Hello Region 1 Members! My name is Valerie Fuller and I am running for the position of Region 1 Director. I have a long history of service and leadership to local, state and national nursing organizations and proudly served as the Maine State Representative to AANP from 2014 - 2020. I currently Co-chair the AANP NP Education Enhancement and Sustainment Advisory Committee, I am a member of the AANP Fellows Selection Committee and the very humbled 2021 recipient of the AANP Advocate State Award for Excellence (thank you Maine and AANP)! I am eager to work with you, the Region 1 State Representative and the Board of Directors to advance the mission and initiatives of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Your support and vote are appreciated. Thank you!
In the midst of one of the worst health care crises in our nation’s history, I see both challenges and opportunities for NPs. As a profession we continue to deal with outdated state licensure laws and scope of practice restrictions which limit our ability to provide care to patients when and where they need care. During the pandemic many states have relaxed and/or removed these barriers allowing NPs to provide care to the full extent of their education and certification. I believe there is opportunity here and the time to act is now. We’ve proven (once again) that we provide safe, highly effective and efficient health care. We can use these examples to advocate for permanent change at both state and federal levels. AANP continues to tirelessly advocate for FPA within our state and federal governments. Because of their work on our behalf, we can now certify and recertify home health care services, prescribe MAT and much more. As your Region 1 director I would like to continue this work with AANP, individual state NP organizations and interested stakeholders to re-energize the grassroot campaigns needed to move forward with legislation to permanently remove any and all restrictions on NP practice.
I have always had a strong desire to serve and have been fortunate to hold leadership positions in a number of local, state and national nursing organizations. Many years ago, I was also selected to participate in a 6-month health leadership program that focused on building individual and collaborative leadership skills to improve health care quality and access to care. Through these experiences, I have developed strategic relationships with different governmental organizations, academic associations, professional groups and other health care leaders to further hone my leadership skills and to advance policies and legislation of interest to NPs. A recent example would be drafting legislation and working with our state NP organization and state government to pass a healthcare preceptor tax credit bill aimed at increasing the number of qualified preceptors in Maine. I was also instrumental in drafting and moving forward the legislation that allowed Maine Nurse Practitioners to achieve global signature authority. It is important to note that none of these initiatives were individual, but rather collaborative efforts on the behalf of many, of whom I was fortunate to lead. I am eager to use my leadership skills and abilities to serve AANP and each of its members.
As the old adage goes, we need to strike while the iron is hot. In the wake of the pandemic, many states moved quickly to issue emergency declarations to suspend APRN supervision and/or collaboration requirements. Over the next few years, our state and federal governments will be drafting legislation to address the current and future pandemics. As the Region 1 director my goal will be to empower our members, educate our policy makers and work with interested stakeholders to advance legislation and make full practice authority a permanent reality in every state. We are the solution and have decades of evidence to demonstrate that Nurse Practitioners provide safe, effective and evidence-based health care. I believe that state and federal legislators are more likely than ever to recognize the needless and burdensome regulatory barriers that prevent Nurse Practitioners from providing essential health care services and the ability to respond in times of need. The time for action is now.