Radford Nursing Professor earns statewide honor from national association
Assistant Professor of Nursing Megan Hebdon has been named one of two Virginia recipients of the State Award for Excellence by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).
Hebdon will be honored for her demonstration of excellence in clinical practice at the AANP national conference in Denver June 26-July 1, along with fellow Nurse Practitioner (NP) Karen Budd of Fairfax.
“I am proud to be in a profession that has a profound effect on peoples’ lives physically, mentally and emotionally,” Hebdon said.
The AANP is the largest full-service national professional membership organization for NPs, or advanced practice nurses, of all specialties and represents more than 248,000 NPs around the country.
“I was in the car scrolling thru the messages on my phone and heard the message they left. I had to ask if it was real,” Hebdon said. “I am grateful to be recognized with this honor by my colleagues and an organization that advocates for the nursing profession and enables nurses to work at the highest level of their training and education.”
Hebdon is a member of the faculty in Radford’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program that prepares registered nurses with bachelors or masters degrees in nursing for advanced nursing practice and NP status.
The program provides a rigorous practice-oriented terminal degree for working nurses with between 30 and 81 credit hours of online instruction. It further requires up to 1,080 clinical practice hours and a final project of original research.
Graduates of the program then take one of two national board certification tests on which Radford graduates have a 100 percent pass rate. Upon completion of the DNP program, Radford graduates are eligible for certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) or Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP).
In hospitals, private offices, clinics and nursing homes or long term care facilities, NPs manage patients’ acute and chronic medical conditions. NPs are qualified to diagnose medical problems, order treatments, perform some procedures, prescribe medications and make referrals for a wide range of acute and chronic medical conditions within their scope of practice as defined by the state in which they practice.
“NPs collaborate with all other health care disciplines to help a person function optimally,” Hebdon said.
Increasingly integral to the medical and health care system, NPs’ nursing experience gives them a special approach to providing patient care. Their advanced studies provide valuable expertise and capability to carry on tasks otherwise assigned to doctors or administrators.
“NP’s see things at the bedside, in the office and in homes. We see the health care challenge differently and acknowledge what people go home to live with,” Hebdon said.
Hebdon recently joined three other nursing educators to present at a statewide Virginia Nurses Association (VNA) conference about the nurse's role in addressing the public health crisis of opioid and heroin abuse. The VNA event also featured Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Dr. David E. Brown, director of the Virginia Department of Health Professions.