About the IPN

Strengthening pediatric nursing for the profession and child health

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:

Amanda Brown

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 Andrews

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, CPNP-PC is a Doctor of Nursing Practice, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is currently completing a year-long specialized fellowship in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics. She graduated with her DNP in 2023 from 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 as an pediatric registered nurse in various settings including pediatric school nursing, pediatric home healthcare, and pediatric hematology/oncology. She is currently working on a research project entitled: Establishing A Medical-Legal Partnership within a Pediatric Setting. Julia plans for her future research to focus on pediatric mental healthcare along with adolescent female health. She is passionate about 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

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

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. 

ID: Photo of Lovey Reynolds

Lovey Reynolds, MSN, RN, CPN, CNE has been an RN for almost 20 years. She is a tenure-track nursing faculty member and an Adult/Adolescence Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE). Lovey has a BSN from Saint Xavier University and MSN in Nursing Education from Indiana Wesleyan University. She is concurrently working on her PhD in Education, Curriculum Studies and Family Nurse Practitioner Post-Master’s Certification both from DePaul University. Lovey has certifications in Pediatric Nursing (CPN) and Nurse Education (CNE). She belongs to many professional organizations and has served in nursing professional committees statewide and nationally. As a nursing faculty, she strives to foster growth and mentor nursing students throughout their education. As a SANE, Lovey focuses on forensic evidence, trauma-informed care, and supporting and advocating for survivors that have been sexually and physically assaulted. Both roles enable Lovey to engage her teaching and practice in providing care and support to many experiencing education and health inequities in the marginalized communities in Chicago. Her research interests include nursing program development, workforce transition, academic- clinical partnerships, and nursing education equity and access. As a future FNP, she will focus her practice on maternal-pediatric health, health promotion and literacy, and trauma-informed care.

Danielle Altares Sarik

Danielle A. Sarik, PhD, APRN, CPNP-PC, FAAN 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.

Photo of Joshua Saylor

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.

Photo of Kathleen Schoemer

Kathleen Schoemer, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC has worked in school health since 2009 initially in a per diem capacity then ultimately a full-time 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 Jill Koss, MS, CCLS has worked in pediatric health care for more than 33 years, spending most of those years at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas. She began her career as a certified child life specialist and then transitioned into department leadership for Child Life, and then leadership for multiple departments and programs, including: Volunteer Services, Family Services, and Family-Centered Care. Over the years, she has worked to create patient-focused programming such as Creative Arts, Facility Dogs, Therapeutic Clowns, and a Child Life Zone, which has required having oversight of nine program budgets. She has also been highly involved in the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP), serving in several leadership positions over the years. She was initially involved in ACLP's Certification Commission, serving on multiple committees until ultimately serving as the Co-chair/Chair from 2006-2009. She also served as the ACLP President, completing a three-year term from 2019-2022. She is currently part of Cook Children's Patient and Family Experience team and has responsibility for advocacy for emotional safety best practices, and eliminating emotional harm. 

Allegra Tasaki, MBA serves as Director of Marketing & Communications of the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board and the staff lead for PNCB’s Institute of Pediatric Nursing.

Photo of PNCB CEO Sheri Sesay-Tuffour in a white suit

Sheri Sesay-Tuffour, PhD, FASAE, CAE, ICE-CCP, IOM is the CEO of the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, which established the IPN in 2009 to further support the pediatric nursing profession.