Colleen Cole has been in healthcare for over 30 years, 15 of these years as a nurse practitioner. She achieved her MSN APRN-BC in 2004, MBA in 2010, and a DNP in 2012. Her experiences including providing direct patient care in a multitude of roles from hospital medicine, family practice, home health, critical care, emergency medicine, and asthma & allergy. She understands how to build a team and bringing people together to influence change. Healthcare challenges that nurse practitioners confront include payer disparities and limited access for patients to receive care. Advocating the role of nurse practitioners to policymakers, payers, and communities promote the removal of these barriers. Colleen believes in Full Practice Authority for nurse practitioners. Full Practice Authority allows patient’s accessibility to qualified and affordable healthcare providers. Colleen will serve as a strong supporter to promote positive change for nurse practitioners and patients.
Nurse Practitioner Asthma & Allergy Care
Currently serving as the President for the Association of Family Practice Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners - 2019
There are many challenges nurse practitioners will face over the next decade including increasing age population, rising healthcare costs, technology, barriers of full practice authority in each state, and patient access to medical care. Although each of these are vitally important, the biggest challenge perhaps pertains to the financial burden for healthcare services and future impact to our nation. Trillions of dollars are spent annually on healthcare and is almost 20% of the GDP. Models such as the fee-for-service continue to drive up these costs and often lead to unnecessary tests and services. The AANP recognizes and supports nurse practitioners as providing high quality, cost-effective care for patients. Services provided by nurse practitioners have continually demonstrated to offer health savings. This support must be continued and encouraged by the organization to offer greater access for patient care and reductions in healthcare spending. As a practice nurse practitioner, I see and hear daily the financial struggles for patients to pay for medical and prescriptive services. Often the patient must make difficult decisions of what medication or services they simply cannot afford. Nurse practitioners ease the healthcare burden of providing quality healthcare services at a more affordable price.
Throughout my career, I have demonstrated leadership and development of teams across many healthcare entities. Many of these roles include leading committees and forming teams to improve the health and safety of patient care. In 2012, I was serving as the Director of Employee for Parkwest Medical Center and LeConte Medical Center. I was requested by corporate management at that time to bid on and procure a contract to establish an onsite employee health and wellness clinic for Sevier County Government. I spent a great deal of time building the team and was awarded the contract and began to build a team for new services at the clinic. The hospital corporation, Covenant Health, was new to this type of venture and was reliant on my leadership experience and contract negotiations to receive the contract for services. I had the privilege of developing the clinic and working with many individuals across the healthcare spectrum offering medical services. Clinic services included family nurse practitioner healthcare services, pharmacy dispensing, wellness lectures, and outpatient therapy treatment services. Under my leadership, the clinic became was successful in assisting individuals that would otherwise not have access to affordable health care.
If elected, I propose to continue advancing the AANP Strategic Plan through a platform based on the core values of integrity, excellence, professionalism, leadership, and service. My goal is to continue to provide professionalism and leadership as a role model for others as a nurse practitioner. Throughout my career, I have challenged myself in the continuation of personal growth and development by furthering my education. I am a strong advocate for advancing the role of nurse practitioners through education and research. I will serve as an advocate for patient care by promoting policy change such as full practice authority for nurse practitioners. I will continue to promote public knowledge of the nurse practitioner role for public awareness for more affordable healthcare choices. As a state representative of the AANP, I will fight to lessen financial disparities through supporting and promoting legislation and policy change. I desire to partner with other local, state, and national organizations to promote healthcare to individuals underserved in many areas. My goal is to promote change that positively impacts the NP role and care we provide. I will utilize my skills to inspire other practitioners to join AANP and be proactive in positive change in healthcare.