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Member Spotlight

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Name: Leslie Pitts  

        

Credentials: MSN, CRNP, CPNP-AC, CDCES, AP-PEN 

Specialty (i.e. critical care, rural health): Pediatric Endocrinology 

Current Job Title / Role: Full-time DNP-PhD Student and Graduate Research Assistant 

Current Employer:    UAB School of Nursing 

Educational highlights (degree, school, etc.): I am a two-time UAB alumna. I graduated with a BSN in 2006 and my MSN in 2009, specializing as an Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. In 2021, I returned to UAB to pursue my DNP, and in 2022, I became the first dual DNP-PhD student at UAB School of Nursing. I am also completing Graduate Certificates in Nursing Education and the Applications of Mixed Methods Research while working towards my doctoral degree.  

 

Professional work outside of your traditional role (organizational service, research, community service, etc.): 

I am currently involved in numerous organizations, including NAPNAP, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, the Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing Society, and the Alabama League for Nursing. I serve as the President-Elect for the Alabama Chapter of NAPNAP, the Chair of the Advanced Practice Provider Specialty Interest Group for PES, and a member of the Education Committee for PENS. I participate in adolescent and young adult chronic health research as a member of the UAB Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Research Center and the UAB Civitan International Research Center. Within the community, I serve on the Junior Board of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and teach 4th-5th grade Sunday School at my church.

Interesting fact(s) about yourself:

I have Type 1 Diabetes, which gave me a passion for caring for children and adolescents with chronic conditions. I grew up in North Alabama and moved out at 16 years old to attend the Alabama School of Math and Science (a public boarding school) in Mobile, AL. I have a unique pet—an axolotl—named Falkor (after the Luckdragon from The Never-Ending Story). Interestingly, axolotls have central hypothyroidism, which prevents them from fully developing into adult salamanders. As a result, they are aquatic creatures who have both lungs and gills.  

Anything you want to share about your family? My husband Adam and I met at UAB School of Nursing in 2005. We were married in 2007, and we have two children, Lucy, who is 12, and Sam, who is 9. We have two dogs, Sadie and Nala, an axolotl named Falkor, and a multitude of guppies.  

What do you like to do in your spare time? I don’t have an abundance of spare time, but I love to read. I am working my way through the entire collection of Stephen King books (I’ve read 17 so far, so there is still a long way to go). I also enjoy putting together puzzles (the biggest puzzle I’ve done so far was 3,000 pieces), and my daughter recently got me into diamond art.  

What are you most proud of?

I am very proud of my 16-year career at Children’s Hospital. I miss caring for my Pediatric Endocrinology patients and working with my friends! I am also very proud of my children. They amaze me daily! 

 

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I would travel to Alberta, Canada for two reasons: 1) because I would absolutely love to see Banff and Lake Louise, and 2) because in 2020 I found out that my father has a sister who lives in Camrose, Alberta, and I would love to meet her and her family! 

Anything else you want to share? I would like to share how important it is to be a part of a professional organization. I know that as a student or an NP the costs can be really discouraging, but when you attend these national conferences it will change you—you will be a better care provider because you will be bettering yourself and developing a network of friends and colleagues throughout the country who share in the same interests. Moreover, the Alabama Chapter of NAPNAP works very hard to share education, community service, and networking opportunities to the PNPs of Alabama, and if you aren’t a member, I highly recommend that you consider joining!  

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