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CHICAGO — The Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing has recognized Penny Strong, nurse practitioner at Walgreens' Take Care Clinic in River Forest, Ill., with its Marie Lindsey Spirit of Advanced Practice Nursing award during the Illinois Nurses Association biennial convention.
The convention was held in East Peoria, Ill., from Oct. 20 to 22. The award is named after Marie Lindsey, PhD, APN, CNP, who was the first president of ISAPN and a driving force in the pursuit of legislation to recognize APNs in Illinois.
The award is given by the Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing to a licensed advanced practice nurse in Illinois whom exemplifies the characteristics of leadership, commitment and achievement in advanced practice nursing. “Penny Strong is committed to the nurse practitioner role in two capacities: as a preceptor of students and as a colleague in clinical practice,” Strong's Take Care Clinic colleague Charlie Yingling said. Strong advocated for the Take Care Clinics to serve as training sites for nurse practitioner students. Yingling credited Strong as the driving force behind the Take Care Clinic’s nurse practitioners move to unionize.
“When our employer made unilateral changes in the way were allowed to practice our profession, Penny was the first person to step up and say something. Following her leadership, countless other colleagues found the courage to step forward and demand a restoration of NP autonomy over the clinical practice, which eventually led to the formation of the Take Care Clinic union,” Yingling added.
Strong ultimately led the group to seek out collective bargaining representation from the Illinois Nurses Association. Strong is on the Take Care Clinic negotiating team and president of the board. Before coming to the Walgreens' Take Care Clinic, Strong worked as a family nurse practitioner at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center from November 2004 to July 2007; as a registered nurse at Rush Oak Park Hospital from May 2001 to November 2004; and a nurse clinician at University Consultant in Allery and Immunology at Rush University Medical Center from August 1999 to April 2001.