College of Science and Health > Faculty & Staff > Faculty A-Z > Elizabeth Florez

Elizabeth Aquino

  • Associate Professor, Nursing
  • ​​​PhD, RN​       ​​​
  • School of Nursing
  • (773) 325-4182
  • ​990 W. F​ullerton, room 4008

Dr. Aquino’s clinical nursing background is in critical care, specifically surgical-trauma intensive care nursing. She completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology and biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a master’s of science in nursing from DePaul University, and a PhD in Nursing Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing.

Through her nursing background, research, and community service, Dr. Aquino has focused on the many issues that ethnic minorities and underserved communities face that impact their health. Dr. Aquino has demonstrated her deep commitment to helping others through her volunteerism and community service with various non-profit organizations where she has shared her expertise to help address health disparities. She has promoted a vision of healthcare advancement in Illinois and nationally by serving as a leading voice for Latinx nurses on local and national boards, advocating for the nursing profession, and providing services and resources to Latinx communities.

Dr. Aquino is the current President of the American Nurses Association-Illinois, the professional association that represents the interests of Illinois’ 190,000+ registered nurses. She is the current Treasurer for the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) and Immediate Past-President of the NAHN-Illinois Chapter. NAHN focuses on supporting, mentoring, and increasing the pipeline of Latinx nurses; and advancing the health in Latinx communities.

Dr. Aquino currently serves as the Associate Director for the Master’s Entry to Practice Program at DePaul University’s School of Nursing.

Specialization and Interests
  • Critical Care
  • Health Disparities
  • Underserved Populations
  • Cardiovascular Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  • Advanced Nursing Education
  • Nursing Workplace Environments
Recent Awards and Publications
2019          Designated 1 of 5 Hispanic Nurse Trailblazers Everyone Should Know
2019          Negocios Now 2019 Who’s Who in Hispanic Chicago Health Care
2018          UIC Power of Nursing Leadership Pinnacle Leader Award
2018          DePaul Women’s Network Women of Spirit and Action Honoree
2018          UIC UHP 40th Anniversary Distinguished Honoree
2018          Janie Menchaca Wilson Leadership Award, NAHN
2017          Multicultural Initiatives Heart Beat Award, American Heart Association
2017          Top 40 Under 40 Nursing Award-National Association of Hispanic Nurses
2016          Top 10 National Ambassador for AHA EmPOWERED to Serve
2016          American Heart Association Circle of Service Award
2015          Nueva Latina Estrella Award-Health Category
2015          Top 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders in Illinois Award
2015          LaRaza Mujere Destacada Award-Health Category

Professional Affiliations
Alivio Medical Center, Board of Director
American Heart Association Empowered to Serve Ambassador
American Nurses Association-Illinois
Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Chicago, Board of Advisors and Health Council co-founder
Edward-Elmhurst Health System, Board of Trustee and Quality Committee Chair
Midwest Nursing Research Society
National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Treasurer
National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurses Association, Board of Director
Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society

Recent Publications **Doctoral Student, *Masters Student
**Guardi, J., Aquino, E., Larimer, K., Bishop-Royse, J. & Simonovich, S.(2020). Lack of diagnosis and screening for pediatric obesity in the retail health setting: Implications for quality improvement measures. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 34(3), 222-229.

Amer, K., Aquino , E., Handrup J., Larimer, K., Lee, Y.M., Morales, M., & Simonovich, S. (2019). Integration of a community-based engagement model of service learning in a master's entry nursing program. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 9(10), 107-111. 

Lee, Y.M., *Mondragón, E., Jeong, Y.M., Lee, H.H., Aquino, E., & Shim, K. (2019). Exploring the need of HPV education programs in Korean American communities. Journal of Community Health Nursing, 36(1), 19-30.

Cuellar, N., Aquino, E., Cruet, S., Grau, G., Gularte-Rinaldo, J., Martinez, G. & Vital, V. (2018). Increasing awareness of the All of Us research program in Latino communities. Hispanic Health Care International, 16(4), 168-173.

Aquino, E., Lee, Y.M., *Spawn, N. & Bishop-Royse, J. (2018). The impact of burnout on doctorate nursing faculty’s intent to leave their academic position: A descriptive survey research design. Nurse Education Today, 69, 35-40.

**Gibney, C., Lee, Y.M., Feczko, J., & Florez, E. (2017). A needs assessment for the development of the TIME anesthesia handoff tool. American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Journal, 85(6), 431-437.

*Ian, C., Florez, E., & Lee, Y.M. (2016). Registered nurses' experiences with caring for non-English speaking patients. Applied Nursing Research, 30, 257-260. 

Larimer, K., *Durmus, J., & Florez, E. (2016). Experiences of young adults with pacemakers and/or ICDs. The Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. 31(6), 517-522. 

Lee, Y.M. Florez, E., Holm, K.,* Horwitz, J., & *Waters, R. (2016). Latino adolescent perspectives towards sexually transmitted infection educational programs. International Journal of Nursing Knowledge. 27(1), 17-23.

Lee, Y.M., Florez, E., Tariman, J., *McCarter, S., & *Riesche, L. (2015). Factors related to sexual behaviors and sexual education programs for Asian-American adolescents. Applied Nursing Research, 28(3), 222-228.