As President of the Penn Nursing Alumni Board, Ashley Z. Ritter, Nu’07, GNu’10 continues to work to strengthen the Penn Nursing community, from Fagin Hall to beyond. Now enrolled in the School’s PhD program, Ashley can speak to the Penn Nursing experience at every level, and continues to use this background to engage more of her fellow alumni.

Ashley’s commitment to the alumni community first formalized when she began serving as a Graduate Student Representative. Her role as chairperson of the Student Alumni Connections committee inspired her to run for Vice President for Student and School Support, and then for President. However, her extraordinary leadership skills were evident much earlier, while she practiced as a medical-surgical staff nurse at University Medical Center of Princeton after completing her BSN degree. Chosen as a Sands Scholar, Ashley had completed senior clinical rotations at UMCP and had committed to working there after graduation. While at UMCP, Ashley coordinated a hospital-wide geriatric best practice initiative, NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Health System Elders), furthering the Sands Scholars Program’s legacy of excellence and impact.

A Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, Ashley has worked with older adults across the spectrum of care settings. She served as core faculty in the Division of Geriatrics at Abington Memorial Hospital, a community teaching hospital, precepting interdisciplinary learners daily and providing comprehensive primary care to older adults. Her current clinical practice focuses on post hospitalization care for individuals with complex disease processes in a short term rehabilitation facility, PowerBack Center City in Philadelphia.  In this role, she facilitates advanced care planning conversations to promote wellness and quality of life. These conversations are essential to achieving realistic and desirable plans for individuals faced with life limiting conditions. Ashley works with a strong team of clinicians including multiple nurse practitioners and nurse practitioner students, particularly poised in coordinating care for individuals undergoing transitions in their care needs and environment.

Ashley’s doctoral work focuses on limiting barriers to practice for nurse practitioners, an essential cadre of professionals in the healthcare workforce. Federal, state, and institutional regulations often restrict the ability of nurse practitioners to practice to the full extent of their education and training, constraining the capacity of nurse practitioners to meet patient care demands. Ashley’s work contributes to local and national efforts to provide the right care at the right time to ALL individuals.

Ashley greatly values her time as a Penn undergraduate and graduate student and strives to share that Penn pride with others. 

“My goals for my term as President include growing the diversity of the board by engaging alumni from a wide variety of academic programs, class years, practice disciplines, and geographic regions. I’d like to help grow the Penn Nursing Alumni group as an academic home for all alumni – an association that nourishes its members starting from their time as students by serving as a lifelong foundation, networking source and professional base.”