National Leadership Awards

The AANP National Leadership Awards honor two individuals who have contributed significantly to the national recognition and advancement of nurse practitioners (NPs). The awards are presented annually during the opening general session at the AANP National Conference.

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.

2018 Recipient

The 2018 Towers Pinnacle Award goes to Captain James L. Dickens, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, FAANP. Captain Dickens is a commissioned officer in the U. S. Public Health Service and, in this role, continually demonstrates a passion for the care of patients in a variety of settings. He has exhibited exemplary command of health care teams and the NP role while globally contributing to improved health outcomes in maternal and infant mortality rates as well as policy development leading to equity for all racial and ethnic populations. He served as the Officer in Charge of the 76-member Public Health Service Ebola Response Team, which provided health care relief in Monrovia, Liberia-West Africa, overseeing local Ebola response efforts. Capt. Dickens has made a true difference in the lives of patient populations worldwide and alerted the global health community to the critical NP role.

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.

2018 Recipient

Angela Patterson, DNP, FNP-BC, NEA-BC, Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer for Minute Clinic and Vice President, CVS Health, is the recipient of the 2018 Sharp Cutting Edge Award. Through her exemplary efforts and tireless work in advocating for hundreds of pieces of legislation in more than 25 states, improving health care through the retail clinic model and helping to set the standard for the use of electronic health records and record sharing in retail clinics, Dr. Patterson has consistently supported, strengthened and grown the NP workforce pipeline. She has demonstrated true innovation through establishing the first virtual share governance model of this scale in the country, impacting more than 3,000 advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and physician assistants (PAs). She has transformed advanced practice nursing in this era of globalization through exemplary leadership and innovation, both nationally and internationally.