Search term is required Close Search

2023 National Leadership Award Recipients Announced

2023 National Leadership Awards 2000x750

Media Contact: Bryan Black

Drs. William E. Rosa and James Q. Simmons will be honored at the 2023 AANP National Conference in New Orleans.

AUSTIN, TEXAS — The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) is pleased to announce that William E. Rosa, PhD, MBE, NP-BC, FAAN, FAANP, is the 2023 AANP Towers Pinnacle Award recipient, and James Q. Simmons, DNP, MSN, RN, AGACNP-BC, BSJMC, is the recipient of the 2023 AANP Sharp Cutting Edge Award. Both nurse practitioners (NPs) are exemplary leaders who have made significant contributions to advancing the NP role nationally or internationally.

The Towers Pinnacle Award was launched in 2013 by the AANP Board of Directors in honor of Jan Towers, PhD, 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.

William E. Rosa
William E. Rosa

Rosa, the 2023 AANP Towers Pinnacle Award recipient, is an assistant attending behavioral scientist in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He is a palliative care researcher with a focus on increasing health equity, who has contributed to more than 150 academic publications and is the editor of four books. Rosa’s work centers on identifying and advocating for systemic change to increase palliative care access and eliminate the disparities that disproportionately affect people of color in economically developing nations. Rosa co-created the curriculum for the first graduate nursing program in Rwanda and helped implement the first nurse-led, community-based palliative care program in Liberia. He has been recognized as an International Council of Nurses Global Nursing Leadership Institute Scholar, an American Psychosocial Oncology Society Health Equity Scholar, a Robert Woods Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar and a Cambia Health Foundation Sojourns Scholar.

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.

James Q. Simmons
James Q. Simmons

Simmons, the 2023 AANP Sharp Cutting Edge Award recipient, is an acute care NP who is widely known for his “Ask the NP” social media presence. Using this platform, he provides reliable and relatable insights about complex health care topics. With a passion for illuminating issues that may be misunderstood or controversial, Simmons is often sought by the media as a trusted health care expert due to his engaging manner and extensive critical care experience. He is a founding and continuing Clinical Ambassador with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Let’s Stop HIV Together” campaign. In this role, Simmons works with patients and communities to increase awareness about the importance of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and safe practices to prevent the transmission of HIV.

"It is with great admiration that AANP recognizes the accomplishments of William Rosa and James Simmons,” said April N. Kapu, DNP, APRN, ACNP- BC, FAANP, FCCM, FAAN, president of AANP. “These remarkable nurse practitioners exemplify the leadership, advocacy and clinical excellence for which NPs are known. Billy and James have a passion for the populations they serve that is evident to all. They are trailblazers who inspire all NPs to continue researching, innovating, advocating and educating as, together, we work to improve patient care.”

Rosa and Simmons will be honored on Wednesday, June 21, during the Opening General Session at the 2023 AANP National Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.


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

Committed to supporting you in all areas of your career with a wealth of practice resources.