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Wakako Minamoto Eklund is a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner for Pediatrix Medical Group of Tennessee, board member of the Council of International Neonatal Nurses (COINN), leadership member of the International Neonatal Consortium, and co-chair of the International Special Interest Group, American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Dr. Eklund recognized the impact of nursing practice variabilities globally, especially in Japan where practice is restrictive. She was the first to publish (2004) and speak (2009) to Japanese professionals about neonatal advance practice role. Joining COINN led her to conduct benchmarking research on global neonatal nurses’ roles. Her findings were incorporated into Japan’s Health Ministry Reports, guided doctoral research in nursing, changed national policy on NICU staffing ratios and gave rise to a nurses’ confidence. Dr. Eklund presented nationally, published numerous articles, and introduced evidence-based concepts on neonatal pain management, family-centered care and other topics not well established in Japan. She led a 50-member team to publish the first Japanese comprehensive Neonatal Nursing Textbook (2013). Her impact has reached the entire Japanese advance practice space beyond neonatal realm. She serves on the Equity Diversity Board, Vermont Oxford Network of more than thousand NICUs globally.

Dr. Eklund received her DNP from Northeastern University and MSN from Vanderbilt University.


Wakako Eklund


Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

Pediatrix Medical Group of Tennessee


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