Thursday, November 12, 2009

National Nurse Practitioner Week

Since I am a nurse practitioner, it has not escaped my attention that this week is National Nurse Practitioner Week. I know, I know. It seems like there is a day or a week or a month for everything. But since this is kinda my thing I'm actually paying attention to this one.


For those of you who actually use nurse practitioners (NPs) for your health care you probably know how aweseom they are. Of course everyhing depends on the person, but for the most part NPs are wonderful, they answer questions, take their time with you and are generally very patient-centered. I talked a lot about NPs in this post so I won't go to into it but I wanted to share with you what the US government and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) had to say about their growing (and important) role in health-care. The following is from the AANP's website.

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The United States House of Representatives recently honored the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and National Nurse Practitioner Week.

"It is a great honor for nurse practitioners to be recognized by the United States Congress. As the number of nurse practitioners increases, so does public awareness of the significant contributions made by this group of dedicated healthcare professionals," said Dr. Judith Dempster, executive director of AANP. "Nurse practitioners have differentiated themselves from other clinicians by focusing on the whole person when treating specific health problems, as well as educating the patient on the effects those problems will have on them.

More and more consumers are choosing nurse practitioners as their partner in health because, in addition to providing high-quality primary, acute and specialty healthcare, nurse practitioners empower patients to maintain and improve their health by providing individualized and comprehensive health education and counseling. Nurse practitioners focus on promoting health and preventing disease, which can reduce healthcare cost for patients.

"Nurse practitioners fill a vital role in American's healthcare system. There are over 106,000 nurse practitioners providing high-quality care around the nation, and they are especially important in rural and underserved areas," said Congressman Burgess, a physician practicing in Lewisville, Tx. "I have worked with nurse practitioners and certainly I learned a great deal more from them than I was ever able to teach them."

AANP continually advocates for the active role of nurse practitioners as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, personalized healthcare. Use this occasion to celebrate the vital role that NPs play in bringing high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered, personalized primary care to all populations of the United States. The shortage of primary care providers is a hot topic in the healthcare reform debate. NP Week is a good opportunity to showcase the many ways that NPs are the primary care providers of choice for many patients and to let others in your community know about the value of NP-delivered primary care.

~Layne

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