Spotlight on NPs

Spotlight on NPs is a weekly article that highlights exciting achievements and activities of American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) members.

AANP Fellow Dr. Julie Stanik-Hutt and AANP members Dr. Veronica Gutchell, Dr. Beverly Lang and Dr. Andrea Schram wrote an Op-Ed published in The Baltimore Sun that explains how nurse practitioners have changed health care over the past half century.  According to the article, “The hundreds of millions of satisfied patients seen annually attest to the confidence patients have in NP care.  So, the next time you see an NP, say ‘Happy 50th Anniversary.’ And, if you don’t have a regular health care provider, consider making an appointment to see an NP and join the millions of satisfied patients seen by NPs last year.”  Locate an NP near you at

Nurse practitioners are often recognized for their leadership and advocacy.  In a recent NurseZone article, AANP member and president-elect of the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA) Dr. Katherine Evans said, “I think any nurse can take a look at health care policy leadership roles and ask if there is a nurse at the table. I was recently talking with a colleague about a new health care initiative and my first question was: ‘Who is representing nursing in this collaborative, and when is the next meeting?’ We need to find out where nursing isn’t being represented and then get in there and represent,” she encouraged. “We are experts in what we do and no one else is–we need to provide that unique perspective that nursing has.” Learn more about advocating for your profession and your patients by attending the AANP 2016 Health Policy Conference in Washington, DC, March 20-22.

Heather Ross, an AANP member, was quoted in an article about a company that hopes to help health care providers determine which mobile apps might benefit their patients. According to Ms. Ross, “A tool to help practitioners leverage the technology is a useful thing.  Most of these devices are consumer-grade devices, totally unregulated… if clinicians want to use these wearable devices, I think they need to know what is the right device for this patient.”

AANP member Kim Newlin’s presentation at the American Heart Association (AHA) meeting focused on the goal of reducing hospital readmissions and advocating for team-based care for patients with heart failure.  Ms. Newlin said, “It is essential that patients are given an appointment within seven days after a hospitalization when the risk for adverse events is higher due to changes in medications, deconditioning during the stay, need for follow-up tests, and increased anxiety all increase the possibility that the patient will go back to the hospital.”

Faylene Dancer, an AANP member, is filling a need for health care in rural Nebraska by increasing access to care for patients in that area.  Read more about her remarkable work.

Diabetes awareness is vital for everyone, according to AANP Indiana State Rep. Angela Thompson. She was featured in a recent article that indicated, “There are 29.1 million people in the United States with diabetes, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Nine out of 10 don’t know they have prediabetes, which is when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.” 

AANP Fellow Dr. Jeffrey Kwong was featured in an article about HIV care for World AIDS Day (December 1).  According to Dr. Kwong, “I always try to incorporate health promotion and health maintenance into every visit, even if patients come in for an acute complaint. I reserve a few minutes to check-in with them about their lives, by asking about their work, sleep, mood, or hobbies. Their answers usually give me an opportunity to incorporate a health maintenance recommendation or reminder. It can be about stress reduction, exercise, smoking cessation, safer sex, oral health, or nutrition. It’s amazing what you can fit into a couple of minutes. When I have to see 20 patients in a day it can be challenging to fit in, but I believe they appreciate it.”

Hypertension is common, but controllable, according to AANP member Beth Hartsock. One in five people with high blood pressure do not know they have the condition, according to Ms. Hartsock’s article about managing high blood pressure. She emphasized the importance of detecting and treating hypertension.

AANP member Dr. Melanie Nash wrote a letter to the editor of the Idaho Statesman urging people to get healthy.  “Lose weight, shape up, move more and eat less,” said Dr. Nash.  “I’m with you.”

An Advance Healthcare article by AANP member Natasha Lamach discussed the management of cluster headaches with triptans.  According to the article, “Cluster headaches are the second most common primary headache disorder seen by a neurologist or headache specialist.”

An innovative health program by AANP Fellow Dr. Bernadette Melnyk reduces depression and unhealthy weight in teens.  Schools can significantly improve the long-term physical and mental health of teens by implementing cognitive behavioral skills-building into already existing high school health curriculum, according to Dr. Melnyk’s study.

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