After a Six-Year Labor of Love, A&M-Corpus Christi Professor Joins AANP

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – One Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi professor has taken the next step in furthering her career and advancing the careers of others. Dr. Jessica Peck, associate professor of nursing DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC, CNE, CNL, has been named as a fellow to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) for her outstanding work in policy-making, advocating for pediatric victims of human trafficking on a local, state and national level. Peck is the second Island University professor to be accepted as an AANP fellow.

“To be selected as part of this prestigious group is an incredible honor and privilege. AANP works to impact global health and is dedicated to advancing the nurse practitioner profession,” said Peck. “I look forward to working collaboratively to achieve these goals.”

The AANP application process is a long and rigorous one requiring the nurse practitioner to make exceptional contributions to the field, maintain an active status with AANP and identify two AANP members to sponsor the applicant. Peck began working on her application in 2012 and was finally able to submit in September 2017. She received notification that her application was accepted in March 2018; nearly six months later.

“It’s a long process, but the work is worth it,” said Peck. “Nurses are historically underrepresented in medicine and having the kind of presence and credibility that AANP gives us amplifies our advocacy voice for our patients and other NP professionals.”

Through this fellowship, Peck will have access to a wide network of nurse practitioner professionals, increasing her scope of influence in the medical profession and allowing her to work with other nursing professionals to tackle important health care issues. Peck looks forward to utilizing this network to allow her students to further their nursing careers.

“It’s important for nursing students, especially those pursuing their doctorate of nursing practice, to have resources,” she said. “It helps them grow as future nursing professionals who will go on to make significant clinical impacts with quality outcomes.”

Although Peck’s main body of work focuses on human trafficking, she also works as a certified nurse educator, pediatric nurse practitioner and certified clinical nurse leader, along with teaching classes at the Island University. She came to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to help create the Doctor of Nursing Practice program and has developed and taught courses in informatics, genomics, and advanced clinical practice.

She has also served on multiple boards, including as regional representative for the Board for Texas Nurse Practitioners, two terms as secretary for the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP), Texas State South Representative for the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, as well as serving as the chair of the Alliance for Care Coordination for Children and Human Trafficking, an outreach of the newly formed NAPNAP partners. Along with her impressive body of work, Peck also acts as a voice for other nurse practitioners in Texas.

“In our state, nurse practitioners can’t practice to the full scope of our education and training, said Peck. “In Texas, we want to bring the unique perspective of nurses forward and have a bigger role in meeting state healthcare shortages, expanding access to quality, affordable care.”

AANP, formed in 2013, serves as the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners nationwide. As part of AANP, Peck looks forward to joining the over 696 other fellows to participate in AANP yearly conferences and fellow retreats, where she and others will work to advance the NP profession. Peck, along with 63 others, will be inducted into AANP during the AANP 2018 National Conference on June 28, in Denver, Colorado.