Paula Christianson-Silva, DNP, FNP-BC, ANP-BC

Candidate for Nomination Council

Campaign Message:

As a primary care nurse practitioner since 1989, I have practiced in Michigan, California, Arizona, Texas, and overseas. I have been a clinical professor at UCLA, University or Arizona, and in 2019 started at UT Health San Antonio. I have led an interprofessional collaborative practice, co-developed a care model, researched DNP-NP outcomes, and developed global health programs.

I have helped to reshape several local and state NP professional organizations and led statewide health policy initiatives, recently completing a challenging presidency of the Arizona NP Council. In 2020 I was awarded the AANP Advocate State Award for Excellence from Arizona.

I would like to further advance the NP profession through national healthcare advocacy. Through a position on the Nomination Council I will be able to recommend qualified and visionary NP colleagues for appropriate positions and work with them on initiatives in alignment with AANP's Strategic Plan. I would appreciate your support!

Biographical Statement
Campaign Flyer
Curriculum Vitae

Current Professional Position

Assistant Professor, Clinical.

AANP/ACNP Leadership Experience

  • Arizona Nurse Practitioner Council (AZNPC):
    • Arizona Nurses Association (AZNA) President, 7/17 – 10/19.
    • Legislative Chair, 10/16 – 7/17.
    • AZNPC Expansion Committee Chair 9/17 – 10/18.
    • Arizona Nurses Association Public Policy Committee Member, 2017 – 2019.
  • Arizona Nurses Association Public Policy Committee Leadership Team, 2019.
  • Arizona APRN Coalition Member and Strategic Leadership Group Member working on AZ APRN Consensus Model Legislation, 4/15 – 10/19.
  • Arizona Medical Advisory Board for State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis, focused on provider education and improving access to Medication Assisted Therapy for Opioid Use Disorder, 11/17 – 8/19.
  • Southern Arizona Advanced Practice Nurse / Nurse Practitioner Society (SAZAPN/NPS):
    • President 1/15 – 12/16.
    • Vice President and President Elect, 4/13 – 12/14.
    • Board Member at Large, 1/17 – 11/18.
    • Legislative Chair 11/18 – 6/19.
  • California Association for Nurse Practitioners (CANP):
    • CANP Greater Pasadena Chapter President, 12/08 – 12/10.
    • Past President 12/10 – 12/12.
    • CANP House of Delegates (HOD), Delegate 2011.
    • CANP HOD Reference Committee Member 2011.
    • CANP HOD Reference Committee Chair, 2011.
    • CANP Homeless / Underserved Health Special Interest Group, Founder and Chair, 2010 – 2013.
  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners Membership Committee, 2011 – 2012.
  • Regular participant in Region 9 State Leadership Summits Regular participant at AANP Health Policy Conferences.

Biggest Challenge Facing NPs and How AANP Can Help

The biggest challenge facing the health of our nation is the large percentage of persons who do not have access to consistent, quality health care services and health education, leading to poor health outcomes compared to other wealthy nations. I have moved to a state whose governor turned down federal Medicaid funding and, as a result of this and a history of racial and economic inequities, 40% of our residents do not have health care access. AANP will play a huge role in addressing this problem. We need full practice authority for all APRNs in line with the APRN Consensus Model. Then we need compact legislation to allow APRNs to work across state lines and move more easily from state to state. And we need payor parity so that we are reimbursed at the same level as our provider colleagues. These will allow NPs to practice in rural and underserved areas and move into private practices in larger numbers. To live up to these challenges, we must continue our move to DNP level education within university schools of nursing. DNP graduates understand their broader role in population health, health care and health advocacy, and they are the innovative future leaders of our profession.

Example of Initiative or Outcome of Leadership

As a leader in several professional organizations, I took each of them through strategic development processes that created significant improvements in their structure, communication, membership, connection to other organizations and power to advocate for health policy changes. As President of Southern Arizona Advanced Practice Nurse / Nurse Practitioner Society (SAZAPN/NPS), I led the organization through the following initiatives: rewriting the bylaws; creating a staggered board member election cycle for board continuity; creating position descriptions for board member roles; using ENP Network to manage events and communicate with members; and increasing membership meeting frequency from quarterly to monthly. These efforts led to an approximately 200% increase in membership, increased meeting attendance and a major increase in revenue. I then created the SAZAPN/NPS Education/Research/Practice/Community Service Award to provide $1,000-$2,000 grants to members. Five awards have been granted annually to support members to attend educational programs, complete DNP Projects and fund NP-led community outreach programs in low income areas.

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

I am interested in serving on the Nomination Council because, as a former NP leader in three states and through my faculty position, I have worked with a large number of qualified and visionary NP colleagues around the country. I will recommend these colleagues to serve AANP in appropriate positions and work with them on initiatives in alignment with AANP's Strategic Plan. After gaining experience on the Nomination Council, I am interested in running for and serving in an AANP Board of Directors position.