Illinois 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders Award Winner Highlight: Aaron Franklin

Meet Aaron Franklin, an Adjunct Faculty at Rush University Medical Center/Rush University. He has been nominated for the class of 2023 Illinois Nurses Foundation 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders Award. Designed to highlight young nurses who are making a lasting difference in the healthcare industry, this award celebrates those who shape the future of nursing.

Dr. Aaron D. Franklin: A Trailblazer Advancing Nursing and Men in Healthcare

Healthcare individuals whose dedication and passion leave lasting impacts on both their profession and their community are vital to the industry. Dr. Aaron D. Franklin, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, CMSRN, is undoubtedly one of these extraordinary individuals. His leadership and dedication to advocacy has made him a force in nursing. 

A Journey of Educational Achievement

Dr. Franklin’s journey began in 2013 when he earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. His ambition led him to the city of Chicago, where he joined the RUSH University Medical Center (RUMC) as a staff registered nurse on the orthopedic unit. 

Dr. Franklin’s pursuit of excellence didn’t stop at the bedside or in leadership positions. In 2019, he embarked on a journey to further his education, earning a Master of Science in Clinical Nurse Leadership from RUSH University. This was followed by his completion of a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) in Systems Leadership in 2021, also from RUSH University.

Driven by a thirst for knowledge and a passion for making a difference, Dr. Franklin quickly ascended to leadership roles at RUMC. He held positions such as interim assistant unit director of the orthopedics unit, hospital operations administrator, and unit director of a general medicine unit. Today, he serves as the senior program manager in the talent management department of human resources, where he plays a pivotal role in enhancing workforce strategies.

Advocacy for Men in Nursing

What sets Dr. Franklin apart is his relentless advocacy for men in nursing. His DNP project focused on the recruitment and retention of men in nursing at RUSH University, and it marked the inception of the Men in Nursing organization within RUSH University’s College of Nursing. Dr. Franklin’s role as the founder of this group underscores his commitment to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for all genders in the nursing field.

Dr. Franklin’s impact extends beyond the academic setting. He serves as adjunct faculty in RUSH University’s College of Nursing and is the faculty advisor for Men in Nursing. This organization, open to all genders, serves as a platform for students and staff to discuss and influence factors affecting male nurses. It has also played a vital role in community health, offering health promotion screenings, participating in community vaccine drives, and collaborating with various committees within the RUSH System of Health to improve community well-being.

National Recognition

In recognition of his exceptional contributions, Dr. Franklin was inducted into the Board of Directors of the American Association for Men in Nursing in October 2022. He also serves as a member of the diversity leadership council at RUSH. His passion for breaking down barriers and ensuring equitable access to healthcare careers is evident in every facet of his work.

Dr. Aaron D. Franklin: A Bright Leader in The Future of Healthcare

Dr. Aaron D. Franklin’s journey through nursing is a beacon of inspiration. His leadership, advocacy, and dedication to empowering men in nursing not only enrich the profession but also pave the way for a more diverse and inclusive future in healthcare. Dr. Franklin’s mentorship of young nurses and nursing students has the power to shape the future of healthcare positively. His story reminds us that, with passion and commitment, one individual can make a profound impact on healthcare and the lives of those it serves. 

Congratulations to Aaron Franklin and Rush University for this prestigious honor! The Illinois Nurses Foundation 40 Under 40 Award for Emerging Nurse Leaders is proven to open career doors for its recipients. INF is proud to celebrate nurses like Aaron who have made a lasting impact in the healthcare industry

For more information on the INF 40 Under 40 Award Ceremony, click this link

Illinois Nurses Foundation: Support Education, Advocation, and Recognition for Nurses

The Illinois Nurses Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports nurses through various programs, empowering them, promoting excellence, and advancing the nursing profession while also recognizing and celebrating the remarkable achievements of young nurses through the INF 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders Award, highlighting their talent and potential for the field’s growth and evolution. Donate to INF today, and you can help empower nurses and improve healthcare!