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American Association of Nurse Practitioners Introduces First Executive Leadership Program Cohort

AANP Headquarters in Austin, Texas

AUSTIN, TEXAS (April 16, 2021) – The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) is honored to announce the cohort participants of its inaugural AANP Executive Leadership Program for nurse practitioners (NPs). Working in partnership with The George Washington University (GWU) School of Nursing, this program reinforces and further develops the personal qualities, relationship-building and problem-solving skills necessary for effective leadership, particularly at the executive level. Created as an extension of the AANP Introductory Certificate on Leadership multi-module series and advancing the curriculum participants gained through its successful completion, the AANP Executive Leadership Program has accepted 14 qualified NPs with diverse backgrounds from across the U.S. The program is conducted online this year in two weeklong sessions that began this week, April 12-16. The second part will run June 10-14. To ensure participants stay on track between sessions, the program will include a webinar on May 19.

Using curriculum developed by GWU School of Nursing and with an emphasis on content and ongoing coaching, top experts will equip these dynamic individuals to lead the next generation of NP professionals. Participants are required to complete specific assignments in advance of each weeklong session and to share their experiences and challenges for discussion and recommendations.

“In the first week, we are focusing on leadership of the self and tackling the topics of leaders as change agents, generational leadership, relationships, mentoring and executive presence. We will be covering topics such as quality, finance, advocacy and communication in the upcoming weeks,” said Kate Driscoll Malliarakis, PhD, ANP-BC, MAC, FAAN, associate professor, chair and program director of the GWU School of Nursing DNP Executive Leadership track. She added, “The format is participatory and includes lectures intertwined with group work. We are having fun and learning how to grow ourselves as NPs.”

Participants earn approximately 50 contact hours of continuing education credit upon program completion in addition to working toward developing the right mindset to influence others, make tough decisions and — most importantly — be effective in an executive role.

AANP President Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, shared her thoughts on this exceptional program, stating, “As advanced practice registered nurses, knowing how to conduct ourselves in all situations, sometimes under extreme pressure, prepares us to handle the challenges we’ll face with health care’s evolving landscape. The AANP Executive Leadership Program prepares our future leaders. It is an honor for AANP to launch this program and to introduce our first cohort of what we expect will be influential and compelling leaders of the future.”

The cohort of the 2021 AANP Executive Leadership Program includes:

  • Denise P. Blackburn, APRN, MSN, FNP-BC, of Mercy Health from Washington, Missouri.
  • Kimberly Broughton-Miller, DNP, FNP-C, ENP-C, FAANP, of University of Louisville Hospital from Georgetown, Indiana.
  • Rochelle M. Carlson, MSN, RN, GNP-BC, CRRN, of William S. Middleton VA Hospital and Clinics from Madison, Wisconsin.
  • Jessica Edgar, MSN, CPNP, of Make-A-Wish America from Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Teresa D. Gieron, MSN, RN, CCRN, AGPC-BC, of Optum from Hanover, Pennsylvania.
  • Janet L. Kubas, MSN, APRN-NP, BC, of Providence Heart from Columbia, South Carolina.
  • Kerrie Lasell, MSN, FNP-C, of CVS Health/Minute Clinic from Grafton, New Hampshire.
  • Karen Macauley, PhD, DNP, FNP-BC, GNP-BC, of the University of San Diego from San Diego, California.
  • Dawn Mutchko, DNP, APN, FNP-C, CENP, EBP(CH), of AtlantiCare Health System from Atlantic City, New Jersey.
  • Monica Nandwani, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, of Stanford Health Care from Palo Alto, California.
  • Elyssa Noce, MSN, APRN, AGPCNP-C, of Yale Nephrology from New Haven, Connecticut.
  • L. Douglas Smith, Jr., MSN, APRN, ACNP-BC, CCRN, CNRN, SCRN, of ICC Healthcare from Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Deborah Tedesco, DNP, APRN, ANP-BC, AP-PMN, CBCN, CWCN-AP, CWS, of Orlando Health Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery Institute from Orlando, Florida.
  • Robert J. Vadovic, RN, DNP, APN-C, of Intermountain Healthcare from Las Vegas, Nevada.

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