I am Julia Ponder from Little Rock. I work in the Emergency Department at Arkansas Heart Hospital. My calling is to serve patients through my education, certification and licensure. However, I am called to serve the nurse practitioner profession, too. I am trained in nurse practitioner advocacy with experience speaking to stakeholders, local and national legislators and even the Governor of Arkansas. I am a proven leader with various roles during my adult life, the most recent as Arkansas Nurse Practitioner Association President. I am confident we can grow the presence of AANP through collaboration with our state’s nurse practitioner organization (ANPA) and AANP membership growth. It would be an honor if you allow me to serve as your Arkansas State Representative for the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Please cast your vote for me as your next AANP State Representative.
Emergency Department Nurse Practitioner.
One of the biggest challenges facing nurse practitioners (NPs) in the delivery of health care over the next decade is educating the public about our level of education and ability to safely and effectively provide their health care needs. I encounter individuals at work and in public who do not understand that we are independent health care providers. AANP is doing a good job of spreading the word and educating the public about our profession. As our profession continues to grow (in strength and numbers) and gain independent practice across the country, I believe people will learn and understand our practice. I am surprised by the NPs who do not support full practice authority (FPA). We must maintain our passion to care for patients while educating our fellow professionals (including NPs), the public and especially legislators about our practice and continue to seek FPA for all states. AANP’s resources to the states, legislative leadership, and interaction with Nurse Practitioner Organizations are phenomenal. Therefore, I believe financial and physical assistance are opportunities to support the profession including assistance in identifying stakeholders, lobbying and opportunities to educate on a larger scale such as newspapers, print and radio advertising and morning shows are great opportunities.
My leadership and professional skills that will help AANP promotion of their mission, vision and values are multifactorial. Having worked in health care for 30 years, I meet the need of my role or strategy at hand. For instance, as a member of Arkansas Nurse Practitioner Association (ANPA), I listened and gave input for ideas of improvement and followed the lead of the officers. This quickly escalated me to the role of President. As President, we implemented multiple directives that were dreams for several years before. This occurred, because of my democratic leadership, allowing the members of the Board of Directors to define the goals for the year. I followed this by servant leadership, ensuring the Board members had the skills to complete their tasks and help them build relationships to ensure success of the projects. Further, I believe in networking to inspire each other in achieving individual and common goals. I believe it takes quality relationships to build leaders. This is true whether you are in the mentor or leader position. Therefore, I always give my best in both positions. This is shown in my previous statement of how I quickly advanced to leadership roles in ANPA.
One of the objectives with the AANP strategic plan is to increase AANP’s political presence and activity with state and federal legislation and legislators. As the State Representative of Arkansas, I would plan to continue to educate and advocate for NPs in my state at the local, state and national level. I hope to continue to improve grassroots efforts by growing my relationships with legislative stakeholders that I developed as President of ANPA to promote NP practice across the country. I would also like to help expand corporate sponsors of AANP in the state of Arkansas. I am passionate about education and quality health care, which are included in the mission of AANP. To me, these are intertwined and continued education leads to quality, up-to-date health care. Quality education comes from quality research. While I am not a researcher, I use research to ensure I am providing the highest quality care and information to my patients, NP students, colleagues and in my daily practice. I would like to use this passion to help develop educational programs that would provide skill development in leadership and organizational competencies.