INDIANAPOLIS (June 18, 2019) — More than 4,000 nurse practitioners (NPs) will convene in Indianapolis for the 2019 National Conference of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) — where the organization will welcome Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, FNP, PNP, FAANP, as its new president. On Sunday, June 23, Thomas will officially take the helm of the Association, which is the largest organization representing nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties in the United States.
Thomas brings 23 years of experience as a family NP serving predominantly low-income and underserved populations in New Orleans, LA. She has held clinical roles as a family NP and pediatric NP. In addition to her clinical work, Thomas brings to her new post extensive teaching, leadership and advocacy experience. She is a past president of the Louisiana Association of Nurse Practitioners and an AANP board member.
"As we work to expand primary care access to more than 80 million Americans living in primary care shortage areas nationwide, I am proud to represent the voices of more than 270,000 nurse practitioners and countless patients. Together, we can ensure patients have access to high-quality health care delivered by the provider of their choice."
Thomas succeeds Joyce Knestrick, PhD, APRN, C-FNP who has served as AANP president for two years and is now AANP Immediate Past President.
Thomas earned a DNP from Loyola University in New Orleans, LA, a Master's in Nursing, Nurse Practitioner from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, a Master's in Nursing from Louisiana State University Medical Center and a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing from Northeast Louisiana University.
During the conference, NPs working in primary, acute, and specialty care will attend over 400 sessions and skill-enhancing workshops covering topics from diabetes management to safe prescribing practices to help combat opioid addiction.
This year, attendees will support Dress for Success, the international not-for-profit organization empowering women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. AANP members will donate professional clothing to women in need.
"This conference demonstrates our commitment to communities and patients across America," said outgoing President Joyce Knestrick. "We want America to know, when patients choose, patients win."
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 270,000 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 npfinder.com. For more information and to locate an NP in your community, visit WeChooseNPs.org .