AANP Joins White House in National Health Care Initiative Serving Active Service Members and Veterans

With Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, “Joining Forces” calls attention to the critical role of nurse practitioners in caring for military families

PHILADELPHIA, PA (April 11, 2012) – Dr. Penny Kaye Jensen, President of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), today joined First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden at a press conference to announce the commitment from nursing organizations to the Joining Forces initiative – a coordinated effort of more than 150 state and national organizations and more than 500 universities designed to meet the unique health needs of service members, veterans and their families. Additional information at http://joiningforces.aanp.org/.

“On behalf of AANP and NPs throughout the country, we are honored to be part of Joining Forces,” said Dr. Jensen, who holds a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. “It is our privilege to help safeguard the health and well-being of those who have served and safeguarded our nation.”

In addition to her role as AANP President, Dr, Jensen serves as a board-certified family nurse practitioner working in primary care at George E. Wahlen Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. “NPs have and continue to play a vital role in addressing the health care needs of veterans and active service members who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression and other serious combat-related issues,” Dr. Jensen added. “It is our goal to remain in step with this demand, in touch with our patients and informed regarding the diverse spectrum of health related concerns they may face.”

To support the Joining Forces mission, AANP is advancing a comprehensive array of veteran-specific programs and activities. These include:

  • reaching out to AANP members through the creation of a unique Joining Forces section of the website;
  • contacting all NPs and nursing organizations that are AANP group members to ask for their pledge in support of Joining Forces;
  • asking state representatives to contact organizations in their state to render support;
  • publishing a special edition on veterans’ health in the AANP peer-reviewed journal;
  • creating continuing education programs focusing on issues facing veterans and military families;
  • planning workshops at the organization’s upcoming national conference to promote the wellness of veterans and caregivers;
  • highlighting veterans’ health during Nurse Practitioner Week;
  • supporting research on veterans’ health through the AANP Foundation; and
  • forming an ad hoc committee, composed of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense leaders, to focus on promoting the Joining Forces initiative.


The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), founded in 1985, is the oldest and largest national professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. Through individual and group memberships, AANP represents the interests of approximately 155,000 NPs in the country. AANP continually advocates for the active role of NPs as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered and personalized health care. For more information, visit www.aanp.org. To locate an NP in your community, go to npfinder.com.