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ANCC Executive Director Welcomes APN Growth


Karen Drenkard isn’t exactly easing into her new position as executive director of the American Nurses Credentialing Center in Silver Spring, Md.

As she sees it, because of healthcare reform, advanced practice nursing is expected to boom, resulting in ANCC becoming busier than ever, and that means she has to keep the company moving forward.

ANCC, which credentials individuals and organizations, already has moved to all online application and renewal processes in preparation for that growth.

“If the advanced-practice nursing workforce doubles in the next 10 years,” Drenkard says, “we want to be right by their side individually making sure ANCC can answer their questions and be there for them.

“We’re ready. We’re excited. We’re like, ‘Bring it on.’ That’s our future.”

Drenkard, RN, PhD, NEA-BC, FAAN, was promoted Jan. 1 and recently completed a busy first 100 days on the job that included several trips to meet with, among others, the CEOs of the American Academy of Continuing Medical Education and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Drenkard says she wants to make sure that nursing is working collaboratively around credentialing and notes that “we have the first-ever and only joint accreditation program with pharmacy, nursing and medicine.”

Helping her make the transition from director of ANCC’s Magnet Recognition Program was retiring Executive Director Jeanne Floyd, RN, PhD, CAE, who held the position for nearly 10 years.

“We had a really good succession plan,” Drenkard says. “I had an overlap with Jeanne for six months. That was nice.”

Drenkard’s post as director of ANCC’s Magnet Recognition Program was filled by Craig Luzinski, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, FACHE, the former CNO and vice president of patient care at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colo. Poudre Valley received Magnet redesignation under Luzinski’s leadership in 2004 and 2009.

As Drenkard takes the big step to lead the world’s largest nurse credentialing center, she says her background in nursing has prepared her well.

In addition to her role with the Magnet Recognition Program, which she held since 2008, she served as the ANCC senior director of credentialing operations since January 2010. Before joining ANCC, Drenkard was senior vice president of nursing and CNE of Inova Health System in Falls Church, Va. She serves on the executive committee of the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice, is a member of the Board of Visitors for the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing and is a board member for Inova Loudoun Hospital in Leesburg, Va.

“Every experience I’ve had in my career has kind of led to this time,” Drenkard says. “My goal is to really lead this organization to the next level of excellence, to really be able to meet the needs of what the nurses have and focus on customer quality and outstanding service to them.”

Tom Clegg is a staff writer.


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