Dr. Vermeesch believes in a collective nursing voice to be heard on the national and international level to better optimize health care for all people, especially our most vulnerable. She is well organized and passionate about being a nursing educator and working with the next generation. She strives to inspire her students to think beyond current topics and consider viewpoints. She will bring this passion to the AANP nomination council. If elected to AANP, Dr. Vermeesch would advocate for full scope of practice for NPs in affected states, advocating for embedding self-care strategies into NP curriculum at undergraduate and graduate levels and advocating for NPs to have their voices heard at national policy tables.
Associate Professor of Nursing.
The biggest challenge facing NPs in the delivery of health care over the next decade is state variability in scope of practice. This is not a new challenge yet it remains a pervasive issue that continues to negatively impact NPs’ ability to fully care for patients of all backgrounds. Not only do patients suffer from not being able to receive the care they deserve but also their access to qualified NPs is limited due to some state restrictions. Variable scope of practice affects not only quality, depth, and access but also the individuals NPs by increasing their perceived stress of not being able to practice to the full extent of their training. Perceived stress can contribute to burnout for NPs. Burnout is important to address as it contributes to compassion fatigue, poor job performance, psychosocial conditions including anxiety and depression, as well as physical manifestations that are deleterious to an individual’s whole health. This impacts NPs’ connection with patients. AANP should address this issue by continuing to advocate for full scope of practice for NPs in affected states, advocating for embedding self-care strategies into NP curriculum, and advocating for NPs to have their voices heard at national policy making tables.
I have been a Family Nurse Practitioner since 2006, an AANP member, and NP educator effectively since 2011. I have followed AANP activities through the website, conferences, and have a good understanding of AANP’s goals. I have actively sought a variety of leadership opportunities in preparation for more formal involvement with AANP. My leadership skills include being action-oriented, an effective listener and communicator and a strategic problem solver. For example, in the Fall 2019, several colleagues came to me and confided high levels of stress and were at high risk of burn out. Additionally, I directly observed these symptoms among my colleagues. As a result, I, along with two other individuals, created and became co-directors of the Initiative for Vital Practice Committee (2020 – present). This was prior to COVID-19 but we are seeing physical and mental manifestations continuing to rise at an unprecedented level since the pandemic began. Thus far, the initiative has received funding to create sustainable pathways for self-care for faculty and staff. We have utilized online workshops, art therapy, narrative writing and discussions and professional quality of life to accomplish the mission to create a sustainable pathway for increasing vital practice through increasing resiliency and self-care practices.
I have been a wellness researcher for underserved populations and minorities and a family nurse practitioner since 2006. If elected to AANP, I would advocate for full scope of practice for NPs in affected states, advocating for embedding self-care strategies into NP curriculum at undergraduate and graduate levels and advocating for NPs to have their voices heard at national policy tables. Advocating for full scope of practice aligns with Goal A: Public/Health Care Consumer objective of AANP’s strategic plan for patients to have full and direct access to high-quality health care. By training and advocating for NPs to have their voices heard at national policy tables aligns with strategic plan Goal B: Reputation, Authority and Expertise. Specific actions could include encouraging my students and colleagues to participate in leadership institutions at local and national levels. I will advance Goal C: Parity in Compensation/Reimbursement through my graduate courses in pharmacology and politics and policy for the nurse leader. Additionally, I advance Goal D: AANP as an Organization by increasing access of AANP resources for practice, education, advocacy and research to our students and faculty. Each fall, I bring in our Oregon State Representative to my policy and leadership course.