About the IPN
The Institute of Pediatric Nursing (IPN) Committee exists to optimize the health and well-being of children, youth, and their families through the development of a sustainable, highly qualified pediatric nursing workforce.
The IPN is a board committee of the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB).
IPN Committee Members
The IPN consists of volunteer leaders:
Committee Chair Amanda B. Brown, PhD, RN, CPN, CNL, FAB is the Vice President of Nursing Workforce and Professional Practice at Baptist Health and Wolfson Children’s Hospital. She is responsible for workforce strategic planning, professional practice, research, the Magnet program, and wound care. She is a Certified Pediatric Nurse, Certified Clinical Nurse Leader, and a Fellow of the Advisory Board with over 20 years of nursing experience. Amanda started her career as a nursing assistant, graduating from the University of North Florida with her BSN in 2003, her MSN in 2007, and received her PhD from the University of Florida in 2014. She has held several progressive leadership roles at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and Baptist Health, but still remains a pediatric med-surg nurse at heart. Amanda is an advocate for children’s health and health care equity. She volunteers for several organizations in her hometown of Jacksonville.
Susan P. Andrews, DNP, RN, CNE, CPN is an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She has been a pediatric nurse for over 30 years and a Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) since 1990. Dr. Andrews received her bachelor’s degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; her MSN in nursing education from the University of Tampa where she was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award; and her Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Samford University. Her global health focused doctoral project was entitled "The Identification of Best Practices for Short Term Medical Missions." Her extensive clinical experience spans multiple health care settings, including acute care facilities, non-profit health organizations and community-based clinics. She has held a variety of practice and leadership roles and has been actively involved in volunteer community health initiatives. Throughout her career, Susan has held leadership positions at the local and national level. She has presented on various education topics at local, national, and international conferences and is a published author. She is a passionate advocate for pediatric nursing, and this fuels her passion to teach and mentor future pediatric nurses.
Emerging Leader Fellow Julia Garcia, DNP, RN, CPNP-PC is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Nursing Practice, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner track at the Medical University of South Carolina. In 2017, she earned her BSN along with a bachelor’s in psychology from the University of New Mexico and a certificate in international healthcare systems from Universidad La Salle in Mexico City. Julia has experience in pediatric oncology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, the pediatric emergency department, and in pediatric home healthcare. She is currently working on a research project entitled: Improving Obesity Follow-Up Monitoring at a Pediatric Primary Care Clinic. Julia plans for her future research to focus on preventative care in a primary care setting with a focus on LGBTQ+ healthcare, and adolescent female health. She is passionate about pediatric mental health as well as rural medicine and has served as a phone counselor at the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
Tomika S. Harris, DNP, RN, CPNP-PC is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner with 24 years of pediatric nursing experience. Tomika received her BSN and MSN from the University of Rochester and her DNP from The University of South Florida. Currently, she practices full time at UTHealth McGovern Medical School High Risk Children’s Clinic in Houston, Texas where she provides primary care to children with chronic and complex medical conditions. Over the course of her nursing career Tomika has held a variety of leadership positions in clinical and academic settings as well as professional and community organizations. She is an active member the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and has held leadership positions at the local and national level within the organization. Tomika is passionate about child health and believes that all children should have access to high-quality, comprehensive health care.
Avis Johnson-Smith, DNP, RN, CPNP-PC, PMHS, FNP-BC, CNS, FAANP has been an NP clinician for 29 years and an NP educator for 23 years. She is nationally certified as a PNP, PMHS, and FNP. Avis is the founder and owner of Healthy Kids and Families Wellness Center, LLC, a nurse practitioner clinic that provides primary care, developmental, behavioral, and mental health services for patients from birth to 22 years of age. She is committed to serving her patients and their families and empowering them to reach their optimal physical and mental well-being. Avis, who is also a Professor in the FNP Program at Angelo State University, enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion for pediatric/adolescent nursing with future nurse practitioners so they can excel as clinicians and nurse practitioner professionals. She received her DNP from the University of Minnesota, MSN from Troy State University – Montgomery, Post-Master’s PNP Certificate from Emory University, Post-Master's FNP Certificate from Albany State University, and BSN from Valdosta State University. Avis is honored to be an AANP Fellow and recipient of the 2015 NONPF Outstanding Faculty Practice Award. In addition, she considers it a privilege to have been appointed to serve on PNCB’s Institute of Pediatric Nursing Committee.
Jessica Peck, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC, CNE, CNL, FAANP, FAAN is an expert pediatric nurse practitioner, nursing professor, organizational leader and anti-trafficking advocate who provides innovative, visionary, and award-winning leadership to develop and lead inclusive and diverse interprofessional teams to provide outcomes of high-quality health care. Her honors include Texas Nurse Practitioner of the Year, the Sharp Cutting Edge Award from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, University of Alabama Distinguished Alumni, University of Texas Medical Branch Nursing Hall of Fame, and Outstanding Policy Award from the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty. Jessica is a Clinical Professor of Nursing at Baylor University in Dallas, Texas and currently serves as President of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. Jessica is a recognized and published national and international expert on anti-trafficking. As a nurse practitioner and a mother of four children, she has a special interest in educating and equipping families to promote positive physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual health. She is an accomplished author of clinical articles for peer-reviewed journals and a frequent guest on radio, television, and other media to promote the health of children.
Danielle A. Sarik, PhD, APRN, CPNP-PC is a pediatric nurse scientist with expertise in health services and outcomes research. She holds a PhD, MSN, and BSN from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA from Cornell University. She is a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Primary Care and has cared for patients in China, Botswana, and Nicaragua in addition to the U.S. Danielle is an active member of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, where she serves on the Health Policy Committee. She is a Senior Fellow of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and has held multiple visiting scholar and adjunct faculty positions. Her research focuses on the evaluation of healthcare, with a particular emphasis on factors impacting pediatric safety and health outcomes, healthcare delivery, and the nursing workforce. She has served as Primary Investigator or Co-Investigator on multiple studies, including those funded by the Agency for Healthcare Quality (AHRQ), American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Her scholarly work has been presented internationally and is published in interprofessional peer-reviewed journals including Hospital Pediatrics, Journal of Pediatric Healthcare, and Medical Care Research and Review.
Joshua P. Saylor, DNP, RN, CNL, CPN is a tenure-track Assistant Professor at Morgan State University. Dr. Saylor has over 15 years of pediatric and youth work experience. He received bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Youth Ministry at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. He then worked for a juvenile court as a probation officer and a placement coordinator for the county. After receiving an LPN certificate and Nightingale award from Hondros College, he continued his education to complete his BSN at Wright State University, and both his MSN and DNP at the University of South Alabama in Executive Administration and Leadership. Dr. Saylor has worked as a Bone Marrow Transplant nurse at Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center and has held leadership positions such as Pediatric Director of Nursing for a home health organization, Manager of Health Services for an assistant living facility, and as a Hospital Operations Coordinator for a 500-bed urban trauma center. His pediatric experiences also included time in school nursing, psychiatric, and post anesthesia care. As a professor he has taught pediatric nursing in both the classroom and clinical setting. He has written multiple published peer-reviewed pediatric NextGen case studies for the Maryland NextGen test bank. Dr. Saylor is passionate about pediatric nursing, breaking the barriers of health disparities amongst urban communities, and inspiring the next generation of future pediatric nurses.
Kathleen Schoemer, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC has worked in school health since 2009 initially in a per diem capacity then ultimately a fulltime position in 2014 at the Clara Barton Elementary School in Oxford, Massachusetts. Here she provides direct care to students with acute and chronic health problems. Her nursing interests and career choices have always been in delivering child/family focused care. In 1997 she graduated with a Master of Science in Nursing with a specialty as a pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) from Yale University School of Nursing. She then served as a PNP at the University of Maryland Medical System, dividing her time between her pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition clinic and serving as a liaison between the pediatric community providers and the pediatric specialists. She sought to become more involved in the Massachusetts School Nurse Organization (MSNO) and in 2020 joined the board serving as a region co-chair. She also serves as a liaison between MSNO and the Massachusetts Medical Society Committee on Student Health and Sports Medicine.
PNCB Board Liaison Janet Cross, M.Ed, CCLS, CPXP is an Administrative Director of Patient- and Family-Centered Care at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. She is responsible for development, implementation, and evaluation of patient- and family-centered care initiatives, oversight of Child Life and Volunteer Services, Pastoral Care, Family Resource Center, Hospital School Program, Music Therapy, Art Therapy, Seacrest Studios, Facility Dog Program, Patient and Family Advisory Councils, Patient Experience, Patient Education and the Gift Shop. Janet has a Master of Education from Vanderbilt University and a Bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University. She is a certified Child Life Specialist and a Certified Patient Experience Professional. Janet was awarded the 2012 Distinguished Service Award from the Child Life Council and was named a finalist as a "Woman of Influence” by the Nashville Business Journal in 2012. Janet has served in leadership roles for Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) including President and Child Life Certifying Committee Chair. She is author of two chapters to Richard Thompson’s Handbook of Child Life textbook and contributor to the ACLP White Paper "Emotional Safety in Pediatrics." She is a member of the Beryl Institute’s Pediatric Council, and Future of Human Experience 2030 Steering Team. She is also a member of the Nashville Ronald McDonald House Board of Directors.
Sheri Sesay-Tuffour, PhD, CAE, ICE-CCP, CNED is the CEO of the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, which established the IPN in 2009 to further support the pediatric nursing profession.