Nursing News

Meet the 2021 President-Elect Candidates

Voting for the NACNS 2021 Election is open now through November 30, 2020. With the positions of President-Elect, Secretary/Treasurer, Board of Directors, and Nominating Committee up for election, you don’t want to miss out on your chance to cast your vote.

To learn more about the Presidential-Elect candidates, read this Q&A about who they are and why they want your vote. You can learn more about the duties of this position here.

Click the link at the bottom of the page to cast your vote.

Susan Fowler, Ph.D., CNRN, FAHA (FL)

Please introduce yourself and briefly explain your work as a CNS.

Hello. I obtained my master’s degree as a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) in critical care with a subspecialty in the neurosciences in 1984 from CA State University, Long Beach.  During my 16 years of actively being a CNS, I was appointed to many AACN committees and task forces, including the NTI workgroup and research related groups.  I was proud to be appointed to the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association (NANDA) taxonomy committee when I was a CNS, advancing the nursing process focusing on nursing diagnoses.

What do you plan to bring to NACNS as President-Elect?

I plan on capitalizing on my previous board experiences for the role of NACNS president-elect. I have learned how to lead, engage board members, negotiate, and collaborate, have fun, and share a commitment to a vision and strategic plan.  My experiences as a CNS, Director, and researcher are diverse, including critical care, neurosciences, pediatrics, rehab, women’s health, NICU, and med/surg.  This knowledge should help me as President when NACNS needs to engage in activities that support critical legislation affecting CNS practice. Finally, I bring a deep, long-time commitment to the CNS role.  ‘Once a CNS, always a CNS!’

Phyllis Whitehead, Ph.D., APRN/CNS, ACHPN, RN-BC, FNAP (VA)

Please introduce yourself and briefly explain your work as a CNS.

Hello, I’m Phyllis Whitehead. I am a Pain Management and Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Specialist at Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, Virginia. I have worked as a Clinical Nurse Specialist since 2002 and am an active clinician, educator, and researcher. Additionally, I am a founding officer and member of the Virginia affiliate (VaCNS) since 2010 and am serving my second year as a NACNS Board of Directors (BOD).

What motivated you to run for President of NACNS?

I am running for President-Elect because I want to continue the advances that NACNS has made over the last several years. I am passionate about promoting the unique expertise of the CNS and value as an APRN. We must continue collaborating with Schools of Nursing to support existing and growing CNS programs. We can no longer stand for states to limit how CNSs practice by imposing archaic regulations. We must bring knowledge, passion, and excitement to the CNS role, and we must strive to have designated CNS positions within healthcare organizations.

I am passionate about promoting CNSs’ unique expertise and value as APRNs. We must continue our work with Schools of Nursing to stop the closure of CNS programs and grow new ones.