As a FNP and Wound Care Specialist for 16 years in the hospital, out-patient, and nursing home practices, I have been active professionally as a state nurse organizational president and served on political action committees reviewing, writing, and presenting legislation at the state and national level and completed a policy fellowship. From my practice, state nursing association and AANP experience I have gained valuable knowledge and political skills to speak and strategize for our profession. With my robust understanding of how the national and state legislation affects our profession and those we serve, I have been able to address state and national legislative committees to advise effectively. My educational, practice and professional background has given me confidence that I can be affective in moving APRNs to full scope of practice. Collaboration with all NP and health care groups to incorporate meaningful information to those who may not understand our practice.
sole proprietor Gayle P. Harrell, LLC; FNP, legal consultant, nephrology, wound care
I have been active at the state level as the Mississippi Nurses Association Treasure, President, Public Affairs committee member and PAC chair. I have spoken before the legislature and the Board of Medicine to clarify, inform and support the role of nurse practitioners for over fifteen years. I have spoken at the state legislative Summit to nursing students, nurses, educators and legislators concerning nursing practice and health care issues. I have attended the Region 11 annual meetings for over 10 years to network with local states to share ideas to develop strategies for full practice authority, applaud successes and encourage collaboration between state organizations within the states and within the region. I have attended the AANP Leadership Conference for many years, learning the most productive ways to bring information to my legislators and encourage them to support the bills that would bring our practice to be more effective for the APRNs and the people that we serve. I am presently serving as a trustee on the AANP PAC to help raise funds to support the legislators that can be effective in changing the laws that help us to provide care at our full scope.
The greatest challenge facing NPs in delivery of health care over the next decade is to have full practice authority in every state and US territory. While our practice has been well researched and validated, our visibility with our patients as nurse practitioners is still often confused with the physician. Many of the physicians entering their professions now are accepting of our value in the team of health care. Great strides have been made with the policy makers at the state and national level, but every year new legislators have to be educated so that they are well informed about what we do and what we bring to their constituents' health care and the cost of that care. AANP should continue to encourage members to enlist their colleagues to become members, support the PAC so that AANP has the funds to support those legislators that can bring our profession to its full potential, encourage NPs to run for local and national office and continue to provide education to NPs and legislators about needed legislation to allow NPs the ability to practice at their full scope of practice.
As a past president of a state nursing organization, member of public health committee, and present PAC chair, I have years of experience sharing with nursing and state legislators and members of Congress about the challenges facing NPs, the research supporting NP practice and patient health outcomes, and contacts with legislators at the state and national level. I have been meeting with state and national legislators and their legislative assistants for more than 15 years and have developed positive relationships to share information about our concerns for NPs and healthcare. As a result, two of my new state members of Congress agreed to become cosponsors of the bills that AANP is supporting after my visit. Both of their legislative assistants call and thanked me for my visit and the information that I had presented. My efforts joined with other NPs has resulted in co-sponsorship of the present healthcare bills from all the Mississippi Congressmen. My knowledge of the legislative process, also, helps provide me with the ability to be affective when meeting with legislators and their staff. I, also, recognize that our success is a group effort of AANP, AANP members, and other organizations that are affected by our practice.
Barriers to providing healthcare to Mississippians is both a federal and state issue. During my meetings with state legislators, members of Congress, and groups that are affected by the inability for their constituents and clients to receive adequate health care, no one has argued that every one should have health care available. But many state legislators and Congressman are not knowledgeable about what collaboration is, what NPs really do, or what positive financial impact NPs have on the economy. I will strive to incorporate all of AANP's goals in my activities: speak at civic, city, and healthcare meeting about the practice of NPs, provide bullet flyers with information to legislators who have an influence on NP practice, and address the Mississippi Economics Council with data to show the financial impact NPs have on the economy. My experience leads me to believe I could achieve more by collecting data about the financial impact of NP practice to share with policy-makers and businesses and the positive economical impact. I will also continue to provide NPs up to date information provided from AANP about the progress of NP bills and how they can impact the success with their legislative contacts.