AUSTIN, TEXAS — Patients, health care providers and local communities will come together the week of November 10 to celebrate National Nurse Practitioner (NP) Week, the annual recognition of the vital contributions of NPs nationwide. For more than 50 years, NPs have championed the needs of patients and transformed our health care delivery system, leading the way to better health care for all.
“Patients are benefitting now more than ever from the comprehensive, patient-centered health care services NPs provide,” said Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). “At a time when millions of patients in our country lack access to primary care providers in their own communities, NPs are growing the capacity of our health care workforce to meet patient demand and challenging regulatory roadblocks that prevent patients from choosing NPs as their health care provider.”
In every state, NPs assess patients, order and interpret tests, make diagnoses and provide treatment — including prescribing medications. NPs can be found in clinics, hospitals, emergency rooms, urgent care centers, nursing homes and private practices nationwide. As clinicians who blend clinical expertise with an added emphasis on disease prevention and health management, NPs bring a comprehensive perspective to health care and are the health care provider of choice for millions of patients.
“In the next decade, seniors will outnumber kids for the first time ever. Health care provider shortages are a growing concern, yet the growth of the NP role is addressing this challenge head-on. The faith patients have in NP-provided health care is evidenced by the 1.06 billion patient visits made to NPs annually,” said Thomas. “NP Week helps to educate patients about their choice in health care providers and to create awareness of the many services NPs provide that enable patients to access excellent care, no matter where they live.”
To help strengthen public awareness of NPs, AANP has created We Choose NPs (WeChooseNPs.org), a national multimedia public awareness campaign integrating television, radio, digital and in-person events that reach communities nationwide. The campaign provides useful information about patient choice, the importance of finding a primary care provider and the critical roles NPs play in patient health.
AANP is the largest professional membership organization for NPs of all specialties, representing the interests of the more than 270,000 licensed NPs in the U.S. As The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner®, 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. For more information about NPs and to locate an NP in your community, visit WeChooseNPs.org.