Christopher Blackwell, an associate professor at the University of Central Florida’s College of Nursing, has been awarded the 2017 Outstanding Nurse Practitioner Educator Award by the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF).

Blackwell, who was nominated by current and previous colleagues, was recognized for his significant contributions to the advancement of nurse practitioners through outstanding teaching, as well as the development of creative and effective teaching techniques and innovative curriculum design. This includes his leadership role in the development of UCF’s new Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program. By using case studies from his work as an acute care nurse practitioner at Health Central and South Lake Hospitals, he prepares his students for real-world experience in an exciting and engaging way.

“It is an absolute honor to be recognized on the national stage by my nurse practitioner educator colleagues and peers,” said Blackwell. “To bring that recognition to the College of Nursing and UCF is also an honor. Our nurse practitioner faculty work incredibly hard to bring our students the best graduate education possible.”

A national expert on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) health, Blackwell has devoted most of his career to improving outcomes in high-risk and vulnerable populations. His research addresses inequity in the workplace of GLBT nurses, mental health and substance abuse issues in GLBT individuals, online sexual decision-making by at-risk gay and bisexual men, HIV screening and prevention, and increasing knowledge of vaccine needs of gay/bisexual men in providers and GLBT communities.

Committed to nursing education, Blackwell is one of the first nurse practitioner educators in the U.S. to earn the certified nurse educator credential. Most recently, he was one of only 88 nurse practitioner leaders inducted in 2016 as Fellows of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Blackwell has been honored with numerous other awards during his career, including Outstanding New Nurse Researcher award from the Florida Nurses’ Association and March of Dimes Nurse of the Year award in public health.

An associate professor at the college since 2004, Blackwell began his clinical career as an emergency/trauma nurse and later practiced as a nurse practitioner in infectious disease. He is still currently practicing as a board certified Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Adult Nurse Practitioner. A “Knight” nurse, Blackwell earned his bachelor’s degree in nursing with honors, master’s degree in nursing and PhD in public affairs focusing on health – all from UCF. He also holds a post-graduate certificate as an Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner from the University of Florida.