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Candidate Corner - NANN Board of Directors

Welcome to Candidate Corner, where you can learn about the candidates for NANN's Board of Directors. We asked all the Board of Directors candidates to respond to two questions:

Top Issues: What are the top two neonatal nursing issues you believe NANN's board should address in the next 3 to 5 years?

Relevant Background: How have your background and experience prepared you to govern NANN as a member of the board?

To vote for the candidates, you will need your member number. Your member number is available under Membership Detail in My Account.

Candidates for the NANN Board of Directors


Senior Director of Neonatal ICU and Women's and Infant Services, Spectrum Health

Top Issues

NANN's mission is to be The professional voice that shapes neonatal nursing through excellence in practice, education, research, and professional development. The vibrancy of our professional practice, education, research, and professional development. The vibrancy of our professional organization is dependent on active and engaged members. Traditionally it has been the "seasoned" neonatal nurse and the advanced practice nurse who takes advantage of our annual conference and participates in volunteer activities. It is critical that we tap into the talents of newer neonatal nurses as well in order to increase our impact on neonatal outcomes. As there are increasing options available for NICU nurses to receive professional development and education regarding neonatal topics, we need to find new, exciting, and cost-effective ways to disseminate the latest evidence. Technology is changing rapidly and we must take advantage of social networking, e-learning, and other innovative methods of connecting with NANN and NANNP members.

NANN has been forming strategic partnerships with industry advisors, neonatal thought leaders, legislators and regulatory bodies. Advocacy for the neonatal population, both in the US and abroad, must continue to be a focus for the NANN board of directors. As the voice of neonatal nursing, we must be at the table as decisions are made that impact the delivery of care to neonates and their families. Although progress has been made in gaining access to decision-makers, it will be important for us to continue to ensure that our voice is heard.

Relevant Background

I have been privileged to sit on the board of directors since 2012, serving as SIG director at large and as secretary-treasurer. I understand the workings of the board, having served on the executive committee for the last four years. I have formed strong and effective relationships with our board members as well as our staff team.

In my work life, I have many years of experience supporting a large level IV neonatal ICU with over 350 staff members. I have had the privilege to work with a talented CNS and NNP team and appreciate the many capabilities they bring to the table. I am a calm, compassionate, and strong leader. I have administrative competencies in budgeting, strategic planning, and quality improvement; skills that transfer well to professional organization leadership. I have spoken at many local and national meetings and regularly present on leadership and neonatal topics. I will represent our organization in an articulate, thoughtful, passionate, and professional manner. I care deeply about NANN and am dedicated to its success; and through our members, I am committed to providing the best outcomes possible for babies and their families.

Director-At-Large Position #1

Bagwell WGail Bagwell, DNP APRN CNS
CNS-Perinatal Outreach, Nationwide Children's Hospital

Top Issues

There are many issues that are affecting neonatal nursing today, but I believe that the top two that should be addressed by NANN are staffing of NICU's both of bedside nurses and advance practice nurses and the implementation of evidence-based practice into the care of newborns and the implementation of evidence-based practice into the care of newborns.

Nursing is currently experiencing a shortage in all realms from the bedside nurse to the advance practice nurse. The shortage is expected to continue for several years into the next decade as more nurses began to retire. With the shortage comes increased competition from hospitals and departments within a hospital to get the best nurses and to retain them, as the cost of training a new nurse is expensive. I envision NANN playing a vital role in helping to recruit more men and women into nursing, specifically neonatal nursing, advocating for increased funding for nursing programs through federal monies, as well as give managers and hospitals innovative tools needed to help recruit and retain nurses in their units. Providing the best care possible to our tiniest of patients is the other neonatal nursing issue that NANN should be the leader on. The development of clinical practice guidelines and updating the current policies and procedures manual, using the best evidence available is essential to providing the best care possible. Whether you are caring for a 22-23 week premature infant, an infant with a cardiac or surgical defect to the healthy term newborn, NANN should be setting the standard. Increasing evidence shows that the care provided to our patients effects their long-term outcomes, well into adulthood. It is NANN's and all of our best interest to assure that all neonates start off life in the best way possible by providing the best evidence to guide their care.

Relevant Background

My experience as a leader in neonatal nursing has been varied throughout my career. I have served in various positions from a staff nurse, transport nurse, assistant nurse manager, case manager and clinical nurse specialist in a variety of settings. I have also chaired, currently chair or co-chair various committees such as the Safe Sleep Committee, the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Taskforce, and the neonatal conference planning committee within the hospital I am employed as well as the Ohio Region IV Perinatal Liaison network and the Ohio Department of Health Infant Mortality Taskforce Newborn Committee. I have also served in leadership roles as president-elect, president, and chair of committees with a variety of volunteer organizations like the former Central Ohio Association of Neonatal Nurses, the March of Dimes and my church.

In each of these roles, I have had the opportunity to work with a variety of leaders who have helped to develop and refine my leadership skills. In my earliest role as an assistant nurse manager I learned to develop a vision, do strategic planning for a large NICU, mentor new nurses and improve my interpersonal skills. I have continued to develop these skills through the variety of roles I have had both in neonatal nursing and in my volunteer roles. These skills have helped me as a current board member to work with others to develop a vision for the future of NANN and will continue to help me if I am re-elected.

Director-at-Large Position #2

Edwards WTaryn Edwards, MSN CRNP NNP-BC
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Top Issues

I would like to see NANN actively involved in healthcare policy, which includes involvement at the state and national regulatory agencies. In addition to healthcare policy, I would also like to see NANN involved in mentoring nursing students, neonatal nurses, and advanced practice providers. Mentorship creates a safe learning environment, promotes team work, and enhances the care of the most vulnerable patients.

Relevant Background

I have had formal and informal leadership training throughout my career. I have learned that each person has their own leadership style, which is based on their personality, values, and virtues. Being able to learn techniques to work with other leaders allows us as a group to share the same vision and work towards a common goal and achieve our outcomes.

I have mentored many neonatal nurses and nurse practitioners as well as other leaders, specifically on the DVANN board of directors. I served as a Leadership Mentor in the Sigma Theta Tau International's Maternal-Child Health Leadership Academy from 2012-2013 for a fellow clinical nurse at my hospital. We performed a continuous quality improvement project within the NICU to increase the number of infants fed according to their feeding cues. From 2013-2015 I served as the DVANN President and oversaw nine other positions. Most recently I have served as a Director-at-Large for NANN over the past two years. Our board of directors has worked tirelessly to strategically plan for NANN's future. My liaison positions include NANN Pages Editor, E-News, Special Interest Groups, and Chapters.

Staff Nurse Director-at-Large

Rebecca South resizedRebecca South, RNC-NIC
RN, Texas Health Resources Plano

Top Issues

My recommendation is that NANN Board focus on educational opportunities. Two important family centered care goals are:
1. Providing psychosocial support to parents whose infants are hospitalized in the NICU through staffeducation and support.
2. Providing through education, recommendations for palliative and bereavement care in the NICU through a family centered approach.

Relevant Background

Received my BSN in nursing from Baylor University, Waco, Texas and began my nursing career as a NICU nurse for 23 year. Currently working at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, Plano, Texas, Level III NICU. Received the Robyn Main Excellence in Clinical Practice Award in 2016. Served as Project Leader for 1st edition and future 2nd edition (now being updated) to NANN's Baby Steps to Home ; A Guide to Prepare NICU Parents for Home. NCC national credential as a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse, certified instructor in neonatal resuscitation, S.T.A.B.L.E. Coordinator/Instructor for Outreach Program. Founding President for Collin County Area National Association for Neonatal Nurses (CCANANN). Founder of Families Bridge to Caring Hands, a 501(c)(3) non-project program that supports the antepartum mothers. Sit on the Dallas Advisory Board for Hand to Hold, a national non-profit that provides support to NICU and bereaved families.


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