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Center of Advanced Practice

The St. Jude Center of Advanced Practice leads, supports, and inspires advanced practice providers caring for patients.

Advanced practice providers at St. Jude

Advanced practice providers (APPs) can serve as clinicians, leaders, educators, mentors, and researchers. An APP’s specific activities depend on their role. At St. Jude, our APPs include:

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are licensed health care professionals. NPs may diagnose and manage acute, chronic, and complex health problems. They may also prescribe medications. NPs can practice autonomously while coordinating care with other health care professionals. They may hold master’s or doctoral degrees from nursing schools.

Physician assistants (PAs) provide care that is similar to that provided by a principal health care provider, such as diagnosis of illness, prescribing medications, putting together treatment plans, and managing patients. They may serve as a patient’s principal health care provider. PAs usually have master’s degrees and train through programs connected with medical schools. With thousands of hours of medical training, PAs are versatile and collaborative.

Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) provide anesthesia and symptom management to patients during surgeries and outpatient procedures in a wide variety of settings. CRNAs may work independently or collaborate with surgeons, physician anesthesiologists, or other health care professionals. They may hold master’s or doctoral degrees from nursing schools.

APPs collaborate with other St. Jude health care professionals, such as:

  • Physicians
  • Scientists
  • Nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • Ancillary staff in 19 departments, divisions, and clinics


APPs take part in clinical trials and research projects at St. Jude. They present their findings at local, national, and international conferences. APPs may share their research findings through oral and written presentations or publications in peer-reviewed medical journals.

Education, training, and mentoring

St. Jude supports new and established advanced practice providers as they increase their skills and knowledge through a Transition to Practice Program. 

The Center of Advanced Practice promotes growth through a structured training process, moving providers toward autonomy and excellence in their clinical and professional practice. 

APPs accomplish many of these goals by serving as members and leaders of hospital-wide committees and participating in nursing-shared governance, which enables them to become part of the decision-making process for patient care. This training approach benefits the professional growth and collaborative spirit of each St. Jude NP, PA, and CRNA who enters our program.

The Advanced Practice Provider Student Clinical Placement Program

St. Jude provides world-class clinical placements for NPs, PAs, and CRNAs, so they can become leaders in the field of rare pediatric diseases.

It is a tremendous opportunity for a student to work at an innovative research hospital. The Center of Advanced Practice will assign each student to a specially trained APP preceptor with skills in clinical education. The student’s preceptor will be aligned with the student's professional goals and abilities. Interested applicants must be enrolled in an accredited APP program and complete an online application.

For more information on the APP Clinical Student Placement Program, email or

The Transition to Practice Orientation Program for new advanced practice providers

This structured training program focuses on helping new providers apply their skills and knowledge to the specialized care of children with life-threatening diseases. 

The 3-phase framework used in this program is based on acquiring knowledge instead of traditional time-based approaches for training. A quarterly educational series allows APPs to build their knowledge in a range of clinical and professional development topics.

This program pairs new APPS with preceptors and mentors:

  • The preceptor assists the APP during their first year of practice as they progress through the departmental clinical orientation process.

  • The mentor fosters the APP’s professional development, focusing on long-term career ambitions beyond clinical care.

Professional development recognition program

The Professional Development Model for Advanced Practice Providers (PDMAPP) honors St. Jude APPs. It:

  • Recognizes professional development 
  • Promotes professional contributions
  • Rewards performance beyond regular job responsibilities

Advanced practice provider awards

Our APPS are regularly recognized for their service to the hospital and the profession.

The Advanced Practice Provider of the Year Award is given to a St. Jude APP who serves as a role model and mentor, promoting positive change in the nurse practice environment.

Learn more about the Advanced Practice Provider of the Year Award and recent recipients.

Other recent award recipients:

Hayley Arceneaux, PA, was selected to be one of 4 crew members aboard the first all-civilian space mission Inspiration4.

Center leadership

Suzette Stone, PhD, MSN, MDiv, PPCNP-BC, NEA-BC, RN
Senior Director

Rachel Turner, MSN, CRNA, RN
APP Operations Manager

Kimberly Woody, MSN, PPCNP-BC, RN
APP Operations Manager

Tonya Ureda, MS, RN, FNP-BC, NE-BC
APP Operations Manager


Learn more