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Candidate for Oregon State Liaison

James Sims

Campaign Message:

I am a tireless advocate of the NP role, working to increase the visibility of nurse practitioners as clinicians who provide high-quality care to diverse populations and as individuals capable of leading healthcare organizations. As a leader, I present information to overcome barriers that may limit the ability of NPs within an organization. I am highly organized and have a strategic viewpoint that is helpful when envisioning future potential. My leadership potential has continued to evolve, first when I stepped into a section chief role in 2014 and advocated for changes to allow my appointment as primary care division chief in 2020. I have served as a previous chair of my statewide organization. As your Oregon State Liaison, it would be my honor to continue this work for all Oregon NPs so that each of us can reach our fullest potential.

Biographical Statement

Campaign Flyer

Curriculum Vitae

Current Professional Position

Primary Care Division Chief

Leadership Experience in the Past Three Years

  • Board Member — Cascadia Community Care Alliance
  • Board Member — Clinically Integrated Network (PeaceHealth)
  • Chair — Oregon Network Clinical Integration Council Oregon Network Primary Care Division Chief (Adult and Family Medicine, PeaceHealth)

The goal is to serve as Oregon state liaison if selected by the membership and then pursue a regional director position.

  • Completed cohort 2 of the AANP Executive Leadership Program (2022)
  • Past president Nurse Practitioners of Oregon

Biggest Challenge Facing Nurse Practitioners and How AANP Can Help

The biggest challenge, which has been ongoing, is the perception that NPs are not adequately trained upon graduation to serve as primary care providers without physician support in such functions as managing patient panels. Having the capacity to meet the ever changing needs of the healthcare environment will require that all clinicians work to the fullest extent of their training and ability to improve the overall health of the population. Restrictions on full practice authority, on both the state and federal level, must be eliminated in order advance population health and overcoming the misconceptions regarding NP knowledge will be key in eliminating those restrictions.

Example of Initiative or Outcome of Leadership

I have been an advocate for many years of the NP role within the organization, working to increase NP responsibility within our organization. I volunteered to take on leadership roles within the organization whenever the opportunity presented itself. I have served as a section lead and the APC representative on the network operating council. I believe in pushing the boundaries and seeking answers as to why a physician would be more qualified to lead than an NP. I use research and evidence to support my belief that an NP can lead and serve to address clinician and patient needs. In 2021, the current division chief elected to retire, and I decided to apply for that role. Historically, this position had only been held by physicians. It was necessary to develop partnerships and support with other physician leaders, advocating for change in the position requirements to allow an NP or PA to apply for the position. This change was made and in March 2021, I became the first nonphysician division chief within PeaceHealth. In the future, others will be able to assume this role as the change was made system-wide in both the outpatient and acute care settings.

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

  1. Work to increase knowledge of the NP role within the professional community and public, identifying and correcting inaccurate information regarding the role and ensuring that patients can choose an NP as their primary care provider whenever available.
  2. Advocate for NPs to step into leadership roles across the healthcare continuum, modeling leadership behaviors that would support allowing NPs to fill those roles whenever possible while identifying those individuals who can step into the positions vacated by current NP leaders. Work to improve presence and representation within the state organization to advance the priorities of both state and national NP organizations.
  3. Supporting the inclusion of NPs in all payment models advanced within the state, including ACO models, to ensure that patients receiving care from NPs are counted in membership populations so that they are adequately compensated for the care provided.
  4. Establish partnerships with schools of medicine to access simulation labs to improve access to procedural training to increase the availability of necessary services to diverse patient populations in limited access areas.