Tell a nurse practitioner thank you this week

Published 12:03am Sunday, November 11, 2012

As the health care provider shortage continues to top the national agenda, it is important that the public be aware that there are more than 155,000 nurse practitioners in the United States and 2,700 in Mississippi who provide high quality, cost effective, comprehensive, patient-centered care to patients across the country.

NPs are licensed, expert clinicians with advanced education (most have master’s degree, and many have doctorate degrees) and extensive clinical training who provide primary care, acute and specialty health care services. In addition to providing a full range of services, NPs work as partners with their patients, guiding them to make educated health care decisions and health lifestyle choices. The confidence that patients have in NP-delivered health care is evidenced by the more than 600 million visits made to NPs every year.

NPs are informed regarding the unique concerns of diverse patient populations and in touch with the needs of each individual. Through a partnership with the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and Joining Forces (a White House initiative to raise awareness of the health care needs of veterans, active service members and their families), NPs are increasingly well prepared to care for this important patient group.

National Nurse Practitioner Week, Nov. 11-17, is a time to celebrate these exceptional health care providers and to remind lawmakers of the importance of removing outdated barriers to practice so that NPs will be allowed to practice to the full extent of their experience and education. Nurse practitioners are informed, in touch and involved, making them the health care providers of choice for millions and a solution to the primary care crisis in America. Tell your NP thank you today!

If you are a nurse, interested in a career as a NP, Alcorn State University offers a master’s degree and post-masters family nurse practitioner program in Natchez. Through an educational consortium, MECSAPN, Alcorn also offers a master’s or post-master’s option for adult-gerontological and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners. For more information about any of Alcorn’s nursing programs, please call 601-304-4322.

Robin Christian, DNP, FNP-C, is chair of the graduate program at Alcorn State University.