Austin Advanced Practice Nurses

Marilyn Patillo Receives Austin APNs Award of Excellence in May and the TNP of the Year Award in September at the 21st Annual TNP Conference!

Posted almost 10 years ago by Dorothy Darby


In May, Marilyn Pattillo received the award of excellence this year from the local APN group.  At the September TNP Conference at the Woodlands, she also received the TNP of the Year Award for 2009, an award given by her peers of which she so deserves!

Marilyn Pattillo PHD, RN, APRN, BC (GNP, ACNS), was born in the Philippines raised by a poor family, as her father was a soldier in the Army there. After establishing her career goal being lured into nursing by a recruiting poster of an airvac nurse in the air force, she obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of the Philippines. and made the move to the United states. "Only in America, could I achieved my career goals"

As a graduate nurse her first job was in a hospital in Columbus Georgia, after which she did join the Air Force. Dr. Pattillo has served over 20 years in the Air Force Nurse Corps, both on active duty and reserve. She was trained as a flight nurse and flew many aerovacuation missions in Europe, Central America and Asia. Being in the reserves was a part time job, which allowed her to attend school full time and work as a civilian as she further enhanced her education. She obtained her master's degree from Texas Women's University in Houston with emphasis in cardiovascular clinical specialty. Her doctorate is from the University of Texas at Austin with a focus on adult health and gerontology.

In 2001, Dr. Pattillo was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Vietnam Education Foundation, an international fellowship program of graduate and post-graduate training in the sciences, mathematics, medicine, and information technology. Board members include US and Vietnamese business leaders, representatives from the Departments of Treasury, Education and State, and fellow scientists from leading US universities.

She has also served as a volunteer Red Cross disaster health instructor, an experience which encouraged her to develop and teach two Disaster Nursing elective classes in Summer 2002 and 2003 in response to the events on September 11, 2001. Content from those classes have since been integrated into the undergraduate curriculum at UT Austin so that all students have basic disaster nursing competencies before graduation. Dr. Pattillo serves as an active member of the University of Texas at Austin Emergency Preparedness efforts and was selected to be Deputy Team Commander, National Nurse Response Team, National Disaster Medical System, a Department of Health and Human Services asset prepared to respond to a national emergency.

According to Dr. Pattillo, the most rewarding part of her career has been teaching. younger nurses to become inspired to care for the elderly. “My job now is to keep old people away from the hospital.” Marilyn believes that the current changes occurring with the health care environment afford all APN's numerous opportunities, such as health promotion and wellness, standardizing guidelines for healthcare that will allow more healthcare providers to consistently assist people to stay out of the hospital. She feels strongly that the use of the APN is a cost effective way of providing high quality care.

Some of the frustrations Dr. Pattillo encounters include seeing nurses who are “intellectually lazy,” which she also finds embarrassing. She feels that hospitals don't easily reward those who want to further their education. “People don't see the assets or gifts of nursing,” which should be recognized and rewarded. Marilyn feels that we have not done a good job of marketing ourselves. Her current goals are to use the research and data that is available to write something in a more public venue such as the Wall Street Journal to really bring to light the assets a career in nursing provide, as well as the advantages of using advanced practice nurses in the health care environment not only today, but especially in the future.

Marilyn, we are all waiting and watching for your articles!