Spotlight on NPs

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

A Minority Nurse article about the importance of friendships with nursing colleagues and ways that these friendships reduce stress quoted AANP Region 6 Director Capt. James LaVelle Dickens, who said, “Having strong friendships at work is known to reduce stress. I can think of many times when friendships with other nurse practitioners (NPs) have made a difference in my life. Sometimes, it’s having someone lift our own spirits after we’ve delivered a difficult diagnosis to a patient. Sometimes, it’s offering a younger colleague with coaching to help them be the best professional they can be.” AANP member Benjamin Evans was also quoted in the article and said, “Nobody really understands what a nurse does like a nurse, so those relationships provide support, and that support helps bring stress down.” The article was republished by MedPage Today.

“The American Association of Nurse Practitioners would like to commend Congressmen Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Tom Reed (R-NY) for introducing the Promoting Access to Diabetic Shoes Act,” AANP President Dr. Joyce Knestrick said in a press release issued by Blumenauer about the introduction of bipartisan legislation that would provide diabetic patients with better access to therapeutic shoes. “Nurse practitioners deliver health care in nearly every health care setting, caring for patients of all walks of life, including patients with diabetes,” Knestrick said. “This bill will ensure that Medicare patients who receive care from a nurse practitioner will have timely access to therapeutic shoes. It’s time to make this change to the Medicare program.”

A press release about the re-introduction of bipartisan legislation that would boost access to quality health care in rural areas also quoted Knestrick. “The American Association of Nurse Practitioners applauds Representatives Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Scott Tipton (R-CO), Grace Meng (D-NY), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Peter King (R-NY) on introducing the ACO Assignment Improvement Act,” Knestrick said. “Accountable Care Organizations play a key role as our nation transforms from a volume-based to value-based health care system. While current law recognizes nurse practitioners as ACO providers, this legislation ensures NPs and their patients are fully included under the Medicare Shared Savings Program. Nurse practitioners provide high quality care to patients, and it is critical that they are recognized as full participants in the Medicare Shared Savings Program.”

A report released this week by the California Future Health Workforce Commission recommended, among other things, that the state modernize its NP practice laws to help address health care provider shortages. Knestrick participated in a radio discussion about ways that full practice authority for NPs might help improve California’s health care provider shortage.

Knestrick recently wrote several blogs for 30 Seconds.

AANP’s new data related to NP workforce numbers was picked up by several publications, and Knestrick was quoted by Patient Engagement HIT, “NPs are the providers of choice for millions of patients. Current provider shortages, especially in primary care, are a growing concern, yet the growth of the NP role is addressing that concern head-on. The faith patients have in NP-provided health care is evidenced by the estimated 1.06 billion patient visits made to NPs in 2018.”

A HealthLeaders article about transforming patient care shared insights from AANP members Jennifer O’Neill and Shawnna Cunning, among others. O’Neill said, “…the NP and clinical nurse leader can support less experienced nurses and act as a resource.” Cunning indicated that it’s the little things that make the biggest difference to patients, and she stressed that making connections and building relationships with patients can go a long way.

Maygret Ramirez, an AANP member, was the lead researcher in a study that was presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference. Ramirez’s study examined reasons that some people do not call 911 when they experience stroke symptoms. “The fact that hospital preference is the number one reason for not calling 911 tells us we need to provide better education on this issue,” said Ramirez. “People really need to understand that stroke can be a catastrophic event if not treated in time.”

A team of NP students and faculty traveled to Costa Rica to provide health care to patients. AANP Fellow Dr. Valerie Griffin led the team, according to a press release about the mission trip. “Global service requires flexibility and the ability to critically think about the assessment data in order to develop a plan of care appropriate to the patient, as well as using the limited resources available,” Griffin said. “We saw 978 patients in four clinic days and were able to host a new clinic for the first time in that region.” Griffin indicated that both clinical skills and cultural competence were gained by students who participated.

In a local news interview, AANP member Joy Williams encouraged members of her community to hydrate and protect their skin. Williams said, “If your skin becomes too dry you are at a more increased risk of developing a bacterial or fungal infection of the skin. We want to use moisturizing cream because it helps promote a barrier from germs, irritants and allergens that can potentially get inside our bodies and cause infection.” Read more tips to keep skin hydrated.

“Prescribed medicines have become an epidemic, especially with teenagers,” AANP member Julie Emery told local news reporters in an article about the increasing number of prescription drugs being found in classrooms. Emery recommended that parents “keep medicines in a locked space, even if it’s prescribed to your child.”

A clinic in Kentucky is making it possible for patients to obtain health care and dental care in the same building. AANP member Angela B. Grubbs works at the clinic and told reporters, “Patients who have received dental and medical care in the same visit are so thankful for the one-stop shop appointment. Many of the calls we receive are initially prompted by a dental concern. However, during appointments we’ve been able to identify and discuss additional health concerns when needed, bringing to the attention of our patients such issues as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and hypothyroidism. With these conditions identified, we can help patients take steps to improve their overall health.”

An article about the nurse’s role in advance directives quoted AANP member Dr. Deborah Dunn, who shared a story about the importance of displaying sensitivity to a patient’s right to self-determination and “respecting the needs of families when they are confronted with making health care decisions with and/or for their loved ones.” Read more.

Congratulations to AANP member Surani Hayre-Kwan, who recently received an Association of California Nurse Leaders scholarship. Read the press release to learn more.

February is American Heart Month, and to mark the special month, a heart health program that teaches community members about the relationship between food and heart disease was taught by AANP member Mishell Ellis. Read more.

An article about heart health mentioned AANP member Dr. Amy Doneen and the Bale-Doneen Method of Heart Attack Prevention, which she co-developed. The heart attack prevention program was referred to as one of the most effective in the U.S.

Cardiovascular disease symptoms may be more vague for women, according to AANP member Joni Miller, who was quoted in a local news report about heart disease and American Heart Month.

An article about a Heart Month celebration in California quoted AANP member Cindy Peters. “For a long time, heart disease has been thought of as a bigger threat to men than women,” Peters said. “The fact is that women are equally, if not more, affected by heart disease than men. This lack of awareness makes heart disease more deadly in women because the symptoms are often ignored until they become very serious.”

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