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Ernestine Kotthoff-Burrell, PhD, APRN, FAANP

Assistant Professor, Gerontological Nurse Practitioner Option Coordinator

Ernestine Kotthoff-Burnell

Ernestine Kotthoff-Burrell's career as an advanced practice nurse has spanned the past 35 years; the older adult population has been her primary focus for much of that time. She has served as a direct primary care provider, an administrator, and a project director for a number of projects funded both by the government (USDHHS) and by private foundations (e.g., the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the John A. Hartford Foundation, and the Colorado Trust). Prior to returning to the academy to get her doctorate in the late 1990s, she had been recognized as a national nursing leader in interdisciplinary geriatric education. She was initially certified as an adult nurse practitioner by ANCC in 1976, and she has maintained her certification since that time. She is currently the option coordinator for the Gerontological Nurse Practitioner track. She practices in a long-term care facility for patients with advanced Alzheimer’s disease and in one of the Colorado State Veterans Homes. Her scholarly interests include educational research (particularly in the area of metacognitive reasoning), critical thinking, innovative teaching/learning strategies, and advanced practice gerontological nursing/geriatrics.

Degree Awarding Institution Field of Study Graduation Date
PhD University of Denver,
College of Education
Denver, Colorado
Higher Education, Adult Learning 2007
MS University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, School of Nursing
Denver, Colorado
Nursing 1986
Certificate Adult Nurse Practitioner University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, School of Nursing
Denver, Colorado
Nursing -Adult Nurse Practitioner
BSN with Honors Loretto Heights College
Denver, Colorado
Nursing 1976
Diploma  Charity Hospital School of Nursing
New Orleans, Louisiana
Nursing 1967
  1. Silva-Smith, A. & Kotthoff-Burrell, E. ( 2009). Geriatric content for all nurse practitioners programs: A population driven imperative. Topics in Advanced Practice Nursing e journal, 9(4.)
Title Organization Year
Alan Pfinster Award for Excellence
in Educational Research
University of Denver,
Mortgridge College of Education


Fellow American Academy of Nurse Practitioners 2002
Young Professional in Aging Award Colorado Gerontological Society 1966
Honoree for Outstanding Contributions
to Professional Nursing and to the Improvement
of the Health Status of Colorado Citizens 
Colorado Nurses Association 1994
Nurse Practitioner of the Year American Nurses' Association 1983
Executive Award for Outstanding Nursing Leadership Colorado Nurses' Association 1979
  • 2007- Graduate Nurse Practitioner Faculty Views on Critical Thinking in Nursing Education;  Dissertation Research, University of Denver, Mortridge College of Education, Denver,  CO.
  • 2007-2008- Co-Principal Investigator, Student Learning Outcomes for Physical Assessment Skills  Taught by Standardized Patient Teaching Associates [SPETAs] as Compared to those  Taught By Faculty. The University of Colorado President's Teaching and  Learning  Scholar. 
  • 2010-2013: Principal Investigator, Enhancing Gerontological Competence in Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Programs. Award # D09HP189680. Grant # D09HP18968.
    Total $974,934. United States Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS], Advanced Education in Nursing.