Sarah Sparks, DNP, APRN, NP-C

Candidate for Region 10 Director

Campaign Message:

Greetings to my NP colleagues in Region 10!

I am running for the position of Region 10 Director for AANP. I have served for the past three years as the Idaho state representative and have so enjoyed being a part of this excellent organization. My goal as the Region 10 Director is to develop relationships with NPs throughout the region so that a network of NPs is developed to be resources for one another, particularly on health care policy issues. It is vital for all NPs to be connected to AANP to have a unified voice for NPs throughout the United States, and I want to be your local connection to AANP. I have a passion for bringing NPs together as I have seen so many times how when we work together that we are able to achieve amazing things for NP practice and for our patients.

Current Professional Position

Nurse Practitioner

AANP/ACNP Leadership Experience

AANP Idaho state representative 2017-present
Nurse Practitioners of Idaho Past President 2017
Nurse Practitioners of Idaho Executive Secretary 2019
Recently elected Nurse Practitioners of Idaho President-Elect for 2020 and will be president 2021

Biggest Challenge Facing NPs and How AANP Can Help

I think there are many challenges facing NPs in the delivery of health care, and the two major challenges over the next decade will be a shortage of health care providers and the transition of payment for health care services to the new quality model. These issues can be addressed by AANP by continuing to be involved at the national level to help mold health care policy to facilitate educational programs for NP students and to make sure that the funding for NP educational programs is robust. NPs can and should fill the primary health care provider gap, and AANP should continue to advocate for this for NPs. AANP can continue to work with federal and state groups regarding the transition of health care reimbursement to the quality model to be sure that NPs are included in each discussion as vital health care providers throughout the United States.

Example of Initiative or Outcome of Leadership

My strengths as a leader are being a good listener, organizational skills, motivated, loyal, honest, and dedicated. I follow through with tasks and manage others' involvement in tasks to keep them motivated and make sure they finish in a timely fashion. I am able to motivate others to excellence and have had some great success with this. I completed my Doctor of Nursing Practice project on increasing uptake of the human papillomavirus vaccine. It was amazing to see how my leadership on this project and education of my staff regarding this vaccine and all of its benefits to our patients produced excellent champions for the vaccine. Even though the formal project is completed, I am still witnessing how my nursing staff is advocating for this vaccine to our patients. The staff who was involved in this project has even helped to train our new staff about this vaccine. It is amazing to see how leading others to greater knowledge and teaching them how to express this to others truly makes a difference. I also enjoy being connected to other NPs and am considered a resource for policy and practice questions for NPs throughout the state.

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

My goal is to create excitement in NPs in Region 10 to be advocates for their practice. I feel that getting NPs involved at a grassroots level in advocacy can be very powerful. In Region 10 we have a unique situation as being a full practice authority region which is amazing, however, this does not mean that our work is finished. There continue to be many barriers to overcome for NPs to practice at the full scope of our license and to be have pay parity for our work. I want to continue to empower all NPs in my region to strive for excellence in all arenas and to share with them the important work that AANP is doing in advancing NPs throughout the nation. I want to continue to educate the public throughout the nation about the NP role and how we can be their partners in health. I think that working with the NP organization members in each state is an important way to achieve this goal. Once the public is educated about NPs and the excellent health care we provide, this will automatically lead to further recognition about NP leadership and authority in health care.