Spotlight on NPs

Spotlight on NPs highlights exciting achievements and activities of American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) members.

AANP President Dr. Joyce Knestrick wrote a couple of timely blogs for 30 Seconds.

AANP Region 2 Director Dr. Stephen Ferrara wrote an article that was published by the Daily Nurse about ways that nurse practitioners can help solve the opioid crisis. Ferrara wrote, “Last year, the opioid epidemic claimed 64,000 American lives. Today, there are more than two hundred thousand nurse practitioners in the country who are prepared to help. Perhaps, this is one of our greatest assets. We offer access to quality and patient-centric care, especially in underserved and underinsured communities across the United States. As we recognize Nurse Practitioner Week, November 12-18, it is important to remember our role in combating this escalating health crisis.”

Ferarra was also mentioned in a press release about a study that examined the growth of the NP role. Ferrara said, “Nurse Practitioners focus not only on diagnosing and managing acute and chronic illnesses, but also on integrating evidence based practice, health promotion, disease prevention, and patient education to help patients understand their complete health picture. We thank SUNY Albany’s School of Public Health for their study highlighting the professional credentials and expanding role of NPs as vital providers of health care to people throughout New York State.”

AANP Fellow Dr. Scharmaine Baker was featured in a Minority Nurse article about NP Week. Baker said, “Nurse practitioners don’t just prescribe a medicine and send you out of the door. We take the time to listen to the patient stories about their children, spouses, pets, and job promotions. These stories often solve the complicated puzzle of making an accurate diagnosis. It’s called holistic care of the total man.” Baker emphasized the importance of advocating for full practice authority. Congratulations are also in order for Baker, who recently accepted a position as Chief Medical Officer at Common Ground Health Clinic.

AANP member Samantha Tojino was interviewed in a local news report about an NP Week proclamation signing ceremony with Mayor Hardie Davis, Jr., of Augusta, GA. During the ceremony, Mayor Davis shared his appreciation for nurse practitioners.

Congratulations to AANP member Dr. Wendy Fletcher who was appointed by Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin to serve on the Kentucky Boards and Commissions’ KASPER Advisory Council. According to a press release, “The KASPER Advisory Council provides advice, guidance and recommendations to the agencies charged with responsibility under Kentucky Revised Statues (KRS) Chapter 218A to monitor the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances. The duties of the Council include developing recommendations for guidelines that will enable the KASPER program to focus on potential problem areas and proactively generate information useful to the particular prescriber and dispenser licensing boards to assist the boards in expanding their enforcement activities of identifying and eliminating drug abuse, misuse, diversion and illegal prescription and sale of drugs by their respective licensees.”

Rachel Eisenberg, an AANP member, was pictured in a local news report about new guidelines related to high blood pressure. The article indicated that, “High blood pressure should be treated at 130/80 rather than 140/90, according to the new parameters set forth by the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and nine other health professional organizations.”

AANP member Jeanne Parker is among the many nurse practitioners who are also veterans. Parker was mentioned in an article about a parade to honor veterans on Veterans Day.

An article about Remote Area Medical’s (RAM) mentioned AANP member Josie Weiss and detailed RAM’s efforts to provide care for more than 900 patients in Florida last weekend. RAM provided free medical, dental and vision care to those in need in the Bradenton area.

An NP Week article written by AANP member Jessica Estes was published by the Northern Kentucky Tribune. According to Estes, “In Kentucky, and particularly in regions with a deficit of health care access, nurse practitioners have emerged as an indispensable source of primary care. Kentucky has a significant number of Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs), which are geographical areas and populations where the number of primary care providers relative to the population is below the federal standards. Nurse practitioners have long acted as excellent partners in health for Kentuckians. With the role of nurse practitioners becoming increasingly important in all areas of our state, we are fortunate to have National Nurse Practitioner Week as a reminder of the contributions these unsung heroes make.”

AANP member Rhonda Keller owns a primary care clinic that was featured in an NP Week article. Keller serves as a preceptor to NP students and shared her goals for those she precepts, “I want the NP’s to perform proper exams, present a diagnosis, and order the appropriate medications and diagnostic tests if needed. I want them to think holistically, see the whole person both physically and mentally, and focus on health prevention and promotion.” AANP member Susan Weeks was also quoted in the article. 

Another NP Week article featured AANP member Heather Jones and described the important contributions that NPs make the the health care system. “National NP Week brings visibility to the role of the NP, helping consumers make wise choices when selecting their health care provider,” Jones said.

AANP member Michelle Zappas is a clinical assistant professor who shared her experience with FNP students in an article for the University of Southern California. Zappas has worked with a variety of patient populations and brings that insight into the classroom.


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