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 have been involved with NAPNAP since 2003 when I served as the Student Liaison for Three Rivers NAPNAP. By 2007 I was president of our local chapter. Not that I felt ready for that role, but the seat became vacant a month or two after I became president-elect, and I did what was needed. It was the support of the chapter that really helped me grow into this role. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity.

What are some things you’ve done well in your career and what are your specialties?
I am employed as a nurse practitioner in a dual role with the Child Advocacy Center and Adolescent Medicine at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. I am a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Primary Care and nationally certified as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner for Pediatrics and Adults/Adolescents. In my dual division position, I provide abuse evaluations, primary care and urgent care for young people with complex social situations, and adolescent and young adult gynecological care and gender-affirming care. In addition to the Child Advocacy Center hospital-based clinic and the Center for Adolescent and Young Adult Health outpatient clinic, I provide care in unique community-based settings, including a clinic in the county courthouse, a young adult drop-in center, a mobile care mobile, emergency shelters, the community intensive supervision program, a residential substance use program, and a safe-house for trafficked youth. My passion is strength-based care for all young people particularly system-involved children, adolescents and young adults.

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? 
As a student I received a NAPNAP scholarship that allowed me the opportunity to shadow Susan Van Cleave who was not only the dean of my PNP program, but also a leader within Three Rivers NAPNAP and National NAPNAP. I was so lucky to get this door opened for me early because it introduced me to so many people and experiences. I am grateful to NAPNAP and Susan for helping me take the first steps in my PNP career.

Why is it important to volunteer (join NAPNAP committees and other forms of volunteering)?
Since the student days of my nurse practitioner journey, NAPNAP involvement has provided me with opportunities to grow and develop professionally, build leadership skills, and gain confidence as a speaker. The experience of being part of NAPNAP goes hand-in-hand with my CRNP journey. I cannot imagine being a nurse practitioner without NAPNAP; the two are intertwined. My current involvement with ACT continues to push me to try new things and I love it!

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

I am a primary care PNP for over 30 years, with an urgent care background as well. I work with underserved pediatric patients and their families, with a focus on youth in foster care and trauma informed care. I have also been a nurse educator for over 20 years and teach in NP and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs.

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

I have volunteered as Chair of the Child Maltreatment SIG for the past 4 years.
I was also a volunteer as leader of the Alliance for Children in Trafficking, Chapter and Grassroots subcommittee. Additionally, I was the inaugural Chair of the Alliance for Children in Foster Care, and continued on in this role.

Do you have any tips or advice for new members?

Being a part of NAPNAP should be a lifelong commitment. I feel strongly that PNPs support their national organization. There are many opportunities for growth and networking within this organization. NAPNAP has the best interest of PNPs in regards to advocacy, policy, legislation, and clinical care.

What do you love most about your role?

I have loved being a PNP for the past 33 years. It is not just a career, but a life long profession and way of life. I love seeing patients, making an impact in families and students’ lives.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

I became a student member during my PNP program at the suggestion of my faculty back in 2002. In my early years, I was busy acquiring clinical expertise and having four babies so was not very involved. After my youngest was born, I started a DNP program and became aware of the NAPNAP Advocacy program. I was accepted to the Nurse in Washington Institute and the rest was history. I then became Houston chapter president, national secretary, chair of the Alliance for Children in Trafficking, and then president!

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

I am proud to have journeyed from a timid community college student to become the first woman in my family to get a university degree, going on to be an international nurse leader. I am an expert policy advocate, legislative consultant, organizational leader, and faculty educator. My greatest professional accomplishment has been to be a leading influence in education standards and policy in responding to and preventing trafficking. For that work, I am proud to have been awarded as Texas Nurse Practitioner of the Year, Advocate of the Year for the American Nurses Association, Lillian Wald Humanitarian by the National League for Nursing, Policy Advocate for the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty, Sharp Cutting Edge Award for the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and Distinguished Alumnus for the University of Alabama and the University of Texas Medical Branch. I’ve also had a very fun and unexpected journey as a bestselling author for parents and not daily radio host (The Dr. Nurse Mama Show). This is not a testament to my singular success, but the potential of the power of nursing.

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

I have served on every committee you can imagine! Some of my highlights include leading the marketing and rebranding campaign with the launch of our first new logo in more than 20 years, helping create NAPNAP’s Partners for Vulnerable Youth, creating and chairing the Alliance for Children in Trafficking, commissioning the Alliance to Prevent Youth Suicide and the Alliance for Youth in Foster Care, serving as the organization’s only all virtual president during COVID-19, serving as the only nurse author for the first federally issued Core Competencies to respond to human trafficking, and creating NAPNAP’s podcast, TeamPeds Talks, which has nearly 60,000 downloads in dozens of countries now.

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

Your voice matters! As nurses, we often undervalue our contribution and think, “Oh, I’m not qualified for that.” We need to own our expertise and remember that our voice is essential to the families we serve. Diversity of thought, experience, demographics, geographies, and a million other things make each individual wonderfully valuable.

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? 

NAPNAP gave me my very first opportunities to serve in a leadership role, and they gave me the professional tools and mentors I needed to be able to grow. I have gained expertise through education, experience through leadership opportunities, and professional networking that has opened the door for incredible collaborations to amplify our efforts.

Do you have any tips or advice for new members?

JUST. SAY. YES.
When a seasoned NAPNAP leader points out your potential… believe them. Jump in. Trust the process. NAPNAP is a very supportive organization that loves to engage, equip, and empower emerging leaders. Know that there are different times and seasons for everything. Sometimes you just may be able to maintain your membership, but that matters! Other times you may have the bandwidth to volunteer or lead. Stay engaged as much as you can. Connection to this professional community is a lifeline.

What do you love most about your role?

Hands down, what I love most about my role is working with or for kids all day every day. Their optimism, strength, courage, resilience, authenticity, and honesty is enough to inspire me forever. I love that the heartbeat of what we do is always and only all about the kids.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

When I was a PNP student at Wayne State University, a few of the faculty members were already members of the NAPNAP Michigan chapter. They would often talk to our class about events that the organization would do, benefits of joining, and the great friends they have made.

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

I like to think that I have done well with making patients feel more comfortable when having to come into the clinic. Whether that is making little kids laugh because I normally have my white coat covered in Disney pins, making teens feel that they can talk with me, or even just using correct pronouns for patients.

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

I am currently working with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to create an emergency foster care placement kit system. These kits are designed to help both the foster child and the foster parent when placement has to happen at odd hours of the night, such as an emergency 3 a.m. placement. These kits will have necessary hygiene products like a tooth brush, hair brush, toothpaste, a set of pajamas, and either a comfort toy or a fidget toy depending on the age of the foster child. These kits are meant to help bridge the gap between the late night needs when stores are closed or the foster parent cannot go out, until the next day when more items can be acquired for the child. I have a local formula rep who was kind enough to donate formula for infants and am working with all of my chapter members to get items together. I am hoping to have a test run in Wayne County at the beginning of the year. If all goes well, we will expand out to the rest of the counties and get more members involved as captains of each county.

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

It’s important to volunteer for multiple reasons. You get to meet new people who have different experiences than you, which allows you to compare and contrast experiences. A volunteer gets to interact with the community and see where help is needed along with create ideas and ways to help. Volunteering gives someone a sense of helping do something good in the world and putting good out into the world.

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? 

NAPNAP has helped me maintain my license needs with their online CE, allowed me to make connections, and help me keep up to date with new and improving protocols. This way, I can bring them back to my clinic and help implement better ways of doing things.

Do you have any tips or advice for new members?

Get involved, join a committee, even if you don’t want to be super involved right away. Get your feet wet in the organization and see what sparks something in you.

What do you love most about your role?

I love that I can help bridge the gap between the chapter and the community. I can see and hear first hand how what we are doing is helping children all across our state. Members can reach out to me with their ideas for events or tell me of an event they want our chapter get involved in and I can help make it work.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

As a pediatric nurse for over 20 years, I have long been aware of the work that NAPNAP does to ensure that Pediatric Nurse Practitioners have the most up to date and valuable knowledge to care for our patients. When I went back to school to complete my DNP-PNP, I joined NAPNAP as a student member and quickly saw for myself how much value membership provided to me both personally and professionally.

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

In addition to being a pediatric nurse and PNP, I have been a healthcare writer for over 15 years. I was contracted with one of the top 5 largest online media companies as their Cold and Flu expert for over a decade and had the opportunity to interview and talk with numerous celebrities and public health leaders about illness prevention. I worked with the CDC as a Digital Flu Ambassador to advocate for flu vaccines and have had the chance to speak about the importance of flu prevention at conferences, on the radio, in digital and print media, and on television. I have spent the past decade working in pediatric infectious disease and Infection Prevention. I have been a hospital epidemiologist for the past 5 years. I am also a mom and one of my children has Down syndrome and autism spectrum disorder. Although I don’t currently work in this area, I am very passionate about developmental pediatrics and caring for the disability community.

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

I have participated in COVID and Flu focus groups, attended webinars, and volunteered to serve as a spokesperson for pediatric flu prevention.

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

Volunteering is the best way I can think of to connect with others that have common interests but may work or live in other areas. Networking and connecting to people that share the same passion as you is so valuable, especially now. We are all pressed for time, but making a dedicated effort to connect with people that share your interests outside of your specific work environment can lead to opportunities you may not have otherwise.

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? 

NAPNAP has allowed me to connect with other nurse practitioners across the country and expand my reach in advocating for flu vaccines and illness prevention. I have been a pediatric nurse for a long time but am a pretty new nurse practitioner and I already feel so supported and valued by this organization.

Do you have any tips or advice for new members?

Get involved! Don’t be afraid to offer your perspective and share your knowledge, no matter how long you have been here. Knowledge sharing makes us all better and we all have different experiences that others can learn from.

What do you love most about your role?

I love that I can make a difference in the lives of so many children. Because of the blend of my role, I get to help children on the individual and the population level. I get to help mitigate the risks when children come into our facility with an infectious disease and also advocate and help put policies and procedures in place to prevent them from occurring. I love seeing patients and talking to families about the importance of vaccines. When I am able to explain the importance of vaccination to a vaccine hesitant family and they decide to vaccinate due to our conversation, I know I have made a difference in that child’s life.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

I became interested in NAPNAP as a student back in 2003, joining after I graduated in 2004. Luckily Georgia has had active chapters throughout the years and leadership representation on a national level which makes it easy to get involved.

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

Some of the things I have done well in my career is care for pediatric patients throughout the “pediatric” lifespan (birth-19ish). My specialty is vaccines, and I am a very strong advocate for timely immunizations of all patients I come into contact with.

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

I am a part of the Immunizations Special Interest Group where we actively volunteer year-long to disseminate the latest immunization schedule changes, information regarding new vaccine products and strategies to combat vaccine hesitancy.

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

It is important to not only join our organization but also to be involved in the many opportunities to help increase recognition of the Pediatric NP. You also get to support this wonderful, growing organization which can lead to opportunities for you to grow professionally.

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? 

NAPNAP has helped my career by first helping me stay up to date on the latest evidence-based practice guidelines through annual conference attendance, various virtual and local CE offerings as well as the Journal for Pediatric Healthcare.

Do you have any tips or advice for new members?

My advice for new members is to seek out the special interest group(s) that speak to you and get involved. There are so many opportunities that NAPNAP can offer you. This is a very supportive organization of compassionate providers, mentoring opportunities and just a place where we can feel empowered as pediatric experts!

What do you love most about your role?

I love caring for our special patients and helping guide parents as they make healthcare decisions for their children. Additionally, I get to mentor new PNP’s, which brings me great joy as they finally visualize that tympanic membrane or diagnose a pneumonia!

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

When I was a PNP student at Emory University in 2016, our faculty were very involved in the GA chapter, and I wanted to be a part of it.

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

My specialty is all things primary care. However, I am passionate about vaccines and making sure my patients are up to date. I am an active participant on our clinic’s immunization Committee and strive to increase immunization rates in our clinic.

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

It is important for me to volunteer and be involved with NAPNAP because I am most fulfilled when I am working towards improving the quality of health care for all children.

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? 

NAPNAP has provided me the opportunity to network with other like minded individuals.

Do you have any tips or advice for new members?

Do not be shy and get involved.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

During my PNP education back in 2004!

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

I have enjoyed working with complex pediatric patients. My current specialty is in Pulmonary and a subset of Pulmonary called Aerodigestive. Aerodigestive programs provide comprehensive evaluation and management for children with complex airway, respiratory and gastrointestinal tract disorders. I love working in multidisciplinary care and currently serve as the NP Clinical Coordinator at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

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

I am currently a volunteer as a Journal of Pediatric Health Care Department Editor.

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

I think volunteering for me, especially with short medical missions, has helped me keep perspective on the world around us and how to be flexible in meeting patients’ needs.

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? 

NAPNAP has been an amazing way for me to connect with my colleagues and further my career. It is a wonderful resource especially for new grads.

Do you have any tips or advice for new members?

Get involved first by attending local chapter meetings you will likely meet life-long colleagues and friends!

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

When I was in my master’s program to become a pediatric nurse practitioner, my professor encouraged us to attend the national conference. As a student, I became connected with our local chapter and joined the executive board once I graduated. Since then, I’ve always felt that NAPNAP was my professional community.

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

When I started in primary care as a PNP, I integrated a mental health model to increase availability and access to services that were quick, timely, and within a familiar setting. After receiving additional education and training, I have implemented a similar model into my primary care office to evaluate and diagnose autism spectrum disorders. This model decreases the time between initial developmental concerns and early intervention that positively impacts life outcomes.

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

NAPNAP committees and SIGs provide the professional community with the opportunity to become involved and influence positive change for our profession and patient populations.

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? 

NAPNAP has been intertwined throughout my PNP career since the beginning! I am so grateful for the connections that I made and cherish to this day. I made my career into a profession that I am proud to belong to!

Do you have any tips or advice for new members?

Do not doubt your ability to influence and create positive change because you are new to the profession. You are a leader the moment to step into the profession.

What do you love most about your role?

I love being able to make a difference in my patient’s lives. We may consider some of our patient care interventions to be small, but a wave always starts out as a ripple!

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

It was early in my graduate school program. I had faculty that encouraged involvement in our professional organizations and modeled what that looked like. I attended my first NAPNAP conference in Boston in 2014 when I was still a student. I haven’t missed many since! Over time, my engagement has continued to grow, and now I love to bring my own students along with me and smile about the future friendships and connections they can make being a part of this organization.

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

I worked in acute care, pediatric surgery and trauma early in my career. I have always been interested in preventing child maltreatment, even then. As my career has grown, I have defined that even more in both my personal and professional life. I have done well in saying yes to new opportunities, jumping in, and gaining experiences to help expand my professional identity. Now, I teach full-time as an assistant professor and practice in a rural/underserved primary care clinic part-time.

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

I have volunteered for Partners for Vulnerable Youth Alliance for Children in Foster Care since 2021. I was also an active member of the Newborn SIG at its start and have held memberships on various other SIGs. Currently, I’m treasurer of the Child Maltreatment and Neglect SIG and Secretary for the Michigan Chapter of NAPNAP.

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

So many reasons! First, it fuels your passion; how you volunteer should fill your cup as you serve. In volunteering, I have made friends and connections that have been so valuable, but I have also been able to make a difference. Volunteering helps me to understand my community and the populations I’m seeing, and it also gives you a more behind-the-scenes picture of all the work that goes into what we do.

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? 

NAPNAP has been my professional home. It has opened doors, given me opportunities to grow, challenged me, and connected me to experts who are now my friends across the country. As faculty, it’s important to be involved in scholarship and service, but as an active member of NAPNAP, meeting these professional goals has been almost easy.

What do you love most about your role?

The kids!

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.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

Erin Carfagna

I became interested in NAPNAP after hearing about the Arizona organization from my own mentor at ASU, Taryne. She explained what the organization does and its purpose; she ultimately enticed me to become a student liaison for the Arizona chapter. I have completed 1 year in this role and have already submitted my intent to continue for a second year.

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

I participated in the Arizona chapter student poster presentation day in May 2023. This allowed me to watch fellow nurse practitioner students present their doctorate projects and begin preparing myself for my project. I also gained valuable knowledge on breastfeeding education in the pediatric primary care setting and better post-operative gastrostomy tube education. I also took the opportunity to attend the national pediatric symposium in Washington, DC, in November 2023. The 2-day symposium focused on handling pediatric emergencies such as respiratory distress, seizures, and severe fractures in primary care. I will be able to carry this information with me into future practice.

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

Get involved, have fun! I know the world feels overwhelming right now with school, work, and family life, but once we are in our careers, we will have even less time (at least starting out). Enjoy your opportunities now as a student, take the time to attend a conference (or two), and get out in your community to not only network but give back.

What does being a NAPNAP member mean to you?

For me, being a NAPNAP member means being part of the best of the best. NAPNAP is supportive of all PNPs, especially student PNPs. NAPNAP has supported my education and has provided opportunities for me to pursue my special interests within pediatric primary care.

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

In Summer 2023, I joined the Immunization Special Interest Group (SIG). Recently, I attended the virtual CE opportunity to learn more about the Influenza vaccine, the updated COVID vaccine, and the RSV prophylaxis. I have taken the information from these events to support the practice at my current clinical rotations. I am also a student member of the board for my local Chesapeake NAPNAP chapter, and I attended the “BHIPP to Pediatric Mental Health Care in Maryland” event in August 2023. All the events that NAPNAP has offered have been educational experiences that are supportive to my current DNP program.

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

I would encourage all members, but especially student members to take advantage of all that NAPNAP has to offer. Whether it is a local chapter event or the national CPNP-PC review course offering, something beneficial will come out of every opportunity. I also encourage all student members to be actively involved in their local chapter. As a student member of the board for the local Chesapeake chapter, I have been able to build relationships with many local PNPs, which has helped me to network and build relationships with other professional organizations.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

As a PNP, I became interested in NAPNAP as a educational source and professional network when I returned from living abroad for 5 years. The Journal of Pediatric Health Care provides current nursing research and scholarship to keep me up-to-date.

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

During the COVID-19 era, I noticed an increase in the amount patients coming in for mental health visits. I needed more knowledge on this type of care, so I took the KySS course at OSU and passed the PMHS exam. My clinic’s organization also provided Behavioral Health training, and I am currently in the Behavioral Health Integration Guidance cohort at Children’s Hospital in Dallas, TX. NAPNAP also offers many CE courses on mental healthcare. We use anxiety and depression screenings at well visits starting at 8 years in my clinic. My data collection on utilizing anxiety screenings shows we identify statistically significant more children and adolescents needing mental healthcare by using a screening tool. I also am interested in nutrition and breastfeeding. I have completed a Breastfeeding Educators course and am a certified Lactation Counselor, enabling me to be a resource to encourage and support our breastfeeding families. In addition, I enjoy precepting NP students for local nursing schools and supporting them as our future healthcare providers.

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

I am the Student Liaison for our NAPNAP chapter. The Student Liaison is an intermediary between the NAPNAP chapter and the university/NP students. I invite students to attend our dinner meetings and educational events. I am coordinating the student poster presentation for our Pediatric Potpourri conference in the spring. I am also co-chair of the scholarship committee. We offer several scholarships, and I helped to create the application and judging criteria. In addition, I attended the Capitol Hill Day with NAPNAP in Washington D.C. in November 2023 and advocated for the funding of child healthcare at the federal level.

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

NAPNAP represents pediatric-focused NPs to the public. We are stronger and can make a larger impact on the families we serve when we all work together. NAPNAP is a great way to give back to the community and exemplify the quality of care that NPs are willing and able to give. There are many committees and volunteer areas to suit the interests and talents of each member.

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career?

NAPNAP has provided the educational support I needed to expand my areas of interest and to gain knowledge in areas I lacked expertise. I have attended several local and national conferences and have taken many of the CE courses. Also, my chapter of NAPNAP has been a great networking and support group as I grow in my PNP role. My local group and the national NAPNAP organization have provided me with opportunities to present my academic work at their conferences.

Do you have any tips or advice for new student members?

Please become a member as soon as you know you want to have a pediatric-focused APRN career. NAPNAP can given you all the support and guidance you need as a student and in beginning a new advanced-practice career.

What do you love most about your role?

I love empowering parents to be better caretakers of their children through providing healthcare and developmental education. “Thank you for helping me care for my child” is music to my heart.

What other organizations are you affiliated with?

TNP, AANP, ICN, Texas DNP, Sigma Theta Tau

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

I became interested in NAPNAP during my last year of school. I never knew you could join as a student, I assumed it was only once you were practicing. Since I learned that you could join as a student, I have been forever grateful for the chapter. It has created such an amazing opportunity to meet other nurse practitioners, network, and be able to discuss pediatric healthcare with those who understand.

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

The biggest event I took part of this past year was joining the Midwest NAPNAP board as a student liaison. By joining the board, it has given me a huge leadership opportunity and has challenged me personally and professionally. Second, the holiday party this year was the biggest turn out the chapter has ever had. Being able to meet over 30 members was such an amazing experience.

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

The biggest tip I have for new student members is to learn from other chapter members anything that you can. The best part of NAPNAP chapter groups is meeting local members who work in the community that you are in. This can create opportunities for future employment! I would also recommend asking for tips and tricks from newer grads who understand the experience that you are currently going through.

What does being a NAPNAP member mean to you?

Being a NANPAP member has created an opportunity to grow in an area I would not have without NAPNAP. It has challenged me to be a leader and to be comfortable speaking to other members with common interests. It has been rewarding to get to meet people from a variety of pediatric specialties.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

My career as an RN has been rich with a variety of experiences. When I returned to school for my DNP and pediatric nurse practitioner certifications, I understood the value of immersive experiences. I knew social and academic connections with professionals in this new career adventure would augment my learning. I chose NAPNAP because they value nursing as a profession and work to advance healthcare for pediatric patients.

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

I attended the acute care board review course and the symposium in Orlando. The breadth of information covered in the course and the seminar was extremely valuable to my learning. I gained more confidence and successfully passed my acute care boards in July after those experiences. As an advocacy scholar, I also attended Capitol Hill Day in Washington, DC. This experience made me realize that we are not powerless to impact our healthcare delivery at a national level.

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

Get involved in your local chapter as a student board member and develop relationships with the people that will eventually be your peers. Find committees, sigs, and collaborations that are interesting to you and join them. One valuable activity was the child health policy learning collaborative. By joining SIGs, I could branch out of my regular exposure and understand the issues facing a broader scope of our healthcare system and how we can work together to impact it.

What does being a NAPNAP member mean to you?

Membership in NAPNAP means connection to the people and work that is being done in our field. NAPNAP enables me to view our healthcare world from a broader lens and to realize the support and power we have behind us as we work on the things we struggle with in our venues. Our healthcare world can feel lonely and frustrating. NAPNAP adds community and a formidable force that can impact healthcare obstacles.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

Although I come from a family of nurses, I am the first in my family to pursue advanced practice and a Master’s degree in Nursing. I am also one of the few Filipino-American/Asian-Americans in my PNP program, so I wanted to join an organization where I would meet more folks with a background similar to mine. With this in mind, I wanted to engage with experienced PNPs and nurse scientists in NAPNAP for support and guidance in navigating the PNP profession. The networking provided by this organization has been an extremely helpful resource for my career interests in allergies, primary care, and the intersection of children’s health and climate change.

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

This year, I was the inaugural recipient of the PNCB/NAPNAP Empowering PNP Professional Diversity Scholarship. I was able to use this scholarship to support living expenses to conduct research activities in Southeast Asia. Over the summer, I had the opportunity to intern with an NGO based in Singapore to educate global policymakers about the intersections of climate change and children’s health. NAPNAP’s support in my scholastic journey has helped form my framework in thinking about how Pediatric NPs can be leaders in the conversations regarding climate change and children’s health. This summer was an incredible opportunity that I was able to pursue in part due to NAPNAP’s support.

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

Be visible – NAPNAP provides an extensive network for potential mentors, future colleagues, and career references. Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself and reach out to folks with shared interests. During your time as a student, thinking about professional development early can be beneficial in the long run and help you graduate feeling prepared.

What does being a NAPNAP member mean to you?

Being a NAPNAP member means being able to turn to a nationwide community of children’s health experts and feeling supported whenever I have a question. Everyone I have met through NAPNAP has been very invested and supportive of my PNP journey, and I am grateful to continue to learn and grow in this organization!

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

I have been part of professional nursing associations since I was a prelicensure nursing student. I first found out about NAPNAP while studying for my CPN after 2 years of RN practice. I was very interested in some of the specialty symposiums that were offered at that time. When I considered returning to school for a postgraduate certificate to become a Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, I came across TeamPeds Talks, including the series “Focus on Child and Adolescent Mental Health” and the series “Conversations on Child Health Equity”. These awakened my passion to return to school and join an organization that addresses the needs of vulnerable patients and families.

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

The first NAPNAP event I participated in was a DBMH virtual coffee hour. As a student member of this SIG, I had the opportunity to meet experts, innovators, and change-makers in a field of interest. I was also fortunate to be selected to cohost a TeamPeds Experts Live event with an expert DBMH PNP, Jennifer Keller, CPNP-PC, PMHS. We explored the mental health needs of children and youth with special healthcare needs. This was an opportunity to collaborate with an expert and work on my presentation and education skills.

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

Participating in professional organizations has been transformative throughout my career. I recommend all PNP students join NAPNAP and make sure to participate in opportunities available to members. I also think that students should feel confident to participate fully. When student members are full participants in conversations and opportunities, they have the ability to shape the profession and also learn from experts.

What does being a NAPNAP member mean to you?

Being a NAPNAP member is a part of my professional ambitions and endeavors. It provides me with connections to other professionals with similar goals, opportunities to collaborate on improving the health of vulnerable families, and role models to guide my professional path. Being a NAPNAP member is my connection to so many great pediatric-focused advanced practice nurses going all the way back to the origins of our profession. Finally, being a NAPNAP member joins me with the future “experts in pediatrics and advocates for children.”

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

Joining NAPNAP seemed like a given to be from the start. My background is in PICU bedside nursing, so before applying to graduate programs, I wanted to shadow a PCP and see whether the PC or AC world might suit me better as a future PNP. A friend set me up to shadow Dr. Jessica Peck, who happened to be the NAPNAP President. The rest is history! Participating in this organization became synonymous to me with learning the ropes of the profession.

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

I encourage new student members to attend the conferences! There is something about being all together in person, learning from experts in every facet of the field, and forging connections across states and subspecialties that are unique to the conference environment. I also encourage students to consider participating in the student ambassador program. This program has been a great avenue for me to get involved with NAPNAP early in my career and meet some amazing people!

What does being a NAPNAP member mean to you?

Above all, I value the connectedness being a NAPNAP member provides. There is a kind of “same, same but different” feeling inherent in the clinical and legislative concerns PNPs face across the nation. Being a NAPNAP member allows sharing of these struggles and potential novel solutions. It is an ever-present reminder that you are not alone.

Describe a recent achievement and how it will impact you beyond your time as a student member.

I recently received a Fulbright award to research advanced practice nursing in the UK! Before I graduate, I get to move to Wales for six months to study resilience in pediatric advanced practice nurses (PAPN) there. The hope is to generate and disseminate information on what factors correlate with said resilience to educational and governing bodies across the UK to support the growth and success of the UK PAPN population. Only a handful of countries currently use PAPNs/PNPs. To me, forging connections between these pockets of our profession is paramount to the future of advanced practice nursing across the globe. Helping to foster that collaboration is a chief aspiration of my career.

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

I had a nursing professor during my undergraduate education who emphasized in our leadership courses the importance and value of professional organizations. I wanted to be a leader in nursing, so I took her words to heart, and I joined my professional organizations when I graduated.

I learned about NAPNAP early in my DNP education and quickly became a student member. Both NAPNAP and the Acute Care SIG were perfect resources to assist in my learning and help me collaborate with others. Through my student membership with NAPNAP and the acute care SIG, I have gained many student colleagues, APRN and faculty mentors, and experiences from which I can learn and develop as a professional. Within NAPNAP, there are educational and professional resources to consult, evidence-based journal or position statements to review, researchers to collaborate with and discover, and mentors to help grow my career. As a NAPNAP student ambassador, I shared my experience within NAPNAP with my peers and advocated for the importance of professional memberships within APRN practice. Additionally, at the local NAPNAP chapter level, I connected with local APRNs who have offered a variety of advice and mentorship for a future career.

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

During your schooling, it’s easy to focus on mastering content, clinical hours, studying for exams, board review, etc. However, you should also take this valuable time to lay the groundwork for your own professional development and personal growth. Get involved with your local NAPNAP or graduate organizations. Explore passions that will help you combat burnout and be a better provider for your patients and their families. Get involved with advocacy and use your voice to fight for things that are important to you or your profession. Find mentors and network with others as much as you can! If you have the bandwidth during this crucial time, just say “Yes!”– you never know what doors it may open for you in the future.

What does being a NAPNAP member mean to you?

For me, being a NAPNAP member means being a lifelong learner. Early in my pediatric nursing career, I was taught that one of the best ways to promote patient safety is to always practice with a questioning attitude. While the questioning approach is usually centered on patient safety, I’ve taken this idea to heart in other ways. Akin to a preschooler always asking, “Why?” I always strive to consider the multitude of questions within my daily nursing practice, such as “What is the pathophysiology behind this disease?”, “Why am I giving this medication to my patient?” or “Is this the most effective way to provide care?”

Learning is a lifelong process where there are always new ideas, philosophies, research, or abilities. To answer these questions, I must search for knowledge or collaborate with others to learn. As an APRN and member of NAPNAP, I expect to continue my questioning approach by actively engaging in learning, whether by reading the latest evidence-based article, attending conferences, networking, or participating in quality improvement projects and research. NAPNAP has been an integral part of my DNP student journey, and I look forward to participating more as an APRN member.

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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