William D Ahrens

Senior Instructor • Coordinator, Regular Prelicensure Program

Nursing • Brooks College of Health

Areas of Expertise

Rehabilitation nursing, geriatric nursing, leadership and nursing professional issues


1981 Master of Science in Nursing (Cardiovascular Nursing) -  University of Alabama-Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

1976 Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Summa Cum Laude - Northern Illinois University,DeKalb IL

1970 Diploma - Gowanda State Hospital School of Nursing, Helmuth, NY


Mr. Ahrens was born and raised in Springville, New York. 


He was commissioned an Ensign, Nurse Corps, United States Navy in 1970 and began active service at the Naval Hospital, Great Lakes, Illinois. During his Naval career he rose to the rank of Captain and held a variety of positions including:


• Staff Nurse and Clinical Instructor, Coronary Care Unit, Naval Regional Medical Center, Portsmouth, Virginia;
• Head, Staff Education and Training Department and Interim Director for Administration, Naval Hospital, Naples,  Italy;
• Director, Health Promotion Division, Headquarters, Naval Medical Command, Washington, DC;
• 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.  Retiring from active Naval service in August, 1998, he joined the Nursing faculty at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida; where he is currently a Senior Instructor and Director of the Regular Prelicensure nursing program.


He is certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Risk Management, and is listed in the National Distinguished Service Registry in Nursing. He is a Wharton School of Business/Johnson & Johnson Nurse Executive Fellow.


He is married to the former Judy Morrison; also a Registered Nurse practicing in geriatric nursing at Taylor Manor in Jacksonville, Florida. They have three children; Allison, a Physical Therapist; Melissa, a secondary school English Literature teacher; and Becky, a Special Education teacher.


2010 Navy Nurse Corps Association Professional Nursing Award


2010 Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, University of North Florida

2009 Great 100 Nurses of Florida Award, Florida Nurses Association


2009 Jo Ann Barnett Award for Compassionate Nursing Care in Education, University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Nursing Alumni Chapter


2004-05 Who’s Who Among American Teachers

2004 Brooks College of Health Undergraduate Teaching Award, University of North Florida


2003 Northeast Florida “Great 100 Nurses” award


2001 “Student’s Choice Outstanding Professor”, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL


2000 Honorary member, Golden Key National Honor Society (selected by students)


1998 Legion of Merit, U.S. Navy


1996 Meritorious Service Medal (second award), U.S. Navy


1993 Meritorious Service Medal, U.S. Navy


1992 Mary J. Nielubowicz Award, Association of Military Surgeons


1989 Who's Who In American Nursing

1988 National Distinguished Service Registry in Nursing

1986 Meritorious Unit Commendation, U. S. Navy


1984 Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, U.S. Navy


1981 Sigma Theta Tau International


1981 Graduate Nursing Research Award, University of Alabama School of Nursing, University of Alabama in Birmingham


1976 Phi Kappa Phi


1971 National Defense Service Medal, U.S, Navy


1970 William McCanty Award, Gowanda State Hospital


1970 Lance Frenkel Award, Gowanda State Hospital


1970 Registered Professional Nurses Alumni Association Award, Gowanda State Hospital


2007-2010 District 2, Florida Nurses Association,  Director for Publicity


2007-2009 Florida Nurses Association. Board of Directors


2006-2008 Lambda Rho Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International,  Board of Directors; Leadership Succession Chair


2005-2006 District 2, Florida Nurses Association Advisor


2001-2005 District 2, Florida Nurses Association, President


American Nurses Association


Association of the Military Surgeons of the U. S.


Florida Nurses Association President

Golden Key National Honor Society (honorary)

Interagency Institute for Federal Healthcare Executives Alumni Association

National League for Nursing

North East Florida Association of Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners


Sigma Theta Tau International


Grants and Contracts Awarded

Blackboard Corporation(2006)  Blackboard™ Greenhouse Exemplary Course Award (Blended Course) Kruger, B,; Ahrens, W.; Connelly, L.; Miller, D.; Soles, E.; & Turrin, T.

Publications & Presentations

Journal Publications


Kruger, B. J., Ahrens, W., Miller, D., Soles, E., Connelly, L., & Turrin, T. (2008). Blackboard unites service-learning partnerships. Academic Exchange Quarterly, 12(1),148-152


Ahrens, W.D. Walt Whitman: Poet and nurse”. (2002). Nursing 2002, 32(5), 43.


Ahrens, W.D. (1993). Nursing organizational restructure: Choosing to change. Military Medicine, 153, 208-212.


Ahrens, W.D., & Norris, B. (1983). Advanced preparation for critical care nursing: Nurse practitioner or clinical specialist? Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing, 2, 98-101.


Ahrens, W.D.; Kinney, M.R., & Carter, D. (1983). The effect of antistasis footboard exercises on selected measures of exertion. Heart & Lung, 12, 366-371


Ahrens, W.D. (1981).The effect of antistasis footboard exercises on selected measures of exertion. American Heart Association, 54th Scientific Sessions, Dallas, Texas (abstract)


Other Publications


Ahrens, W.D., Strand, G. A., Stacy, R. & DiPaolo,J. (1990). Health promotion in the armed forces: emphasis on the U. S. Navy. In R. Patton (Ed). Community Organization: Traditional Principles and Modern Applications. Johnson City, TN: Latchpins Press


Ahrens, W.D. (1987). Medical aspects of anabolic steroid use. In Steroids: Shortcut to make-believe muscles. Charlottesville, VA: Creative Media Productions (Videotape produced for Encyclopedia Britannica).




Ahrens, W. D., Holdstein, S., Bowen, M.A., Daragjati, A., Newberry, J. L,, & Usina, M.E. (2010, November 18). Community-campus partnership to promote safe sleep for infants. American Association of Colleges of Nursing Baccalaureate Education Conference, Orlando, FL (poster presentation).


Kruger, B., Olinzock, B.J., Roush, C., Ahrens, W., McMarlin, S., & Pope, B. (2007, May). Homebasing across the undergraduate nursing curriculum through community-campus partnerships. Association of Community Health Educators Annual Conference, Kansas City, MO.


Kruger, B., Ahrens, W.D., Connelly, L., Miller, D., Soles, E., and Turrin, T. (2007, March). Blackboard as a service-learning hub. Blackboard Southeast Users Group Conference, Jacksonville, FL


Ahrens, W.D. (2003, October). The zoology of conflict. Florida College Health Nurses Association, St. Augustine, FL


Ahrens, W. D. (2002, May). Including infusion therapy in collegiate nursing curricula. Intravenous Nurses Society Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, IN


Ahrens, W.D. (1997, March). Piercing the fog: Toward rational planning for casualty care. Eleventh Shea Arentzen Nursing Symposium, San Diego, CA


Ahrens, W. D. (1995, March). Beyond census : All patients are not created equal. Tenth Shea-Arentzen Nursing Symposium, San Diego, CA


Ahrens, W. D. (1991, April). If it ain't broke, break it! U. S. Navy Nurse Corps Executive Conference, Reston, VA,


Ahrens, W.D. (1987, November). HIV-AIDS education in the Navy. 94th Association of Military Surgeons of the United States Annual Convention, Charleston, SC


Ahrens, W. D. (1986, April). Current status of health promotion in the military. Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA


Ahrens, W. D. (1982, August). The effect of antistasis footboard exercises on selected measures of exertion. International Intensive Care Conference, London, England






AhrensContact Information

Building 039A, Room 4120

(904) 620-1466