Spotlight on NPs

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

“Participation in professional organizations has substantially shaped my career and has provided me with opportunities to not only become a more productive, informed and engaged nurse, but also a more thoughtful and globally-connected individual citizen,” AANP Fellow Dr. Richard Ricciardi said in an article for George Washington University. Ricciardi, president-elect of Sigma Theta Tau International and past-president of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, encouraged readers to join one or more professional organizations. “In my own career,” Ricciardi said, “the opportunity to work alongside a diverse group of colleagues on committees or work groups has nudged me to take on new roles and progressively greater responsibility, while also providing me mentorship and support. Nurses represent the largest segment of the health care workforce. As such, nursing organizations play an important role in representing and strengthening the capabilities and value that nurses bring to improving health for individuals, families and communities. Ensure your unique voice is included through active participation as we move our profession forward.”

Ongoing measles outbreaks in the U.S. put elimination status at risk, according to a Pharmacy Times article that quoted AANP Fellow Dr. Mary Koslap-Petraco. Parents make decisions about immunizations on an emotional level, according to the article, and Koslap-Petraco suggested that health care professionals may be able to use that knowledge to help encourage parents to get their children vaccinated. Koslap-Petraco said, “Find something that you can agree about with parents, say something right up front, ‘I know you want the best for your children, and I only want the same,’ and then continue the discussion from there.”

Congratulations to AANP Fellow Dr. Susanne Phillips, who was recently recognized as the Coast Magazine Readers’ Choice Women in Health Care award recipient. In an article about the honor, Phillips said, “Approximately 50 years of research demonstrates we provide high-quality, cost-effective health care equivalent to physicians.”

Those interested in becoming a nurse practitioner (NP) might benefit from reading an article by AANP member Dr. Jolene Cannady, who described how she overcame challenges in her youth to become an NP. Cannady mentioned the key role that a professor played in her life by mentoring and encouraging her. “The sky is the limit in nursing, and it is an amazing career,” said Cannady. “We need people with a passion for caring for others. Come and join me in a profession that will change your life.”

In a local news article about the importance of regular health checkups to prevent and detect colon cancer, AANP member Michelle Deprey said, “Among cancers that affect both men and women, colon cancer is the number two killer, and it is something that we can prevent.” Deprey indicated that although screenings for colon cancer normally begin later in life, “There are some risk factors that people should be aware of that require patients to be screened earlier. So a family history of colon cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases, patients that have genetic syndromes that can lead to needing earlier screening.”

A new NP-led clinic founded by AANP member James Lehman was highlighted in a local news report. Lehman discussed the importance of diet and exercise to stay healthy and said, “We want to catch things early and try to make interventions so we don’t have disasters, long-term.”

Temperatures are rising in most parts of the United States, and a local news article about how to cope with the heat featured AANP member Bryan Combs, who encouraged readers to stay hydrated. Start drinking water a day before heat exposure, Combs encouraged. “Keep in mind, it’s not just water. You are doing a lot of work in the morning and you are sweating, you are losing electrolytes. Potassium, that kind of stuff. You want to replace that as best you can,” said Combs.

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