AUSTIN, TEXAS —This National Nurse Practitioner Week (Nov. 8-14), the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) applauds America’s 290,000 licensed NPs for their outstanding commitment to patients amid COVID-19 and their ongoing leadership to address the health disparities starkly highlighted by the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has laid bare what we have known for too long – communities facing health disparities do not receive equal access to health care,” said AANP President Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP. “When a patient’s ZIP code is still a greater predictor of their health outcomes than their genetic code, it is clear there is much work to be done. As NPs, we must lead the effort to ensure every patient has equal access to the high-quality health care they deserve. NPs are working, community by community, to break down barriers that reinforce inequalities and to end the institutional racism that impacts our patients across the nation.”
As a leader in this important mission, AANP will continue to advocate for a coordinated national response to combat health disparities and call on state legislatures nationwide to expand health care access through passage of Full Practice Authority (FPA). In every state, NPs deliver comprehensive, high-quality care in settings ranging from primary care clinics, hospitals, emergency rooms, urgent care centers and nursing homes to patients’ homes.
AANP’s Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion continues to champion the NP profession’s proactive response to the challenge of achieving health equity. During 2020-2021, AANP will conduct an organizational climate survey; host a series of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion webinars on the topic of systemic racism; and introduce new continuing education courses that address health equity and strategies to combat implicit bias. In addition, AANP will sponsor a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Track as part of the 2021 AANP Fall Conference.
As AANP salutes NPs this week for their critical role in combating COVID-19 and health inequalities, the association reminds all Americans that the best way to stay safe from illness this fall and winter is to get a flu vaccine, wear a mask when in public, maintain a social distance of six feet from non-household members and wash hands regularly. Because COVID-19 and flu symptoms look similar, it is important for patients to seek prompt attention from an NP or other health care provider if they develop symptoms. More information and resources can be found at NPsCombatCOVID.org
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. It represents the interests of the more than 290,000 licensed NPs in the U.S. AANP provides legislative leadership at the local, state and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education and research; and establishing standards that best serve NPs' patients and other health care consumers. As The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner®, AANP represents the interests of NPs as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered health care. To locate an NP in your community, visit npfinder.com. For more information about NPs, visit aanp.org. For COVID-19 information from AANP, visit aanp.org/COVID19.