Becoming A Certified Nurse Practitioner


Linda Gottwald holds responsibilities as the executive director of the Pine Cone Farm animal shelter in Traverse City. In addition to her administrative role with this animal shelter, Linda Gottwald is a nurse practitioner at Munson Medical Center in Michigan.

Becoming a nurse practitioner takes years of practice, dedication, and education, as practitioners are widely considered to be among the most versatile and knowledgeable professionals in the nursing industry. The first step toward becoming a nurse practitioner begins with a four-year degree program in an area of nursing, such as obstetrics or pediatrics. After a degree is obtained, nursing students need to successfully complete the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses.

While becoming a registered nurse is not mandatory for aspiring nurse practitioners, it can help in a number of ways, not the least of which is providing studying nurse practitioners with job opportunities while they complete the certification process. Individuals who pass the National Council Licensure exam will next need to enroll in a four-year nurse practitioner degree program, followed by a two- to four-year master’s program that issues Nurse Practitioner (NP) degrees.


AANP Readies for 2014 Health Policy Conference


Having enjoyed a successful career as a nurse practitioner and a journalist, Linda Gottwald now works as a nurse practitioner for Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, Michigan, and as an adjunct faculty member at Northwestern Michigan College. Outside of her work in the medical field, Ms. Gottwald serves as executive director of an animal shelter located in northern Michigan. To stay informed of the latest developments in her profession, Linda Gottwald maintains membership in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) will host its 2014 Health Policy Conference on March 30 through April 1, 2014 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. The conference will provide nurse practitioners with valuable information and the leadership and development skills necessary to provide the highest level of care for patients. The scheduled keynote speaker for the 2014 conference is Claire Shipman, a senior contributing reporter for ABC’s Good Morning America, Nightline, and World News Tonight.

As a result of a merger between the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American College of Nurse Practitioners in January 2013, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is recognized as the largest association for nurse practitioners in all specialties. Representing more than 171,000 nurse practitioners in the country, the AANP is committed to providing the highest quality health care to patients.

Survey Shows High Satisfaction Among Nurse Practitioners


Linda Gottwald is a nurse practitioner at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, Michigan. In addition to her work at Munson Medical, Linda Gottwald also directs a local animal shelter and serves as adjunct faculty for Northwestern Michigan College, where she supervises nursing students during community health rotations.

Staff Care, a healthcare staffing firm, recently conducted a survey on behalf of the American Nurse Practitioner Foundation (ANPF) at the annual meeting of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. The company interviewed 222 nurse practitioners, asking them questions about their job satisfaction and outlook on the industry. Virtually all of the individuals who participated in the survey indicated that they were happy being a nurse practitioner, that they were optimistic about the future of the profession, and that they had high professional morale. While indicating general satisfaction among participants, the survey also showed that most participants felt overworked or strained, and few felt they could accept additional responsibilities or patients.

The David Lawrence Community Service Award, by Linda Gottwald


The David Lawrence Community Service Award celebrates an individual or group who has worked to improved the health of a community or communities within Kaiser Permanente regions. Awarded annually by Kaiser Permanente, the award takes its name from former CEO David Lawrence, who dedicated much of his life to developing community health initiatives.

Kaiser Permanente collects individual and group nominations throughout the year, and the healthcare provider avidly requests that physicians and employees of any of the Permanente Medical Groups contribute nominations. Nominees must be employees of Kaiser Permanente, whether full-time or part-time, and self-nominations are accepted.

Individual nominees should exhibit exemplary efforts and a commitment to health and social issues, such as culturally competent care and care for underserved populations. For groups, the nominees must demonstrate voluntary, collaborative, or replicable efforts to improve community health, such as a dedication to finding the causes for disease and poor health in the community, ensuring care addresses the makeup of the community, ensuring that the most vulnerable in the community have access to healthcare services.

Kaiser Permanente accepts nominations through its website at

About Linda Gottwald: Named a Kaiser Fellow, Dr. Linda Gottwald received an Urban Health Reporting Internship from the Kaiser Family Foundation in 1995.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, by Linda Gottwald


Founded in 1948, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation has focused on America’s “unmet health care needs” since its inception. Possessing an operating budget of around $40 million each year, this group supports health policy analysis and journalistic endeavors so that people remained informed about the health care problems affecting the country and the rest of the world.

Based in Menlo Park, California, and Washington, DC, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation benefits many through its mission. Due to its endowment, it performs policy analysis and research without the need of outside funding, thus allowing it to retain its independence. The media and others in the health care industry turn to it for unbiased news and information. Additionally, it creates public service advertising campaigns that educate the public about relevant issues such as HIV/AIDS, women’s health, and Medicare and Medicaid.

About the Author:

The holder of a Doctorate of Nursing and Master’s degrees in Special Education and Journalism, Linda Gottwald has served in various roles throughout her career. In recognition of her achievements, the Kaiser Family Foundation named her as a Kaiser Fellow and provided Gottwald with an Urban Health Reporting Internship with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Animal Advocacy Organizations by Linda Gottwald


In a world filled with animals dependent on humans, there are organizations that can provide medical attention or a safe environment in which to flourish. Dr. Linda Gottwald, a dedicated animal advocate herself, provides a list of some national organizations that can help people contribute to animal welfare.

1. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) – PETA is the largest animal advocacy group in the world and confronts a variety of animal-rights-related issues, including the fast-food industry, entertainment, and fashion.

2. The Humane Society of the United States – The Humane Society supports various animal advocacy campaigns, shelters, and rescue operations throughout the country.

3. National Institute for Animal Advocacy (NIFAA) – NIFAA is a politically charged organization that works to develop and change laws to benefit animal populations.

4. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) – The ASPCA works in multiple capacities to prevent the inhumane treatment of animals. They work closely with shelters, rescue operations, and political groups to advocate the better treatment of animals in homes, on farms, and in commerce.

5. Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) – The ALDF uses the legal system to help animals by filing lawsuits, offering free legal advice to prosecutors dealing with animal cruelty cases, and working with the federal government to uphold and strengthen existing anti-cruelty laws.

Dr. Linda Gottwald works with these organizations as Executive Director of Pine Cone Farm in Michigan. Pine Cone Farm is an animal shelter near Traverse City in northern Michigan.