National Nurse Practitioner Week Recognizes profession's critical role during COVID-19 and beyond
AmNews Staff Reports | 11/8/2020, 9:36 a.m.
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) joins patients, policymakers, health care providers and local communities from Nov. 8-14 for National Nurse Practitioner (NP) Week. The annual recognition showcases the care and contributions of the nation's more than 290,000 licensed NPs, as evidenced by more than 1 billion patient visits to NPs each year.
"For more than 50 years, NPs have championed the needs of patients, including combating the COVID-19 pandemic in communities nationwide," said AANP President Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP. "According to our surveys, 60% of NPs are testing, diagnosing and treating COVID-19 patients in a wide variety of settings, putting the health and well-being of their patients ahead of their own. AANP joins a grateful nation in recognizing NPs for their leadership and sacrifice, as well as honoring those health care professionals who lost their lives in service to their patients and communities."
"In addition to 2020 National NP Week, we join others in the nursing community to celebrate the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife — both coinciding with the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth," said Thomas. "If these aren't reasons enough to celebrate NP achievements, 2020 also marks the 100th birthday of Dr. Loretta C. Ford, the co-founder of the first NP program (at the University of Colorado) and the foremost champion of the NP role. We are here today, growing and leading as a profession in service to our patients, thanks to the vision and fortitude of Dr. Ford."
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.
"This year has also demonstrated the important work still to be done that will ensure all patients have equal access to the high-quality health care they deserve," said Thomas. "NPs are working, community by community, to break down barriers that reinforce inequalities and to end the institutional racism that impacts our patients, friends, neighbors and nation."