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Fostering Comradery Through AANP Communities

Practice Fostering Community and Comradery

AANP Communities — which include three new specialties — allow members to share expertise and gain a support system.

Whether you’re a nurse practitioner (NP) new to your specialty, a long-time health care provider or somewhere in between, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) has created a community for you. AANP Communities were designed so that NPs of any experience level can join and instantly communicate online with like-minded professionals about the development of theory and practice in a specialty; share insights into research and treatment; and network with other experts.

AANP Communities include Oncology, Gerontology, Wound Care, Entrepreneur, Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, International and many more. The newest additions — Hospice/Palliative Care, Functional Medicine and Primary Care — were just announced this September.

Communities Grow Alongside Expanding Interest in Palliative Care

The new Hospice/Palliative Care Community is co-chaired by Elena Prendergast, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, ACHPN, and Brett Snodgrass, FNP-C, CPE, ACHPN, FAANP. Snodgrass is currently employed at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, as the systems director of operations for palliative medicine. When asked about the dual focus of this new community, Snodgrass clarifies that “hospice is end of life care — which can take place when a patient has likely six months or less of life. Palliative care works with patients with life-limited illness with months, years or even decades of life to live — but they often have psychosocial and more complex symptom needs. The focus is on improving quality of life while helping patients and their families navigate and deal with their diagnosis.” The palliative care field, while relatively young compared to hospice care, is growing. Snodgrass explains that “while hospice has been around for many years, palliative care is a newer health care specialty. There are many new opportunities for NPs in this field and we are seeing more NPs fill the need for hospice and palliative providers in large numbers.”

One goal for the new community, she says, is to “support and educate those in the specialty and maybe those interested in the specialty.” As to why she wanted to take part in a community leadership position, she says: “I chose to take part as a co-chair because I love what I do and the patients we serve. I want to help support and educate our NPs to be the very best hospice and palliative providers they can be.”

A Place for Primary Care NPs

Julius Johnson, DNP, FNP-BC, RN, FAANP, and Robin Arends, DNP, CNP, FNP-BC, CNE, FAANP, are the co-chairs of the new Primary Care Community. Arends has a background as a “dual-certified family and psychiatric mental health NP who provides acute and chronic mental and physical health care to residents of long-term care faculties and assisted living communities through telehealth.”

Currently, Arends works as the APRN program director at South Dakota State University. As to why she decided to take part as a leader in AANP Communities, she says that she “chose to co-chair this community because primary care is critical for health and wellness. I wanted to connect with colleagues to learn the challenges they are facing, innovative ways to care for patients and support primary care providers.” Elaborating on what she hopes to see in her community, Arends says: “I look forward to discussions on what is occurring in primary care and making connections with other NPs.”

New Year, New Communities

The third new community, Functional Medicine, will be co-chaired by Erin Bagshaw, RN, MSN, C-ANP, and Efrat LaMandre, FNP-C, PHD. All AANP Communities are only open to AANP members and are $20 annually — prorated to your remaining membership term. AANP encourages all members to join an AANP Community — browse the communities today to see what forum fits your specialty.

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