Maria Colandrea, DNP, NP-C, CCRN, CORLN, FAANP

Candidate for North Carolina State Representative

Campaign Message:

I would be honored to serve as the North Carolina AANP State Representative. I am passionate about advancing the NP profession. I will bring strong leadership experience, communication skills and work ethic. If elected, I pledge to: advocate for full practice authority for North Carolina, partner with local and state NP organizations to work together on advancing the profession, highlight the excellent work NPs are doing across the state and strongly advocate for networking and communication among North Carolina NP professionals. I would be honored to earn your vote as NC State Representative.

Biographical Statement
Campaign Flyer
Curriculum Vitae

Current Professional Position

Department of Otolaryngology, NP Chair of National APRN Council, Adjunct, Duke School of Nursing.

AANP/ACNP Leadership Experience

  • 2021 – 2023: Elected Vice President, Society Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Nurses.
  • 2020: Chair of Durham VA-Duke School of Nursing National Advanced Practice Provider Symposium.
  • 2020: Planning committee for FAANP Winter Meeting.
  • 2019 – 2022: Chair of the National APRN Council, representing all four roles of APRN practice.
  • 2018 – 2020: Board of Directors Society of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Nurses.
  • 2018 – 2020: Editorial Committee, Journal of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Nursing.
  • 2018 – 2019: American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgeons Committee, representing nursing in development of clinical practice guidelines (CPG) for Meniere’s Disease.
  • 2014 – 2017: APRN Liaison, representing VISN 6 APRNS.
  • 2015 – 2017: American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgeons Committee, representing nursing in development of CPG in the evaluation of a neck mass.
  • 2017: Employee Education System Planning Committee, planning NP educational webinars nationally through the VA system.
  • 2017 – 2018: Fellows on Boards Committee to increase NP membership on boards through the AANP.
  • 2014 – 2016: Tracheostomy Committee Chair, responsible for implementing change, bringing in evidence-based practice and establishing protocols for tracheostomy and laryngectomy patients within the VA.
  • 2014 – 2015: Durham VA APRN Committee chair.
  • 2015 – 2016: Durham VA APRN Committee Co-chair.

Biggest Challenge Facing NPs and How AANP Can Help

In my opinion, the biggest challenge facing nurse practitioners in the delivery of health care are barriers to practice. Restrictions on practice based on the state you are licensed is an example of a barrier to practice. There is no reason why a NP who receives the same education, training and certification must practice differently depending on the state in which they hold licensure. Health care is a precious commodity, not available to all. NPs are poised to offer vulnerable populations high-quality health care. Those populations are often in rural, underserved areas where NPs are ready and able to assist. Unfortunately, these barriers decrease access to care for patients. AANP must continue to be at the table with local and state organizations, fighting to remove practice barriers. By utilizing state representatives, AANP can have further state reach to assist NPs with the battle to remove practice barriers. The health care landscape is rapidly changing. AANP must remain at the table, at state and national levels. Fighting for provider-neutral language in health care legislation, full practice authority to improve patient access to care and equal/fair reimbursement for services are just a few examples of how AANP can support NPs and the populations they serve.

Example of Initiative or Outcome of Leadership

I believe I am a visionary and have strategized ways to improve visibility for NPs at the local and national levels. I possess strong communication skills, organizational skills, ability to navigate systems and a strong work ethic, allowing me to lead by example. Currently I am the Chair of the Durham VA-Duke School of Nursing 8th Annual Advanced Practice Provider Symposium. When I came to the Durham, Virginia, nine years ago, I recommended that the NP committee host an educational day during NP week to promote our profession, increase networking and collaboration within the VA. This started with 30 attendees and has progressed to a national event with over 1200 attendees. As the 2020 Chair, COVID-19 has been a challenge. I was able to strategize a plan with our Duke partners and have the conference changed to virtual. During the conference, it was my idea to have our committee solicit nominations for an NP of the year award, which will highlight NP contributions to veteran care, nationally. I was able to secure a high-ranking VA official, Dr. Richard Stone, to be our keynote speaker who will hand out the award. My overall passion is to advance the NP profession.

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

As North Carolina AANP State Representative, I will work with local NP organizations to increase visibility of AANP and identify issues that impact NP practice issues. I will make sure those issues and concerns are communicated with the Region 4 AANP director. I will participate in AANP educational events and promote these events within the state. I believe my current roles as a practicing NP and clinical expert in otolaryngology, national leadership role as APRN Chair, adjunct faculty at Duke School of Nursing and leadership roles in other national professional nursing organizations all position me to empower and lead NPs. My passion is elevating the profession and I proudly do this by leading by example.