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New Alumni Award Recipient: Aaron P. Skiles

Photo: A SkilesClass of BSN 2009 and MSN 2012

Aaron P. Skiles, CFNP, is the recipient of the University of New Mexico (UNM) College of Nursing 2016 New Alumni Award.

Mr. Skiles is a two-time graduate of the UNM College of Nursing, receiving Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing degrees. Currently a certified family nurse practitioner (FNP) at the Sandoval Regional Medical Center (SMRC) in Rio Rancho, NM, he manages a panel of 2,000 patients in the UNM Health System. Within SMRC, he functions in the role of Clinical Lead in the Family Practice clinic, with an emphasis on team and morale building.

In addition, he participates in several UNM Hospital committees, including the Ambulatory Care Planning committee and the Patient-Centered Medical Home Project for his clinic. The patient-centered medical home is a care delivery model whereby patient treatment is coordinated through the primary care clinician to ensure that patients receive the necessary care when and where they need it, in a manner they can understand. Both committees assist in providing patients with the best care possible.

A role model for FNP students, Mr. Skiles truly embodies what it means to be a nurse practitioner. He offers primary care for patients of all ages, including complex chronically ill adults. He has been instrumental in recruiting students for the UNM College of Nursing Master of Science in Nursing FNP program, recommending some exceptionally strong nurses who have gone on to successfully completed the program. Some of Mr. Skiles’ most rewarding work is with vulnerable patients. He has developed a focused clinic within his primary care work and received additional education through Project ECHO on the consultation and treatment of hepatitis C. He continues to receive referrals from other medical providers throughout the state. He also has an interest in and dedication to patients with mental health issues and HIV, as well as those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ). He recently completed Safe Zone Training, a training that is designed to increase the overall campus community’s understanding and awareness of LGBTQ issues.

Mr. Skiles incorporates the education and training of other health professionals into his very busy clinic time. He enthusiastically precepts College of Nursing nurse practitioner students on a regular basis, encouraging them and helping them to fine-tune their assessment, medical decision-making, treatment, and health promotion skills. Additionally, he has precepted physician assistant students, residents and medical students.

In addition to all this, Mr. Skiles is currently enrolled in the Clinical DNP program at the UNM College of Nursing, which has a strong leadership focus. This will increase his participation in research, build on his leadership skills and prepare him for a more formal teaching role.

Mr. Skiles demonstrates excellence in patient care, is a leader and mentor to new providers, is respected by patients and is referred to as “awesome” by students. Aaron Skiles is a role model for nurse practitioners throughout the state and, as an alum, represents the UNM College of Nursing with honor and pride.

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