This is one of my favorite times of year—the return of warm weather and a freshly minted class of New Practitioners entering the profession. To the class of 2017, I want to formally welcome you to the APhA New Practitioner Network (NPN)! In my 4 years, the NPN has truly become a “home,” creating lasting friendships with valuable leadership experiences along the way. I want to encourage all New Practitioners making the transition from student pharmacist to stay engaged, stay involved, and see what the NPN has to offer.
My APhA leadership journey
As a student pharmacist, my leadership was limited to my APhA–ASP Chapter. I never had the courage to apply for a regional or national leadership position within APhA–ASP. Entering residency, that was one of my biggest regrets, so I made getting involved in the NPN a priority. I reached out to a fellow residency alum—“Your Financial Pharmacist” Tim Ulbrich, PharmD—and he connected me with Tom English, APhA’s Director of New Practitioner Development.
My first leadership experience was the Transitions Editorial Advisory Board. I enjoy writing, and it also allowed me to develop rapport with APhA staff as well as develop relationships with fellow New Practitioners. From there, I served as the Chair of the NPN Awards Standing Committee, whose responsibility was to select the recipient of the APhA Distinguished New Practitioner Award. Following that, I started 2 years of service on the New Practitioner Advisory Committee as Vice Chair and now Chair.
I hope that my leadership journey inspires you to dream big and to always be willing to “throw your hat in the ring.” Never doubt yourself, your leadership potential, or the opportunity to grow and excel when given the chance. As APhA CEO Tom Menighan often states, “Showing up” is one of the most important steps to get engaged within leadership opportunities in APhA, including those within the NPN, such as the APhA Day of NP LIFE, and beyond.
Opportunities to serve
There are several different opportunities to get engaged in the NPN, with varying levels of time commitment. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to myself or another NPAC member (http://www.pharmacist.com/apha-new-practitioner-advisory-committee) or APhA New Practitioner Development staff (e-mail Tom English at email@example.com) to get involved. More information about the various leadership opportunities is available at http://www.pharmacist.com/new-practitioner-network.
I also want to draw attention to the newly launched Community Health Ambassador program, which provides ready to use presentation materials for education on prescription drug abuse and dietary supplements. Continue to serve your community as you have with patient care projects through APhA–ASP. Two other key opportunities to highlight are our three standing committees (Communications, Member Engagement, and Education) and the APhA New Practitioner Mentor Program for APhA–ASP Chapters. Chapters are always looking for mentors and many have several to provide multiple practice perspectives.
A common misconception among New Practitioners is thinking that membership or involvement in the NPN is mutually exclusive from the two practice academies within APhA, the Academy of Pharmaceutical Research and Science (APhA–APRS) and the Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management (APhA–APPM). That is not true—you should be involved in both, as it is important to develop within your practice areas, as well.
So welcome New Practitioners, and find your voice within APhA and the NPN!