Celebrating Our Nurse Educators: Meet the Team Behind Elite Learning’s CE Courses

In celebration of Nurses Month, we’re shining a spotlight on the team members who make our quality CE courses possible. We’re pleased to introduce you to Shirley Aycock, June Thompson, Lisa Simani, Michelle Doran, and Jami Cooley. Keep reading to learn a little bit about the lives and careers of these inspiring nurse educators.

Shirley Aycock, DNP, RN

As a Registered Nurse, Shirley has served in a variety of leadership roles throughout the course of her career. In recent years, her leadership focus has shifted from acute care and adult medical-surgical oversight to educational endeavors within the acute care hospital environment.

In addition to her role developing continuing education courses with Elite, Shirley currently serves as nursing adjunct faculty for East Texas Baptist University, LeTourneau University, and University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing and Health Innovation.

Shirley received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from University of Texas at Arlington, a Master of Science in Nursing Administration from University of Texas at Tyler, and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Rush University in Chicago, Illinois.

Fun fact: Shirley enjoys spending time with family and friends and playing roller derby, where she’s known as “Squirrely Shirley.”

June Thompson, DrPH, MSN, RN, FAEN

Over the course of her long and diverse career, Dr. Thompson has served in two pivotal roles: one as the director of Education and Research for University Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the other as director of clinical research for the Orlando Florida Hospital System. She has taught both undergraduate and graduate nursing at The Ohio State University and the University of Texas, Houston, as well as University of Phoenix and Simmons College, Boston.

As a tenured teacher and director, Dr. Thompson believes in weaving education together with practice, evidence, and research. She has also served as the national president of the Emergency Nursing Association. Together with a colleague, Dr. Thompson also initiated the first master’s program in Emergency Nursing at the University of Texas, Houston.

For the past five years, Dr. Thompson served as the Lead Nurse Planner for Elite Learning. Although she officially “retired” last summer, she continues to provide leadership in course development.

Dr. Thompson earned her baccalaureate degree in nursing from Case Western Reserve University, her master’s in nursing from The Ohio State University, and her doctorate in Public Health Administration and Injury Epidemiology from the University of Texas, Houston.

Fun fact: Although Dr. Thompson loves to travel the world, one of her favorite places is the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. She is good friends with Mickey Mouse and she definitely believes in the “magic” of a healthy environment.

Lisa Simani, APRN, MS, ACNP

With more than 20 years of publishing experience, Lisa has served as lead author in peer-reviewed articles for multiple print and web-based nursing CE providers. In her position as nurse planner for Elite, she works with its advisory board and subject-matter experts to develop evidence-based best practices in continuing education for nurses and other healthcare professionals.

Recently, she volunteered as a NP with the Pediatric Orthopedic Project, a surgical mission group that provides free surgeries to children in the Third World.

Lisa earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin and her master’s in nursing from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She holds nurse practitioner certifications in adult and critical care, with clinical experience as an acute care nurse practitioner in cardiothoracic surgery.

Fun fact: Art is Lisa’s passion. She is a self-taught artist, with works exhibited in galleries and private collections. She is one of the founding members of an art gallery in St. Louis, where she was the attending gallerist from 2017 to 2019.

Michelle Doran, RN, DNP, NPD-BC

Michelle began her professional nursing journey as a pediatric staff nurse at the University of Maryland Medical System. Over the last 25-plus years, her career has included various clinical and administrative leadership roles in primary care, public health, academic medical centers, pediatric rehabilitation, the health plan industry, and consulting. She currently serves as a per diem school nurse in her community in Hingham, Massachusetts.

A chief career focus for Michelle is professional practice and education, having worked with multiple organizations to achieve ANCC Magnet accreditation, ANCC provider unit accreditation, and ANCC Transition to Practice accreditation. She’s currently writing the submission for Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education for Massachusetts General Hospital and its affiliates.

Michelle enjoys writing and publishing, and she recently co-authored “Contemporary Engagement Strategies for Nurse Leaders,”  to be published in the August 2021 edition of the peer review journal, “Nurse Leader.”

Michelle earned her bachelor’s of business administration from James Madison University and her bachelor’s of nursing science from The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. She went on to earn her master’s in nursing leadership from Regis College, and her doctorate of nursing practice from The George Washington University School of Nursing. She has also achieved national nursing certification in Nursing Professional Development.

Fun fact: Last year, Michelle started surfing. While she’s still a novice, she loves being out on the ocean whenever possible.

Jami Cooley, RN, CNWC

Jami Cooley began her nursing career working in oncology and hematology. She received certification in Chemotherapy and Biotherapy at M.D. Anderson hospital in Houston, Texas in 2002 and was involved in clinical research trials for chemotherapeutic agents. Shortly thereafter, Jami became a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant with specialty in sports medicine and orthopedics. Additionally, Jami has co-authored several nutrition books and has been a featured author on Livestrong, Healthy Living, Mother Earth News, and Vogue magazine.

Jami shifted her career from healthcare practitioner to healthcare marketing in 2004 when she began working on health-related television programs and radio talk shows. She then began focusing on digital marketing in 2007 with University Health News and Harvard Health Publications (Mequoda Group).

Fun fact: In her spare time, Jami enjoys running and participating in races and triathlons. She ran the Boston marathon in 2017.

To discover CE courses by these nurse educators and other expert authors, visit the Elite library at EliteCME.com/Nursing.

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