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 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!

How did you become interested in NAPNAP?

As a PNP student, I learned about NAPNAP and all of the support it offers to its members, from networking opportunities to CE, to promoting and advancing pediatric health care.

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

I have advocated for the needs of children with autism spectrum disorder and developmental delays by becoming the only provider in my health system certified to evaluate for and diagnose autism spectrum disorder. I have volunteered for leadership positions and am the program director and faculty for the pediatric DNP program at my university.

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

I have volunteered and spearheaded a rural health initiative as a board member for the NAPNAP Foundation, developing, carrying out, and completing several projects that support our members practicing in rural health settings.

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

It is important to volunteer for NAPNAP because this is how we can accomplish all of the things that drew me to NPANAP in the first place: networking, CE, and advancing and promoting pediatric health care. Without volunteers, we
would not be able to accomplish the amazing projects and initiatives that NAPNAP has done and will do.

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? 

NAPNAP has helped me in my career immensely. I have met some amazing people who are now my mentors, mentees, and friends. I have been able to gain invaluable leadership skills. I have also been able to learn and continue learning through the high-quality CE provided by the organization.

Do you have any tips or advice for new members?

Get involved as much as possible! Sign up for a chapter and/or a SIG and reach out to them. Ask how you can get support the group. Attend CE events and read all of the newflashes for opportunities to get involved. Reach out and volunteer!

What do you love most about your role?

The thing I love most about my role is the ability to help people (patients, students, and colleagues, alike) and advance the field of pediatric advanced providers. I am in a position where I am able to support and lead and I love being able to do that for others, which NAPNAP gives me.

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

In my career, I have been fortunate enough to practice overseas with the U.S. Army. Taking care of the children of our dedicated soldiers was an honor. Currently, I practice in pediatric nephrology.

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

You can give back to your community and profession, all while helping to promote pediatric health care.

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

I have been on the North Carolina chapter board for the last six years. I spent 3 years as webmaster and communications chair at which time I developed the quarterly newsletter. The following two years were spent as President-Elect, where I created our chapter’s student representative program. Most recently, for the last year, I have been the current president (1 more year). I am fortunate to have an excellent team of dedicated PNP’s to work with on the board and I have enjoyed it.

How has NAPNAP helped you in your career? 

It has allowed me to network with wonderful pediatric providers across the country. In addition, the learning opportunities have enhanced the care provided to patients and families.

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?

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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