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UW’s Mary Behrens to be Honored by AANP

May 15, 2018
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Mary Behrens

Mary Behrens, a 1998 University of Wyoming nursing alumna, will be honored at an awards ceremony and reception during the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) 2018 National Conference June 26-July 1 in Denver, Colo.

Behrens, of Casper, will be among those nurse practitioners and nurse practitioner advocates who will receive the prestigious AANP 2018 State Award for Excellence.

The State Award for Nurse Practitioner Excellence, founded in 1991, recognizes a nurse practitioner in a state who demonstrates excellence in practice. In 1993, the State Award for Nurse Practitioner Advocate was added to recognize the efforts of individuals who have made significant contributions to increasing awareness and recognition of nurse practitioners.

Behrens has been a longtime advocate of nurse practitioners in Wyoming. More recently, Behrens has been the AANP representative on the "Movement is Life" caucus. That particular caucus is concerned about breaking the vicious cycle of inactivity, which contributes to the increase of obesity, joint problems, diabetes, heart disease and depression. This group works with local community outreach to help provide information on how to get moving in easy ways. Behrens will give a poster presentation in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for the International Advanced Practice Nurses Meeting in August on research the group has done. Behrens is active in the Region 8 group for AANP that met in Salt Lake City this past fall.

Behrens is the current president of the Wyoming Center for Nursing and a member on both the Friends of the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing Development Board and the UW Health Sciences Advisory Board. She also participates in the American Nurses Association Institute, which prepares nurse practitioners and nurses for better political advocacy. She enjoys mentoring nurse practitioners and nursing students in leadership roles.

AANP is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners of all specialties. It represents the interests of more than 234,000 nurse practitioners practicing in the United States today. The association provides a unified networking platform and advocates for their role as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered and personalized health care. The organization provides legislative leadership at the local, state and national levels, advancing health policy; promotes excellence in practice, education and research; and has established standards that best serve nurse practitioner patients and other health care consumers.

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