2022 School of Nursing Alumni Awards

Jessica Peck headshot


2022 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

This award honors an alumnus who has made major contributions to nursing through a commitment of excellence in patient care, research, publications, education, community service and/or leadership.

About Dr. Jessica Peck

Dr. Jessica Peck is an expert pediatric nurse practitioner who provides innovative, visionary, and award-winning leadership to develop and lead inclusive and diverse interprofessional teams.

Dr. Peck earned an Associate Degree in Nursing from San Jacinto College (1997) before coming to the University of Texas Medical Branch and achieving a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (2000), a Master of Science in Nursing as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (2002), and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Education (2011). In 2012, she earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the University of Alabama.

Dr. Peck is currently a Clinical Professor of Nursing at Louise Herrington School of Nursing, Baylor University. She holds national credentials as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Certified Nurse Educator, and Clinical Nurse Leader. She also earned the elite designation of Fellow from both the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the American Academy of Nursing.

Dr. Peck is an internationally recognized human trafficking expert. She created the Alliance for Children in Trafficking, a campaign of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP), providing expert consultation to the U.S. Congress. Dr. Peck worked with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of an interprofessional team to create core competencies for health care professionals. As Lead Medical Consultant for Unbound Houston, she helped create a statewide education program. She was a key advocate and witness in the successful passage of House Bill 2059, mandating continuing education in Texas. She is an expert for a National Science Foundation grant at Baylor to disrupt domestic sex trafficking supply networks.

Dr. Peck tirelessly works as an expert in pediatrics and advocate for children. She helped create two national initiatives to serve children in foster care and children at risk for suicide. With grant support from Baylor, she is working with an interprofessional team to create a pediatric palliative care program in Bengaluru, India.

Dr. Peck is an accomplished professional organization leader, with elected service including Regional Representative (Texas Nurse Practitioners [TNP]), Region 6 Director (American Association of Nurse Practitioners [AANP]), and both Secretary and President of NAPNAP. Recent awards include the Advocacy Award (American Nurses Association, 2022), Sharp Cutting Edge Award and Advocate State Award for Excellence (AANP, 2021), Outstanding Policy Award (National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty, 2021), Distinguished Alumni (University of Alabama, 2020), Nurse Practitioner of the Year (TNP, 2019) and inducted into the UTMB School of Nursing Hall of Fame in 2021.

Dr. Peck is a frequently requested national speaker and media guest. She has a special interest in educating and equipping families to promote positive physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual health. She started a NAPNAP podcast in 2020, achieving more than 10,000 listeners in 26 countries. She is an accomplished author of more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Her book, Behind Closed Doors: A Guide to Help Parents and Teens Navigate Life’s Toughest Issues, is scheduled for release from W Publishing in October 2022.

Dr. Peck’s greatest accomplishment and joy are found in her husband of 24 years and her four teenage children, who inspire her every day to make the world a healthier place for children.

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