Melissa Kalensky, DNP, FNP-BC, CNE

Candidate for Illinois State Representative

Campaign Message:

As your AANP Illinois State Representative I will enhance awareness and grow Illinois AANP membership by educating NPs, nurses, and students on the importance of AANP’s role in improving clinical practice, research, advocacy, and leadership. I will encourage action in the NP community by communicating relevant information to Illinois members of AANP. I will promote continued efforts to remove state and federal level barriers to NP practice through collaboration with the Illinois Society for Advance Practice Nurses and the mobilization of state membership in furthering the mission of AANP. Finally, I will work to engage the broader healthcare community in person and via social media to educate them on the role of NPs in the delivery of healthcare.

Biographical Statement
Campaign Flyer
Curriculum Vitae

Current Professional Position

Assistant Professor Rush University FNP/DNP program, NP/ED at Rush Oak Park Hospital

AANP/ACNP Leadership Experience

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing Board of Directors (2017-2019) Doctor of Nursing Practice Committee Chairperson (2016-present)

Biggest Challenge Facing NPs and How AANP Can Help

In the next decade nurse practitioners will face multiple challenges in providing patients with access to care including meeting the needs of increasingly diverse patient populations, implementation of emerging technology, the use of revised payment models, and provider shortages in mental health. Additionally, impending faculty shortages will present challenges in meeting the demands of graduating students who are prepared for practice as an APRN. AANP can address these challenges through continuing to provide educational opportunities that allow nurse practitioners to develop an evolving skill set to meet marketplace demands. Through opportunities for continuing education in clinical practice, as well as building skills in areas of education, advocacy, research, and leadership NPs will be well positioned to meet such challenges. The organization’s advocacy work to reduce barriers to NP practice at the state and federal level will be instrumental to meeting the needs of patients in a variety of care settings. Public advocacy campaigns through mainstream and social media will also facilitate public education of the role of NPs as both care providers and health advocates.

Example of Initiative or Outcome of Leadership

I am exceptionally proud of my service in advancing the profession through education and preparation of the next generation of nurse practitioners. I have clinically precepted students since 2013 and became a full time nurse faculty member in 2016. One of the most gratifying experiences is to watch students put theory into practice, particularly in the area of heath policy. While attending a political action day in Springfield with family nurse practitioner students in 2017, one of my students approached our state senator and secured co-sponsorship of a bill that would go on to pass and ultimately increase the scope of practice for NPs in our state. I have also completed the OpEd Project Public Voices Fellowship and have since gained wealth of experience in the dissemination of information for widespread distribution in public media outlets such as newspapers and radio.

If Elected, I Propose to Advance the AANP Mission as Follows:

I believe one of AANPs greatest strengths lies within its ability to coordinate and mobilize membership through a clear and consistent message nationally. I will work to implement the organization’s strategic plan with engagement through in person networking and social media to mobilize NPs at the grassroots level, increase AANP’s membership base, and educate the public on the role of the NPs as health care providers. In the last four years I have presented at the AANP National Conference annually and will continue to contribute to the continuing education of colleagues and students through this and my role as a faculty member.