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American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) Announces 2020 International Advanced Practice Nurse Ambassadors

AUSTIN, TEXAS – The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) International Committee has selected four health care professionals as 2020 ambassadors for the AANP International Advanced Practice Nurse Ambassador Program. Ambassadors are honored throughout the year and serve as AANP emissaries for life. These individuals will be recognized during AANPconnect: an online conference experience, which will run September 10 through December 31 this year. Invitations have also been extended for each to attend the 2021 AANP National Conference planned for Anaheim, California.

The 2020 honorees were chosen for their qualifications as health care providers and because they practice in countries where the nurse practitioner (NP) or the advanced practice nurse role is emerging. International ambassadors receive a scholarship to cover the cost of travel and accommodations to attend an AANP national conference, and their registration fee is waived. The AANP International Committee is hopeful the experience and insights gained by attending an AANP conference devoted to clinical education, policy and networking will stimulate ideas that could then be used in the ambassadors’ own countries. The ambassadors will be mentored by AANP International Committee members to help them gain new perspectives on providing NP care. The lasting connections between ambassadors and their program mentors help to build a network of ongoing work and communication. To facilitate a more widespread understanding of AANP and the NP role, the AANP International Committee also produced French, Portuguese and Spanish versions of the AANP brochure, Your Partner in Health — The Nurse Practitioner.

Now in its third year, the AANP International Ambassador Program was established primarily based on the recognized need by the AANP International Committee to encourage the development of NP and advanced practice nurse programs in other countries. Knowing there were NPs and NP advocates working on the role outside the U.S., the AANP International Committee believed initiating this unique program would lead to mutual learning. Thirty ambassador program applications were received in 2020 from 15 countries. Applications were vetted and four were selected to serve as ambassadors this year. Since the program’s inception in 2018, 10 health care professionals have been bestowed the honor to serve as AANP International Ambassadors.

“AANP funding through scholarships enables our international ambassadors to travel to the U.S. to attend an AANP conference, where they are immersed in the overall experience — to participate in educational sessions and network alongside others in their fields,” said Diane Padden, AANP Vice President of Practice and Partnerships, who oversees the program. “Our ambassadors gain insights they might not otherwise receive.”

The 2020 AANP International Advanced Practice Nurse Ambassadors are:

Headshot of Gaonyadiwe Dube

Gaonyadiwe Dube, PhD, MSN, BSN, FNP, RN, of Botswana, mentored by Deborah Gray, DNP, ANP-BC, FNP-C, FAANP.

A family NP (FNP), Dube has been a nurse educator at the University of Botswana in Gaborone, Botswana, since 2008. She teaches undergraduate and graduate health assessment and the NP specialty courses for those who specialize in FNP. She has served as the Master of Nursing Sciences program coordinator for all advanced practice nursing tracks since 2017, with the role of monitoring and overseeing the master’s program offerings and assisting students from registration through completion. Dube holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing from the University of Cape Town and a Master of Nursing Science (FNP) degree and bachelor's degree in Nursing Sciences from the University of Botswana. She has been the faculty counselor for the Sigma Theta Tau International Tau Lambda chapter for Botswana since 2018. She is currently a member of the seventh Nursing and Midwifery Council of Botswana and represents nurse specialists, which is the designation for all advanced practice nurses in Botswana. Clinically, she started a community health and wellness mobile clinic for Gabane, a community in rural Botswana.

Headshot of Samwel Wainaina Mwangi

Samwel Wainaina Mwangi, RN, BSN(s), of Kenya, mentored by Minna Miller, DNP, MSN, BA, RN, FNP-BC, NP(F), FAANP.

As a registered community health nurse/clinical NP and BSCN(s), Mwangi has extensive experience in regional, national and international leadership and policy development, as well as vast experience in tuberculosis care management and clinical nursing. He is a fellow of the Global Nursing Leadership Institute in Geneva and co-chair of the ICN NP/APNN Health Policy Subgroup. He is chair of the National Nurses Association of Kenya Recruitment Journal and Publicity Committee. Alongside this, he was recently nominated as African Forum for Primary Health Care-Advanced Practice Nurse Coalition country contact person for Kenya and participated in a 2018 high-level Africa Advanced Practice Nurse coalition.

Headshot of Maria Auxiliadora Rodrigues

Maria Auxiliadora Rodrigues, PhD(c), MSN, BSN, RN, of Brazil, mentored by Lorna Schumann, PhD, FNP-C, ACNP-BC, ACNS-BC, FAAN, FAANP.

A policy auditor and manager for nurses and advanced practice nurses, Rodrigues is also a nurse inspector, approved by public tender, of the Nurse Council in the state of Rio de Janeiro, working on ethical evaluation, adequate human resources, qualification of professionals and the nursing process. Currently, Rodrigues has a political and social position, working as Under Secretary of Primary Health Care in the county of São Gonçalo, the second largest population of inhabitants and nursing professionals in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Rodrigues is a doctoral student in Care Science at the Universidade Federal Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro. Her doctoral studies focus on telenursing for the elderly in the home care setting. In her master’s degree program, Rodrigues completed a research study about the quality of care offered to elderly people in long-term institutions. The published data had a great impact on Brazilian health care organizations and health care professionals.

Headshot of Nanako Tsukui

Nanako Tsukui, MSN, BSN, NP, RN, of Japan, mentored by Cathy St. Pierre, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, FAANP, and Pat Maybee, EdD, FNP, FAANP.

Upon graduation nine years ago from the first critical care NP course in Japan, Tsukui spent two years at Tokyo Bay Urayasu-Ichikawa Medical Center, where she continued her NP education from physicians who practiced with NPs in the United States. Tsukui was grateful for this opportunity, as Japan does not currently recognize the NP role, and NPs often practice with no prescribing authority under the direction of a physician. After working as an NP in the neurosurgery ward, Tsukui moved from one hospital to the next — 14 in total within four years — working as a general NP in medium-sized hospitals in remote areas and regions of Japan where there is a shortage of doctors, uneven distribution of doctors and medical depopulation. Tsukui currently works in general internal medicine on a ward for COVID-19 patients and will be working toward her PhD to study the role of NPs in remote areas.


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 290,000 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 NP patients and other health care consumers. As The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner®, AANP represents the interests of NPs as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered health care. For more information about AANP and AANP Fellows program, visit