The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) has selected Michael Carter, DNSc, DNP, FAAN, DCC, as the recipient of its 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Carter, a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Advanced Practice and Doctoral Studies in the College of Nursing at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), received the award during the organization’s 41st Annual Meeting recently in Baltimore, Maryland.
A nurse practitioner (NP) since 1973, Dr. Carter was an early innovator in the role, always advocating for increased access and opportunities for nurse practitioners in rural areas. He was also one of the early mavericks who pushed to practice to the extent of educational preparation before state recognition of the NP was honored. He became involved in NP education and saw the rapid growth of programs in the ’80s and ’90s. He was one of the forerunners of doctoral preparation for the NP, leading the development of one of the first practice doctorate programs at UTHSC, where he served as dean of Nursing and professor from 1982-2000.
Dr. Carter provided guidance to other programs in the early evolution of the DNP degree. Within NONPF, he participated in the workgroup that identified the first set of DNP-level NP core competencies. In this work, he pushed the term “independent practice” in support of policy efforts to advance the nurse practitioner’s authority at state levels.
Among the many prominent positions Dr. Carter has held to advance nursing education and practice, he served in leadership roles within NONPF, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the Frontier Nursing University Board, and the American Academy of Nursing.
Dr. Carter’s work extends beyond the United States. He was asked to travel to the city of Perth in Western Australia (WA), one of the most isolated cities in the world, to establish primary care nurse practitioner clinics to help deliver health care to isolated regions. He also helped establish a doctoral-level degree at Curtin University in Perth.
Each year, the NONPF board of directors selects one or more honorees whose contributions have been visionary and stalwart in successfully developing and promoting the role of the nurse practitioner. Selection for the award requires that the individual or entity meet one or more of the select criteria:
- Pioneered in and/or provided leadership of new programs, new models, specialties, or research related to nurse practitioners.
- Promoted the role of nurse practitioners through political, media, organizational, academic, and other processes.
- Attained leadership positions of distinction in the academic, government, and/or community arena.