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Press Releases : 2015 Press Releases

Top Nursing Association Announces 2015 Emerging Leaders

Thursday, August 13, 2015  
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Top Nursing Association Announces 2015 Emerging Leaders

— The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses Expands

Professional Development Opportunities for Members —


Washington, D.C., August 13, 2015 — The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) today announced its 2015 class of emerging leaders. Launched in 2007, the WHONN Emerging Leaders Program engages nurses in a formal, year-long leadership training program. Activities include guidance from mentors, networking events, meetings with congressional staffs, multiple continuing education opportunities, and other experiential training to build confidence and leadership skills among participants.


The Emerging Leaders Program is made possible through a one-year educational grant from the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future. “We are thrilled to continue to recognize AWHONN’s Emerging Leaders Program,” said Andrea Higham, Senior Director, Global Corporate Affairs, and The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future. “We believe it is vital to contribute to the development of strong leaders in the nursing profession and to support these individuals in the growth of their career.”


“On behalf AWHONN, I would like to extend a warm welcome to the 2015 class of Emerging Leaders. I’m amazed at their incredible achievements thus far in their varied careers,” said AWHONN’s CEO, Lynn Erdman, MN, RN, FAAN. “Additionally, we would like to thank Johnson & Johnson for their support of our nursing leadership.”


The AWHONN Emerging Leaders Program places special emphasis on fostering diversity — in age, race and gender — among its prospects. Participant selection is based on each applicant’s skills, experience and enthusiasm for women’s health and perinatal nursing. The 2015 emerging leaders are:


        Jennifer Vanderlaan, MPH, MSN, RN, lives in Decatur, GA, and is the owner of an educational website, Birthing Naturally, for expectant parents, childbirth educators and doulas. She’s been in the nursing field for more than six years and is currently enrolled in a PhD program at Emory University.

        Courtney Howard Weekley, MSN, APRN, RNC-OB, ACNS-BC, from Lexington, KY, works as a clinical nurse specialist in maternal care services. She holds a Master of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Kentucky, which she received in 2012. She has been in nursing for more than eight years.

        Jessica L. McNeil, MSN, RNC-OB, lives in Carrollton, TX, and serves as a clinical educator at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Additionally, she is an adjunct professor at Baylor University in the Louise Herrington School of Nursing.

        Shelly Lopez Gray, MSN, RNC-MNN, IBCLC, of Baytown, TX, works as a clinical nurse coordinator at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. She also works for Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital as a maternal-newborn nurse. She is the author of a popular blog called Adventures of a Labor Nurse and is currently studying for a doctorate in nursing practice from Grand Canyon University.

        Stacy McNall RN, MSN, CLC, lives in Janesville, WI, and is the director of the Family Birth Center at St. Mary’s Janesville Hospital where she manages a team of 18 clinicians. She earned her MSN at the University of Phoenix and is also a certified lactation consultant.

        Tracy Whitman, BSN, RN, of Scranton, PA, is a charge nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Moses Taylor Hospital and an obstetrical clinical instructor at Pennsylvania State University. She has been in nursing practice for more than eight years and is currently pursuing her Masters of Science in Nursing from Drexel University.

        Sandra J. Edson, MSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM, from Williston, VT, serves as a clinical nurse educator for the labor and delivery department at University of Vermont Medical Center. She has been working the obstetrics nursing field more than nine years and received her MSN from Norwich University.

        Lori-Ann Satran, RN, BSN, MS-L, IBLCE, lives in Phoenix, AZ, and currently works as a nurse manager in the OB couplet care/lactation services department at Honorhealth Scottsdale Shea Medical Center. She has been working in the maternal nursing sector for more than 23 years.

        Satran received her Master’s degree in Leadership from Grand Canyon University. Laurie Collins, BSN, RNC-MNN, from Miami, FL, is employed at the Baptist Health South Florida in the Mother Baby/Women’s Services Unit. She currently serves on the Quality Council, Diabetic Resource, and Mock Code Pink Drill Team. She acquired her RNC-MNN certification and is currently studying for IBCLC boards.

        Annette Penn, BSN, RNC, of White Lake, MI, is an administrative nurse manager at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital in the birthing center. She was nominated for the Clara Ford Award for Nursing Excellence and has been in the nursing field for more than 18 years. 


For more information on AWHONN’s Emerging Leaders program, please visit


For media interviews, contact:

Kelly Mack for AWHONN





Since 1969, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) has been the foremost authority promoting the health of women and newborns and strengthening the nursing profession through the delivery of superior advocacy, research, education, and other professional and clinical resources. AWHONN represents the interests of 350,000 registered nurses working in women's health, obstetric, and neonatal nursing across the United States. Learn more about AWHONN at


The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing's Future

The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing's Future is a multi-year, $50 million national initiative designed to enhance the image of the nursing profession, recruit new nurses and nurse faculty and help retain nurses currently in the profession. Launched in February 2002, the Campaign, works in cooperation with professional nursing organizations, schools, hospitals and other healthcare groups to promote opportunities in nursing and increase awareness of the value of the nursing profession to our society and America’s healthcare community. To learn more, visit: or follow on Facebook:

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Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

AWHONN is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #CEP580. Accredited status does not imply endorsement by AWHONN or the American Nurses Credentialing Center of any commercial products displayed or discussed in conjunction with educational activities.

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