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2022 National Leadership Award Recipients Announced

2022 national awards web

Media Contact: Bryan Black

Elizabeth McDaniel and Susan Kendig will be honored at the 2022 AANP National Conference in June.

AUSTIN, TEXAS — The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) is pleased to announce the national leadership award recipients for 2022 — two accomplished leaders who have increased the recognition of and further advanced the nurse practitioner (NP) role nationally or internationally. During the 2022 AANP National Conference in Orlando, Florida, Elizabeth McDaniel, MBA, MSN, FNP-C, will be presented the Towers Pinnacle Award and Susan Kendig, JD, WHNP-BC, FAANP, will receive the Sharp Cutting Edge Award.

The Towers Pinnacle Award was launched in 2013 by the AANP Board of Directors in honor of Jan Towers, Ph.D., NP-C, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP. It is presented annually to an individual who has made outstanding national contributions resulting in the increased recognition of NPs and the advancement of health policy or regulations. McDaniel, this year’s recipient, is a Director of Advanced Practice Clinicians for TeamHealth. During the COVID-19 pandemic, McDaniel demonstrated admirable strength and leadership by implementing innovative ways to ensure patients could access quality health care and by combating clinician burnout. Throughout her career, McDaniel has been instrumental in developing opportunities to advance the NP role through practice, education, advocacy and leadership. She has worked to lift barriers at local, state and national levels, with success evidenced by the implementation of advanced practice teams throughout the U.S.

The Sharp Cutting Edge Award was created in 1996 in honor of Nancy J. Sharp, MSN, RN, FAAN, and recipients of this award have shown leadership through innovative services, technologies or advocacy activities that have advanced NP practice and patient care on a national level. Kendig, this year’s recipient, was the first Director of Policy for the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health and has been a leading voice among women’s health NPs. Kendig has advanced preventive and maternal health and has frequently been the only NP serving on national, interdisciplinary health policy task forces and coalitions. A featured panelist at the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration’s first Global Summit on Maternal Mortality, which was broadcast internationally, Kendig works with the groundbreaking Nurses Improving the Environmental Health of Women and Children (NIEHWC) organization to address social determinants of health and increase equitable access to quality maternal health care.

"AANP is extremely proud to recognize the accomplishments of Beth McDaniel and Sue Kendig,” said April N. Kapu, DNP, APRN, ACNP- BC, FAANP, FCCM, FAAN, president of AANP. “These remarkable NPs have been instrumental in bringing people together to address the growing needs of patients and strengthen the health care workforce. Both exhibit leadership and aptitude when confronted with challenges. They have each worked diligently to expand the influence and reach of nurse practitioners everywhere. Beth and Sue are shining examples of what it truly means to be an NP.”

Both McDaniel and Kendig will be honored during the Opening General Session at the national conference on Wednesday, June 22.


The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. It represents the interests of the more than 355,000 licensed NPs in the U.S. AANP provides legislative leadership at the local, state and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education and research; and establishing standards that best serve NPs' patients and other health care consumers. To locate an NP in your community, visit For more information about NPs, visit

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