America’s Top NP Awards (ATNP), hosted by POCN, recognizes the NP profession annually as its influence and impact on care grows exponentially

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Nov. 8, 2021 – Over the last decade, nurse practitioners (NP) have seen an increase in responsibility and authority within the healthcare industry, accounting for 50 percent of all prescriptions written annually. The pandemic significantly shifted their roles once again, uprooting many from their regular practices to serve in areas hit worst by the virus and requiring increasing responsibility, sacrifice and risk. America’s Top NP Awards 2020 (ATNP), hosted by POCN, the largest and most trusted network of NPs and PAs, honors these healthcare heroes who have been nominated by their peers for significantly impacting their field during one of its most challenging seasons.

For the fifth year in a row, POCN and the ATNP Awards recognize outstanding NPs annually to coincide with National NP Week, November 8-12, 2021. NPs around the country nominate a fellow NP who demonstrates excellence in patient care, professional and practice development, and community outreach and involvement.

“This year has required hard work and sacrifice for so many individuals, but few have put their lives at greater risk during this pandemic than our frontline healthcare workers,” says Richard Zwickel, Founder and CEO of POCN. “These outstanding NPs have gone above and beyond to serve those most impacted by COVID-19, and they deserve more than we can give. We hope this recognition demonstrates our tremendous respect for the NP profession and steadfast commitment to support their growth and success in the healthcare industry.”

POCN and the NP community at large are thrilled to honor this year’s recipients: 

  • Kathleen Arnold, ANP, BC-ADM, FAANP. Ocean Springs, MS, Endocrinology – Previous 2020 Winner
  • Caroline S. Elistin, DNP, MSN-ED, ARNP, FNP-BC, Miami, FL, Hematologic Oncology
  • Jason E. Farley, PhD, MPH, ANP-BC, FAAN, FAANP, AACRN, Baltimore, MD, HIV/AIDS
  • Joe Gorelick, MSN, FNP-C, San Jose, CA, Dermatology
  • Francisco Guido-Sanz, PhD, APRN, ANP-BC, AGACNP-BC, Orlando, FL, Acute Care
  • Joshua Hamilton, DNP, RN, PMH-BC, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC, CTMH, CNE, FAANP, Las Vegas, NV, Psychiatry/Mental Health
  • Shirley H. Lee, NP, MPH, Torrance, CA, Urology/Urologic Oncology
  • Theresa Mallick-Searle, MS, PMGT-BC, ANP-BC, Redwood City, CA, Pain Medicine – Previous 2019 Winner
  • Karen M. Myrick, DNP, APRN, FNP, ONP, FAAN, Hartford, CT, Orthopedics and Sports Medicine – Previous 2020 Winner
  • Tara Pezzuto, DNP, Wilmington, DE, Migraine/Headache Medicine
  • Loleta Samuel, DNP, MSN, APN, RN, AOCN, Union, NJ, Oncology, Skin & Soft Tissue
  • Victoria Sherry, DNP, CRNP, AOCNP, Philadelphia, PA, Oncology, Lung Cancer
  • Charlene Whitaker-Brown, DNP, MSN, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC, RN, CHFN, Charlotte, NC, Cardiology/Heart Failure
  • Nastassja Williams, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, Chicago, IL, Gastroenterology
  • Corinne Young, MSN, FNP-C, FCCP, Colorado Springs, CO, Pulmonology

Due to so much pressure on the system from the pandemic, state-led legislation has been suspending and waiving laws that limit NP capabilities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the NP profession is expected to grow by 45 percent by 2029, much faster than average.

Winners of America’s Top NP 2021 will receive:

  • A one-year paid membership to the AANP
  • Recognition and press exposure in the health media, including on POCN social media and web properties (such as feature videos on POCN+ and
  • Ability to serve as an advisor to POCN, helping to advance educational programs in support of the NP/PA community

POCN recently launched POCN+, the first educational streaming service dedicated to Nps and PAs. This free OTT offering provides premium live and on-demand educational content in a one-stop app for the NP and PA community and other healthcare professionals. It is available via the web, iOS and Android, and various streaming services, including Apple TV, Amazon Firestick, Chromecast and others.

To learn more about our ATNP winners, please visit

About POCN

POCN is the largest and most informed network of NPs and PAs, trusted by providers, pharma and life sciences companies to create opportunities between those that treat and those that develop treatments.  POCN also supports organizations such as the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in outreach and awareness campaigns to inform NPs and PAs of important clinical updates. An industry first, POCN’s patent-pending solutions are built on its proprietary database of granular, real-time clinical behaviors. For more information, visit and

Media Contacts

Linda Garcia

Kerri McCoy