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The winners were announced at the annual National Conference for Nurse Practitioners (NCNP) held Nov.12-15 in Baltimore, Md.
At a time when health care remains in a state of flux, it's refreshing to realize there are many nurse practitioners (NPs) out there making changes for the better. Through leadership, determination, and old-fashioned hard work, these amazing clinicians are role models for students just entering the profession as well as seasoned NPs wondering how they too, can make a difference. This year,The Nurse Practitionerrecognized five outstanding individuals through its annual NP of the Year contest. One is a Lifetime Achievement Award for countless contributions to the NP profession, while the other four offer Honorable Mentions to NPs in the categories of Political Activism, Education/Research, Community Service, and Outstanding Clinician.
The winner of The Nurse Practitioner 's Lifetime Achievement Award is Loretta C. Ford, EdD, RN, PNP, FAAN, FAANP. Dr. Ford, known internationally as a nursing pioneer and extraordinary leader, was the cofounder of the NP role in pediatrics (PNP). With 38 years of experience, she has devoted her career to practice, education, research, consultation, health service, and championing the NP role.
Through her studies on expanding the nurse's scope of practice in public health nursing, Dr. Ford helped create the first pediatric NP model of advanced practice at the University of Colorado Medical Center. Further in her career, in an effort to unite nursing education, practice and research, Dr. Ford played a substantial role for a unification nursing model at the University of Rochester Medical Center as Dean of the School of Nursing and Director of Nursing in the University's Strong Memorial Hospital.
The recipient of countless prestigious awards, including the Gustav Leinhard Medal from the Institute of Medicine and the Living Legend Award from the American Academy of Nursing, Dr. Ford is also the author of over 100 publications on the history and role of the NP, unification of practice, research and important issues in advanced practice nursing. Most recently, Dr. Ford received the prestigious Elizabeth Blackwell, MD Award from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Currently, Dr. Ford is a consultant and lectures on the development of the NP throughout history, as well as on policy issues in advanced practice nursing.
Susan Wysocki, RNC, NP, FAANP, National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health (NPWH), Washington, D.C., recognized many years ago that patient care was affected well beyond the walls of her practice, and that recognition of NPs would not happen unless she reached beyond those walls.
Recently, she represented NPs at the Food and Drug Administration, crafting consumer information for menopausal hormone therapy. She constantly advocates that companies use provider neutral language in advertising. After all, nurse practitioners, physicians and other clinicians are all prescribers.
Ms. Wysocki's efforts can be seen in ads for certain women's health products, and she takes every opportunity to present herself before the media as an NP expert in women's health so that NPs are viewed as experts with a unique perspective on health issues. She also confers directly with members of congress on important women's health issues.
Diane Viens, APRN, DNSc, FNP, FAANP, Associate Professor, Yale University School of Nursing, New Haven, Conn., has been involved in NP education and practice for 29 years. During that time, she continued to practice, and is currently practicing at the Yale School of Nursing Women's Health and Midwifery Center.
Dr. Viens is active on the national level to ensure quality NP education, serving for 4 years as chair of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties' (NONPF) Education Committee, 2 years as President-Elect, and is currently in her second year as President.
She was a consultant for several NP programs in the United States and Canada. Dr. Viens also serves as a team member for nursing program accreditation site visits. Her research interests are in the area of NP practice patterns and the dilemmas of NPs. She is the author of several publications on NP education. Dr. Viens currently teaches health assessment and primary care at Yale School of Nursing.
Kathy Zambo, RNC, MSN, GCNS, CNP, demonstrates her commitment to the profession both clinically and in the community. She serves on the medical staff at Indian Health Service, Eagle Butte, S.D., on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation, is an HIV counselor, initiated a smoking cessation program in her area, and currently coordinates a weight management program.
Ms. Zambo provides weekly specialty clinics in diabetes and prenatal care, and hosts a weekly morning radio program to provide educational information to the public regarding wellness promotion and disease prevention. She was the first president of her professional organization, the Nurse Practitioner Association of South Dakota, and serves as her community legislative facilitator. Ms. Zambo writes health care articles for three different weekly newspapers at the community, college, and state level, has taught night classes to BSN nursing students at the community college level, and has served as a mentor for NP students.
Patricia Yeargin, MN, MPH, RN, ANP, received Honorable Mention for Outstanding Clinician. She was lead editor of the 2003 edition of Clinical Management of the HIV-Infected Adult, a comprehensive manual for NPs and PAs caring for HIV-infected clients, and is pleased with its wide internet posting (at http://www.aids-etc.org, among others).
Ms. Yeargin also arranges tailored HIV preceptorships for students and professionals seeking hands-on HIV clinical experience, and teaches HIV care to clinicians as part of her work with the Southeast AIDS Training and Education Center at Emory University, Atlanta. Ms. Yeargin collaborates with other schools within Emory University to teach NP and PA students, and consults with programs on bloodborne pathogen policies. In her spare time, she participates in several Internet-based forums to support and encourage NP preceptors and budding activists, as well as to help improve the understanding and treatment of HIV.
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