Keynote Speaker

Felisia R. Bowen, PhD, DNP, PPCNP-BC, FAAN

The National Nurse Practitioner Symposium is pleased to announce Felesia Bowen as the Keynote Speaker for the 2024 symposium.

Dr. Bowen is the Inaugural Associate Dean and Professor in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the School of Nursing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  She is the Vice Chair of the Child, Adolescent, & Family Expert Panel for the American Academy of Nursing and a member of the NIH Environmental Health Research Institute for Nurse and Clinician Scientists National Advisory Committee.  Dr. Bowen has authored numerous articles, has been a Reviewer or member of the Editorial Advisory Board for several journals, and has been the Primary Investigator for numerous awarded grants.

Felesia began her nursing career as an Army Nurse where she served on active duty, in the army reserves and with the New Jersey National Guard for 15 years.  She is a veteran of the first Gulf War, Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.  During her tenure in the military, she held several nurse leadership positions and earned several military honors and awards for her service during peacetime and war.  After leaving active duty, Dr. Bowen pursued an advanced degree in nursing.  She has practiced in vulnerable communities for the majority of her advanced practice career.  Dr. Bowen served as the Director of the Center for Urban Youth and Families at Rutgers College of Nursing, which was an interdisciplinary group of scientists and community members working collaboratively to address pediatric health disparities through interdisciplinary research.

Dr. Bowen earned her BSN from Tuskegee University, MSN from Rutgers University, PhD from Columbia University, and DNP from Fairleigh Dickinson University.  She joined the University of Alabama – Birmingham School of Nursing in August 2021 as the inaugural Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  She also is a Professor in the Department of Acute, Chronic and Continuing Care and has distinguished herself as a leader in the areas of pediatric asthma, health disparities and health equity.

The Keynote Presentation, “Beyond Race, Ethnicity and Gender: Exploring the Concept of Diversity” will take place Thursday, July 18, 2024 at the Keystone Conference Center.

symposium schedule overview

Speakers & TopicS

Tuesday, July 16 & Ongoing
Keystone Adventure Pass - Valid for reservations of 2 nights or more booked through Keystone Resort Property Management (KRPM). All activities are subject to availability, weather, restrictions and change. Keystone Adventure Pass includes:

• Free golf on day of arrival
• Free 1 hour tennis court rental
• Free yoga class or fitness class
• Free guided hike
• Free scenic lift ticket for kids 12 and under
Tuesday, July 16 Rocky Mountain Retreat
8:00 am – 8:30 am Rocky Mountain Retreat Registration
8:30 amShuttle Departure from Keystone Conference Center to Keystone Ranch
9:00 am – 4:30 pm Rocky Mountain Retreat (optional)
4:30 pmShuttle Departure from Keystone Ranch to Keystone Conference Center
Wednesday, July 17 Day 1 & Rocky Mountain Retreat
8:00 am – 7:00 pm Symposium Registration
8:30 am – 12:15 pm Rocky Mountain Retreat (required if attended Rocky Mountain Retreat on Tuesday)
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm Pre-Symposium Session (optional – non-certified)
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm Pre-Symposium Sessions
4:00 pm – 5:30 pmPre-Symposium Sessions
5:30 pm – 7:00 pmSponsors Welcome Reception
Thursday, July 19 Day 2
7:00 am – 6:30 pm Symposium Registration
7:00 am – 6:30 pm The Hub Open (complimentary food and beverages)
7:00 am - 8:00 amMorning on the Mountain - stretch and walk (optional – non-certified)
8:00 am – 9:30 am Educational Session
10:00 am – 11:15 am Keynote Address & Awards Ceremony
11:30 am – 1:00 pm Luncheon Sessions (optional – non-certified)
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm Educational Sessions
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm Educational Sessions
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm Opening of Exhibits/Colorado Mixer Reception (complimentary buffet)
Friday, July 19 Day 3
7:00 am – 6:00 pm Symposium Registration
7:00 am – 6:00 pm Posters on Display
7:00 am - 5:30 pm The Hub Open (complimentary food and beverages)
7:00 am – 8:00 am Morning on the Mountain - stretch and walk (optional – non-certified)
8:00 am – 9:30 amEducational Sessions
9:00 am – 1:00 pm Exhibits
10:00 am – 11:30 am Educational Sessions
11:30 am – 1:00 pm Bag Lunch Served in Exhibit Hall (complimentary)
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Challenges in Care Panel (optional)
2:45 pm – 3:45 pm Educational Session
4:00 pm – 5:00 pmEducational Session
5:15 pm – 6:00 pmAuthors Present Posters
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm Twilight's Highlights
Complimentary Entertainment
Saturday, July 20Day 4
7:00 am – 5:00 pm Symposium Registration
7:00 am – 5:00 pmPosters on Display
7:00 am - 12:00 pm The Hub Open (complimentary food and beverages)
7:00 am - 8:00 amMornings on the Mountain - stretch and walk (optional - non-certified)
7:30 am – 10:30 amWorkshops (optional)
9:00 am – 12:00 pm Exhibits Open
9:00 am – 10:30 am Educational Sessions
10:30 am – 12:00 pm Brunch Served in Exhibit Hall (complimentary)
12:00 pm – 1:00 pmEducational Sessions
1:00 pm – 1:30 pm Authors Present Posters
1:30 pm – 3:00 pmEducational Sessions
3:00 pm – 3:30 pmAuthors Present Posters
3:30 pm – 5:00 pmEducational Sessions
6:00 pm+Twilight’s Highlights (free time to enjoy the area)
6:00 pm – 9:00 pmDon Watson & the Vail Valley Band (complimentary entertainment)
Sunday, July 21Day 5
7:00 am – 11:00 pmSymposium Registration
7:00 am – 8:00 am Morning on the Mountain - stretch and walk (optional – non-certified)
8:00 am – 9:30 amEducational Sessions
10:00 am – 11:00 am Educational Sessions

An overview of confirmed speakers and topics. Please check back for additional updates.

KEYNOTE: :  Felesia R. Bowen, PhD, DNP, PPCNP-BC, FAAN

Leslie Boles, CCS, CPC, CPMA, CHC, CPC-I


Eileen O’Grady, PhD, RN, ANP-BC

Theresa Mallick-Searle, MS, PMGT-BC, ANP-BC

Sean Michael, MD, MBA, FACEP

Peggy Vernon, RN, MA, C-PNP, DCNP, FAANP


Acute Care




Professional Development

Women’s Health



Business Practice











Infectious Disease


Mental Health







Palliative Care



Professional Development








Women’s Health 

Wound Care

Rocky Mountain RetreaT

Nurse Practitioner Wellness: A Rocky Mountain Self-Care Retreat to Promote YOUR Wellbeing
July 16-17, 2024
Keystone Ranch & Keystone Conference Center Keystone, Colorado


9.5 CE hours will be awarded to those that attend the entire retreat (partial credit is not available) and complete the required evaluations. Certificates of completion will be offered through Joint Accreditation (ACCME, ACPE, ANCC) and AANP, with acceptance of pertinent content by AAPA, ACNM and NAPNAP

Modern American health care is challenging on so many levels, and places unique demands on Nurse Practitioners who often give to others while their own needs go unmet. This retreat is designed for the over-deployed NP who may feel their life is not their own.  It will provide specific tools to reclaim your well-being and instill rejuvenation in your work, your relationships, and your continuing self-development. 

  • Do you have no space in your life to do the things that you genuinely want to be doing?
  • Are you looking for ways to confront a lifestyle or work that is far too stressful?
  • Do you have a hard time saying NO without feeling guilty?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, then this retreat is for you!

With this day and a half retreat you will:

  • Discover the science of human well-being and apply it to YOUR life
  • Gather motivation and set goals to make changes that serve YOU
  • Use your core strengths in new ways
  • Interrupt the patterns that add stress to your life
  • Set boundaries and create your own personal policies
  • Discover how to grow wise instead of just growing old
    …..and much more!

You, your loved ones and your patients are best served when you place your own wellbeing as a first priority for healthy relationships and your own effectiveness. This retreat will help you assume the role of CEO of your own life,  to design the kind of life and work you deserve. 

The purpose of the retreat is to singularly focus on your personal and professional growth in caring for the self, which will allow each attendee to build a plan that reflects their most important values. Each person will leave with a sense of duty to make their own health, wellness and wholeness, not only possible, but a priority.

Gratitude from previous attendees:

“This retreat was life changing for me.  I am going to set boundaries with my boss. I wish I did this years ago. “

“With the tools provided by Eileen in this retreat, I will face my fears and request the dignity and respect that I and my team deserve. “

“This was the most helpful session of the entire conference.”

“Great balance of activities involving response and lecture. Thought provoking and definitely worth the time invested. Great setting as well – LOVED the ranch!”

“Outstanding speaker and pre-conference. Very rewarding experience.”

8:00 am – 8:30 amRegistration (located at Keystone Conference Center)
8:30 amShuttle Departure from Conference Center to Keystone Ranch
9:00 am – 12:00 pmSelf Care and Building the Life We Want
10:30 am – 10:45 amBeverage Break (complimentary)
12:00 pm – 1:00 pmLunch (complimentary)
1:00 pm – 4:30 pmWellbeing
2:30 pm – 2:45 pmBeverage Break (complimentary)
3:30 pm – 3:45 pmMovement Break
4:30 pmShuttle Departure from Keystone Ranch to Conference Center
OvernightYou will have a small overnight assignment
8:00 am – 8:30 amContinental Breakfast (complimentary – located at Keystone Conference Center)
8:30 am – 12:15 pmHow Adults GROW
10:30 am – 10:45 amBeverage Break (complimentary)
12:15 PMAdjourn

Eileen O’Grady PhD, RN, NP

Dr. Eileen O’Grady is certified Nurse Practitioner and Wellness Coach who uses an evidence-based approach with people to reverse or entirely prevent disease.  She has been interested in healthcare since age 11 and believes deeply that more attention must be paid to getting us unstuck from lifestyles that do not support wellbeing.    

She is an expert on intentional change in adults, emphasizing the importance of extreme self-care and how to identify and remedy a life that is out of balance.  She is the founder of The School of Wellness, devoted to cultivating wisdom and self-leadership.

Play Video

Dr. O’Grady is currently editor and author of, Advanced Practice Nursing: An Integrative Approach (7th ed) (Elsevier, 2022). She has authored two other books: Intentional Therapeutic Relationships: Advancing Caring in Health Care, a how-to book on placing relationships at the center of health care (In press, 2021) with Jean Johnson and Minette Coetzee (DesTECH), and her most personal book is a collection of essays, Choosing Wellness: Unconventional Wisdom from a Conventional Nurse Practitioner for the Overwhelmed, the Discouraged, the Addicted, the Fearful, and the Stuck. (2021).   

2022 Rocky Mountain Retreat


Tuesday’s (July 16) program will take place at Keystone Ranch, an original 1930’s Ranch homestead of rustic elegance, overlooking Keystone Ranch Golf Course, with spectacular views of Swan Mountain and the Ten Mile Range. Wednesday’s (July 17) program will take place at the Keystone Conference Center, a state-of-the-art facility nestled in a mountain valley in central Colorado’s high country, with the magnificent Rocky Mountains serving as the surrounding backdrop.

It is approximately 3.6 miles from the Keystone Conference Center to Keystone Ranch. A complimentary symposium shuttle will transport you between Keystone Conference Center and Keystone Ranch, however you are welcome to drive yourself if you would like to take a scenic ride at your leisure, before and after Tuesday’s program.

program committee

We would like to thank the following National Nurse Practitioner Symposium Program Committee members, and their supporting organizations, for their dedication, professionalism, expertise and countless hours in compiling the symposium agenda. The content and quality of the symposium agenda continually offers one of the finest CE programs of its kind in the country.

Michele Bielarski, RNAKH Inc., Advancing Knowledge in Healthcare
Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RNAKH Inc., Advancing Knowledge in Healthcare
Nancy Denke, DNP, ACNP-BC, FNP-BC, FAEN, CEN, CCRNToxicology Consultants of Arizona
Mary Anne Eagelston, BSN, MSN, WHCNPPrivate Consultant
Loretta C. Ford, RN, EdD, PNP, FAAN, FAANP (Honorary Committee Member)Private Consultant
Joseph Lyon, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, PMHNP-BCStanford Health Care
Kathy Magdic, DNP, ACNP-BC, FAANPUniversity of Pittsburgh School of Nursing
Bernadette Marie Makar, MSN, NP-C, APRN-CAKH Inc., Advancing Knowledge in Healthcare
Theresa Mallick-Searle, MS, PMGT-BC, ANP-BCStanford Health Care, Division of Pain Medicine
Katrina Mierkey, MSN, RN, CPNP-PCKids First Pediatrics
Nancy Munro, RN, MN, CCRN, ACNP-BC, FAANPPrivate Consultant
Michelle Papachrisanthou, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PCSaint Louis University
Shirley M. Pfister, RN, MS, ANP/GNPPrivate Consultant
Conrad Rios, FNP-BC, PA, MSSaint Agnes Medical Providers
Nancy Rudner, DrPH, MPH, MSN, APRNUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham
Laura A. Thomas, DNP, APRN-BC, WHNP-BCColorado National Guard
Peggy Vernon, RN, MA, C-PNP, DCNP, FAANPCreekside Skin Care
Mary Wagner, RN, MSN, ANP (Emeritus Committee Member)Private Consultant
Cheryl A. Walker, MSN, MSBA, APRN, FNPHumanitas, Inc.

The Bridge: A Comprehensive Headache Education Program


Attend a seminar featuring didactic presentations and a choice of one of two workgroups.

Current pathophysiologic models will be addressed. Hear acute and preventive treatment strategies for adult and pediatric populations along with appropriate patient selection, administration (timing and route), and potential medication misuse and/or overuse concerns. Learn how to address comorbid medical complaints in appropriate medication selection and monitoring.

The American Headache Society® (AHS) Nurse Practitioner / Physician Assistant (NP/PA) Special Interest Group developed this educational offering for Primary Care Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants. This comprehensive overview of migraine is delivered by Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant members of AHS.. 


4.0 CE hours will be awarded to those that attend the entire seminar (partial credit is not available) and complete the required evaluations. Certificates will be offered through Joint Accreditation (ACCME, ACPE, ANCC) and AANP, with acceptance of pertinent content by AAPA, ACNM and NAPNAP.

Seminar Leaders

Annika Ehrlich, MS, FNP-C, AQH, CNRN; Nurse Practitioner, UCSF Medical Center; San Francisco CA and Nurse Practitioner III, Neurology – Headache Center, UCSF Health; San Francisco CA

Maureen Moriarty, DNP, ANP-BC, FAHS, FAANP; Director, DNP and RN/BSN Programs, Malek School of Health Professions, Marymount University; Arlington VA and Adult Nurse Practitioner/owner, Moriarty Associates; Westminster MD

Laurel Short, DNP, APRN, FNP-C; Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Practitioner, Sunflower Medical; Roeland Park KS

Karen Williams, DNP, FNP-BC; Deputy Director, Headache Center of Excellence, Neurology, Central Virginia VA Health Care System; Richmond VA and President, KDW Health Management; Richmond VA

Laura B. Xanders, FNP-BC; Family Nurse Practitioner, Neurology, Medstar Georgetown University Hospital; Washington DC


1:30 pm – 2:00 pmDiagnosing Headache in Adults and Pediatric Patients
2:00 pm – 2:30 pmRisk Factors, Clinical Course and Barriers to Care in Adults and Pediatric Patients
2:30 pm – 3:00 pmPathophysiology
3:00 pm – 3:30 pmAcute Treatment Strategies in Adults and Pediatric Patients
3:30 pm – 3:45 pmBreak (complimentary)
3:45 pm – 4:15 pmPreventive Treatment Strategies in Adults and Pediatric Patients
4:15 pm – 5:45 pmHands-on: Behavioral strategies, acupuncture, neuromodulation devices, and procedure options (trigger point injections, nerve blocks, and botulinum toxin) for headache treatment

Past Symposia

Please click on any image below to view speakers and content from previous years.

Symposium Brochure Cover 2022
July 21-24, 2022
July 8-11, 2021
July 9-12, 2020 (Virtual)
July 18-21, 2019
July 19-22, 2018
July 20-23, 2017
July 7-10, 2016
July 9-12, 2015
July 10-13, 2014
July 25-28, 2013
July 12-15, 2012
July 14-17, 2011