President's Message

My 2017 National Conference Highlights

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President Laura Searcy, MN, APRN, PPCNP-BC

Happy Spring, everyone. Despite the clouds of pollen that blanket Atlanta, this is my favorite time of year. I was thrilled that Spring started early in Colorado. We all thoroughly enjoyed the lovely warm weather in Denver at our national conference.

I want to give a HUGE shout out to Executive Director Cate Brennan, Senior Education Manager Laura Nelsen, Conference Planning Committee Chair Mary Dirks and all members of the Conference Planning Committee as well as NAPNAP staff for a fantastic job producing and running an outstanding conference. More than 1700 attendees (a new NAPNAP conference record!) had a wonderful time learning, networking and having fun. The beautiful 70-degree weather was icing on the cake.

One of the highlights of the conference for me was our Opening Session and the premier of our own NAPNAP song, NAPNAP-Right Direction, composed and sung by TJ Young, a New Jersey-based singer-songwriter and producer. TJ’s music was a welcome addition to many of our conference events. Our Opening Session speaker, LeAnn Thieman of Chicken Soup for the Nurses Soul fame, gave a poignant, humorous and uplifting presentation. Then we were off for a whirlwind few days. I was amazed by the breadth and depth of our speakers’ expertise and particularly enjoyed our Leaders and Student receptions. Our students are the future of our profession and it was wonderful to welcome them and the dedicated faculty and preceptors who work so hard to develop the next generation of experts and leaders. Our members asked question of Executive Board members and staff at our annual Business Meeting and we shared details about the strong state our association. It was wonderful to report that we are growing, on strong financial footing, and positioned for sustainability and growth. We closed the conference by hearing from two of our legendary Health Policy leaders, Mary Chesney and Ann Sheehan, who told us why we need to “Get off the Sidelines” and get in the advocacy game. I was truly honored to present Mary Chesney, my friend and mentor, with this year’s President’s Award.

Congratulations to our newly elected officers.

President-elect: Dawn Garzon, PhD, CPNP-PC, PMHS, FAANP

Secretary: Beth Bolick, DNP, ARNP, PPCNP-BC, CPNP-AC, FAAN


Brenda Cassidy, DNP, RN, CPNP-PC


Cathy Woodward, DNP, PNP-AC

Nominations Committee Member: Danielle (Dani) Sebbens, DNP, CPNP-AC/PC

I want to give a special thank you to all our outstanding candidates who are accomplished leaders in our association and profession. Their service and willingness to stand for election are truly appreciated.

And in that vein, I want to plant the seed for all of you who would like to get more involved in NAPNAP. In May, we will be seeking volunteers for openings on our committees. Whether you are in the early, mid or late part of your career, we need your energy, ideas and expertise. Stay tuned for notices in NAPNAP Newsflash and Daily News and on the Open Forum.

Thanks again to all involved in our Denver Conference. I look forward to seeing you next year in Chicago.

Enjoy the spring flowers!

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