My focus is on primary care, but I specialize in childhood obesity and adolescent care. In my current role, I am coordinating the PNP program at Emory University and look for innovative ways to teach the art of being a PNP to my students.
I always knew that I wanted to be a nurse practitioner and thought that I wanted to do women’s health. A friend suggested family health in 2007 and I believed that I could do everything with that. Then, as I was going through clinicals in 2007-2008, parents kept mentioning that their children really liked me and my pediatric preceptor told me that I was in the wrong track. I started to reconsider, but it was too late at that point to change, so I finished my studies in family health and was hired into the role of a Primary Care NP at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. It was a steep learning curve, but I loved every minute. As I had students come through, I knew that I wanted to teach.
After finishing school as an FNP and focusing on pediatrics, I was looking for something that would better meet my pediatric education needs. I attended the pediatric pharmacology update at the national conference and was convinced after that, NAPNAP was exactly what I was looking for. Then, I started attending local meetings and the networking has been great! Volunteering and recruiting through Connect & Recruit is part of the process, we have to grow and mentor the younger generation of PNPs coming through. Every APRN should be part of a professional organization and NAPNAP is the premier PNP organization.
I completed my DNP with a focus in childhood obesity and started thinking about the post masters option. When I started to teach, it became essential that I be pediatric certified and that sealed the deal. I started the program at Emory University and also completed an adolescent fellowship (LEAH) in 2013-2014 through the University of Alabama at Birmingham. As I was teaching in the PNP program, it was very apparent that the broad brushstrokes you receive in a general degree like FNP is not nearly comprehensive enough when you work with children.
As a PNP, I have definitely grown and the networking opportunities that it provides is amazing. I love the national conference and being part of my state’s organization. My DNP scholarly project was just accepted into the Journal of Pediatric Health Care and will be in the September/October issue. I am pleased that my DNP scholarly project will be published in the Journal of Public Health Care given its high citation rate and impact factor. The website offers a myriad of benefits for NAPNAP members!