Johnnie Wijewardane, PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP

Candidate for Mississippi State Representative

Campaign Message:

In my life and nursing career, I try to demonstrate AANP’s core values of integrity, excellence, professionalism, leadership, and service. I pledge that as your Mississippi Representative for AANP that I will work with AANP, state nursing and NP organizations, elected officials, legislators, stakeholders, nurse practitioners, and the public at the state and national levels to achieve AANPs strategic outcomes. If elected, I will educate the public about the NP role and improve AANP’s media acumen, presence, and exposure; improve the current multipronged approach to increase stakeholder and grassroots participation in advocacy; work with NPs, organizations, and stakeholders to identify and monitor barriers to reimbursement; and work with NPs across the state to create expert-level continuing education content. I am dedicated to improving NP practice, health care access, and quality through seeking FPA for Mississippi NPs. I humbly ask for your vote for me for your Mississippi Representative for AANP!

Biographical Statement
Campaign Flyer
Curriculum Vitae

Current Professional Position


AANP/ACNP Leadership Experience

Mississippi Nurses Association Board Secretary 2018-present, House of Delegates 2018-2019 Mississippi Council of Deans and Directors of Schools of Nursing member 2011-2019: Mississippi Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Council, Secretary 2019; Accreditation and Evaluation Review Committee 2019; Bylaws Committee 2017-2019; Strategic Planning Committee 2015-2017 Mississippi Educational Consortium for the Doctorate of Nursing Practice member 2011-present: Symposium Planning Committee, Leadership Conference Planning Committee, Program Management Committee Mississippi Nurses’ Foundation Car Tag Scholarship Committee 2004-present

Biggest Challenge Facing NPs and How AANP Can Help

The biggest challenge facing NPs in the delivery of health care over the next decade is overcoming the current restrictions on NPs across federal, state, and organizational continuums to obtain full practice authority. These restrictions include outdated federal, state, and organizational regulatory policies that limit NPs serving on boards and committees that make health care policy decisions including, but not limited to reimbursement, as well as regulations restricting NPs from practicing to the full scope of our education, training, and practice. Current and continued restrictions on NPs negatively affect the populations for whom we care by reducing access to care, affordability of care, and quality of care. AANP’s current strategic plan addresses this challenge by focusing on NP advocacy and leadership in key places across federal, state, and organizational levels. AANP can further address this challenge through continued updates in the strategic plan reflecting the rapidly changing landscape of health care. This continuous quality improvement approach can help AANP keep the organizational direction aimed at the needs of populations and NPs, align goals and desired outcomes to reflect that direction while fostering commitment of NPs to work strategically to overcome these restrictions at all levels with AANPs resources and leadership.

Example of Initiative or Outcome of Leadership

My strategic planning skills and my ability to lead and work in teams as well as across organizations are leadership and professional skills that can be used in the State Representative Role for AANP. I worked in academic leadership roles in two public universities. As the graduate nursing department chair at Mississippi University for Women, I worked with key executive leadership across campus to plan, develop, implement, and accredit a Doctor of Nursing Practice program. The work included increasing the SACSCOC accreditation level and achieving full state and national accreditation. I also lead and facilitated a collaboration with a large rural health system to establish an NP residency program that is now sustained completely by the rural health system and is seeking national accreditation. More recently at UMMC, I worked with executive leadership in the School of Nursing to reclassify the academic affairs personnel from hourly to higher-paying salaried positions that better reflected their job duties. Through this initiative, the academic affairs office became more student and faculty centric. The outcome was an academic affairs office staff of experts in their areas who share knowledge through cross-training and became empowered to continually improve workflow and processes.

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

I will advance the AANP Mission and strategic plan through continuing to educate the public about the role of NPs, contribute to improving AANP’s media acumen, presence, and exposure through my use of social media and educating NPs and NP students on responsible and professional social media use. Through a multipronged approach, I will work with nursing organizations on the state level to increase the number of NP leaders to improve political and organizational competence and effect change in the public policy arena to advance FPA and compensation parity in Mississippi and across the nation. I will work with NPs in Mississippi to increase quality advanced-level CE offerings related to reimbursement and practice topics. I will monitor reimbursement issues and other policies that affect NP practice at state and federal levels. Through my work and direct contact with NP students and NPs in practice, I will recruit students and NPs to become AANP members, thus contributing to a diverse and thriving membership base. I will leverage my position in an academic health science center to encourage NP students, faculty, preceptors, and NPs in practice to create expert-level content for continuing education and to help seek grant funding from external sources.