empowered to Serve (2017), and AHA Circle of Service Award.