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Candidate Corner - NANNP

Welcome to Candidate Corner, where you can learn about the candidates for the NANNP Council. We asked all candidates to respond to two questions:

Top Issues: What are the top two neonatal APRN issues you believe the NANNP Council should address in the next 3 to 5 years?

Relevant Background: How have your background and experience prepared you to lead NANNP as a member of the NANNP Council?

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 NANNP Council

Council Position #1

Timoney resizedPaula Timoney, DNP ARNP NNP-BC
Clinical Associate Professor, Stony Brook University

Top Issues

An immediate issue is the future of the NNP role. There remains a shortage of NNPs which is being perpetuated as universities are suspending NNP programs in favor of more popular specialty programs such as family nurse practitioner. NICU administrators are hiring PNPs, FNPs, and PAs into the NNP role. As per the NCSBN Consenus Model (2008) and NANNP White Paper (2014), it is in the best interest of our fragile patients to employ those trained in the pathophysiology and management specific to the neonatal population as NPs in the NICU. In order to address this issue, 1. NANNP needs to attract and recruit neonatal nurses to become NNPs; 2. NANNP must advocate for post graduate neonatal specific education for PNPs, FNPS, and PAs who are interested in working in NICUs.

Secondly, the NNP workforce shortage requires employers to design flexible schedules for NNPs. Nurses are not attracted to NNP roles, with a lifelong schedule of working 12 hours shifts, 7 days per week. Many students are choosing the PNP track since PNPs experience more "flexible schedules." Innovative strategies are needed to attract nurses to the NNP role.

Relevant Background

Throughout my career, I have demonstrated leadership in education, practice, research, and service. I have held numerous leadership positions in professional organizations, including NANNP, as well as in my work experience. While serving on the NANNP Council from 2010-13, I co-chaired the Task Forces to revise the NANN Educational Standards and Curriculum Guidelines for Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs and also the NNP Workforce Survey.

Education: In 1989 I co-founded the Florida Association of NNPs and developed the first and only certification review course for NNPs. I have maintained active participation in conference planning and currently serve on the BOD of FANNP. Currently I am the Director of a large distance education NNP Program and senior faculty in the graduate nursing program. I mentor students in the graduate and DNP programs.

Practice: For many years, I was the Director of the Advanced Practice Providers at large pediatric institution in the southeast. I had strategic planning and fiscal responsibility as well as that of leadership roles on the Clinical Policy and Clinical Practice Committees.

Research/Evidence-based Practice: In my role as clinical associate professor in the neonatal nurse practitioner program and post graduate doctoral program, I mentor students and new nurse practitioners in review of evidence based practice and the presentation of posters at several regional and national conferences. My previous work with NANNP and currently with FANNP involves development and dissemination of evidence based practice and research. I have received several grants to support research into effective teaching pedagogies in distance education.

Service: In addition to leadership roles in professional organizations, I am a member of the Stony Brook University Senate and the Assistant Presiding Officer of the Faculty Assembly of the School of Nursing. I am active in community activities, most notably, the Past President of my neighborhood association.

Howard resizedKristin Howard, DNP NNP-BC
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Children's Hospital Colorado

Top Issues

A critical issue facing NNPs is the staffing shortage, which has multiple levels. Besides the overall shortage of practicing NNPs, there is an increasing number of NNPs leaving the profession and a limited number of new graduate NNPs. I am currently serving on a NANN task force that is working to address the retention aspect of the NNP shortage. This task force is developing a white paper, with recommendations for NNP retention, after the main barriers to remain working were identified. Our goal is to provide a document endorsed by our national organization for NNPs to take to their organizations to help with negotiations to alter the work environment to accommodate senior NNPs. Experienced NNPs may not want to work full time clinical hours, however, there are other options to utilize their skills and expertise and not lose them from the profession entirely.

The NANN Recruitment and Retention Task Force is also working to recruit more nurses to become NNPs. They are trying to identify obstacles for nurses to pursue an advanced degree and ways to overcome them. If we do not overcome the shortage of NNPs, hospitals will be forced to find other providers to fill the positions. It is imperative for our profession and patients to ensure there are adequate numbers of NNPs to provide the care required by our specialty population.

It is imperative the NANNP council be an advocate for the profession and for our patients in the everchanging healthcare arena. The NANNP council must remain the voice for NNPs in order to maintain the integrity of our profession. Nurse Practitioner practice standards are dictated by state practice acts and NANNP involvement is essential for the appropriate advancement of that legislation. Our professional organization is an essential part of ensuring the integrity of the NNP role.

Relevant Background

I believe my work ethic, dedication, value system, and support of those around me helped to achieve the honors and recognitions I have received. MY leadership style is to lead by example. When I expect others to do something or maintain certain standards, I believe it is essential to hold myself to the same.

At different times in our lives active membership in our national organizations is not always possible but when the time is right, it is important to be active and involved. Since finishing my doctoral degree, I am working to be a more active member of NANNP. This past January I was accepted to be a member of the AWHONN Emerging Leader Program as an inaugural member from NANN. Being a member of this program represents an amazing opportunity to have a more active role in the organization and the NNP profession. The leadership roles I have had in the past have helped me develop basic skills essential to being a leader. I think the emerging leader program will help me to hone and utilize those skills to be a leader in the advanced practice arena. All of my previous experiences and current program involvement provide me with a solid foundation for leadership and resources for future roles. I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work closely with and observe leaders I admire and respect over the years. Being able to observe how others lead has given me valuable first hand knowledge about how effective leaders function.

Council Position #2

Welch-CarreElizabeth Welch-Carre, MSN EdD APRN NNP-BC
NNP II, Children's Hospital Colorado

Top Issues

We will need to continue to address scope of practice issues. To date, there are still 12 states with restricted practice and 16 with reduced practice. With shortages of providers, it is important that advanced practice nurses have full practice authority.

Reimbursement payments will also be a an agenda item that will need to be addressed. There will be changes to the health care system over the next several years. The move toward care teams means that APRNs will need to have a well-defined role that is a value-add. Within that context, APRNs will need to advocate for reimbursement of the care that they provide either within an inpatient hospital setting or an outpatient clinic.

Relevant Background

I am a former manager of a large NNP group that covered several hospitals of various levels. Thus, I have several years of management experience. I am also a currently practicing NNP, so I understand the issues that face NNPs and other APRNs today. Furthermore, I have been a member of the HPAC committee for several years and focused on advanced practice scope of practice. I am also a current member on the NANNP council.

McDonald resized

Karen McDonald, DNP APRN NNP-BC CPLC
Faculty, Wilmington University

Top Issues

1. Standardization of scope of practice for all states equally.
2. LACE

Relevant Background

My experience as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, DNP Faculty, NANN Board of Director, Health Policy and Advocacy Member and member of the State of Delaware Infant Mortality Task Force have prepared me in many ways to be a NANNP Council Member.

First as a NNP I have learned caring, empathy, and aspects of the care of the neonatal patient and their family. While it takes a lot of skill to take care of these patients, caring and empathy are a skill that is very useful when working in a committee situation. We need to be aware of how our positions as well as the positions of others will affect our membership.

NANN Board of Directors taught me how to work will with others, compromise and accept constructive feedback. I think that these may have been some of the hardest things I have learned, but they have certainly helped me grow in my professional as well as my personal life.

As a member of the HPA committee, I learned and am still very active in advocacy issues regarding, APRN practice, Healthcare Reform, Neonatal and March of Dimes issues as well as State of Delaware Issues. I currently teach a DNP class regarding learning how to advocate.

I also enjoy meeting new people and mentoring others. I think this skill is very helpful in our small neonatal world. Teaching the Neonatal Nurse Practitioners of the future is a task that cannot be taken lightly. In essence we are educating our replacements in the NICU. Many studies have shown that the average age of the NNP is increasing requiring the field to educate replacements for the retiring, but also it is suggested that the general overall need for NNPs is also increasing. Therefore, teaching and mentoring are skills thatare needed.

Council Position #3

Snell WMoni Snell, MSN RN NNP-BC
Neonatal Clinical Associate, Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region

Top Issues

NANNP needs to focus on increasing our membership by increasing our visibility locally, nationally and internationally. APRN's are an integral member of the health team in promoting and supporting healthy outcomes for newborns. With our unique blending of nursing and medical expertise, we are the leaders in our workplaces and academia. Our voices can only become stronger , together. APRN's have common goals whether we work in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, and beyond. Healthy newborns and families is the outcome of nurturing our education and health first. APRN's want to be up to date on current evidence based practices and NANNP will remain relevant if we continue to be the leaders in providing quality educational products and align our goals with those of our APRN colleagues. APRN's work in many different practice settings and NANNP wants to have a representative membership so that we can assess our members professional development needs and then strategically plan how best to meet those needs. As a Canadian NANN and NANNP member I have always strived to understand how our health care systems are similar and different. I feel I bring a unique perspective to the discussions and work we undertake by challenging Board and Council members to think globally.

Relevant Background

I have been practicing as a NICU nurse for the last 38 years. Within the same unit, I have practiced as staff nurse, a neonatal nursing educator, a transport nurse, and currently a practicing NNP for the last nine years. I am actively involved as an NRP Instructor & Instructor Trainer and STABLE instructor for our Provincial Perinatal Education Outreach Program. I have been a member of numerous committees over the last three decades within my health region as well as provincially to advance excellence in care and promote optimal outcomes for our newborns. I am involved with our provincial regulatory body to help set standards for practice and competence assurance. I have spoken at and planned many conferences locally and nationally. I have been priveleged to be mentored by and learn from some of the leaders in our locally and nationally. I have been priveleged to be mentored by and learn from some of the leaders in our neonatal profession. I have also had the honor of presenting at several NANN conferences in the last few years. I have been a NANN member for 20 years and served on the Board of Directors, the Program Planning Committee and NANNP council from 2004 to 2017. In 2015 I founded RESKANN, an affiliate of NANN based in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada to encourage neonatal nurses locally to become involved in a professional non-profit organization. I was also able to make NANN membership a requirement of being a RESKANN member and thus introduced 30 new members to become involved in the NANN community and attend the NANN conferences the last two years. NANNP is evolving and emerging as an essential partner in an APRN's professional journey and I would like the opportunity to continue to serve for another two years to contribute to our growth.

Bellflower resizedBobby Bellflower, DNSc NNP-BC
Associate Professor and Director DNP Program, University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Top Issues

1. NANNP is the leading agency for policy and advocacy for NNPs and their patients. In the next few years, NNPs will be doctorally prepared for entry into practice. As the leading agency, we should research and have input into changing our educational systems to competency or content based instead of content based education. As NNP faculty, our responsibility is to educate NNPs with breadth and depth of competency, not just count the hours of clinical and didactic education.

2. NNPs are providing significant amounts of care and management of ill and preterm newborns in many NICUs and other sites. In order to fully actualize our role, NNPs should be active in leadership roles of the medical staff, hospital and institution by-laws, and credentialing committees. Most institutions do not allow APRNs to participate in medical staff activities, by-law committees and credentialing committees. These committees make decisions about OUR practice without input from APRNs. NANNP has the ability to advocate for the full actualization of our NNP role, but it will require strong, cohesive work.

Relevant Background

For the past 30 years, I have worked as a NNP in Level III and Level IV NICUs. For 15 of those years, I was the manager of the NNP service at both a Level III and Level IV NICU. Currently, I teach in the NNP Program and am the Director of DNP Programs. While working at the Level III and IV NICUs, I was the local lead for two national QI projects, developed and completed several evidence-based practice projects, served on the research council, and served on the Credentialing Committee for one hospital. I have been involved in education of NNPs since 2000. Other experiences include participating in NANN and NANNP, serving in several capacities for NANN, participating in ANA and TNA, publishing several articles and book chapters and, most of all, provided care and management for babies and their families.

 Have you reviewed the candidates for NANN's Board of Directors? To learn more about them and the top issues facing neonatal nurses, check out their Candidate Corner.

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