University of South Florida College of Nursing alum, Jean Aertker, DNP, ARNP-BC, COHN-S, FAANP, ’80, was elected the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) Region 11 Director. Dr. Aertker was appointed for two years to lead AANP members in region 11, which includes Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and the Caribbean U.S. Territories.
“I am the Liaison between the states and the full board of the AANP,” Dr. Aertker said. “This role involves supporting the states, and promoting the annual nurse practitioner (NP) advocate and NP of the year awards. This role is to educate and inform individuals, legislators, and groups about our profession and how we are working to improve healthcare access and provide the highest quality of health care as dedicated leaders in the health care system.”
AANP, an organization that has more than 40 thousand members, leads NPs in transforming patient-centered health care. The organization’s vision is to also provide high quality health care for all by patient’s provider choice.
“Our goal is to have 100 percent participation of all advanced practice nurses belonging to our national organization that continues to advocate and promote our role in health care,” Dr. Aertker said. “USF College of Nursing is a major educational leader in Florida preparing nurses for our advanced practice role. I was a faculty member at USF College of Nursing teaching NPs when the AANP began, and have watched our presence in healthcare grow to provide care in so many areas, especially rural and underserved areas to expanding into highly specialized medical care. The need for Advanced Practice Nurses is being met by our great USF College of Nursing as we face a looming dilemma of projected shortage of primary care providers around the nation and especially here in Florida.”
Dr. Aerkter is the owner of Tampa Occupational Health Services, which has been providing employee health and wellness services for more than 16 years. She always stays involved with USF and the USF College of Nursing. She is currently a member of the USF College of Nursing Dean’s new Advisory Council, and is also the USF Nursing’s Cabinet Chair for the USF Unstoppable Campaign.
(Right to Left). USF College of Nursing alum, Dr. Jean Aertker, talking to USF College of Nursing Communications Specialist, Vjollca Hysenlika, during the College’s Coming Home celebration on Feb. 16, 2013
Dr. Aertker has been a great advocate for Nurse Practitioners to help bring recognition to the profession locally and regionally. In 2009, she was inducted as an AANP Fellow for the difference she has made in the profession over the years. “We have so much talent and expertise in nursing and our advanced nurse practitioners are doing so much now with alliances and partnering to create a better health care delivery system,” she said.
“NPs have been providing primary, acute and specialty healthcare to patients of all ages and walks of life for nearly half a century, starting in 1965,” Dr. Aertker continued. “NPs assess patients, order and interpret diagnostic tests, make diagnoses, and initiate and manage treatment plans – including prescribing medications. While each state has its own particular rules and laws regarding the practice of all health professionals, NPs are working to educate all to help us remove unnecessary practice barriers, in Florida particularly, that can potentially impact and delay patient care. NPs are the healthcare providers of choice for millions of patients. An NP is truly your partner in health.”
Dr. Aertker will be introduced as the new Regional 11 Director at AANP’s Annual Convention in las Vegas, Nevada being held June 19 through June 23, 2013.
For additional information on Dr. Aertker’s appointment visit the AANP website here.