About Us

Aceso Institute of Health Professions was created to meet the needs of nurses and student nurses in our community. We offer classes approved by the American Heart Association for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and basic life support (BLS) for healthcare providers, NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN review, tutoring for nursing content, and classes for dosage calculations.

Why Choose Us

Aceso Institute of Health Professions was founded by nurses for nurses. We understand how demanding nursing can be; we’ve experienced it as students (from LPN to DNP) and as instructors (from classroom to clinical). These real-world experiences helped us shape our curriculum to serve the needs of working adults. We also know that nursing requires teamwork and everyone can use a little help sometimes!


Deborah Jones, MSN, RN

Director of Education

Deborah Jones, MSN, RN, has been a Central Florida resident since 2004. She graduated LPN school in 1987, continued her education to receive her MSN, and is currently pursuing her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Deborah’s experience includes practice in clinics, community outreach centers, and hospitals as well as working as a nursing instructor and clinical director. Deborah is a certified CPR/BLS instructor.

Niki Nelson MSN, RN

Program Director

Niki Nelson, MSN, RN, has been a Central Florida resident for over 20 years. She graduated from LPN school in 2007 and continued her education to receive her MSN. Niki has been a registered nurse since 2009 and ICU since 2012. Her experience includes hospital rounding for clinical practice and over ten years in Neuro Trauma ICU as a staff nurse. Along with her clinical practice, she has over five years of experience as a nursing instructor. Niki is also a certified CPR/BLS instructor.

Janice Cervi, BSN, RN


Janice Cervi started her nursing career as an LPN and worked for nine years in that role before returning to school to obtain her RN from Trocaire College in 1983. She graduated with a BSN in 2011 from Pheonix University. Her extensive career gives her the knowledge required to educate future nurses. Mrs. Cervi is an experienced classroom, lab, and clinical instructor  dedicated to the success of her students. In her free time, she enjoys travelling, doing puzzles, and she is an avid reader.

Shirley Zacharia, MSN


Shirley Zacharia graduated nursing school with a BSN in 1996, and she obtained her MSN in 2005. Her first patient care job was as a nursing station technician, and 20 years later she had the privilege of teaching the very same program she had attended. Mrs. Zacharia is an instructor with over 17 years of experience preparing students for the nursing profession. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and teaching Sunday School.

Wayne Peterson


Wayne Peterson, RN, graduated from Darton College with his ASN in 2002. He has worked in the Emergency Room, ICU, CICU, MedSurg and Cath lab as Registered Nurse. Additionally, he has worked as a Healthcare Project Manager for companies like GE, McKesson and Omnicell. Also, working from the hospital side for Accession Health and Orlando Health. Currently he is completing his BSN and starting work on his MSN from Western Governors University. Wayne believes that investing in the next generation of nurses is a key step in ensuring the future of the nursing profession.

Kia Singleton


Kia Singleton graduated from The University of Central Florida in 2021 with a BS in Biomedical Sciences. She then became a CNA in 2022 where she has used her license to volunteer at Shepherd’s Hope, a free clinic serving communities in Central Florida. Since her time with Aceso, she has gained the experience necessary to help students navigate through their nursing programs. Kia is currently working towards entering medical school for the 2025 school year. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, reading, and gardening.

Willie Hardy


Willie Hardy is a healthcare professional with almost 30 years of experience. Willie began his healthcare career as a paramedic and continued his education to obtain a Master’s in Nursing. As a Nurse, he worked in various settings such as Neuro-Trauma ICU and the Emergency Department. Prior to becoming an RN, Willie worked as a respiratory therapist with assignments to high-acuity floors. He has worked in numerous capacities and is an experienced nursing instructor.

Willie has been employed with HCA Healthcare for 10 years and currently serves as the Facility Education Generalist at HCA Florida Poinciana Hospital.

In Loving Memory of our friend and colleague Willie Hardy