Barfield receives 2022 AANP State Award for Excellence in Florida

Monica Barfield, a Port St. Joe nurse practitioner who owns New Horizon Primary Care, has received the American Association of Nurse Practitioners’ State Award for Excellence in Florida, an honor recognizing her excellence in clinical practice.

Barfield, who specializes in Rural Primary care, first opened her Port St. Joe practice in July, 2020, two years after moving to the area.

Her practice was one of the first autonomous practices to be opened by a nurse practitioner in the state, which she said was especially difficult in the midst of the pandemic.

“It was really challenging, and it continues to be really challenging every day,” said Barfield. “But I love St. Joe, and I’ve built a really big thing there. I have over half of the patient population as patients.”

Barfield received her master’s degree as an adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner and her post-master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner from The University of South Alabama. 

She is currently pursuing her doctorate of nursing practice at The University of Florida. She was recently selected as The University of Florida’s “Gator Nurse.” 

Barfield is active in lobbying and advocating for nurse practitioners to practice to the full extent of their training and pay equity. She is a member of The Florida Nurse Practitioner Network and the president of their local NP council, Panhandle Elite Nurse Practitioners.

The AANP State Award for Excellence was established in 1993 and is given to an NP in each state who demonstrates excellence in clinical care. In 1993, the state award for NP advocates was added to highlight the efforts of individuals who have made a significant contribution toward increasing the awareness and recognition of nurse practitioners.

Each year, nurse practitioners across the nation are nominated by their colleagues to receive this prestigious award. 

“Just the fact that I’ve only been in Florida since 2018, it’s crazy to think that that’s who their state award winner is,” Barfield said. “Especially from a community as small as Port St. Joe.”

“But I wouldn’t be where I was at without my patients. Every patient in St. Joe treats me as if they’re my mom or my dad, and they’re the reason I stay.”

“I think one of the reasons I was nominated was because I was one of the first Nurse Practitioners to open an autonomous practice in the state of Florida.

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper NonDoc.com during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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