Nursing faculty member inducted as Fellow of the AANP

Dr. Michelle Skipper, a nurse practitioner and director of the ECU College of Nursing’s doctor of nursing practice program was inducted as a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) at the AANP annual meeting on June 20 in Indianapolis.

Skipper’s contributions to the nursing profession began decades ago, and this honor was cultivated from the services she contributed in response to Hurricane Matthew, Hurricane Florence, in her work as a faculty member for the College of Nursing and advancing the nursing profession.

The AANP represents a national nurse practitioner community of 99,000 nurse practitioners. The AANP is led by a board of directors that dedicate their expertise to secure a place for NPs’ and their patients’ voices to be heard wherever significant discussions on health care exist. Regional directors and state representatives fighting for health education and advocacy also make up the leadership within the association.

University leadership at ECU also values fighting for others through the rural prosperity initiative. The efforts Skipper extends out of this value are reflected in her work in her local community. Skipper’s efforts to be an advocate and supporter for people in eastern North Carolina and its communities reflect ECU’s dedication to the East through the Rural Prosperity Initiative—a combined effort to improve life, health, education and employment for all.

“Rural transformation for me happens in the community. Our church is a site for feeding children and adults twice monthly,” Skipper said. “We are also hosting a free medical clinic once a month in partnership with Goshen Medical Center and we are partnering with the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Grant to host an Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care workshop locally.”

Skipper takes pride in being a part of a national circle of diverse professionals who represent universities that are educating the next generation of nurse practitioners.

“There’s another Fellow in Goldsboro and there are two in Wilmington,” she said. “Other than that, in this part of the state where we need nurse practitioners so desperately, there are not others that have moved to this level, so I hope that I’m the first of many.”

Skipper received the Governor’s Award for Public Service for helping St. Pauls residents in the aftermath Hurricane Matthew in 2016. She resumed her hurricane relief efforts to help residents affected by Hurricane Florence in 2018.

As a fellow, Skipper hopes to continue advancing women’s health care as a champion of health care choices in reproductive rights, as well as in academia by helping to find and implement solutions for health care workforce shortages, particularly in rural areas.