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AANP Statement on WGN’s Biased News Story on Nurse Practitioner Profession

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Today, President Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, and Chief Executive Officer David Hebert, JD, of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) issued the following statement regarding WGN’s recent news story maligning the nurse practitioner (NP) profession:

“As our country endures the worst health care crisis in more than a century, it is inexplicable that WGN would choose this moment to attack the 290,000 NPs nationwide who are working on the frontlines of care, testing and treating COVID-19 patients and providing critical health care services in communities nationwide. Any loss of life is a tragedy. WGN’s coverage, at best, misrepresents the NP profession and parrots the conspiracy theories and misstatements of Rebekah Bernard, MD and Niran Al-Agba, MD, physicians who derive direct economic benefit from limiting patient access to NP delivered health care,” said AANP President Sophia L. Thomas.

“It is disappointing that while WGN brands itself as fact-based and unbiased, it chose to decline interviews with nationally recognized experts whose views diverged with the outlet’s preferred and biased narrative. The story ignores decades of evidence-based research demonstrating NPs’ safety, painting a distorted caricature of NPs and other health care providers. The facts are clear: Not only is the high quality of NP care well studied, it is further supported by the consistently lower rates of malpractice claims for NPs versus those of physicians,” said Thomas. “To suggest otherwise is pure fiction.”

AANP Chief Executive Officer David Hebert stated, “The facts are simple: Millions of patients across the nation choose NPs as their health care provider because of the exceptional care they deliver in more than one billion visits each year,” Hebert said. “Further, the safety of NP care is well documented in studies spanning more than 50 years, and not one of the 22 states, District of Columbia or two U.S. territories that authorize Full Practice Authority for NPs has ever reversed course.”


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 to For more information about NPs, visit For COVID-19 information from AANP, visit