2024 Award & Scholarship Recipients Announced

June 10, 2024

The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board celebrates your peers and future colleagues in pediatric nursing! Please enjoy getting to know this year's recipients of our award and scholarship programs and look for 2025 applications to open later this year on our awards webpage and scholarships webpage.

Keisha Lockhart

Each year, the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board recognizes a CPNP or PMHS who extends the reach of their role beyond regular practice activities with the Kelly Reed Advanced Practice Community Impact Award. This award honors former PNCB board member Kelly Reed, MN, RN, CPNP-PC, who passed away in 2013. Kelly demonstrated extraordinary dedication to the community in which she served.

Keisha Lockhart, MSN, APRN, CPNP-PC, CNM holds dual certification in pediatrics and midwifery. She is educated in all things pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum, and children. Her nurse practitioner-owned and operated practice, AfterBirth, provides quality, affordable, comprehensive primary pediatric care, and early postpartum services, including home health visits, for the rural community she serves. Through her community outreach and collaboration, she educates the public on the role and scope of the nurse practitioner and the importance of preventive primary care. Keisha hosts her own monthly community education series, “A Space for Grace,” which addresses health topics of interest and provides health and psychosocial education and resources for residents in spaces, including community baby showers, back-to-school giveaways, and high school career fairs. Keisha currently serves on state-level committees to spearhead legislation for Medicaid reimbursement of doulas and to tackle the STI epidemic. She also provides professional insight as a stakeholder for a grant-funded research project studying maternal mortality in Black women. A unique feature of Keisha's practice is in-home newborn visits that also encompass postpartum check-ins with mothers; physical, mental, and lactation assessments are conducted. Black women are dying at rates 3 to 6 times higher in the early postpartum period. It is a worsening maternal mortality crisis that is facing the United States. AfterBirth is providing an intervention to help identify and mitigate these risks. 

Each year, PNCB's CPN Certification Advocate Award recognizes a Certified Pediatric Nurse who is an outstanding advocate for certification at the local, hospital, regional, or national level. Recipients demonstrate excellence in promoting certification as well as other areas of pediatric nursing, such as clinical skills, family-centered care, implementing evidence-based practice, or mentoring.
Anyang Dai, RN, BSN, CEN, CPN is a Pre-op/PACU nurse with UC Davis Medical Center Children’s Surgery Center (CSC). She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from California State University, East Bay, and has over ten years of progressive experience in adult telemetry nursing, emergency nursing, and Pre-op/PACU nursing. Anyang found her passion in caring for the pediatric population after taking her new position in the PACU. For the last three years, Anyang has served as an involved member of the department’s Unit Based Practice Council. As CPN certification became a recognized certification by the unit, Anyang chose a certification project to encourage nurses to become CPN certified. She reached out to nurses, organized a study group, shared study materials, and promoted her hospital’s No Pass, No Pay program. Through her efforts, the CSC PACU certification rate has increased from 45% at the beginning of 2023 to 70% in a span of several months. This number is projected to reach 90% by summer. From Anyang’s effort, along with her colleagues, the CSC PACU has become one of the departments with the highest number of certified nurses in the hospital. 

Children’s Health’s Nurse Residency Program (NRP), Nursing Excellence

PNCB's "You Belong" DEIB in Action Award is a team-based award that recognizes an employer, unit, or department that demonstrates a culture of and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) through programs such as recruitment efforts and professional development support.
Children’s Health’s Nurse Residency Program (NRP), Nursing Excellence, in Dallas serves a diverse patient population and continues to strive to diversify its nursing workforce to provide better population health outcomes. By serving as a point of entry into the nursing workforce, the NRP is an ideal avenue for increasing nursing diversity. Cultural competence training continues to be completed by hiring managers, new team members, and new leaders. This training includes “Inclusion and Respect” and “Building Skills for Cultural Effectiveness.” Leader training within the organization focuses on inclusive hiring practices, unconscious bias mitigation, and improving hiring practices to promote equity. The NRP continues to implement the use of diverse interview panels that are comprised of individuals of all races/ethnicities, gender, age, experience level, roles, and backgrounds. The panel structure also encourages accountability among hiring managers to rely on standardized interview tools which decrease bias. The NRP hiring process incorporates members of the Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Commission to mitigate the risk of unconscious and experiential biases in the interview process. The leaders of the program continue to hardwire inclusive hiring practices and recruit from nursing schools with diverse student populations that represent all demographics. Rather than waiting for students to find them, they went to the students to invite them to apply. Additionally, new programs were launched to feed into the NRP supporting students who obtained an associate degree, often more cost effective than a bachelor’s degree but previously a disqualifier for entry into the NRP, to obtain employment and receive tuition reimbursement day one to continue their academic development. Because of this work, a more robust and diverse nursing workforce can be developed, decreasing health disparities, and improving access to care for underserved populations.

Simranjot Mann

PNCB's Investing in Pediatric Nursing Diversity RN Student Scholarship supports the education of an RN student with a passion for pediatric nursing and who identifies with an ethnically, or culturally diverse background, racial diversity, gender diversity, disability or is otherwise a member of a historically marginalized community and/or one that is underrepresented in pediatric nursing. 
Simranjot Mann is a first-generation college student studying nursing at The College of New Jersey. Simranjot is a Bonner Community Scholar at the College and actively leads social justice initiatives targeting health disparities amongst food-insecure and homebound populations. Presently, she is involved in nursing research examining potential screenings for congenital heart disease and period poverty. After graduating from nursing school, Simranjot is interested in a career in global public health nursing in the realm of pediatric health care. As a Panjabi-American, Simranjot is interested in bridging the gap between health inequities in marginalized cultural groups through health education. Due to cultural and linguistic barriers, the unsatisfactory experiences of her family members with health care institutions and providers inspired her to pursue a career in health care. As a nurse, she is eager to advocate for her patients and communities historically underrepresented in health care.

Jiosajandy Garcia-Reyna

PNCB and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) launched the Empowering Professional Diversity PNP Student Scholarship in 2023 to support the education of a pediatric nurse practitioner student who identifies with an ethnically or culturally diverse background, racial diversity, gender diversity, disability or is otherwise a member of a historically marginalized community and/or one that is underrepresented in pediatric nursing. 
Jiosajandy Garcia-Reyna is a first-generation graduate nursing student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She is currently enrolled in the Master of Science in Nursing, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program and plans to graduate in May 2025. Throughout her career, she has strived to make every patient’s experience personal. Her career encompasses ten years of pediatric experience, eight of which have been caring for vulnerable and underserved children and their families at a local community health center. She plans to continue caring for her community by improving the health of children through patient-centered care. Her unwavering commitment is to empower, inspire, and encourage fellow minorities to join the health care field. She recently became a member of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners Midwest Chapter and is excited to network with and learn from other nurse practitioners.

Emma Jagasia

Emma Jagasia MSN, MPH, RN is a pediatric nurse and a dual degree DNP, PhD candidate at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. Emma’s research focuses on associations between violence exposure and neurobehavioral development during early adolescence and the moderating role of resilience using neuroimaging and mixed methods. She is a pediatric critical care nurse by training and actively practices as a neurobehavioral nurse working with children with developmental delays and survivors of domestic violence, directly informing all scientific inquiry. Emma is passionate about the vast and timely integration of current cognitive development, childhood adversity, and resilience research into child and adolescent practice to enhance transitional outcomes for youth. Emma finds constant inspiration in the courage and ingenuity of the youth with whom she works, and she aspires to a career devoted to challenging biases and oppressive structures preventing youth and families from achieving health and success on their own terms.


Samantha Turner

Each year, PNCB and the Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN) award a PNCB-certified nursing professional who is also an SPN member a joint PNCB-SPN Conference Scholarship. SPN provides complimentary conference registration, and PNCB provides a travel honorarium. 
Samantha Turner, PhD, RN, CPN (she/her) is a registered nurse and a postdoctoral fellow in the Eating Disorder Assessment and Treatment Program at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Her work centers around equitable access to eating disorder prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment, particularly for adolescents in marginalized bodies. She aims to restructure the eating disorder assessment and treatment landscape to include all of those who can benefit and sees nursing as a discipline well-suited to this challenge. Dr. Turner received her bachelor's degree in nutrition and dietetics from Simmons University and her nursing degree and PhD in nursing from UMass Chan Medical School. During her training, her research focused on weight stigma in pediatric health care and eating disorder treatment, as well as policy approaches to reduce the prevalence of disordered weight control behaviors among children and adolescents. Dr. Turner has worked as a certified pediatric nurse in primary care, school settings, and outpatient eating disorder programs.

Faces of Certification

PNCB-certified nursing professionals work in a variety of roles and settings throughout the US and beyond. Share your photo today!

Tyneisha Orr, CPNP-PC Children's Hospital & Medical Center Omaha, NE
Amairani Jimenez, CPN Tripler Army Medical Center Honolulu, Hawaii
Gia Nguyen, CPNP-AC St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Arlington, VA
View more Faces of Certification