Stephen Ferrara, DNP, FNP, FAANP

Candidate for President-Elect

Campaign Message:

Our profession and AANP are at a crossroads. We face a proliferation of NP programs with varying requirements, attacks on the profession, stagnant legislative progress regarding practice barriers, and increasing the need to have an inclusive, diverse organization, reflecting the populations we serve. If elected president-elect, I will address each of these issues equally. My plan includes convening clinical educational experts to reform entry requirements and clinical experiences in NP programs. We must employ grassroots efforts and a sophisticated strategic plan to stem the attacks on the NP profession and leverage the enormous potential of our members and affiliates to move legislative priorities forward while ensuring that AANP reflects the populations we serve.

I possess the skills and experience to help guide AANP through these challenging times so that we can make significant strides towards an improved practice environment. I ask for your vote to move these critical issues forward.

Current Professional Position

Associate Dean, Clinical Affairs

AANP/ACNP Leadership Experience

2018 - AANP Board Liaison, Social Media Taskforce
2018 - AANP Committee Chair, Social Media Taskforce
2016 - Present: Region 2 Director, American Association of Nurse Practitioners
2012 - Present: Executive Director, The Nurse Practitioner Association New York State
2011 - 2012 President-elect, The Nurse Practitioner Association New York State

Biggest Challenge Facing NPs and How AANP Can Help

There are a number of significant challenges facing nurse practitioners (NP) in the delivery of health care over the next decade. First, educational preparation and rigor of NP programs must be addressed. AANP should serve as the convener for all stakeholders to re-examine and find consensus for entry standards, curriculum and clinical experience throughout NP programs. Next, arbitrary barriers for patients accessing care delivered by NPs must be completely eliminated. This includes pay parity, full practice authority, and federal issues such as the inability of NPs to certify home health care for Medicare beneficiaries. AANP should continue to support grassroots, as well as, coordinated efforts to gain legislative, regulatory and payor action to improve the health care environment. Additionally, our profession in under attack. Assaults from organized medicine are nothing new but we now face rogue attacks from fringe groups prevalent both on social and traditional media. AANP must ensure that baseless allegations are challenged with evidence and increase efforts to stay ahead. Finally, our organization must reflect the diversity of the patients we serve. We must leverage the untapped potential of our members. This includes finding ways for members to be involved, engaged and passionate about this association.

Example of Initiative or Outcome of Leadership

I believe that my education and experience has fully prepared me to lead AANP as president-elect. I have been fortunate to have experience in clinical practice, faculty/education, research, health policy and executive level leadership. My leadership style is transformational. I believe in anticipating issues while also addressing them as they arise and tackling them head on. One example of these skills included efforts to revise the organizational structure of the Nurse Practitioner Association New York State. Prior to my involvement as executive director, there was little cohesion among the chapters and they were largely operating in silos. We undertook a multi-year project to re-align the chapters and embrace a truly regional model. There were many challenges throughout the process but the transparency and frequent communication, both electronically and in-person, allowed us to transition to enhanced regionalization model. In addition, I have served on this current AANP Board of Directors for the last 4 consecutive years. I am acutely aware of the current challenges ahead of us and believe that I can quickly address them. For example, I am serving on the following committees: organizational structural committee, health policy conference committee, social media task force, and the CEO evaluation committee.

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

I have been on the Board since 2016 and had direct input into the evolution and refinement of the strategic plan. There have been tremendous strides made within the organization to operate strategically. The strategic plan now guides Board meetings, programmatic initiatives and budgetary spending. While the strategic plan is available for members to view on the website, I propose AANP work on messaging at meetings and conferences to discuss the strategic plan while concurrently engaging member input to help shape future strategic plans. Strategic plans should evolve and must be regularly revisited. Perhaps most important, member input is critical for success of the association. While we enjoy record membership numbers at the moment, this is not the time to rest on our achievements. If anything, we are a larger target and need to be nimble to respond to current and emerging challenges. I’ve been fortunate to have been interviewed on live national television, radio, podcasts, and other media outlets. I will utilize this experience to serve as a spokesperson for both AANP and for the profession to all stakeholders to promote the organization’s strategic plan and initiatives.