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Pictured, Dr. Jack Roniger (center)
with UW Psychiatric Mental Health DNP Program faculty, (l-r) J'Laine Proctor and Nancy McGee
2016 APNF Awardee
Jack Roniger, M.D., a physician at Wyoming State Hospital in Evanston, Wyoming, is the 2016 Peter K. Simpson A.P.N.F. Awardee. A.P.N.F. stands for "Advanced Practice Nursing Fan."
Dr. Roniger was a natural selection for this year’s award for many reasons. Since the beginning of UW’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program, Dr. Roniger has remained one of its strongest supporters. Dr. Roniger has mentored generations of PMHNP students--many of whom continue to work and serve our Wyoming Communities as PMHNPs. Dr. Roniger has consistently gone above and beyond in his preceptor roles. He is passionate about psychiatry and truly cares about the clients he serves. He has taken time to individualize unique educational opportunities for each student he has precepted. Dr. Roniger is valued by all as an expert clinician, but even after a work day is complete, Dr. Roniger has welcomed students into his home in order to further invest in these students as leaders and colleagues.
The PMHNP program option was suspended for several years during the transition from the Master’s to the DNP degree. When Dr. Roniger learned that a new cohort of PMHNP students would again be embarking on their first extended clinical rotation, he eagerly offered to return to the Wyoming State Hospital from semi-retirement in order to foster a meaningful learning opportunity for our first cohort of PMHNP students in the DNP program. Not surprisingly, student feedback from this extraordinary experience indicates that it has exceeded all expectations.
The PMHNP program will be forever grateful for Dr. Roniger’s service to the University and to each student he has molded throughout the years.
How the Peter K. Simpson APNF Award came about
Peter K. Simpson - best known as "Pete" - is a native of Cody, Wyoming. He is a retired historian, politician, and a member of the Simpson political family. Pete worked in academia for many years, including Casper College, Sheridan College, and finally UW, where he served in multiple prominent roles, including the vice president for development, the executive director of the UW Foundation, and vice president for institutional advancement. After his retirement in 1997, Pete remained in Laramie and taught history and political science on an adjunct basis.
Pete’s political career involves serving on the Wyoming legislature. During his four-year stint in the legislature, he was a member of the House Appropriations Committee.
Pete has remained active in his retirement years. He makes frequent trips to Laramie and UW. He enjoys acting and regularly seeks out thespian opportunities with his wife, including leads in plays and musicals such as “The Music Man”, “Our Town” and “On Golden Pond”.
Despite his strong academic, political, and acting accomplishments, Pete is best known for being a wonderful, kind man, who loves Wyoming and its people. Thus in 2012, when Loretta Ford (founder of the NP profession) agreed to visit UW, the school of nursing invited Pete to interview Loretta in a public forum. Despite having never met Dr. Ford, Pete did a wonderful job with this interview and seemed to thoroughly enjoy Loretta’s playful sarcasm. That evening, Pete joined the school for the 9th Willow Ceremony and shared how much he admired and respected NPs. He then surprised the audience by proclaiming that he was adding a new credential to his title – "A.P.N.F. – Advanced Practice Nursing Fan." Thus, in honor of Pete and his admiration of Advanced Practice Nurses, the DNP Program created the Peter K. Simpson, Advanced Practice Nursing Fan Award to honor an individual who is not an advanced practice nurse, but who shares Pete’s admiration and respect for such.