Mitchel Erickson

Mitchel Erickson

DNP '22, MS '97, ACNP-BC

When Mitchel Erickson, DNP '22, MS '97, ACNP-BC, became the first Chief of Advanced Practice at UCSF Health, he focused his energies on elevating and empowering the more than 600 advanced practice providers he oversaw.
He shadowed providers across clinical settings to understand the unique aspects of their roles, collaborated with them to optimize care delivery, and created a process for recognizing and highlighting their contributions across UCSF Health.
“Much of my work was understanding then demonstrating how advanced practice providers influence and contribute to every aspect of health care,” says Erickson. 
His success at UCSF garnered statewide attention — first from other medical centers across the University of California Health system and then from California’s Board of Registered Nursing (BRN). 
Erickson, who earned both his master’s and doctorate degrees from the UCSF School of Nursing, has had several firsts in his three-plus-decades-long nursing career. 
As an undergraduate nursing student in Canada, Erickson successfully lobbied to establish a student representative role on the board of the country’s national nursing organization. “I felt strongly that the voice of Canada’s future nursing workforce be included in the organization’s decision making,” he says. Erickson and a student colleague went on to publish an article regarding the experience to empower future students’ potential to influence policy in their profession. 

He established and served as the first chair of the UC Advanced Practice Strategy Committee, bringing together advanced practice leaders from each of the UC Health medical centers to strategize and collaborate. He then became the first person to chair the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Advisory Committee for the BRN, leading efforts to ensure that the public had access to advanced practice nursing experts and to guide BRN decision making regarding APRN practice safety.

Mitchel Erickson and Jyu-Lin Chen
Erickson is hooded by professor Jyu-Lin Chen, PhD, RN, FAAN, during the 2022 UCSF School of Nursing Commencement Ceremony.


Briauna Johnson and Mitchel Erickson speak while standing in the hospital.
Erickson (right) speaks with Briauna Johnson, RN, during their shift in the emergency department at the UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights.


Shortly after leaving the role of Chief of Advanced Practice in 2020, Erickson joined a UCSF Health team to create an Age-Friendly Emergency Department (AFED) at the UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights. AFED is a consult model of care that addresses the unique needs of older adults. He continues to lead the project today. 

The effort is a collaboration between UCSF’s Department of Emergency Medicine and Division of Geriatrics. As the only nurse on the interprofessional leadership team, Erickson has been instrumental in developing a high-quality and financially sustainable care delivery model that utilizes nurse practitioners in collaboration with pharmacy, social work and soon, case managers. This model of AFED care is unique to only three medical systems in the United States.

The project has been a success — in 2022, the emergency department received Gold Level 1 accreditation from ACEP Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation, the highest level of recognition for geriatric emergency department care.  

While leading this project, Erickson returned to school and earned his doctorate in UCSF’s Post-Master’s Entry to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) pathway. He went on to publish his DNP work and was awarded the AACN Excellence in Advancing Nursing Practice Science award for 2022-2023. 

“The DNP coursework and faculty gave me a lens for understanding the needs of different stakeholders and taught me how to incorporate varying perspectives when conducting quality improvement projects,” says Erickson. He also credits the program for teaching him skills to effectively partner with roles outside the health system.

In addition to his work in the emergency department, Erickson teaches students as a faculty member in the School of Nursing, provides consultative services to the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, and teaches and mentors emergency medicine nurse practitioner students in Haiti. 

But the highlight of his work? Listening to the stories of the elderly patients he cares for in the emergency department, he says. “They remind me that learning is life long and with patient aging comes legacy and agency.” 

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