William D. "Bill" Ahrens received a Nursing Diploma from the Gowanda State Hospital School of Nursing in 1970. Subsequently he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (Summa Cum Laude) from Northern Illinois University in 1976 and a Master of Science in Nursing (Cardiovascular) from the University of Alabama Medical Center in Birmingham in 1981.
He was commissioned an Ensign, Nurse Corps, United States Navy in 1970 During his Naval career he rose to the rank of Captain and held a variety of positions including:
- Director, Health Promotion Division, Headquarters, Naval Medical Command;
- Department Head and Assistant Director, Nursing Services, Naval Hospital, Pensacola, Florida;
- Director, Nursing Services, Naval Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida;
- Director, Nursing Services, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland.
He also served as Specialty Consultant for Nursing Practice to the Surgeon General of the Navy from 1995 to 1998. He is a recipient of the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, and National Defense Medal.
Retiring from active Naval service in August, 1998, he joined the Nursing faculty at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, where he is currently a Senior Instructor and Director of the Regular Prelicensure Nursing program.
Ahrens is a member of the
- American Nurses Association
- Florida Nurses Association (serving from 2007-2009 on the Board of Directors)
- National League for Nursing
- Association of Military Surgeons of the United States
- North East Florida Council of Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners
- Sigma Theta Tau International
Ahrens was listed in the National Distinguished Service Registry in Nursing. He is a Wharton School of Business/Johnson & Johnson Nurse Executive Fellow. In 2009 he was selected as one of the State of Florida “Great 100 Nurses” by the Florida Nurses Association. He has published articles in a number of professional journals, as well as a book chapter.