Member Spotlight - NAPNAP

Member Spotlight

Our Members Make a Difference

NAPNAP Member Spotlight

All across the country, members of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) are making a significant impact. Whether providing high-quality pediatric health care to their communities, advocating for the advancement of our profession and children’s health at the local, state and federal levels, educating future nurse practitioners, serving as community experts, or researching and publishing to enhance our knowledge on key issues, our members are at the heart of pediatric health care. 

NAPNAP’s member spotlight highlights the dedication and work of our members.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

I became interested in NAPNAP while attending my PNP program and have been a member ever since.

What are some things you’ve done well in your career and what are your specialties? 

My specialty is pediatric primary care and I’m also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). To date, the most rewarding thing that I’ve done in my career was self-publishing my debut book entitled “What in the baby?!?” My book is an easy-to-read guide that simplifies baby care, the postpartum fourth trimester, and infant feeding for new parents. It’s my hope that this book can continue to touch the lives of expectant moms and new parents all over the world by providing them with the modern, evidence-based information they deserve.

Additionally, over the last couple of years, professional writing and speaking have been an avenue for me to go from providing health information to one patient at a time to the ability to reach thousands. Writing to healthcare consumers is one of the most powerful skills that I have in my PNP toolbox.

What are some NAPNAP initiatives/projects you have volunteered for? 

I have served as the Co-Chair of the Breastfeeding Education SIG and currently serve as one of the United States Breastfeeding Committee representatives.

Why is it important to volunteer (join NAPNAP committees and other forms of volunteering)? 

Volunteering is a way to not only give back to our PNP profession but also help contribute to the well-being of the children and communities that we’ve committed to serving.

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? 

NAPNAP has contributed to my ability to build a network of like-minded PNPs who I can collaborate with and learn from. The professional development and opportunities to participate in advocacy initiatives have helped me to grow in both “on the job” skills and experience.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

As a young nursing student in the 80s, I was involved in student organizations so it was a natural segue into involvement with professional organizations once I graduated. Knowing that pediatrics was my first love, NAPNAP was a perfect fit!

What are some things you’ve done well in your career and what are your specialties? 

I transitioned from a primary care position to an inpatient NP in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. While this may seem strange, it actually was easier as my experience in primary care where you establish long term relationships with families and children was a strong suit in my care provision to children diagnosed with cancer and receiving chemotherapy.

What are some NAPNAP initiatives/projects you have volunteered for? 

I have served at the local level as the President and CE chair for the Virginia Chapter and at the national level I have served as Secretary and Chair of the Integrative Health SIG.

Why is it important to volunteer (join NAPNAP committees and other forms of volunteering)? 

It is important to give back to one’s community and that is accomplished by volunteering. Through volunteer efforts, the volunteer also obtains benefits. Networking is the biggest bonus of joining an organization. It is how things are done. At the local level establishing a collegial network with fellow providers allows for a more expansive referral network as well as a supportive brain trust. Taking the networking up to the national level, your network becomes even wider with access to the leaders in the national organization who work on policy , advocacy and practice issues. It is clearly a win-win for for the APN provider!

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? 

NAPNAP has been a part of my life for many years and he organization has provided me with opportunities for growth and education as well as leadership opportunities. 

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

I became interested in NAPNAP after attending my first conference. Attending allowed me to meet like-minded professionals all striving for better pediatric healthcare.

What are some things you’ve done well in your career and what are your specialties? 

In my career, I was named my healthcare facility’s first Advanced Practice Director to be the administrative voice for our Advanced Practice Providers. This has allowed me to demonstrate my practice knowledge, sharpen my leadership skills, and create fundamental programming for our group. In addition, I was able to initiate an academic partnership between my hospital and our local school of nursing to create pediatric nurse practitioner programs.

What are some NAPNAP initiatives/projects you have volunteered for? 

I am the incoming eChapter President and as the current President-Elect, we are conducting a member survey to see how we can best serve. I have also recently volunteered for a national committee.

Why is it important to volunteer (join NAPNAP committees and other forms of volunteering)? 

As a united and respected voice in pediatric care, we rely on our colleagues to utilize their experience and talents through volunteering to strengthen our organization and improve the health of all children and adolescents.

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? 

NAPNAP has created a national network of colleagues that I consider friends. NAPNAP is also my first resource for continuing education and practice guidance.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP? I became interested in NAPNAP as the leading organization for pediatric nurse practitioners when I was a graduate student in my primary care pediatric nurse practitioner program 25 years ago. I have enjoyed the education NAPNAP has provided over the years and find that my focus has changed from a focus on clinical practice to academic teaching and scholarship. NAPNAP has provided support and guidance through my career advancement and changes.

What are some things you’ve done well in your career and what are your specialties? As a new PNP, I worked clinically in a primary care office where I implemented many quality improvement projects such as a developmental milestones project, an immunization project, and an asthma education project. Once I gained some clinical experience, I transitioned to academics as a faculty member. In this role, I have been able to expand my teaching, leadership, writing, and mentoring skills. I have learned from other more experienced faculty along the way in terms of developing my scholarship and dissemination of innovative ideas. I am proud of my work with students and colleagues in presenting posters and writing journal articles. One of my achievements recently was assuming the Program Director role of our Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program which was ranked #1 by US News and World Reports. Also, I have been elected as the President of my local NAPNAP chapter. Both leadership roles allow me to work closely with a diverse group of faculty, students, and members. I learn as much from my colleagues as they learn from me. As a PNP and faculty member, I am continually learning and growing and NAPNAP has played a large part in that process.

What are some NAPNAP initiatives/projects you have volunteered for? I am a member of the NAPNAP Research Committee which recently developed the new Research Agenda 2021-2026. The process included a comprehensive look at the global landscape to identify priorities of pediatric NPs and the pathway to the future for both research and scholarship of our members and collaborating organizations. I am participating in the Jared Boxes project which will provide hospitalized children with fun activities during their hospital stay.

Why is it important to volunteer (join NAPNAP committees and other forms of volunteering)? Volunteering for NAPNAP committees and other outside committees and boards is important not only to give of your talents to others, but to learn from a collective, diverse group of people with intentions of providing service to the community. I always learn so much when I participate as a volunteer for various organizations including NAPNAP.

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? NAPNAP has provided a concrete base for my career by providing support, educational opportunities, leadership experiences, and the ability to network with pediatric focused NPs across the country. I look to NAPNAP to provide a positive role in the healthcare field and elevate the important role of the NP on the healthcare team today and in the future.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

I became interested in NAPNAP as a student at the urging of the Stony Brook faculty. We were learning about advocacy for children, and I found that NAPNAP’s goal was to improve the health of all children. So, for me that was the perfect fit. And here I am many many, years later and still a NANAP member. I also became interested in the high quality pediatric focused continuing education that NAPNAP offers.

What are some things you’ve done well in your career and what are your specialties?

I have been a lifelong advocate for children and children’s health. I have spent most of my career in public health where I was one of the first Immunization Nurse Champions educated by the CDC. I am an immunization specialist. I have been honored to be the plenary speaker for immunizations for the NAPNAP annual national conference for 10 years. I have also been involved in passing several pieces of legislation in NYS to improve the health of children and to remove mandatory collaborative practice for NPs in NYS. I have written numerous articles for trade journals on vaccines and vaccine acceptance, and I have taught thousands of nurses and NPs how to respectfully speak with vaccine hesitant colleagues and parents with the goal of increasing vaccine acceptance.

What are some NAPNAP initiatives/projects you have volunteered for?

I was the second Immunization SIG chair, served on the legislative issues committee and program committee on the national level. I was a founding member and twice served as president of the Long Island chapter and was legislative issues chair until I changed to the Greater NY chapter. I am currently the legislative issues chair for the Greater NY chapter. I regularly volunteer to give immunization talks to NAPNAP chapters throughout the country.

Why is it important to volunteer (join NAPNAP committees and other forms of volunteering)?

NAPNAP is a volunteer driven organization. We all want the CE’s, conferences and advocacy that NAPNAP offers. We all need to do our part to help our colleagues and ourselves by offering to volunteer. If every member volunteered to do even a little, we would easily be able to continue to provide high quality services and advocacy for ourselves and our colleagues. I feel it is our professional responsibility to volunteer.

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career?

NAPNAP has helped my career by helping me to have a voice to advocate for the health care of children and providing me with high quality pediatric focused continuing education.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP? I first became interested in NAPNAP during my first didactic PNP course back in Summer 2019. I loved the idea of being in a group of educated individuals that shared my passion in caring for children.

What are some things you’ve done well in your career and what are your specialties? I am currently a primary care provider at a pediatric clinic, and my real passion is working with special needs children, especially those with cerebral palsy.

What are some NAPNAP initiatives/projects you have volunteered for? I have encouraged multiple PNP students to sign up for NAPNAP for the educational opportunities.

Why is it important to volunteer (join NAPNAP committees and other forms of volunteering)? Educational opportunities and the ability to connect with other PNPs for guidance/referrals.

How did you recruit new members for the Connect & Recruit campaign? I’m an NP in a pediatric primary care clinic that often precepts multiple PNP students. They were often excited to hear about previous meetings and opportunities provided by NAPNAP.

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? Continuing to learn from experts in their fields has been priceless. I also love the ability to reach out and for information and possible referrals for my patients.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP? When I moved back from living overseas, and after giving birth to my third child, I wanted to get back into the workforce. NAPNAP was a great way to get connected to local nurse practitioners and access educational opportunities to keep up with my certification.

What are some things you’ve done well in your career and what are your specialties? I created educational hand outs for parents at my previous places of employment.  These materials provide anticipatory guidance for expected developmental milestones for specific age ranges, guidance in nutrition/sleep expectations, and a comprehensive review of important safety issues. I have also dedicated much time strengthening my ability to support new parents by becoming a certified infant massage instructor through Infant Massage USA and becoming an internationally certified lactation consultant through the IBLCE.

What are some NAPNAP initiatives/projects you have volunteered for? I co-developed an infant skin care and massage flip chart with NAPNAP made possible through a grant from Johnson & Johnson. I am a member of the Breastfeeding SIG, and currently the webmaster for the local Virginia NAPNAP Chapter.

Why is it important to volunteer (join NAPNAP committees and other forms of volunteering)? I feel it is important to volunteer for NAPNAP committees, as there is a stronger chance of making a difference when more people are involved. Having support from fellow NPs is so important in advocating for our profession as well as for the patients and families we serve.

How did you recruit new members for the Connect & Recruit campaign? I precept PNP students on occasion and always highly recommend that they become active in the local NAPNAP chapter. I share my experience with them on how joining NAPNAP helped me to find my most recent PNP position!

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? NAPNAP has been a great resource of educational opportunities to keep up with my certifications. It has also been a great way to stay connected with other NPs in my local community. I enjoy the support, learning about how others are practicing, and the mutual sharing of expertise that can help myself and others to improve our practice and skills.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP? I received my certification in Ohio many years ago. At that time, NAPNAP was located in Ohio and had been started by one of the NPs that I had worked with, so it was clear  I was going to join!

What are some things you’ve done well in your career and what are your specialties? I have had many many opportunities in my NP career. I had the pleasure of working with a pediatrician who had written THE pediatric text at the time. I worked in a grant funded program called young mothers education development program, a whole school devoted to pregnant girls and those who had delivered babies in high school. This was the place that set my NP path. I have worked in education of future NPs. Watching graduates move on to become great leaders has been a real joy for me.

What are some NAPNAP initiatives/projects you have volunteered for? I have worked with NAPNAP in multiple areas, SIG leadership roles, nominating committee,  several task forces on revision of the board composition,  the Healthy Eating Together project and worked with a group on motivational interviewing. In addition I was NAPNAP national treasurer and chapter treasurer.

Why is it important to volunteer (join NAPNAP committees and other forms of volunteering)? We all have a variety of talents and all of the NAPNAP activities are there to assist with the well being of children. Everyone needs to share their talents with others, plus it gives you a greater sense of connection within the organization.

How did you recruit new members for the Connect & Recruit campaign? In this instance, I strongly suggested that the new member belong to NAPNAP due to her current job situation. On other occasions I have brought in students, the best time to get folks involved.

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? My career has always revolved around NAPNAP. Some years ago, I used a NAPNAP connection when I moved to a new town to look for a new job. I did not know the NAPNAP member but called and asked if we could talk. She recommended some places to get a job, in fact she GOT me my job! I have also worked with NAPNAP members on grant activities and connected with them when involved in other national NP organizations.

Student Spotlight

Similar to our member spotlight, our student spotlight series aims to highlight the dedicated NAPNAP student members that will help shape our profession’s future.

Describe two events you took part in over the past year and how you benefitted from them?

Last year I attended the NAPNAP conference in Dallas and met a mentor, Dr. Kelly, in person during the conference. She is now serving as a mentor and clinical practice expert on my DNP project. I also learned a lot from the conference and was able to network with PNPs from across the country. Another event I participated in this past year was the Rocky Mountain Chapter’s social event. I was able to network with and meet other PNPs in the Denver metro area.

Do you have any tips for other students who are new members?

My advice to students who are members is to make time to be as involved as you possibly can and to continue networking with your local chapter. I also suggest that students take advantage of attending the annual conferences! There are so many opportunities for learning and growth at conference.

What does being a NAPNAP member mean to you?

Being a NAPNAP member means exploring my gift and talent as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner student and obtaining a foundation of support from future peers. It also serves as a great place to network with peers, explore my specific passions, and provides a place to advocate for our vulnerable youth, and continue to advance my education.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

I was looking for an organization to help bring me a closer connection to the profession and give me more insight into what nurse practitioners deal with in their day-to-day work.

Describe two events you took part in over the past year and how you benefitted from them?

I participated in my university’s clinical intensives in August and was able to learn hands on experience in performing critical care procedures. Being a full time student and nurse has not left me much extra time for events. I am attending the NAPNAP conference in March in Orlando and am excited about that.

What does being a NAPNAP member mean to you?

I take pride in being a member of an organization that is dedicated to moving the pediatric focused nurse practitioner forward and shining light on the importance of evolving this profession so that we are more widely recognized.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

I first heard about NAPNAP through my instructors in my APRN program talking about how they were involved in NAPNAP. I am in a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program with a Dual Primary/Acute Care specialty. However, I did not actually begin considering joining myself until a preceptor of mine told me about how she was a member. She showed me the NAPNAP website and showed me how there were even student memberships. My preceptor taking me aside and showing me what NAPNAP had to offer was what encouraged me to join.

Describe two events you took part in over the past year and how you benefitted from them?

I joined as a NAPNAP Student Ambassador. In this role, I get to tell other students about what NAPNAP can offer them and encourage others to join NAPNAP. I also got the opportunity to meet virtually with other student ambassadors across the country. Via social media, I also promote infant and child health through sharing NAPNAP’s messaging. This has benefitted me by sharing my passion of pediatric healthcare with others and finding others who share this common passion. I also have been taking some continuing education courses from the PedsCE Course Catalog. However, what I am most excited about is that I plan to attend the NAPNAP Conference in March 2023. It will be my first time attending, and I am excited to learn about what is new in pediatric health care and meet people with similar interests.

Do you have any tips for other students who are new members?

I think my biggest tip for other students who are new members is to dive in. I think it was intimidating for me as a student who is still learning about so many things to join a group of professionals who seem to have it all figured out. Everyone within NAPNAP has been friendly and welcoming to me as a student and also excited to see that I am passionate about learning. Also, even though it may seem to me that everyone else has it all together, NAPNAP is a place where everyone can still learn and grow. As students, we bring that fresh energy and passion for new knowledge.

What does being a NAPNAP member mean to you?

Being a NAPNAP member means being a part of something bigger than myself. I am one piece of a larger puzzle that advocates for pediatric health care and advances knowledge.

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