Spotlight on NPs

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

A patient thought she was having a panic attack, but it was actually a heart attack. AANP member Lori Turner helped her get the testing and treatment she needed. Turner told reporters, “Even though men are at higher risk of a heart attack than women, it’s important that everyone knows the risk factors and signs of a heart attack. It is more likely for women to present without chest pain and have other symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, sweating, nausea and shortness of breath.”

“I think that clarifying our role, competencies and scope of practice is one of the challenges that both dermatology nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) face,” AANP member and co-chair of AANP’s Dermatology Specialty Practice Group (SPG) Lakshi Aldredge told Dermatology Times in an article about new solutions to challenges faced by dermatology NPs. Aldredge also discussed work that is currently being done by the Dermatology Nurse Practitioner Coalition to publish competencies and standards of practice for dermatology NPs. The coalition includes members of AANP’s Dermatology SPG, among others.

A local news article about ways that modernized practice laws have helped increase access to care for patients in Virginia quoted AANP member Dr. Carole Everhart, who is one of only two health care providers in the rural area where she and her mother opened a clinic in 2012. Everhart’s clinic now serves more than 4,000 patients, who might have lost access to care when Everhart’s collaborating physician retired. Everhart indicated that she was unable to find a new physician who was both affordable and willing to serve in that capacity. Recent changes to the practice environment in Virginia made it possible for Everhart to run the clinic without a collaborating physician.

The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration awarded a $1.5 million grant to AANP Fellow Dr. Tami Thomas of Florida International University (FIU) to launch the Advanced Nursing Education-Regionally Underserved Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (RUSANE) program. The program aims to nearly double Florida’s number of SANE-certified nurses to aid sexual assault survivors in rural and underserved communities. Florida currently has only 44 SANE-certified nurses in a state where more than a quarter of its 20 million population have experienced rape or sexual assault, proving a large unmet need throughout the state of Florida which this program aims to fill. Read FIU’s press release and a Daily Nurse article about the new program.

AANP President Dr. Joyce Knestrick wrote several timely blogs for 30 Seconds.

Congratulations to AANP member Onissa Mitchell, who was recently recognized by Black Nurses Rock as the 2018 Advanced Practice Registered Nurse of the Year. Of her work at Bethesda Health Clinic in Tyler, Texas, Mitchell said, “What we do is serve hardworking people who have either no insurance or are underinsured. I’m allowed to pray with my patients and take care of not only their physical needs, but also their emotional needs. So I look at the whole person, not just their physical illness.” Read the press release.

AANP member Sylvia Estrada was quoted in a Cedars Sinai blog about the commonalities and differences between NPs and physicians. Estrada said, “We [NPs] have a focus on disease prevention and health education and counseling. These are unique assets ingrained in our education that enhance our clinical interaction with patients.”

Congratulations to AANP member Dr. Kristen Ostrem-Niemcewicz, who was named a fellow of the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM). According to a press release about the honor, “Fellowship in the ACNM recognizes midwives who demonstrate leadership, clinical excellence and outstanding scholarship, and whose achievements have merited special recognition both within and outside of the midwifery profession.”

“It’s February, and the American Heart Association wants you to make sure you’re keeping tabs on your cardiovascular health,” a local Fox station reported. The station interviewed AANP member Katherine Davis, who discussed the importance of people getting their blood pressure and cholesterol checked. Learn more.

At a potluck event to help educate people about the connections between health and nutrition, AANP member Mishell Ellis told attendees, “It’s very important that people understand medication only works as well as your diet does.” According to an article about the event, Ellis has “… seen in her own life the way chronic conditions can be reversed by eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains and nuts instead of burgers and chicken nuggets. Her father died at age 48 of renal failure and diabetes, and when she saw those same conditions manifest in her body, she made a change.”

In a piece about American Heart Month, AANP member Shendry Thom told local news reporters, “We can actually just poke your finger, run your blood sugar and your cholesterol, take your blood pressure and then do height and weight and figure out your BMI. With those numbers, you have a really good idea of what your risk factors are [for cardiovascular disease].” Thom offered suggestions to help people mitigate risk factors. Learn more.

A local news article about influenza quoted AANP member Candyace Dunn, who discussed flu symptoms and stressed the importance of hand hygiene.

In a local news interview, AANP member Sara Dodson discussed the importance of taking safety precautions in icy conditions. “It’s very common to have wrist fractures, arm fractures, hip fractures, concussions, back injuries, strains and sprains …” during icy weather, Dodson said. She encouraged people to wear “boots or shoes that have a slip resistant surface or some ice cleats” to help secure footing and shuffle their feet rather than moving quickly across icy surfaces.

Congratulations to AANP member Dr. Heidi Fantasia, who is a new member of the board of directors for Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health. Read the press release.

A Daily Nurse article about critical care nursing certifications quoted AANP member Denise Buonocore.

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