APEA education specialist honored for advocacy and leadership
Kathy Baldridge, DNP, FNP-BC, FAANP, the Lead Nurse Practitioner Education Specialist for APEA, has received national recognition for her advocacy on behalf of nurse practitioners and patients.
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) announced on Jan. 9, 2024, that Dr. Baldridge is the recipient of the 2024 Advocate State Award for Excellence in Louisiana. She and other state excellence award winners will be honored at a ceremony during the national AANP conference in June.
“Dr. Kathy Baldridge is a true inspiration and has exhibited untiring dedication and advocacy for the nurse practitioner profession,” said Melissa Nunn, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC/AC, NEA-BC who nominated Dr. Baldridge for the award. “Through her health policy work, she has made a significant impact on the health of Louisiana residents and has positively advanced the NP profession.”
Dr. Baldridge served two consecutive terms (2018-2023) as the president of the Louisiana Association of Nurse Practitioners. One of her first priorities was to grow the organization, and by the time she left office in late 2023, membership had doubled.
Throughout both terms, Dr. Baldridge led efforts to achieve full practice authority for APRNs, making progress toward this goal each year. She also worked for passage of multiple other bills affecting nurse practitioner practice and patient care, and successfully fought off a bill that would have required Louisiana NPs to contract only with collaborating physicians who live in and are licensed in the state.
Other highlights of Dr. Baldridge’s leadership and advocacy include serving as a member of the state’s Nursing Supply and Demand Council, Health Works Commission, and the Louisiana Action Coalition.
At APEA, an ATI brand, Dr. Baldridge teaches primary care review courses throughout the country. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she provides psychometric expertise for APEA assessments and question banks. She is the author of Billing and Coding in the Outpatient Clinical Setting (APEA, 2022) and a contributing author in the 3rd and 4th editions of Clinical Guidelines in Primary Care (APEA, 2017, 2020). Dr. Baldridge is the editor of the 5th edition of Clinical Guidelines in Primary Care, scheduled for publication in late 2024. She is in clinical practice at Christus Community Clinic in Alexandria, LA, where she provides internal medicine and women’s health services.