2020 AAMN Election Candidates

The candidates listed below have submitted nominations to run for positions on AAMN's board of directors. Those nominations have been approved by AAMN's Leadership Succession Committee. Biographical information was provided by the individual candidates.

The positions being elected this year are president, vice president, treasurer and two at-large board positions. Each position is a two-year term. Online voting will take place March 30 - April 14.


Blake K. Smith


Michael Ward


Rasheem Montell Wynn

Click on candidate name to see their bio-sketch


Current Employment: Clinical Documentation Sr. Analyst -- Nebraska Medicine

Education: BS in Exercise Science Research – Nebraska Wesleyan University; Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nebraska Methodist College; Master of Science in Nursing Health Systems Administration – University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

Professional Association Memberships: AAMN, American Nurses Association, Nebraska Nurses Association, National Black Nurses Association, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society

AAMN Involvement to Date: Joined AAMN in 2014 and founded the Greater Omaha Area Chapter (the first chapter in Nebraska) in 2014 and was the chapter president in 2015-16. Elected to AAMN's national board of directors in 2016. Chair of membership committee from 2017-19 and developed and restructured membership into regions for increased communication and support for members. Became president-elect in 2018 and national president in 2019.​outcomes for our professional organization to thrive in the 21st century. 


Achievements include development and implementation of social media structure for marketing/membership communication; development and implementation of national podcast discussing topics that impact health care, nursing, and patients; increased membership and chapters by 57% and 131% respectfully in first 18 months in office; obtained a 95% membership retention rate for 2019; restructured budget to finish 2019 with $20,000 surplus, compared to previous year's $40,000 shortfall; leadership guidance for 400 nurses internationally through social media in Nigeria, China, Ireland, England, India, Haiti, and United Arab Emirates; and creation of the International Taskforce to expand the organization's influence and support to men in nursing around the globe.


Responsibilities have included leading and directing the oversight of all activities of the organization; developing and managing strategic initiatives for the organization; leading and directing growth and sustainability of the organization; influencer, co-host, and producer of AAMN's "The Nurses' Station" podcast; developing a marketing strategy for AAMN through social media and traditional avenues; lead and direct partnerships with the association; oversee the board of directors of the AAMN Foundation.

Why Are You Interested in The Position and What Do You Hope to Achieve and Contribute to AAMN? It has been a great pleasure and honor to be able to serve the significant membership of AAMN. My mission for AAMN moving forward is to continue building an environment to mentor the next generation of colleagues while leveraging our influence through innovative means. The vision for the growth and sustainability of our organization must be one of the progressive innovations to leverage the significant impact of our members. Our influence will influence the social determinants of health that affect men and advocate the education of a diverse workforce. We must seek out partnerships with others who are driven by bold, strategic and realistic measurable outcomes for our professional organization to thrive in the 21st century. 


The strategies that I will continue to develop and implement will aim to grow our recognition and influence in our profession. In my second term, I would like to focus on three critical areas for growth and sustainability. First, increase the capture of transitioning student members into full AAMN membership while investing resources in attracting additional current practicing nurses in a stewardship model. Second, create a more diverse structure that increases revenue to AAMN and provides more opportunities for value to members. Lastly, develop and implement a sustainable men's health focus with strategic partners to impact men's health social determinants impacting access to health care.


I invite you to visit my campaign website for further detailed information on my 2021-22 plans at 


Blake K. Smith, MSN, RN

Current Employment: Emergency Room

Education: Masters of Nursing

Professional Association Memberships: AAMN, Texas Nurse Practitioners​

AAMN Involvement to Date: Vice president, board member, co-creator and co-host of AAMN's "The Nurses Station" podcast, membership committee (Southern region chair), communications committee chair.

Why Are You Interested in The Position and What Do You Hope to Achieve and Contribute to AAMN? To increase awareness of our great organization and provide more opportunities for members to take part at the national level; create more partnerships to bring more value to our members; implement campaigns aimed at raising awareness of men's health issues and to further campaigns aimed at introducing the great profession of nursing to men of all ages across the nation; continue exploring the possibilities of expanding AAMN internationally.

Michael Ward, MSN, RN, AGACNP-BC

Current Employment: U.S. Navy (Retired). Taking NCLEX in March. Current NSNA nominations and elections committee chair and Southern Election Area representative.

Education: Received BSN from the University of Texas at Tyler in December 2019. Currently enrolled into the University of Texas at Tyler MSN Education Program.

Professional Association Memberships: National Student Nurses Association, Texas Nursing Students Association, American Nurses Association, Texas Nurses Association, American Association of the Colleges of Nursing

AAMN Involvement to Date: My involvement has been minimal as I just joined in February.

Why Are You Interested in The Position and What Do You Hope to Achieve and Contribute to AAMN? I am interested in running for this position as I would like to help grow the organization and spread the word regarding AAMN's mission and dedication to men in nursing. I also believe that we owe it to the nursing profession to do what we can to encourage and recruit the next generation of male nurses. I look forward to the opportunity to serve both the AAMN and all of my brothers in the nursing community.

Rasheem Montell Wynn, BSN​
AT-LARGE BOARD MEMBERS (2 positions available)

Candidates listed in alphabetical order


Current Employment: Georgetown University Hospital

Education: Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Loyola University New Orleans

Professional Association Memberships: AAMN, Maryland Nurses Association (District 5), American Organization for Nursing Leadership, American Nurses Association, Oncology Nursing Society, National Association for Healthcare Quality.

AAMN Involvement to Date: I joined at the end of 2016 once Johns Hopkins received its chapter status. I have been active in AAMN on a national level as the membership committee's Northeast regional chair.

Why Are You Interested in The Position and What Do You Hope to Achieve and Contribute to AAMN? I am interested in becoming a member of the board of directors as I have a passion for the field of nursing and to provide more interest in promoting males looking for a positive, rewarding career. I can contribute my leadership and organizational skills to AAMN by helping the membership committee gain new members and provide guidance and support when needed to strengthen the current chapters.

Lou Bartolo, MSN, RN

Current Employment: Associate professor, Duke University School of Nursing; Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Freedom House Recovery Center (Chapel Hill, N.C.)


Education: BA, History (Clarion University 1985); BSN (Ohio State 1989); BA, Psychology (Ohio State 1990); MS, Nursing (Ohio State, 1992); PhD, Nursing (Ohio State 2007); BA, Sociology (Ohio State 2007); post-master’s certificate, Psychiatric Mental Health NP (Ohio State 2014).

Professional Association Memberships: AAMN, American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA); American Society for Addiction Medicine (ASAM); Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC); American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP); American Nurses Association (ANA); North Carolina Nurses Association (NCNA); Sigma Theta Tau, Intl. , National Academies of Practice (2015 Fellow).

AAMN Involvement to Date:  Joined AAMN in 1987, most recent membership renewal 2019. I have been a speaker at the national conference, served on several committees and served as a board member; helped organize and served as faculty advisory for Duke Chapter; facilitated/helped organize national conference at Duke

University in 2009; coordinated efforts for submission of Duke Chapter’s successful application as a Best Schools for Men in Nursing award winner.  

Why Are You Interested in The Position and What Do You Hope to Achieve and Contribute to AAMN? As a nurse since 1989, I have been committed to encouraging men to consider nursing as a career, as well as working to make nursing a more gender-neutral profession. One example of my efforts was done while I was the executive director of the Ohio Board of Nursing and in response to significant disparities in the Ohio nursing workforce.  I coordinated, with key nursing stakeholders, a successful statewide, multimedia campaign to encourage men and members of ethnic/racial minorities to consider nursing as a career. The campaign, which connected interested individuals, via a web-site, to information about nursing, education, financial assistance for school, etc. The campaign generated significant media attention and the website received over 700,000 hits while active.


I believe that as men in nursing, we have an obligation to support one another, to serve as role models for all of our colleagues and to advocate for the recognition of gender as well as racial/ethnic disparities in the profession. Men account for approximately 10% of the nursing workforce but nearly 50% of the general population. However many efforts to diversify the nursing workforce, especially those that include significant funding,  are focused solely on racial and ethnic minorities. While racial and ethnic diversity are essential in nursing, the disparity between men in nursing and in the population is much greater than that for other underrepresented groups. Since its inception in 1974, AAMN has grown and matured into a significant national organization on par with other specialized nursing groups. As a significant national organization, AAMN has a recognizable voice that can be used to advance the goal of gender parity within the profession. It is important that AAMN continue to visibly and vocally champion both the contributions and the needs of men in nursing, for those of us who are currently nurses and for those men who will join us in the future. If elected, I will work to assure that the mission of the organization is supported and that we use the national platform we have as an organization to advocate for men in nursing, other underrepresented groups and the patients we all serve. In nursing, men need to be seen as both a minority and a significant group from which to recruit future nurses. We need to encourage greater efforts to communicate the message that it is a great time to be a nurse, and nursing is a great profession for men. I would like the opportunity to return to the board of directors to help disseminate that message. 

John Brion, ​PhD, PMHNP, FNAP
Luis Manuel Cabret-Rios, DNP, RN, CCRN, ARNP-FL, FNP-BC, PhD.s.

Current Employment: Retired. Former assistant professor, University of Turabo; president/editor-in-chief of Impulso, the official nursing journal of Puerto Rico (volunteer position).


Education: Doctor of Nursing Science, University of Alabama-Huntsville and University of Alabama joint program (2019); Doctor of Nursing Practice, University of Alabama (2016); Masters in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner, Universidad del Turabo (Puerto Rico, 2007); Baccalaureate in Nursing, Universidad Metropolitana (Puerto Rico, 1994).

Professional Association Memberships: AAMN, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, American College of Nurse Practitioners, American Association of Critical Care, American Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau International/Epsilon Omega Charter Alabama, UA Graduate Honor Society, National League of Nursing, International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning, Association of Simulation-Educators of Puerto Rico, American Nursing Informatics Association.

Why Are You Interested in This Position and What Do You Hope to Achieve and Contribute to AAMN? The interest of becoming a board member at large lies in the need to continue to make changes in the vision of men in nursing from my peers in nursing in Puerto Rico. This vision come from an Hispanic way of thinking that nurses needs to be women and male nurses are only for certain task and not necessary for leadership positions. I expect to achieve, as a board member at large, the development of at least an AAMN chapter in Puerto Rico predominantly Hispanic during my first year of appointment. Also, I want to help recognize the importance of men in nursing in my country, a U.S. territory where men are a vast minority of the approximately 34,000 nurses in Puerto Rico.


Current Employment: Senior clinical quality auditor Medicare, United Health Group.


Education: Washtenaw Community College.

Professional Association Memberships: AAMN.

AAMN Involvement to Date:  I have been a member of AAMN since 2009. Over the years I have assisted with conference planning and have worked on the education committee and the awards committee. This past year I was asked to become a board member of the AAMN Foundation. In 2018, I was able to form the first corporate-sponsored AAMN chapter -- UHG AAMN Chapter -- and I am the president of the chapter.

Why Are You Interested in The Position and What Do You Hope to Achieve and Contribute to AAMN? There is nothing more important than parity among all in the nursing profession and making sure everyone has the same opportunities. However, if I am elected to the board of directors, I would love to bring to the association a mentor / mentee program. I have had the opportunity to not only help develop but

take part in a mentor / mentee program at my company and I would love to bring this to everyone in AAMN. The purpose of mentoring is to tap into the existing knowledge, skills and experience of high-performing individuals and transfer these skills to newer or less experienced employees in order to advance their careers. There is a vast amount of talent within AAMN and many are eager to share their experiences and help guide others in their career paths. Every single past and current leader in AAMN has been influenced by a mentor to advance their career. So if elected, this program will be one of my main goals along with supporting the needs of the AAMN organization. 

Thomas Rossini, ​RN

Current Employment: Assistant professor of nursing, Saint Xavier University (Chicago).


Education: Doctor of Nursing Practice

Professional Association Memberships: AAMN, American Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau International, National League for Nursing, American Red Cross.


AAMN Involvement to Date: 

 have been an AAMN member for two years and have attended (with another colleague) the 2018 annual conference. I also plan to remain involved in AAMN for years to come. Additionally, I am in the process of working to open a new Chicago-area chapter through the college I work for (Saint Xavier University). Additionally, I routinely participate as a member on the AAMN Facebook account.

Why Are You Interested in The Position and What Do You Hope to Achieve and Contribute to AAMN? All my life, I have stood upright for many a cause that I firmly believed in. I have also taken careful measures to treat others exactly the way that I would like to be treated. This willful attitude has allowed me to put my heart and soul into a profession that emboldens those with the very same appetency: Nursing. 

Since becoming a registered nurse more than 20 years ago, my unbridled character has allowed me to gain much experience as a compassionate clinician, keenly focused leader and passionate educator. During my career, I have developed excellent listening skills and have non-judgmentally cared for a multitude of people from different race, ethnicity, background, religious affiliation and personal belief systems -- all without conviction. Through the years, I have also gained great understanding of nursing politics, power, influence, and a deep appreciation and passion for the training, education and empowerment of all men in the nursing field. Most recently, I received the highest level of academic success that a nurse can achieve by earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. I feel that by obtaining this level of education, I have assisted to elevate men in nursing and, perhaps, add value to the profession as a whole. Simply stated, it is for the aforementioned reasons that I believe I am qualified candidate for a board member position. 

If I am elected to the board, I have every intent to collaboratively work with esteemed colleagues to further the efforts and achievements of those great men in nursing who have come before us. In order to continue forward momentum, not only will I draw upon my extraordinary interpersonal abilities and talents to influence, enhance and heighten the public’s awareness of our accomplishments, but also I may be entrusted to continually build upon those accomplishments by participating or leading in board room or social media discussions, decisions, affiliations, and beyond.  

As a dedicated nursing professional and possible future board member, I am committed to the perseverance of service, promotion of health and wellness, and continued successes of all men in nursing. 

William Zic, ​DNP, MSN, RN
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