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Artist Erik Wahl on Sparking Creativity and Innovation in Nurse Practitioners

Erik Wahl Photo

By Heather Kays

The Power of Art

Art speaks to us in a way that other forms of communication and expression do not. With the weight of that statement in mind, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) chose talented artist and motivational speaker Erik Wahl as the opening general session keynote speaker for the 2022 AANP National Conference.

Wahl has tailored his presentation to fit the interests of nurse practitioners (NPs) everywhere.

“I am customizing my entire show for AANP,” Wahl said, during an interview with AANP. “I have been looking forward to this show from the time we booked it several years ago (pre-COVID-19). I have been counting down the days until show time. These NPs have been the lifeblood of our country and a source of healing and hope in every city and community for the last three years. I want to not only inspire them, I want to speak personally and directly to them and re-remind them of the heroism of their work.”

Wahl said his objective in speaking to AANP members is to highlight, “The sacrifice [NPs] have made and the depth of our appreciation for their calling.”

When asked why he became an artist, Wahl told AANP, “I found art to be an inspired channel of expression. Both for myself, in exploring my own personal introspection, as well as an outward expression of being an entertaining way to share intellectual content with large crowds.”

When Wahl presents to a large crowd, like he will at the upcoming national conference, he has one goal in mind.

“Helping others to unlock and unleash their own natural fountain of creativity,” said Wahl, adding that this is the most rewarding aspect of what he does.

Wahl has extensive experience in motivational speaking for many different groups over the years and stressed the importance of innovation and creativity in health care and said he hoped to communicate these vital messages to AANP members at the conference. One takeaway Wahl hopes AANP members who hear his presentation will walk away with is the ability to, “Think different. Unthink to achieve superior levels of performance.”

“Innovation and change are important in health care because they are baked into the foundation of what makes health care successful,” explained Wahl. “We need to learn to navigate the uncertainty of challenging the status quo. We need to embrace new ideas, new technologies and new ways of communicating to elevate health care into the future. Of course, it will involve uncertainty from time to time, but growth and comfort simply cannot co-exist.”

Wahl said his presentation for AANP holds a significant and powerful meaning for him regarding the way he feels about NPs.

“I want to recognize their work, inspire their minds and nourish their souls,” said Wahl. “Art has a uniquely amazing and unifying ability to express what words and logic simply cannot achieve.”

Attend the 2022 AANP National Conference and Hear Erik Wahl’s Exciting Presentation

Join AANP in sunny Orlando, Florida, for the largest NP conference in the United States! Attend for a week filled with continuing education (CE), exclusive keynote speakers, legislative and policy updates, hands-on workshops, lively exhibitors and much more. Plus, you'll have limitless opportunities for networking and fun with NPs of every specialty and practice setting. Registrants for the in-person conference will also receive access to the 2022 AANP National Conference on-demand package at no extra charge!

Register Now