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Colleen Walsh-Irwin, DNP, ANP-BC, AACC, EBP-C, FAANP

Candidate for Region 2 Director

Colleen Walsh-Irwin

Campaign Message:

I have been actively involved with my NP organizations at the local, state and national level. It is my belief that our profession and my career would not be where we are today without our professional organizations. I have always been a servant leader, serving the people that I represent. My responsibility, if I were elected, would be to serve your interests within our organization. I would like to increase our membership numbers and the diversity of our organization. AANP is an incredible organization and I would be honored to represent you.

Current Professional Position

Associate Director, Evidence Based Practice

Leadership Experience in the Past Three Years

AANP Cardiovascular Specialty Practice Group Co-Chair 2019- present AANP New York State Liaison (South) 2023 AANP Fall Conference Committee Chair 2023 Associate Director for Evidence-Based Practice 2022-present American College of Cardiology Federal Leadership Committee (term ends April 2024) Certificate of Specialization in Leadership and Management from Harvard Business School Online

Biggest Challenge Facing Nurse Practitioners and How AANP Can Help

The biggest challenge that NPs face in the delivery of health care is the barriers to practice as completely independent licensed professionals. AANP continues to address this through advocating for health care policies and state regulations that remove these barriers. The Health Care Policy Conference is another opportunity that AANP has provided for us to go to Congress and make our issues known to our Representatives and Senators. Our Governmental Affairs staff keep us updated with regular emails about what issues are being addressed in Congress. I think we can improve on this message by using our Regional Directors and State Liaisons to spread the message to all Nurse Practitioners. Another way we can continue to get this message out is by increasing our membership numbers. Increasing our membership will bolster our message to our legislators because there are strength in numbers.

Example of Initiative or Outcome of Leadership

I have been described as a servant leader by my colleagues for years. While running a busy department with inpatient and outpatient responsibilities in my hospital and chairing many national committees in my organization, I have been responsible for allocating resources of all kinds. Some of the work I have done in my organization included improving NP productivity (which was published) and improving access to care. My colleagues tell me I have a great way of making people feel included. I think this is key when you want people to become a member and participate in an organization. Being cognizant of the importance of diversity and inclusivity is particularly important to me. I have also had the pleasure as serving as President (as well as President-Elect and Past-President) of my regional NP organization which is the largest in the state. During this time I was able to increase membership significantly by going to organizations to talk about my regional and state organization as well as having a very successful membership drive. I have had the wonderful opportunities to be a Co-Chair for an SPG, Chair Fall Conference and be State Liaison which has taught me so much about AANP.

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

While all of the points of the strategic plan are important, I am most passionate about Goal D. I think that we as an organization are made of our members and our focus has got to be increasing our membership and our diversity. I have been active in trying to increase our membership by hosting an AANP table in the exhibit hall at my state conference, informing NPs and student NPs about all of the benefits of our organization. I also had the opportunity to speak at the National Indian Nurse Practitioner Conference last year (and will again next month) about AANP. Not all members want to receive information in more traditional ways. During COVID we needed to pivot when in-person conferences were not possible. As a Co-Chair for an SPG we created a webinar with other co-chairs to offer our members an on-line opportunity. I think promoting our on-line educational offerings, the podcasts as well as sharing all of the AANP membership resources is important to increasing our membership. Listening to our members and making them feel heard is the best way to grow as an organization.