Jessica Whelan has extensive experience in the mental health field and has served as a speaker and advisory board member in the areas of bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, tardive dyskinesia, pseudobulbar affect, binge eating disorder, as well as genetic testing. She supports multiple universities to provide clinical mentorship for medical and nurse practitioner students. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Missouri Columbia and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes Jewish College in St. Louis She received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Missouri Columbia and her Doctorate in Nursing Practice at the University of Missouri St. Louis. Her Master’s project consisted of an appraisal of literature regarding NMDA receptor antagonism in the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia, and her doctoral project was an evaluation of nurse practitioner led care in psychiatry in comparison to care led by a psychiatrist. She has assisted in activities such as development of Intensive Outpatient Programming as well as clinical documentation to prepare inpatient psychiatric units for Joint Commission Accreditation. Forms that have been developed specifically by her at each of these facilities have been recognized by the Joint Commission as some as the best in the field. As a nurse she has worked in multiple areas including community mental health, inpatient psychiatric units including adult, acute adult, geriatric, and child and adolescents. In addition to her extensive experience in psychiatry, she has also worked as a nursing supervisor and as part of an Acute care float team gaining experience on multiple inpatient medical units. Throughout her training and career, she has received several scholarships, honors, and awards. Her most recent award was given from the University of Missouri St. Louis, where she served as an honorary adjunct faculty member through 2019, for her dedication as a Preceptor. She is a policy and political advocate. This year she was also recently recognized and published by the American Nurses Association as part of their Year of Advocacy. Jessica also is recognized as an industry and national thought leader and has been invited to be an advisory board member for psychiatric research and development companies such as Sunovion, Allergan, and Avanir. In addition, she has been a speaker for molecules such as Ubrelvy, Vraylar, Fetzima, Viibryd, Rexulti, and Neudexta. She speaks for Genomind and is a member of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics. Jessica also serves as a Vice President for Slaying Dragons, a nonprofit organization dedicated to decreasing the stigma of mental illness through theatrical production, as a Vice President for the international organization Nurses Against Violence Unite, as the Vice President for St. Louis Nurse’s in Advanced Practice, a board member of the Distinguished School of Mental Health and Wellness, and as a member of Association of Missouri Nurse Practitioner, the Neuroscience education institute, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and the Missouri Nurses Association. She has sat on the standard setting panel for the American Nurses Credentialing Center for the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Exam and contributed to the formation of a Nurse Practitioner Specific website created by Allergan. She has also taken part in industry publications, is part of the APNA task force for Personality Disorders, and a co-host on a local health radio show, The Health Beat, in St. Louis. Jessica feels that her diverse experience and passion in psychiatry would make a great asset to the board of the APNA. She would love to assist as the president of the board in order to help promote psychiatric nurse practitioners and psychiatric nurses nationally. She hopes that her passion for psychiatry, the science of neuropsychopharmacology, neurobiology, neuropathology, and neuropsychopharmacogenomics will inspire other nurses to expand the horizons for psychiatric nurses everywhere. Lastly, her future goal is to become a leader and recognized as the female, nurse practitioner version of Stephen Stahl when she “grows up”.