Welcome to MidlevelU!  We're glad you've stopped by.


About Erin

MidlevelU creator, Erin Tolbert, is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner practicing in an emergency department in Nashville, TN. Happy with her personal career choices, she founded MidlevelU to share her life and love of the NP profession with prospective and practicing nurse practitioners and the healthcare community as a whole. Through MidlevelU, she aspires to build a thriving online forum to support nurse practitioners from the beginning of their education throughout the ups and downs of the NP career. Midlevels for the Medically Underserved, MidlevelU's residency-like program for nurse practitioners helps facilitate the transition from education to practice for new graduate NPs. 

When she's not in the emergency department treating patients at all hours of the night or blogging, Erin enjoys running, biking, lounging on the beach in Aruba, taking advantage of Nashville's live music scene, frequenting her favorite neighborhood sushi joint, and hanging out with her husband and two unruly but adorable pups, Molly and Riley. 

Meet the Team! 

Chris Poole

Chris has more than 10 years of experience operating and investing in early-stage companies across several industries including healthcare. Prior to MidlevelU, Chris served as Chief Financial Officer at MetaPhy Health, a provider of virtual care services to patients of gastroenterology practices. He served as Principal at Solidus Company, LP, an early-stage venture capital firm, where he sourced and qualified investments and served on the board of several portfolio companies. Chris has an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BA from Middle Tennessee State University.

Audrey “Audi” Westgate

Not only is Audi, our Director of Programs, a lead singer with two different bands here in Nashville, this Kansas native is an expert in the day-to-day logistics of how MidlevelU and its programs operate. From coordinating sites for Midlevels for the Medically Underserved to overseeing the planning of our first-ever continuing education conference, Audi is our go-to girl. Audi works hard to make sure all of our programs run smoothly and also helps cast a vision for future improvements. 


Amanda Richards

Hailing from Austin, TX, Amanda appropriately wears a lot of (cowboy?) hats. Not only is she a mother to toddler Violet and a minor league baseball aficionado, she helps keep MidlevelU running. Amanda works primarily on content planning and development for our blog. If you’ve got a topic you’d like to see an article on, let Amanda know and we’ll get right to it! She is also familiar with logistics like the MMU application process and can help with general company questions.


Abigail Hunt

Originally from Peoria, IL, Abigail is new to Nashville and new to the MidlevelU team. As a MidlevelU team member she assists with a variety of tasks such as lead generation, marketing and data management. Abigail enjoys reading, biking, and trying new recipes whenever there's an opportunity. She is passionate about working with healthcare professionals and is ready to provide whatever information you need! 



Melanie Cross, FNP-C

Melanie Cross, FNP-C, is a Family Nurse Practitioner with over 19 years of healthcare experience in a variety of roles and settings in Colorado. She graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Biology in 2002, and received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Regis University in 2006, followed by a Master of Science in Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner from Regis in 2010. As a Nurse Practitioner, Melanie spent over 7 years in Family Medicine at a FQHC, 1 year in private practice ENT, and most recently has found her niche in Integrative and Functional Medicine. Melanie is passionate about holistic care, and helping her patients live their best lives.

MidlevelU in the Media

MidlevelU receives regular national media attention on outlets like the Fox News Channel and CNN.  Erin frequently appears as a medical expert discussing everything from the pitfalls of trendy crash diets to the risks and benefits of the measles vaccine and breaking health news like the Ebola virus outbreak.  If you missed Erin's recent news stories, stay up to date by visiting the MidlevelU YouTube channel or FoxNews.com where Erin's top appearances are posted. 

Why the Name MidlevelU?

If you are not yet a nurse practitioner, you may not even know that nurse practitioners and physician assistants are often referred to as “midlevel providers.” Some NPs say they find the word “midlevel” to be degrading. They interpret it to mean NPs and PAs do mediocre work. Here at MidlevelU, we believe there is nothing degrading about the term at all, and choose not to interpret it that way. Instead, we find it completely appropriate for the following reasons:

  1. In the hospital or clinic setting when a patient more complicated than the nurse practitioner feels comfortable handling comes in, the NP asks a physician for help, or the patient is referred to a physician or another NP with more specialized training. That said, a nurse practitioner functions differently than a nurse. In other words, when it comes to acuity of work, NPs fall in the middle between the nurse's level and the physician's.
  2. Personally, Erin planned to attend medical school to become a doctor, but considering the length of time in school and the cost, ended up deciding it was not for her. That said, she wanted more autonomy than a nurse. She chose something in the middle.

The vast majority of nurse practitioners we know who work in the field view the term "midlevel" the same way that we do. When it comes to the quality of care NPs deliver, we believe they deliver an incredibly high level of care- within the scope of care that they have chosen to specialize in, which is that of a nurse practitioner. We do not intend for the term “midlevel” to refer to the standard of care NPs deliver.  

We should embrace the term as reflecting the schooling NP's chose to pursue (more than a nurse, less than a doctor), and their role in a clinical environment when it comes to dealing with varying levels of acuity (more than a nurse, less than a doctor). These things are factual. And, if we go ahead and own the term ourselves and embrace it, then we can define what it means and move on.

Promote With Us!

MidlevelU offers a number of ways for employers and organizations working with NPs and PAs to connect with our audience. Employers may request more information about posting on our job board by emailing marketing@midlevelu.com. We also offer a limited number of promotions and advertising opportunities to products and companies we believe in. Please contact marketing@midlevelu.com for information and pricing or to view our media kit. 

Speaking and Consulting

Looking for a speaker for your next healthcare event? Erin is available for a limited number of speaking engagements and/or training sessions for audiences looking to improve recruitment, retention, and integration of nurse practitioners into medical practices. She is also available to speak to healthcare providers on various professional development topics. Erin brings a unique perspective to her content as she remains an actively practicing NP while also working heavily with healthcare facilities and MidlevelU's audience or advanced practice providers. To book Erin for your next event or training session, email marketing@midlevelu.com.

Legal Stuff

Erin is a nurse practitioner but she is not your nurse practitioner. Please see a qualified medical provider if you need medical attention. This website should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a medical provider. The information provided on this site is intended for the purpose of professional interest, not to provide medical advice. All information posted on this site is linked back to it's original source. Finally, we do not write about actual patients on this site. All patient encounters presented are fictional in order to comply with HIPAA regulations and maintain patient confidentiality. 

Become A Part of the MidlevelU Community!

Do you have questions about how to become a nurse practitioner? Are you looking for some NP career advice? Or, do you just want to chat? Feel free to contact Erin anytime.  

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Don’t forget to check out the blog to learn more about advanced practice life and post on the message board to become a part of the MidlevelU community of more than 100,000 monthly visitors and growing!