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Rebecca Cypher, MSN, PNNP
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Rebecca Cypher, MSN, PNNP
Washington, Region I

  • Video Introduction
  • Bio
  • Q & A

Video Introduction



Rebecca is a proven nursing leader with 30 years of front-line perinatal nursing experience, including a 20-year active duty Air Force career. After serving in a variety of roles and locations, including an Iraq deployment, her professional path led to a perinatal nurse practitioner and nurse entrepreneur career. A dedicated and loyal member since 1989, she’s a strategic thinker that’s assisted AWHONN move forward as a nationally respected organization by holding multiple elected leadership positions including Section Chair and two Board of Directors terms.

Additionally, she served on numerous committees including the AWHONN Fetal Heart Monitoring revision groups, state-wide perinatal advisory taskforces, and maternal-newborn mortality review boards. Being passionate about inter-disciplinary education, mentoring, and professionalism, she lectures on obstetric topics, is actively involved in conducting clinical research and is published in multiple peer reviewed journals and textbook. She is also co-author of Mosby's Pocket Guide to Fetal Monitoring: A Multidisciplinary Approach, an editorial board member for the Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing and a reviewer for Nursing for Women’ Health. Her goals include: implementing initiatives that are reflective of the needs of the members and our patient populations as well as enthusiastically set AWHONN’s agenda for successful future.



Q & A

Question #1 
Please describe significant contributions you have made to AWHONN and/ or in another professional leadership role. Include any examples where you have advanced the strategic agenda of AWHONN and/or other professional organizations.

Since 1989, I’ve been a proud AWHONN member.  Early in my career, I accepted the professional challenge to deliver exceptional patient care, while pursuing leadership development.  Later in my Air Force career, I brought what I learned as well as AWHONN’s strategic agenda to my position as the Perinatal Nurse Consultant to the Air Force Surgeon General. As an expert in clinical matters, nursing manpower standards,  and deployment readiness, I played a vital role in the daily operations of military obstetric units while advancing AWHONN’s mission and visibility in military healthcare. 



One example involved a site visit to a Turkish hospital caring for military patients. Obstetric was outdated and lacked supportive evidence compromising patient safety.  I gained the respect of military and civilian leaders by sharing AWHONN’s resources, evidence-based guidelines and educational materials.  This resulted in a collaborative effort to make changes in care delivered to women and newborns.       

Question #2
Please describe your expertise or contributions related to promoting improved care for women and babies. Discuss this in terms of your position on Maternal Mortality and Morbidity, Workforce Diversity and other racial and ethnic disparities in reproductive healthcare.


The Air Force core values “Integrity First, Service Before Self and Excellence in All We Do” provided me the foundation for a successful military career. These values remain firmly entrenched in who I am today.  Healthcare is challenged with maternal morbidity and mortality, disparity and workplace diversity.  Therefore, “no ‘I’ in team “ is pertinent to my position.  Finding solutions is difficult and requires teams of nurses, midwives, physicians and others to have an impact.

I will continue to contribute to best care practices and identifying opportunities for improvement.  I will encourage and assist interested parties to implement agendas that meet stakeholders’ needs.  I will remain dedicated to empowering and mobilizing nurses at the grass root and organizational levels to come to consensus. In turn my hope is that we can help continue to transform healthcare and encourage diversity that supports nurses in being innovators, leaders and having professional satisfaction.  

Question #3
Please describe a significant leadership challenge that you have experienced; how you addressed it and relevant outcomes.

Under difficult circumstances, I was asked to lead a large obstetric unit that was angry with an “outsider” taking over and were resistant to change. My leadership development included strategic thinking and decision-making skills but not supervising this complicated group.  With a colleague’s assistance, I created a plan that would foster a unified staff by building trust.  I found my voice by explaining I was part of their team and had similar professional goals and objectives. For example, I demonstrated professional expertise by working at the bedside on a regular basis, often taking the most difficult laboring women. I mentored staff by motivating them to work smarter and search for opportunities to seek innovative ways to change, grow and improve. I included them in important unit decisions. Ultimately, a climate was created in which the staff and management worked cohesively to foster a team focused on optimal patient outcomes.   




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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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