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Sochalski Wins 2018 Lois Capps Policy Luminary Award

The annual award was created in 2009 to recognize an outstanding nursing leader for their public policy achievements.

Julie Sochalski, PhD, RN, FAAN, Associate Professor, Associate Dean for Academic Programs, and the Class of 1965 25th Reunion Term Chair at Penn Nursing, received the 2018 American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (AACN) Lois Capps Policy Luminary Award, on Sunday, October 28, during the Academic Nursing Leadership Conference in Washington, D. C.

Sochalski is the current chair of AACN’s Health Policy Advisory Council. She has made exceptional contributions to the nursing workforce and health policy over the years.

An investigator in health systems analysis and health policy, Sochalski studies gaps in the US health care system and how policy solutions are devised and implemented to fill them. She also studies the impact – intended and unintended – of health policy decisions. She is particularly interested in how nurses and other health care professionals are best deployed to achieve optimal population health.

Sochalski is now investigating the impact of nurse practitioners working to the extent of their practice authority in the Veterans Administration health system, the nation’s largest employer of nurse practitioners. Her study, funded by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, includes 6,000 nurse practitioners in urban and rural clinics and health centers in all 50 states. She expects the data to shed light on a perennial question: whether care is less costly when nurse practitioners are allowed to practice to the full extent of their licensure, and whether and how patients benefit.