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President's Message

NPCNA has been an integral part of my professional career since 2007.   It is a community of nurses specializing in pediatric cardiology that promotes professional development and education.  We offer a seasonal newsletter to our membership as well as an annual conference.   Our conference continues to highlight strong quality improvement work and provide evidence-based education in our continuously changing field of work.   I am so honored to serve as president of this association and look forward to seeing you at the conference this fall. 

-Justine Fortkiewicz, MSN, RN-BC, CCRN-K, CPN, CHSE

The NPCNA Leadership Board

As a member-driven organization, we appreciate when our members volunteer their time, expertise and passion to help further the mission of NPCNA. Our current leadership board is entrusted with steering the organization and implementing our many programs, scholarships and educational opportunities. Please read below to meet them!

Justine Fortkiewicz MSN, RN-BC, CCRN-K, CPN, CHSE
Children's National Hospital

Justine is a Professional Practice Specialist in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU). She works on staff development, continuing education, performance improvement projects, nursing research, and leadership initiatives.      

Katie Penny MSN, CPNP, WOCN
Past President
Boston Children’s Hospital  
Katie is a nurse practitioner with the Cardiac Medical Service on the Cardiac Inpatient Cardiac Unit at Boston Children's Hospital. She is also board certified as a Wound and Ostomy Care Nurse. She recently spent the past four years as the NPCNA president.

Christina Duelley, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, CCRN-K, CPN
Children's National Hospital

Christina is a Professional Practice Specialist in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU). She works on staff development, continuing education, performance improvement projects, nursing research, and leadership initiatives.  

Nancy Francis, BSN, RN, CCRN, CPN        Secretary                                                       Children's National Hospital

Nancy is a clinical nurse in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) who has served as co-chair and chair of unit-based and systems-level Practice Councils. She's served in medical mission trips to Uganda participate as both nurse and educator for open heart surgery patients, their families, and the staff. 

Christina Ireland, MS, RN, CFNP
Boston Children's Hospital 

Christina works in the cardiology program, and has a special interest in the pulmonary vein stenosis population. She developed her current position, and has been recognized as a point-person of the team nationwide. She has been an active member of NPCNA since 2013.                                                                

Pearl Ann Wilkins BSN, RN, CPN, CCRN      Program Co-Chair                                        Children's National Hospital

Pearl has been a registered nurse in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. since 2016. I am on the Professional Development Council, which plans lectures to provide continuing education to staff. In the past, I have also been a pediatric clinical instructor on our cardiac step-down unit. I enjoy teaching and attending educational conferences. I look forward to planning future educational opportunities with NPCNA!

Jennifer Rowe, MSN, CPNP-AC, CCRN 
Program Co-Chair
Children's National Hospital

Jenn has served on the NPCNA Board as a Program Co-Chair since 2018. She has worked at Children's National Hospital since 2015 as a Registered Nurse in the cardiac ICU, and most recently graduated from Duke University in the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Acute Care Program. She is now a Nurse Practitioner in the Cardiac ICU at Children's National.

Chelsea Langford MSN, RN, CCRN                        Program Co-Chair                                                UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

Chelsea is a Professional Staff Nurse Level II for the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She is currently the co-chair of the hospital wide VAP/VAE/UE committee with a focus on decreasing unplanned extubations. She is an adjunct clinical instructor for two local schools of nursing. She has a passion for nursing education and is a preceptor on her unit. She has been a member of NPCNA since 2016 and looks forward to her new role as program co-chair. 

Alex Birely, MSN, ACCNS, CCRN
Newsletter Editor
Dallas Children's Health

 Alex is a clinical nurse specialist in the Cardiac Step Down Unit. She looks forward to expanding the Northeast networking down south into Texas!
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