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Celebrating Nurse Practitioner (NP) Leaders During National NP Week

Np Week

Discover the various ways NPs go above and beyond to lead in their own communities.

Held annually, National NP Week celebrates the exceptional work of NPs across the country and serves to inform policymakers of the benefits patients experience when they have full and direct access to NP-delivered health care. This year, Nov. 7-13, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) is celebrating NP Week by highlighting all the ways NPs go the extra mile in their communities.

During these unprecedented times, NPs have served as vital leaders in their places of practice and communities. They treat their patients with compassion, provide person-centered care and continually expand their professional knowledge, often while advocating for the advancement of NPs. According to Nancy J. Sharp, MSN, RN, FAAN, for whom the AANP Sharp Cutting Edge Award was named, “If you want to make a strong impact, such as influencing policy or legislative changes, you must join an association. Numbers count. When more individuals join the group, the group has more power and strength.”

The strength of NPs goes beyond providing essential health care services for patients. NPs often hold a variety of leadership roles, responsibilities and titles, like those exemplified by past recipients of the AANP Sharp Cutting Edge Award and Towers Pinnacle Award. The recipients of these awards showcase how NPs can lead through policy, practice and education to help increase patient access to NP-delivered care. Now, join AANP in recognizing some of the ways NPs have forged the path forward while learning how you can take the lead in your clinical practice.

How NPs Lead in Their Communities

NP leaders make their voices heard in their communities. Within these local, state and national organizations, NP leaders harness the collective voices of their fellow practitioners to organize, enrich and advocate for NPs everywhere. Such is the case for Jennifer Wilbeck, DNP, ACNP-BC, FNP-BC, ENP-C, FAANP. With more than 20 years of experience in emergency health care — including pre-hospital, emergency department, critical care access and trauma care — under her belt, Dr. Wilbeck’s qualifications and experience as an emergency nurse practitioner (ENP) precede her.

Dr. Wilbeck’s position as an ENP advocate helped establish the first dual ENP program in the U.S. She has since become a driving force in standardizing ENP education — hosting lectures across the country and heading the ENP program as a professor of nursing at Vanderbilt University. In addition to her work as a professor, Wilbeck serves as the executive director of the American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners (AAENP).

For all her outstanding work in leading the way for standardized ENP education and excellence in emergency health care, Dr. Wilbeck was inducted as an AANP Fellow in 2016. If you lead the way for NP-delivered health care in your community, then consider reviewing the following information and resources to help determine whether you are ready to pursue membership in the Fellows of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP) program.

How NPs Lead in Developing New Models for Health Care

Beyond serving their own communities and their organizations, many NPs go on to blaze a new trail in the field of health care. In the ongoing effort to improve access to high-quality care, these NPs find themselves working to make health care more affordable, dynamic and available to patients in all communities.

One of those professionals is Michelle Edwards, DNP, FACHE, FAANP. Dr. Edwards works as the chief experience officer (CXO) for Providence Health Care Systems, where she leverages nearly 25 years of health care experience to promote compassionate, high-quality health care to vulnerable populations. Dr. Edwards has spent more than a decade in leadership roles advocating for the creation of sustainable health care practices and financially responsible initiatives with powerful outcomes.

Similarly, at Avance Care, AANP Region 4 Director Frank Manole, DNP, MBA, FAANP, is working to change the landscape of health care as we know it. His goal as vice president of operations at Avance Care is to develop and execute strategies that improve access to quality, affordable care across the board. A seasoned health care leader, Dr. Manole remains focused on strategy. Dr. Manole previously oversaw clinical operations for more than 40 clinics while serving as the senior practice manager for CVS Health – MinuteClinic.

Through their leadership, NPs like Drs. Edwards and Manole have helped develop new health care delivery models in some of the largest health systems in the country, often while aiding their local communities and fellow NPs. It is this leadership and commitment to quality that proves NPs are shaping the future of patient-centered health care as we know it.

How NPs Lead in Local Government

Every day, NPs stand together and advocate for their patients and their colleagues. AANP is proud to be The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner® and stand up for the right of patients to have full and direct access to the health care provider of their choice. By advocating for Full Practice Authority at the state level and important federal issues, NPs across the country have established themselves as role models for their fellow health care professionals and are leading positive changes in their own communities.

Beth Haney, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP, FAAN, has led the way in her city of Yorba Linda, California. As current city councilwoman and former mayor of Yorba Linda, Dr. Haney serves her community with the goal of promoting communication, health and safety and increasing awareness of homelessness. When not working on her responsibilities as a councilwoman, she takes care of her patients as the owner and founder of a private aesthetics and wellness practice.

Dr. Haney’s journey of leadership can be traced back to before her time as an elected official. While working as the assistant professor of nursing science at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), Dr. Haney developed the first and only UCI inter-professional aesthetic courses for health care professionals. In addition to this, Dr. Haney represented her fellow NPs by serving as the president of the California Association for Nurse Practitioners.

Since 2017, Dr. Haney has collected National NP Week proclamations from 19 of the 34 Orange County cities and the Orange County Board of Supervisors. If you’d like to follow in Dr. Haney’s footsteps this National NP Week, then review this year’s proclamation and encourage your local elected officials to sign in support of NPs in your area.

Learn More About These Incredible NP Leaders and Take Part in NP Week

Do you want to learn more about NP leaders like Drs. Wilbeck, Edwards, Manole and Haney? Listen to the latest episodes of NP Voice: The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner® to hear these and other NPs’ stories firsthand and find out what it takes to be a leader in your community.

If you’re looking for other ways to celebrate National NP Week, then check out the NP Week Guide to review a sample news release, talking points, an NP fact sheet, community activities, a media interview guide, posters and more.

Listen to the Official AANP Podcast