Association of Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses
Advancing your practice, your career, and our community.

2019 AAPPN Awards Recipients

Our Nurse of the Year Award honors a member who makes a difference to AAPPN by helping members, promoting AAPPN, recruiting new members, working on a committee, or cultivating chapters.  Kristine Highlander fulfills those roles with a love for the profession and enthusiasm for the vision of AAPPN.

Under Kristine’s leadership, AAPPN’s Membership Committee has built connections with academic programs for student member outreach, started up Seattle member mixer events, conducted a member phone check-in, started the AAPPN Facebook Group, and began creating a new graduate toolkit. Oh yeah, her committee also played a key role in AAPPN’s 30 percent membership growth in the past two years.

The Nursing Excellence Award goes to a member who has made significant contributions to advanced practice psychiatric nursing, the mental health profession, and the clients we serve.  We are proud to honor Ginni Buccola.

Ginni is an expert in maternal and infant mental health and speaks across the country on that topic.  She is also leading by creating a role in a primary care setting as we move into more integration between primary care, mental health, and substance use disorder treatment. This is the mandate for the future of mental health treatment in Washington state. 

The Trust Award honors a member who is reliable, dependable, and steadfast in getting things accomplished in a selfless, unassuming way.  This year, we’re delighted to honor Lynne Dearing.

Lynne has been volunteering with AAPPN for the past 20 years.  She’s served in virtually every role on the Board of Directors.  She’s served on the Legislative and Education committees and chaired the Olympia Chapter.  She wrote articles for the newsletter, attended Lobby Day in Olympia, and helped with auctions and celebrations.  She’s always willing to help when asked.

Lynne currently serves as our CE Approver.  She’s reviewed and approved hundreds—if not thousands—of CE hours for AAPPN members.  And we hope she never tires of it because we’ll have a hard time filling her shoes.

The Gretchen Schodde Lifetime Achievement Award goes to a member who advances the profession and displays qualities such as inspiration, vision, creativity, dedication, leadership, commitment, service, and devotion.

Elaine Walsh lives those qualities to the fullest.  One of the multiple members who nominated her wrote: “Dr. Walsh has consistently provided mentoring, leadership, research, and policy engagement.  Her career reflects this dedication to mental health by improving the lives of clients and patients through her work on policy and providing training, as well as facilitating the very best practice for those pursuing their education as psychiatric nurses.”

Want to know who has been honored in previous years? Take a look at past award recipients (PDF).