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AANP Announces National Leadership Award Recipients

AUSTIN, TX -- The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is pleased to announce recipients of the AANP 2018 National Leadership Awards. The two awards honor individuals who have contributed significantly to the national recognition and advancement of nurse practitioners. The awards will be presented during the opening general session at the AANP 2018 National Conference in Denver on June 27.

The Towers Pinnacle Award was initiated in 2013 in honor of Jan Towers, PhD, NP-C, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP, a long-time health policy expert. The award is presented annually to an individual who, through policy, practice, or education, has made outstanding contributions resulting in increased national recognition for NPs and increased opportunities for NPs to provide care to patients.

The 2018 Towers Pinnacle Award goes to CAPT James L. Dickens, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, FAANP. Captain Dickens is a commissioned officer in the U. S. Public Health Service and in this role continually demonstrates a passion for the care of patients in a variety of settings. He has exhibited exemplary command of health care teams and the NP role, while globally contributing to improved health outcomes in maternal and infant mortality rates as well as policy development leading to equity for all racial and ethnic populations. He served as the Officer in Charge of the 76 member Public Health Service Ebola Response Team, which provided health care relief in Monrovia, Liberia-West Africa, overseeing local Ebola response efforts. Captain Dickens has made a true difference in the lives of patient populations worldwide and alerted the global health community to the critical NP role.

The Sharp Cutting Edge Award was created in 1996 in honor of Nancy J. Sharp, MSN, RN, FAAN, a strong supporter of the NP role and a leader in national nursing organizations. Recipients of the Sharp Award have shown leadership through innovative services, technologies or advocacy activities that advanced NP practice and patient care on a national level.

Angela Patterson, DNP, FNP-BC, NEA-BC, Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer for Minute Clinic and Vice President, CVS Health, is the recipient of the 2018 Sharp Cutting Edge Award. Through her exemplary efforts and tireless work in advocating for hundreds of pieces of legislation in over 25 states, improving health care through the retail clinic model, and helping to set the standard for the use of electronic health records and record sharing in retail clinics, Dr. Patterson has consistently supported, strengthened and grown the NP workforce pipeline. She has demonstrated true innovation through establishing the first virtual share governance model of this scale in the country, impacting over 3,000 APRNs and PAs. She has transformed advanced practice nursing in this era of globalization through exemplary leadership and innovation, both nationally and internationally.

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 248,000 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. To locate a nurse practitioner in your community, go to For more information about NPs, visit