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AUSTIN, TEXAS — The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP), the largest membership association for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties, released findings today from a new national survey that assessed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on NP clinical practice across settings, specialties and geographic location. The results confirm the significant role played by NPs in combating COVID-19 and the profession’s resilience in adopting new strategies to address patients’ ongoing health care needs.
The majority of NPs (58%) report they are testing patients for the coronavirus at their practices, and 61% are treating patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Despite improvements in testing and medical equipment capacity since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, NPs cite lack of testing (47%) and personal protective equipment (24%) as the two most critical barriers to treating COVID-19 patients in their communities. The majority of NPs surveyed (69%) report that in their communities, COVID-19 testing remains limited to patients meeting a narrow set of eligibility criteria.
“NPs are at the forefront of combating the COVID-19 crisis. They are testing and treating COVID-19 patients, while at the same time providing telehealth services to support patients’ ongoing health care needs,” said AANP President, Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP. ”NPs are also seeing firsthand the impact of inadequate testing capacity on their communities.”
In order to meet ongoing patient needs for preventive care and chronic disease management, greater than half of NPs report their practices are utilizing telehealth and virtual platforms (51%) and almost three out of five NPs report implementing new screening protocols and patient flow models (58%) in their practices to ensure patients’ access to quality health care.
“NPs are leading the way to expand health care access for millions of Americans. It’s critical that federal and state policymakers recognize the critical role these professionals play in health care delivery and ensure that any barriers patients face accessing their care are eliminated,” said AANP CEO, David Hebert, JD.
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. For more information about AANP, visit aanp.org.