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The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) conducted its triennial Membership Survey between March 15 and April 16, 2021, which included several questions related to COVID-19 vaccinations. While more than 3,200 members participated, many questions are optional and just over 1,200 participants provided information related to their personal experiences and their patients’ experiences with COVID-19 vaccinations.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are leading by example and overwhelmingly have taken steps to receive vaccinations as soon as they became available.
Overall, 94% of practicing NPs stated they were fully or partially vaccinated or were actively on a waiting list for eligible providers at the time of the survey. Additionally, three out of four NPs found the process to get the vaccine or make an appointment for the vaccine somewhat or extremely easy. Most NPs were satisfied (65.5%) with their state’s vaccine rollout and implementation.
NPs educate and counsel patients about the safety, efficacy and appropriateness of the vaccine.
More than nine out of 10 NPs had spoken with their patients about getting a COVID-19 vaccine, with some indicating they had not done so due to their patient populations being ineligible (i.e., pediatrics). Most NPs have at least some patients who have indicated some degree of hesitancy in receiving the vaccine, with patients’ concerns including the speed with which the vaccine was developed, the emergency nature of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the vaccines and the potential for side effects related to the vaccine.
NPs are administering COVID-19 vaccines to patients and anticipate having them available in their practices in the future.
Approximately one out of every four NPs have administered the COVID-19 vaccine to patients, and more than half anticipate that when the vaccine becomes widely available, their practices will be capable of storing and administering it. NPs are providing care in diverse and underserved communities and will be vital to ensuring vaccinations take place and adherence to vaccination schedules are met. While NPs reported being able to get the vaccine with relative ease, their patients did not necessarily have the same experience. NPs reported that about half of their patients who qualified for the vaccine had difficulty accessing it in their communities.
As communities across the country continue to roll out COVID-19 vaccination plans to additional populations, including adolescents and children, NPs will continue to be trusted health care providers leading by example and educating millions on the facts about COVID-19 vaccinations.
NPs are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who are prepared at the master’s or doctoral level to provide primary, acute, chronic and specialty care to patients of all ages. Daily practice includes assessment; ordering, performing, supervising and interpreting diagnostic and laboratory tests; making diagnoses; initiating and managing treatment, including prescribing medication and nonpharmacologic treatments; coordinating care; counseling; and educating patients, their families and their communities. NPs practice in nearly every health care setting and hold prescriptive authority in all 50 states and Washington D.C. AANP is the largest professional membership organization for NPs and represents the interests of the more than 325,000 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. For more information about AANP, visit aanp.org.