Spotlight on NPs

Spotlight on NPs is a weekly article that highlights exciting achievements and activities of American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) members.

In her letter to the editor of the Tampa Bay Times, AANP Region 11 Director and BOD Member-at-Large Dr. Jean Aertker said, “Veterans, the VA and the health care community all agree that we need to give our veterans better access to care in our VA system. That is why the VA has proposed a solid plan to modernize the VA system and adopt a 21st century approach to health care delivery.” Aertker urged support of the proposed rule by using tools available at

Congratulations to 22 AANP members, including 15 AANP Fellows, who were selected as new American Academy of Nursing Fellows.  Among those who will be recognized as highly distinguished nurse leaders are:

  • Gale Adcock, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, FAANP – SAS Institute
  • Mary Jo Assi, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FNP-BC – American Nurses Association
  • Mary Burman, PhD, RN, FAANP – University of Wyoming
  • Nancy Campbell-Heider, PhD, FNP, NP-C, CARN-AP, FAANP, FIAAN – University at Buffalo
  • Sharron Close, PhD, MS, CPNP-PC – Emory University
  • Kristy Duffey, MS, APRN, GNP-BC – UnitedHealth Group/Optum
  • Joy Elwell, DNP, APRN, FNP, BC, CNE, FAANP – University of Connecticut
  • Sheldon Darcy Fields, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, AACRN, FNAP, FAANP – HIV Prevention Trials Network
  • Elizabeth Galik, PhD, CRNP, FAANP – University of Maryland
  • Nan Gaylord, PhD, RN, APRN, FAANP – University of Tennessee
  • Wendy D. Grube, PhD, ANP-BC – University of Pennsylvania
  • Kristi Henderson, DNP, NP-C, RN – Seton Healthcare Family
  • Paticia Ann Watts Kelley, PhD, RN, FNP-C, GNP-C, FAANP – Duquesne University
  • Rosalie O. Mainous, PhD, APRN, NNP-BC, FAANP – Wright State University
  • Carolyn Jaramillo Montoya, PhD, RN, NP, FAANP – University of New Mexico
  • Susan Orsega, MSN, RN, CRNP, FAANP – United States Public Health Service
  • Johis Ortega, PhD, ARNP, ACNP-BC, ENP-BC, FNP-BC – University of Miami
  • Kathryn Rugen, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, FAANP – Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Audrey Snyder, PhD, RN, ACNP-BC, FAANP – University of Northern Colorado
  • Suzanne Staebler, DNP, APRN, NNP-BC, FAANP – Emory University
  • Mary Weber, PhD, PMHNP-BC, FAANP – University of Colorado
  • Anne Marie Dabrow Woods, DNP, RN, CRNP, ANP-BC, AGACNP-BC – Wolters Kluwer

Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed Senate Bill 53 into law last week. SB 53 brings this Full Practice Authority state into alignment with national standards for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses licensure terminology and authorization for all four APRN roles. Great score, Alaska! The Consensus Model is considered the “gold standard” for ARPN licensure, accreditation, certification and education. Read more about the Consensus Model. Pictured below (left) is AANP Fellow, Alaska State Senator Cathy Giessel, at the bill signing.

SenCathyGiessel at AK SB 53 signing

AANP Fellow Dr. Scharmaine Lawson-Baker was profiled by as part of the APNs Transforming Care series developed in partnership with the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future.  Lawson-Baker has been president and CEO of Advanced Clinical Consultants, LLC, in New Orleans, the first NP-owned house call practice in Louisiana, for the past 12 years.  She is also an author of the children’s book series NOLA the Nurse.

Congratulations to AANP Fellow Dr. Mary Ellen Roberts, recent recipient of the AANP Towers Pinnacle Award.  The award is given to a nurse practitioner who demonstrates ongoing national activities that elevate and highlight NPs’ contributions to health care.  Her achievement was acknowledged by Seton Hall University.

AANP member and University of Arkansas nursing professor Dr. Anna Jarrett led a team that wrote a three-year Health Resources and Services Administration grant for $1 million. The grant supports the development of a clinical training program to increase the number of advanced practice registered nurses to meet the health and wellness needs of Arkansas’ medically underserved populations. It enables the nursing school to prepare preceptors who will support the clinical education of the DNP students. AANP member Cheryl Perry was pictured in an article about the progress of the program, including meetings with Jarrett and preceptors.

Congratulations to AANP member Dr. Laura Searcy, who was elected President of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) for a one-year term.  Other NAPNAP executive board inductees include AANP members Dr. Tresa Zielinski, President-Elect; Dr. Carol Savrin, Treasurer; and Dr. Regena Spratling, Member at Large.  AANP member Dr. Cathy Haut is NAPNAP’s outgoing president. Read the press release.

Deborah Walker, an AANP member, was featured in an article about ways that nurse practitioners address traditional health care challenges.  Walker owns Gulf Coast Family Care in Cape Coral, Florida, where she makes access to care possible for underserved populations.  According to the article, “Walker, who has been a nurse practitioner since 1996, says she’s always wanted to operate a practice where medical care could be affordable to those without insurance.”

AANP Fellow Dr. Catherine Ling was quoted in an article about a creative course the Uniformed Services University is using to teach DNP students about responding to population health emergencies.  According to the article, “Taking a population health course is a degree requirement, and trains students to learn the principles of responding to and understanding the overall health of a group, whether it be as small as a community or as an large as an entire nation.”  Ling explained, “We use the narrative device of a zombie pandemic in animations and assignments to help engage students in content.”

Congratulations to AANP Fellow Dr. Diane Todd Pace, who was named the 2016 Menopause Certified Practitioner of the year by the North American Menopause Society. In addition to this award, she also experienced success after advocating for a pharmaceutical company to update its advertising with provider neutral language. Dr. Pace is now the voice of a new commercial, and print ads and other resources are also being updated to use provider neutral language. According to Dr. Pace, “All NPs [need to] know we can make a difference. Keep advocating!”

AANP Fellow Dr. Penny Kaye Jensen is the liaison for national APRN policy at the VHA’s Office of Nursing Services, and she was quoted in a recent U.S. Medicine article about the VA’s proposed rule that could improve access to care for veterans by giving them direct access to nurse practitioners and other APRNs. Jensen said, “We may offer the best healthcare in the nation to our veterans, but that doesn’t help them if they don’t have access because our providers are booked.”

Congratulations to Retired Army Major Paul Kapsar, an AANP member who was appointed to the advisory board of telemedicine startup PointNurse.  With more than 44 years of health care experience, Kapsar has “a wealth of hands on experience in healthcare in both military and private practice.” Read more.

AANP member Jessica Fricke was quoted in an article about the importance of preventing mosquito bites to reduce exposure to West Nile and Zika viruses.

Allyson Reynolds was profiled by the Idaho Business Review.  A self-described “science nerd,” this AANP member earned bachelors degrees in zoology and psychology before she entered nursing school. With a colleague, Reynolds established the St. Luke’s Children’s Intestinal Rehabilitation Clinic. She helps address the needs of infants and children with short bowel syndrome.

Congratulations to AANP member Dr. Clareen Wiencek, who is the new president of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Board of Directors.  AANP member Paula S. McCauley is also a member of the AACN BOD. Read the press release.

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