N.J. Nurses Recognized Nationally for Advocacy, Service to Patients and Profession

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New Jersey State Nurses Association CEO Named State Advocate of the Year

TRENTON, N.J.—Dec. 21, 2018—New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA) CEO Judith Schmidt will be recognized by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) with the 2019 Advocate State Award for Excellence for her exceptional nurse leadership and service to nurses.

Judith E. Schmidt, RN, MSN, ONC, CCRN, NJSNA CEO

For many years, she has been one of the most visible proponents of the advancement of the nursing profession as CEO of NJSNA where she represents the interests of more than 110,000 registered and advanced practice nurses in New Jersey.

She recently advocated for new state legislation that allows mental health practitioners, including advanced practice nurses (APNs), to keep firearms away from mental health patients who seek to harm themselves or others. Schmidt was instrumental in successfully leading the call for earned sick days for all New Jersey employees to protect public health while protecting vulnerable populations and reducing healthcare costs. She has also encouraged safe staffing based on nurse experience and patient acuity in response to introduced legislation that set a staffing standard.

On the federal level, she recently supported further expansion of opioid addiction treatment resources with House approval of landmark legislation that gives permanent medication-assisted treatment prescribing authority to nurse practitioners and physicians assistants as well as extends the ability to prescribe to certified registered nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists and registered nurse midwives.

Singh Recognized with Nurse Practitioner Award

Varsha Singh, MSN, APN, an NJSNA member, will be also be recognized with AANP’s Nurse Practitioner State Award for Excellence.

Singh was nominated for clinical expertise as an Adult Health NP in primary care, neuroscience, and geriatrics. She is an organizational leader, serving in administrative management positions including the stroke unit, adult medical clinic and employee health. Her work experience is showcased in her efforts in neurology, specifically stroke care, where she trained personnel in stroke data extraction and implemented a hospital and state-wide performance improvement plan. Singh serves as president of the Forum of Nurses in Advanced Practice and a director at large for American Nurses Association.

“Judy and Varsha deserve this recognition for all the work they do on behalf of New Jersey nurses and beyond,” said Dr. Benjamin Evans, DD, DNP, RN, APN, PMH CNS-BC, president of NJSNA. “Both of them work tirelessly to move the practice of nursing forward for all and improve patient outcomes.”

The award will be given during the 2019 AANP National Conference held June 18–23, 2019 at the Indiana Convention Center.


NJSNA, which was established in 1901, is a constituent member of the American Nurses Association.  The New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA) represents the interests of 125,000 registered nurses and advanced practice nurses as an advocate for the nursing profession. NJSNA’s lobbying arm continues to protect the nursing profession through legislative victories. Its nonprofit foundation, Institute for Nursing, helps nurses further their careers by providing continuing education, scholarships and research grants in addition to invaluable networking opportunities. For more information, nurses can visit www.njsna.org

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