National Association of Neonatal Nurses logo.

Leadership at NANN

NANN is governed by a ten-member board of directors consisting of three officers, six directors, and the chair of the National Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (NANNP), a division of NANN. Leadership at NANN is based on a defined set of competencies that speak to the qualities, capabilities, and expertise valued by the organization and critical to success in carrying out NANN's purpose.

NANN's Board of Directors

 

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President

Gail Bagwell, DNP APRN CNS

Gail A. Bagwell, DNP, APRN, CNS is a member of the Nationwide Children's Hospital Division of Neonatology team. She completed her undergraduate degree in nursing at West Virginia Wesleyan College, her master's in nursing at the University of Cincinnati and her doctor of nursing practice at Chatham University. Gail has held numerous roles in neonatal and pediatric nursing over her career and is currently Clinical Nurse Specialist for Perinatal Outreach. She is also a clinical instructor of practice at the Ohio State University College of Nursing Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program. Prior to becoming President, of NANN, she served on the Board of Directors, on committees, and as well as a past-president of the Central Ohio NANN chapter. She is a published author of book chapters in all six editions of the Kenner’s "Comprehensive Neonatal Care" textbook, the Encyclopedia of Child and Adolescent Development, Neonatal Nursing Care Handbook, edited the NANN Guideline for Newborn Safe Sleep and multiple journal articles. Gail's interests are neonatal abstinence syndrome, neonatal pain, breastfeeding, safe sleep to decrease infant mortality, newborn resuscitation/stabilization, and parent transition.

 

 

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President Elect

Rachael Edjou, NNP-BC APNP CPNP-PC

Rachael Edjou has been a neonatal nurse practitioner since 2010 and currently practices at Advocate Aurora in Wisconsin. She is dually certified as a NNP and as a primary care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Rachael was part of the inaugural class of NANN's emerging leader program in 2017, was chair of the NANN Professional Development Committee, is the immediate past president of the local Wisconsin chapter of NANN, current NANN board member and President-Elect for NANN. Her areas of interest include leadership/professional development, DEI work, NNP retention and orientation, neonatal resuscitation and edge of viability.

 

 

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Secretary/Treasurer

Luann Jones, DNP APRN NNP-BC NE-BC

Luann Jones was drawn to a neonatal nursing career after her son was born at 29 weeks gestation and spent 3 months in the NICU at Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH). She started working as a Student Nurse Assistant in that same NICU in 1993. She completed her BSN at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 1994 and became a bedside NICU RN at ACH in 1995. She graduated from the MSN-NNP program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) in 1998 & practiced as an NNP until 2012. She completed her DNP degree at UTHSC in 2009. Since 2012, Luann has served as the Neonatal Services Director at ACH which is the only Level 4 NICU in the state. Luann was a founding member & president of the Arkansas Association of Neonatal Nurses (ARANN) from 2018-2020.

 

 

 

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NANNP Council Chair

Bobby Bellflower, DNSc NNP-BC FAANP

Bobby Bellflower is Professor and Director of the DNP Program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), College of Nursing. She is also a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) for University Clinical Health- Regional One Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Bobby started with a Masters in Nursing and obtained her Doctor of Nursing Science (DNSc) degree 20 years ago. She was the Director of the NNP program at UTHSC until 2013 and left to manage a large group of APRNs at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital. She was recruited back to UTHSC to lead the large DNP program (250-300 DNP students) and move it forward on a national level. US News and World Report ranked our DNP program in the top 8% in the United States! Bobby has received the Daisy Award for inspirational leadership of faculty and was selected as a Fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). She is a member of multiple organizations, including NANN/NANNP, Sigma Theta Tau, National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty (NONPF) – Program Planning Committee, AANP, Society for Medical Simulation, etc. She has multiple presentations (both peer-reviewed and invited), publications, and grants for improving care in the Mississippi Delta Region for mothers and babies. Her educational interests focus on teaching APRNs evidence-based practice and continuous quality improvement (QI). It is up to APRNs to translate research into practice to provide the best care for our babies. We change outcomes for our babies, families, and communities by providing safe, high-quality, evidence-based care and continuous quality improvement!

 

 

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Director-at-Large

Jill Beck, MSN RNC-NIC

Jill has been a NICU nurse since 2002 after graduating from The College of New Jersey with her BSN and MSN in Nursing Education from Villanova University. She is a Clinical Nurse in the NICU at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. There, she worked on multiple QI initiatives across many disciplines and acted as a mentor for staff for their ongoing research. She is a proud Fellow of NANN’s 2018 Emerging Leader Fellowship. Through the Fellowship, Jill created and developed a podcast for NANN and is now the host of NANNcast! Her passion is creating a platform to share new innovations and hot topics in neonatology on NANNcast with the hope of creating better patient outcomes for our tiny babies! She is currently enrolled in the NNP program at the University of Connecticut.

 

 

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Director-at-Large

Media Esser, PhD NNP-BC APNP CCRN CWN

Media Esser has been a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner at Nationwide Children's Hospital and a NNP since 2010 and a nurse scientist since 2019. She also holds an NNP Program Chair, assistant professor position at Alverno College. She is the author of various book chapters and articles, most related to neonatal skin and infant diaper dermatitis. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, School of Nursing in 2019 and served as the past president for the Wisconsin chapter of NANN.

 

 

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Director-at-Large

Ashley Weber, PhD RN

Ashley Weber, PhD, RN is an Assistant Professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing and a NICU nurse at Rainbow Babies’ and Children’s Hospital and Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio. She graduated from The Ohio State University with a BSN (2010), MS (2012), and PhD (2016); her entire career has been dedicated to neonatal nursing. Dr. Weber’s NIH-funded program of research centers on designing, testing, and translating evidence-based family-centered care (FCC) interventions into NICU practice, so that families can safely and effectively manage infant care. Ashley has received multiple awards for her work, including prestigious Predoctoral and Postdoctoral fellowships, and a Career Development Award from the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). She is passionate about training nurses in evidence-based practice and quality improvement skills, and creating innovative partnerships between hospital, academic, and non-profit organizations. As a first-generation college student, Ashley is also a fierce advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and is a founding member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) DEI group.

 

 

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Director-at-Large

Julie Williams, DNP CRNP NNP-BC

Julie Williams is a nurse practitioner at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. She received her MS at Stony Brook University in 2013 and subsequently her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Maryland in 2019. Julie is an alumna of the Emerging Leaders Fellowship. She is passionate about developing nurses to become future leaders.

 

 

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Staff Nurse Director-at-Large

Jennifer Fries, BSN RNC-NIC C-ELBW

Jennifer Fries began working as a NICU nurse as a new graduate RN in 2012, when she graduated with her ADN from Fayetteville Technical Community College. She earned her BSN from East Carolina University in 2018 as a Graduate with Distinction and a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. She is passionate about professional development and volunteers as part of the team that develops the specialty certification exam for neonatal nurses, is an NRP Instructor Mentor, has been an Item Reviewer for the NCLEX-RN, and has participated in many other activities ranging from a bereavement conference panel to breastfeeding support. Jennifer has been honored to serve on the NANN Awards Selection Task Force and as a NANN Annual Conference Abstract Reviewer. Her areas of professional interest are neonatal resuscitation, staff nurse advocacy, and breastfeeding.

 

 

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Staff Nurse Director-at-Large

Erica Van Inwagen, BSN RN CCRN

Erica has been a NICU nurse since working as a new graduate in the Newborn Critical Care Center (NCCC) in 2006. She completed her BSN through Purdue University Global in 2018 and is very passionate about mentoring as she is the chair of the Mentoring Program in the NCCC. She has led many successful quality improvement projects in her unit. She is honored to be a graduate of the Emerging Leader Program through NANN and Synova. This program led her to get more involved with NANN, including joining the Board in 2020.

 

 

 

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Executive Director

Dionne Wilson

 

 

 

NANN's Past Presidents

  • 2016-2018: Lori Brittingham
  • 2015-2016: Regina Grazel
  • 2014-2015: Cheryl Carlson
  • 2014–2015: Pam Spivey
  • 2012–2014: Cheryl Carlson
  • 2010–2012: Susan Reinarz
  • 2008–2010: Lori Armstrong
  • 2007–2008: Peggy Gordin
  • 2005–2006: Robin Bissinger
  • 2003–2004: Catherine Witt
  • 2001–2002: Margaret Conway-Orgel
  • 1999–2000: Frances Strodtbeck
  • 1997–1998: Lynn Lynam
  • 1995–1996: Carole Kenner
  • 1993–1994: Patricia J. Johnson
  • 1991–1992: Linda Bellig
  • 1989–1990: Tracy Karp
  • 1987–1988: Charles Rait
  • 1984–1986: The organizational work of the association was led by an interim board of directors consisting of Linda Bellig, Patricia J. Johnson, Tracy Karp, Donna Lee Loper, Linda McCollum, and Charles Rait.

National Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (NANNP) Council

NANNP is governed by an elected Council composed of eight NNPs from across the United States. One of the eight council members is appointed chair and also serves on the national board of directors of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN). Council members exhibit NANN's core set of competencies and leadership qualities required to effectively lead the membership division into the future.

 

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Chair

Bobby Bellflower, DNSc NNP-BC FAANP

Bobby Bellflower is Professor and Director of the DNP Program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), College of Nursing. She is also a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) for University Clinical Health- Regional One Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Bobby started with a Masters in Nursing and obtained her Doctor of Nursing Science (DNSc) degree 20 years ago. She was the Director of the NNP program at UTHSC until 2013 and left to manage a large group of APRNs at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital. She was recruited back to UTHSC to lead the large DNP program (250-300 DNP students) and move it forward on a national level. US News and World Report ranked our DNP program in the top 8% in the United States! Bobby has received the Daisy Award for inspirational leadership of faculty and was selected as a Fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). She is a member of multiple organizations, including NANN/NANNP, Sigma Theta Tau, National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty (NONPF) – Program Planning Committee, AANP, Society for Medical Simulation, etc. She has multiple presentations (both peer-reviewed and invited), publications, and grants for improving care in the Mississippi Delta Region for mothers and babies. Her educational interests focus on teaching APRNs evidence-based practice and continuous quality improvement (QI). It is up to APRNs to translate research into practice to provide the best care for our babies. We change outcomes for our babies, families, and communities by providing safe, high-quality, evidence-based care and continuous quality improvement!

 

 

 

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Council Chair-Elect

Barbara Snapp, DNP APRN NNP-BC

Dr. Barbara Snapp works in the NICU at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dr. Snapp serves on the Executive Council of the Virginia Neonatal Perinatal Collaborative, is a recent board member of the National Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners and is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Neonatal-Perinatal Quality Metrics in addition to working with the University of Maryland Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Advisory Board.

 

 

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Council Member

Taryn Edwards, MSN CRNP NNP-BC

Taryn Edwards joined NANN before graduating from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Nursing in 2004. She started as a nurse at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) right after nursing school and found deep satisfaction in the care of critically ill neonates. In 2010, she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's School of Nursing with a Master of Science degree and began practicing as a neonatal nurse practitioner for the general, thoracic, and fetal surgery team within the NICU at CHOP. Edwards has participated in Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing's Maternal Child Health Leadership Academy as a leadership fellow in 2008 and as a mentor in 2012. She has also served as newsletter editor and President of NANN's Delaware Valley Chapter.

 

 

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Council Member

Jacqueline Guzman, MSN RN NNP-BC FNP-BC

Jacqueline L. Guzman began her nursing career as a CNA after high school, in New Jersey, and went on to earn her ASN/Nursing Diploma in 2001 from the Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center School of Nursing. She started work as a new graduate in the well newborn nursery and SCN and completed her RN to BSN at Kean University in 2003. She started working in the NICU at St. Peter's Hospital before transferring to RWJUH NICU where she did transport. She completed her MSN at Stony Brook University as an NNP in 2007 and has been working as an NNP for various groups from TX to CA, currently as a travel NP. Jacqueline currently staffs level II, III, and IV NICUs in WI, TX, and AZ. She has a leadership background and enjoys teaching. She recently graduated with her FNP in 2020 from Davenport University. Her passions are empowering future leaders and education. Jacqueline is truly honored to have the opportunity to be part of the NANNP council and advocate for NICU nurses, NNPs, and babies across the country.

 

 

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Council Member

Tosha Harris, DNP APRN NNP-BC

Dr. Harris knew she was called to become a neonatal nurse and care for critically ill neonates even before completing nursing school at the University of Louisiana at Monroe in 1999. She began her nursing career at LSU Health Science in Shreveport, Louisiana. After ten years collaborating with the extraordinary neonatal nurse practitioners in her unit, she decided to pursue her Master of Science in Nursing degree from Northwestern State University. While in school, Dr. Harris was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau. Dr. Harris and her family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 2012 where she began work as a neonatal nurse practitioner at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital (LBCH). The mentorships experienced during her time there were instrumental in honing her clinician and leader skills. In 2017, she accepted an inaugural position as one of two NNPs at a Level III NICU with an active delivery service in Tupelo, MS, and established the NNP role in that setting. Many NNPs have since followed her example. 2018 was a busy year for Dr. Harris as she graduated from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) with her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree and was selected for the second cohort of the NANN/Synova Associates Emerging Leader Fellowship. Since that time, Dr. Harris has presented at NANN annual conferences as both a podium and poster presenter, served as conference symposium planning committee member, served as volunteer faculty for the UTHSC College of Nursing, and performed as a manuscript reviewer for Advances of Neonatal Care. In addition, she is currently serving as editor of the NANN E-News bi-monthly newsletter. She has authored several articles for the newsletter in addition to contributing book chapters to neonatal texts. Dr. Harris’ current clinical practice occurs in Level IV NICUs throughout the country. Her practice continues to demonstrate the passion for neonatal care, especially practicing from a trauma-informed framework and empowering future clinicians and leaders of our profession through education and professional development.

 

 

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Council Member

Julie Sundermeier, DNP APRN-NP NNP-BC

Julie Sundermeier is a supervisor for the NNP team at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha. She graduated from Creighton University with her BSN in 1984, her MS in 1998, and her DNP in 2012. She is an advocate for advancing the practice of NPs, and more specifically, enhancing the profession for NNPs through education and legislation. She served on NANN's HPAC committee for several years and was a member of the Nebraska NP and the Nebraska Nurses Association legislative committees. She enjoys the challenge of extending her experiences outside the NICU walls and has been involved in several Medical Mission trips to Haiti and Kenya.

 

 

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Council Member

Dedra Teel, MSN APRN-CNP NNP-BC C-ELBW

Dedra Teel has been a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio since 2018. She graduated from Case Western Reserve University with her MSN in 2018 and BSN in 2015. She served on the Annual Conference Committee for two terms and continues to be a manuscript reviewer for Advances in Neonatal Care. She completed the Emerging Leader Fellowship in 2020. Her area of interest is extremely low birth weight infants and obtained her certification in 2020. She currently serves as the President of her local chapter, Northern Ohio Association of Neonatal Nurses (NOANN). As a NANNP council member, she plans to strongly advocate for the advancement of the neonatal nursing and advanced practice nursing profession.

 

 

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Council Member

Mary Whalen, DNP APRN NNP-BC

Mary Whalen is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing, with a clinical practice as an NNP at UMass Memorial where she works in a level III NICU. Mary received her doctor of nursing practice from Case Western Reserve University. While on the council, Mary hopes that NANNP can continue to be an active political force in moving the NNP role forward nationally so that all NNP's realize that ability to practice to their full scope of practice.