National Nurse Practitioner Week — celebrating 50 Years of NP excellence

Nurse practitioners (NPs) have a special reason to celebrate National Nurse Practitioner Week, Nov. 8–14. Fifty years ago, at the University of Colorado, the first NP program was established. And 50 years later, there are more than 205,000 NPs licensed to practice in the United States.

“All across the country, nurse practitioners are serving as a lifeline for patients, many who would otherwise struggle to access care,” said David Hebert, chief executive officer of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. “It is our hope that these patients, as well as their families, employers and legislators, will join us in recognizing and honoring the national nurse practitioner community throughout this milestone 50th anniversary year.”

NPs are licensed, expert clinicians with advanced education (most have master’s and many have doctorate degrees) and extensive clinical preparation who provide primary, acute and specialty health care services. In addition to providing a full range of services, NPs work as partners with their patients, guiding them to make educated health care decisions and healthy lifestyle choices. More than 916 million visits are made to NPs every year.

National Nurse Practitioner Week is a time to celebrate these exceptional health care providers and to remind lawmakers of the importance of removing outdated barriers to practice so that NPs will be allowed to practice to the full extent of their experience and education so that patients are allowed full and direct access to all the services NPs are educated and certified to provide. Nurse practitioners are informed, in touch and involved, making them the health care providers of choice for millions and a solution to the primary care crisis in America.

Health Care Access' full-time and volunteer NPs provide extraordinary care to the many persons in Douglas County who have very limited financial means. Our patients whose primary care providers are NPs have fewer emergency room visits and shorter hospital stays, resulting in lower out-of-pocket costs. Our staff emphasizes the health and well-being of the whole person in their approach, including helping patients make educated health care decisions and healthy lifestyle choices. We're very grateful and ecstatic to celebrate the work they provide each and every day at HCA.

For more information visit www.aanp.org. To locate an NP in your community, go to npfinder.com.

Pictured is HCA's full time nurse practitioner Elizabeth Graham

Pictured is HCA's full time nurse practitioner Elizabeth Graham by Madi Schulz

Tagged: ks, np, nurse practitioners, health care access, lawrence, np week

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