Dr. Ashley Apple is a triple 'Hoo, and earned a BSN, MSN, and DNP from UVA School of Nursing. She worked for more than a decade as an emergency department RN, caring for both adult and pediatric patients, before becoming a board-certified family nurse practitioner in 2020. In addition to her role as an assistant professor for the School's Accelerated Two-Year BSN Transfer program, she remains in active clinical practice in a pediatric urgent care setting.

Dr. Apple has been involved in numerous health policy and advocacy initiatives at both the state and federal levels. In 2020, she was awarded the Virginia Nurse Advocate Health Policy Fellowship, and received a grant to fund her scholarly practice project. She designed and implemented an evidence-based experiential learning program to coincide with the 2021 legislative session of the Virginia General Assembly, during which graduate nursing students examined health policy and advocacy through the lens of health disparities and social justice. Dr. Apple facilitated interactive sessions with state and federal legislators, leaders from national and international professional nursing organizations, public health experts, legal and fiscal analysts, and nurse-lobbyists, among others.

Deeply committed to advancing equitable public policies, Dr. Apple continues to work closely with legislators and stakeholders to address sociopolitical barriers to wellness. She currently serves as commissioner on government relations for the Virginia Nurses Association, and is a member of the board of directors. In this capacity, Dr. Apple also leads the Virginia Legislative Nursing Alliance, a collaborative thinktank for specialty nursing organizations across Virginia. 

In the classroom, Dr. Apple has taught pathophysiology, clinical management, and competencies for nursing practice. She has guest lectured on health policy, the history of nurse advocacy and activism, the opioid epidemic, and caring for transgender and gender non-conforming young people in the primary care setting. As a community health clinical instructor, she has worked with students in various settings, including low-resourced and immigrant communities, public and private elementary schools, a day shelter and resource center for people experiencing homelessness, the Charlottesville Health Department, pop-up vaccination clinics, and the Jefferson Area Board for Aging.


  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-BC)

Research Focus

Experiential learning, nursing education, nursing engagement in policy and advocacy, evidence-based policy, vulnerable populations, praxis

Recent Grants

Virginia Nurse Advocate Health Policy Fellowship Grant, 2020


  • Commissioner on Government Relations, Virginia Nurses Association
  • Virginia Legislative Nursing Alliance


  • Apple, A., & Simpson, A. (2018). Drug-seeking behavior in the emergency department: A nursing duty to act. Rising Stars poster presentation at the Sigma Theta Tau International Leadership Connection, Indianapolis, Indiana.