National Leadership Awards

Nominations for the AANP National Leadership Awards, which honor two individuals who have contributed significantly to the national recognition and advancement of nurse practitioners (NPs), will open on February 4, 2020. 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.

2019 Recipient

The 2019 Towers Pinnacle Award was presented to Joyce Pulcini, PhD, PNP-BC, FAAN, FAANP, for her significant contributions to NP practice and patient care through policy work, development programs and international support of the NP role. Her expertise on the evolving roles of NPs throughout the world, focusing on NP education, reimbursement, political advocacy and removal of barriers to practice, and her work to establish one of the first international journals for NPs have greatly enriched the 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.

2019 Recipient

The 2019 Sharp Cutting Edge Award was presented to Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, FAAN, for her tireless work as a champion of advanced practice nursing and as a staunch advocate for the NP role. Through her appointment as administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) by President Barack Obama in 2009, she directed key elements of the Affordable Care Act. Her work on health care issues at the international level and as a consultant for the Global Programme on Aids at the World Health Organization has improved access to health care for millions of patients and played a major role in strengthening the nation’s health care safety net.