National Leadership Awards

Nominations for the 2020 AANP National Leadership Awards, which will honor two individuals who have contributed significantly to the national recognition and advancement of nurse practitioners (NPs), closed on March 11.

Towers Pinnacle Award

The Towers Pinnacle Award was initiated in 2013 in honor of Jan Towers, PhD, NP-C, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP, a long-time health policy expert. The award is presented annually to an individual who, through policy, practice or education, has made outstanding contributions resulting in increased national recognition for NPs and increased opportunities for NPs to provide care to patients.

2020 Recipient

The 2020 Towers Pinnacle Award will be presented to Sheldon D. Fields, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, AACRN, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, for his long-term work as a front-line family nurse practitioner (FNP) in the fight against HIV/AIDS. In 2009, Fields was the first male nurse chosen to be a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow. He worked as a health care policy advisor for Senator Barbara Mikulski, whose office played a key role in the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a nurse leader, Fields’ work with the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) — the world’s largest HIV nursing organization — demonstrates his strong commitment to nursing research and practice. Fields’ work as an NP and scientist transcends both behavioral and clinical trials, and he was recently selected as a co-investigator on a large, multi-site Phase IIb/Phase III clinical trial (HIV Prevention Trials Network [HPTN] 083) investigating an injectable medication for HIV prevention. His work continues to move the field of culturally tailored prevention science forward while increasing awareness of NP-led clinical trials and scientific excellence both within the HPTN, as well as in the global field of HIV research.

Sharp Cutting Edge Award

The Sharp Cutting Edge Award was created in 1996 in honor of Nancy J. Sharp, MSN, RN, FAAN, a strong supporter of the NP role and a leader in national nursing organizations. Recipients of the Sharp Award have shown leadership through innovative services, technologies or advocacy activities that advanced NP practice and patient care on a national level.

2020 Recipient

Mary Jo Goolsby, EdD, MSN, NP-C, FAANP, will be awarded the 2020 Sharp Cutting Edge Award. Goolsby has held a variety of professional practice, administrative and teaching positions, leveraging all opportunities to increase awareness of the NP role and challenge barriers to full practice authority. Her latest innovative and entrepreneurial endeavor was the establishment of the Institute of NP Excellence (INPE), which promotes excellence in NP practice and outcomes that are based on evidence and research. During her 11 years on staff with AANP, Goolsby created the AANP Fellows (FAANP) mentorship program, as well as the FAANP Forum Committee, both of which have been very active and have impacted hundreds of NPs. An emphasis on the technology, innovation and advocacy needed to impact and advance the NP role is evident in her more than 60 research projects, publications (three books, more than 30 articles and more than 100 presentations) and positions as a practitioner, educator, leader, researcher, mentor and national officer. Goolsby’s critical research has been conducted, analyzed and published, leading to improvements in NP-provided patient care.