Board of Directors

Board of Directors 2018-01-16T09:36:51+00:00

The Missouri Nurses Association Board of Directors is composed of five officers elected to two year terms by the members (President, VP of Advocacy, VP of Communication, VP of Finance, and Education Director) and the Member Services Director, who is elected from among the seven elected Regional Chairs.

Terry Reese, MSN, RN, FNP-BC (2016-2017)


We must continue to move forward advancing the practice of nursing from direct care, to advanced practice and administration as recommended by the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing Report. We can accomplish our goals through quality, organizational leadership, commitment to our mission from nurses across the state and through collaboration with our partner organizations.

Having served on the Missouri Nurses Association Board of Directors the past eight (8) years, I have seen firsthand the obstacles the Association faces related to the legislative process, nursing practice and operations. I have witnessed the collaboration, teamwork of nurses and other healthcare professionals across the state to manage each obstacle that comes our way. As your President I will continue to advance the association’s mission. I appreciate your support and the opportunity to serve as your President.

Rebecca McClanahan, MSN, RN (2016-2017)

Vice President of Advocacy

The transformative changes at the association have strengthened our advocacy and positioned us for greater influence in professional and public arenas. We must build coalitions, within nursing and with others, to assure that patients benefit fully from the contributions of staff nurses by advocating for such issues as adequate staffing and safe patient handling, and we must assure that patients can benefit from access to APRN providers with full practice authority.

Nurses must be “at the table” so nursing care and nurses are valued and rewarded for the essential role provided in society. I am seeking the opportunity to lead the Missouri Nurses Association’s efforts to affect the preferred future we seek: one in which the influence of RNs and APRNs is fully valued, from the point of care to the board room.”

Margaret Mata, BSN, RN (2016-2017)

Vice President of Communication

I am a bedside nurse and seasoned communication specialist dedicated to public service, advocacy for the needs of nurses, and nurse-led initiatives to improve and promote the health of Missourians.

In my short tenure as the Vice President of Communications for the Missouri Nurses Association, I developed the first-ever comprehensive communication plan for the organization that ensures regular and timely communication to advance, strengthen, and promote public awareness and support for nursing. I am committed to fair and balanced messaging that protects the interests of registered nurses in our state.

Corinne Fessenden, PhD, RN (2016-2017)

Vice President of Finance

I am committed to a financially strong and stable Missouri Nurses Association which is best situated to serve and represent its membership. Over the last 15 to 20 years, there have been ups and downs regarding the association’s fiscal status. Currently, the organization is in a strong financial position and I will work to insure that the Missouri Nurses Association continues to be fiscally sound.

Many factors influence the fiscal status of the Missouri Nurses Association with membership being primary along with marketing and grant opportunities. In regard to these influences, I will work with the Missouri Nurses Association board, finance committee and staff to optimize every potential opportunity to enhance the association’s financial position. My prior experience as a Missouri Nurses Association board member and finance committee member along with my accounting degree prepare me for and give me insight into the challenges and opportunities of serving as the Missouri Nurses Association’s vice president of finance.

April Bennett, RN, MSN (2017-2018)

Member Services Director

My passion is to serve the nursing field by helping to advance our profession through continuing to enhance quality care and service to our patients. Our legislators need to hear our nursing voice to know what our challenges are, as well as knowing what support we need. By serving as the Southwest Regional Chair, my hope is to ‘rally the troops’ and bring our region together for discussions on how we can improve the nursing profession to better serve our patients.

BJ Whiffen, RN, DNP, MSN, BSN (2017-2018)

Education Director

I have personally experienced nursing education at all levels beginning as an ADN nurse and then achieving my BSN, MSN and DNP. But what makes me qualified to be the Education Director is my teaching experience in education. I have taught nurses/students in the hospital, in the community college setting and at the university level, focusing on adult teaching/learning styles. I am currently dean of nursing for Southeast Hospital College of Nursing and as well as teaching students, work with staff development for our faculty and provide continuing education for our area nurses. I am passionate about continuing education for nurses. As a practicing nurse for 30-plus years, I have seen many types of continuing education for nurses, from an on-line article for 0.5 CEU to a five day conference with multitudes of pertinent or not so pertinent offerings. I believe nursing continuing education should be high quality, available, affordable and accessible to all nurses in Missouri.

Nancy Barr, MSN, BSN, RN (2017-2018)

Practice Director

I want to serve in the elected position of practice director to continue the work of the Practice Committee, to develop new strategies for the practice of nursing and to forge partnerships with nurses and groups who are influential in strengthening the practice of nursing whether it be at the direct practice level or the advance practice level. The practice of nursing must be recognized for its ability to provide safe, documented care in any setting by the direct care nurse or the advance practice nurse level.

The practice director must constantly scan the environment to determine how rules & regulations of others might influence, alter, limit or compete with nurses and nursing care. The practice director must be able to articulate the practice of nursing in an understandable and reliable way to influence the development of a health care system where direct care and advance practice nurses are considered experts in their field to provide direction for this much needed work.