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 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 first joined NAPNAP as a new to practice PNP, after graduating from a second-degree nursing program at the University of Pennsylvania. My first career was in global health, and I had a strong interest and professional focus on the well-being of vulnerable children. After joining my first pediatric practice, I had the distinct pleasure of working beside pediatric NPs who were NAPNAP leaders. They encouraged me to become involved and grow in my career.

What are some things you’ve done well in your career and what are your specialties? When I worked in global health my focus was on policy and advocacy. As I transitioned to my role as a PNP, the importance of providing a voice for the children and families that I served, as well as for the profession, became clear. I’ve been able to grow this skill set and continue to engage in advocacy through my work with NAPNAP (Health Policy Committee), my local chapter (previous Legislative Chair), and in my healthcare setting. I’m currently a Fellow at the George Washington University Center for Health Policy and Media, as well as a Senior Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research. Additionally, after becoming a PNP I returned to school to pursue a PhD focused on health outcomes. In my current role I direct nursing research for a stand-alone pediatric hospital and have the pleasure of supporting clinical nurses to engage in research, scholarship, and evidence-based practice. I have been awarded several grants to study how to improve the process of transition from hospital to home for our pediatric patients and families. In this work I am able to take what I’ve learned as a community-based PNP, combine it with my research training, and help to create solutions.

What are some NAPNAP initiatives/projects you have volunteered for? CHPLC – Presented in February “Interstate Compacts”, Member – Health Policy Committee, Contributor – Inside the Beltway, NAPNAP Advocacy Fellow, PA DelVal and  NAPNAP Legislative Chair

Why is it important to volunteer (join NAPNAP committees and other forms of volunteering)? NAPNAP is the professional organization dedicated to representing PNPs and advocating for those issues that are most important to us and our patients. By being actively involved, I not only have the opportunity to give back to the NAPNAP community, I gain experience and support.

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? NAPNAP has helped me to hone my advocacy skills by providing support and training through the Health Policy Fellowship, and I continue to learn through my work with the Health Policy Committee. I am very grateful for the work that NAPNAP does to advance the profession, and my involvement in NAPNAP has helped me to grow as a pediatric professional.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP? I became interested in NAPNAP as a student nurse practitioner. It was presented during a seminar by faculty as the leading organization for nurse practitioners with a focus in pediatrics.

What are some things you’ve done well in your career and what are your specialties? I am honored to have held many leadership roles over the years, offering mentorship to others along the way. I work in primary care and hold the Pediatric Mental Health Specialist certification. I practice general pediatric care addressing the whole person, physically and mentally. I’ve recently published a children’s book, “But I’m Not Sick” to ease children’s fears of going for visits to their healthcare provider.

What are some NAPNAP initiatives/projects you have volunteered for? I’ve been a member of NAPNAP for seven years. I am currently on the education committee of my state chapter and looking forward to doing more in the near future.

Why is it important to volunteer (join NAPNAP committees and other forms of volunteering)?  Becoming involved presents opportunities for personal connections to form. It allows for professional networking and knowledge sharing. It also shows an increased level of commitment to your profession and its growth or advancement.

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? NAPNAP has allowed me to stay abreast of all the latest updates in pediatric health care. I appreciate the offerings of continued education opportunities. I’ve also met some incredible people who make themselves available for case consultations or referrals.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP? I’ve been part of NAPNAP for years! I love the connections and continuing education and the conferences when I get to go!

What are some things you’ve done well in your career and what are your specialties? I’m an excellent care coordinator and thorough provider especially to vulnerable populations. I specialize in general pediatrics and adolescent medicine. I have experience in gastroenterology as well. I focus on care with kids experiencing the juvenile (in)justice system and homelessness.

What are some NAPNAP initiatives/projects you have volunteered for I helped form a local NAPNAP chapter and I’ve been a chapter board member. I  helped create a SIG and served as the chair and co-chair.

Why is it important to volunteer (join NAPNAP committees and other forms of volunteering)? It’s important to volunteer in order to continue to grow and support our amazing profession.

How did you recruit new members for the Connect & Recruit campaign? I work with some amazing RNs, soon to be PNPs, so I asked them to join!

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? NAPNAP has been a networking, educational connection for me for many years.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP? I became interested in NAPNAP as a student many years ago.  As a student, my first NAPNAP conference was in 1999 and I instantly felt a sense of community. I have been a member ever since.

What are some things you’ve done well in your career and what are your specialties? I have worked at the same pediatric primary care office for over 21 years. In the past decade, I have specialized in caring for children and adolescents with mental health issues partnering with families to improve the daily lives of these patients. I am also pleased to serve as the director of the pediatric nurse practitioner program at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing.

What are some NAPNAP initiatives/projects you have volunteered for? I am serving a second term as president of the Texas Austin Pediatric Nurse Practitioner chapter. I am currently serving on the professional issues committee. I also volunteered to review poster abstracts for the 2022 national conference.

How did you recruit new members for the Connect & Recruit campaign? As a faculty member of a PNP program and a preceptor to students, I encourage all students to join NAPNAP.  We have a professional obligation to support our profession through national, state, and local organizations. I like to share my NAPNAP journey with students and PNPs who are not current members.

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? NAPNAP has been instrumental in my career providing resources to serve children and families. NAPNAP plays a vital role in legislation to improve access to care and support our profession. We are stronger together!

After being laid off from the pediatric primary care clinic I was working at due to the pandemic, I received an email asking for me to join a rapid response medical team to respond to the immigration crisis at the Texas/Mexico border. 

I took the leap way out of my comfort zone and went for it.  I felt it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to respond to a crisis as a pediatric nurse practitioner.  I have now spent the last 11 months providing care to unaccompanied immigrant children at an Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) Emergency Immigration Shelter  (EIS). 

Soon after arriving to the camp,  I volunteered to run the lice and scabies isolation facility   I worked closely with a team of USPHS and CDC to develop the policies and procedures to identify, isolate, treat and monitor head lice and scabies for the Emergency Immigration Shelter  The procedure manual I wrote for training staff in the isolation facility was adopted for the official SOP of the Office of Refugee Resettlement EIS. 

Furthermore, the training materials and flowsheets  that I created were distributed by members of the CDC team to other EIS sites.   I worked on a team to start and write policy for boys and girls observation units.  After 3 months of the deployment, I was asked to step into another leadership role as clinical lead for a team of twenty Nurse Practitioners and physician Assistants (Associates).  I have been able to serve  as an expert in pediatric standards of care for the team.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP? I first joined NAPNAP as student. My nursing professors encouraged and supported NAPNAP membership. I felt it was a great way to connect with other pediatric advance practice providers and have opportunities to access quality continuing education.

What are some things you’ve done well in your career and what are your specialties? I am a certified pediatric nurse practitioner (CPNP) at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) with certification as a primary mental health specialist (PMHS). I started my nursing career at MUSC in 2003 after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Clemson University and then later a Master of Science in Nursing from MUSC in 2007. Since January 2013, I served as the primary care provider for children in foster care at the MUSC Foster Care Support Clinic (FCSC). Prior to that I worked for six years as a CPNP for MUSC Child Abuse Pediatrics (CAP) providing child abuse and neglect assessments, as well as expert child abuse testimony in criminal and family court settings. In November 2021, I was appointed as the APP best practice center’s professional development and wellness manager for MUSC Health.

What are some NAPNAP initiatives/projects you have volunteered for? I have been actively involved in NAPNAP’s South Carolina Chapter serving in various leadership roles – secretary, president elect and current chapter president. I am currently serving as the co-chair for the NAPNAP Partners for Vulnerable Youth Foster Care Initiative.

Why is it important to volunteer (join NAPNAP committees and other forms of volunteering)? Volunteering for NAPNAP has taught me so much regarding being an APRN. Volunteering has given me the opportunity to grow with my practice, precepting, lecturing, and developing leadership roles. It has also allowed me to meet new colleagues and form friendships and mentoring relationships.

How did you recruit new members for the Connect & Recruit campaign? I reached out to colleagues that I knew were not members and asked them to join by sharing my experiences with NAPNAP.

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? I have learned so much through my experience with NAPNAP. I have conquered public speaking fears, taken on leadership roles I never thought I would; and learned so many invaluable skills along the way and made wonderful friendships and connections.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP? I joined NAPNAP as a student PNP and received a warm welcome. Over the years, I met many colleagues, but also gained true friends.

What are some things you’ve done well in your career and what are your specialties? I have published a book called Raising Today’s Baby Second Edition on Amazon.  I write a blog at RaisingTodaysChild.com and I write a monthly column at TidewaterFamily.com.  I volunteer quarterly for a local TV show: Coast Live speaking on various pediatric topics. I have written two pediatric nurse practitioner curriculum and currently teach at Walden University.  I am also a clinician at a practice in Norfolk, VA.

What are some NAPNAP initiatives/projects you have volunteered for? I have served on our local chapter: Hampton Roads as president, vice president, and historian.  I regularly attend local meetings.  I routinely attend national meetings and have participated in SIGs for obesity and newborns.

Why is it important to volunteer (join NAPNAP committees and other forms of volunteering)? Volunteer work is crucial to help our communities and nation be educated regarding healthcare and the positive work  that PNPs are doing. Who can better advertise for ourselves than us?

How did you recruit new members for the Connect & Recruit campaign? I encourage my students, past and present, to join and be active within local and national NAPNAP. 

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? NAPNAP has been the foundation that started my PNP career 20 years ago, and remains the solid rock not just for myself but to all PNPs.  We are mightier as a group than we are individually. NAPNAP is helpful with professional questions, job searches, preceptors for students, and in so many other ways.  We are NAPNAP!

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.

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 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?

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.

 

 

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