Spotlight on NPs

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

AANP President Dr. Sophia Thomas discussed the importance of full practice authority laws with Nurse.com and said, “At a time when America faces such serious health challenges such as the opioid crisis, ongoing physician shortages and lack of access to primary care services, it’s hard to justify keeping these outdated laws in place.”

Thomas also wrote an op-ed published by Route Fifty on ways that nurse practitioners (NPs) can help address the opioid epidemic by completing training, provided by various organizations, including the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and applying for a Drug Enforcement Administration waiver to provide medication-assisted treatments (MATs).

In a press release about AANP reaching the 100,000 member milestone, Thomas said, “AANP has seen its membership grow alongside the health care industry and the public’s embrace of NPs as highly skilled clinicians who provide primary, specialty and acute care to millions of patients across the country. The faith that patients have in the services provided by NPs is evidenced by the more than one billion visits made to NPs annually.”

“The Health Wagon in Wise County has been awarded a three-year, $1 million grant from the United Health Foundation, allowing the clinic to provide more specialty and diagnostic treatment to patients in six Southwest Virginia counties,” according to a recent press release. Congratulations to AANP Fellows Dr. Teresa Gardner Tyson and Dr. Paula Hill, of the Health Wagon. “It’s really one of the most awesome things that has ever happened to the Health Wagon. It’s a gamechanger for us,” Tyson said.

AANP North Florida State Representative Dr. Stacia Hays recently traveled to Brazil, where she was a keynote speaker for a conference celebrating of 15 years of advanced nursing practice in the country. The focus was on moving toward the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree and included discussions on innovative learning methods, including online learning, the role of the advanced practice nurse in the U.S. and its impact on care. Hays is pictured below second from the left with the directors of one of only two DNP programs in Brazil.

DNP Directors

Thank you to AANP North Texas State Representative Dr. Shelagh Larson and AANP South Texas State Representative Dr. Anna Jessup, who represented AANP at its exhibitor booth during the Texas Nurse Practitioner (TNP) in Austin last weekend. Congratulations to AANP member Jessica Wilson, who received the TNP Community Impact Award. Larson (right) and Jessup (left) are pictured below.

Jessup and Larson at TNP 2019

Congratulations to AANP Fellow Dr. Valerie J. Fuller, who serves as board president for the Maine State Board of Nursing, and was recently re-elected Area IV Director for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). According to a press release, Fuller previously served in a variety of leadership capacities.

A new study by AANP Fellow Dr. Michele Litchman on using projective exercises to identify patient perspectives of living with comorbid type 2 diabetes and asthma indicated that “Projective exercises are one way to elicit feelings about living with chronic conditions. Healthcare providers can improve support for patients with more than one health condition by providing education on how to manage comorbid conditions.” Read more. Litchman was also quoted in a local news article about the high price of insulin. “This is something I call the debt or death dilemma,” Litchman said.

ABC News interviewed AANP member Amy Smith about the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program at Hofstra University. NPs who have completed the SANE program may be in greater demand in the future. Smith said, “As people are being educated about their rights, they’re coming forward more now. We don’t want to limit where patients can go. Any emergency department should be able to care for you.”

Tips for transitioning a juvenile idiopathic arthritis patient to adult care were provided by AANP member Cathy Patty-Resk. “One of the most important things for the adult providers to know is how old was the patient when he or she was diagnosed, what joints were affected at the time of diagnosis, and a general history of their disease and medications used,” Patty-Resk said. Learn more.

Congratulations to AANP member Dianne Conrad, who is the recipient of a Fullbright scholarship. According to a press release about the award, Conrad will be working to assess graduate education for advanced practice registered nurses.

After presenting about psoriatic arthritis at the Rheumatology Nurses Society annual meeting in August, AANP member Linda Grinnell-Merrick was interviewed by the Rheumatology Network. Grinnell-Merrick said, “Even a small amount of psoriasis or presentation with prolonged stiffness or joint pain can be a good clue, particularly if it affects a larger joint in a lower extremity. Those are probably the easiest to identify more so than if someone presents with more enthesitis symptoms.”

Congratulations to AANP member Randy Wolfe, who was named Nurse Practitioner of the Year by Rhode Island Monthly. The 2019 Excellence in Nursing Awards were awarded to individuals who “truly embody the ‘care’ part of health care.” Read more.

In a local news report, AANP member Dr. Rachel Lessor discussed the importance of intestinal health. “Good gut health is different in every patient. Some people cannot tolerate lactose and other people can’t tolerate wheat, they have gluten allergies,” she said. “What I recommend is someone keeps track of the food diary and logs what they’re eating and how they do with those foods.”

Congratulations to AANP member Dr. Susan Watson, who was among the 2019 Healthcare Heroes named by Utah Business. I have always worked in healthcare, and cannot imagine working in another field,” Watson said. Read more.

The importance of empowering nurses was the subject of an op-ed written by AANP member Dr. Beth DeKoninck. “With the high stress that nurses and nurse practitioners experience as they care for patients who are sicker than ever before, work long hours and experience other challenges in the workplace,” DeKoninck said, “it is imperative that we empower all nurses to be their best. Empowerment through increased education, workplace support, resources and regular feedback results in less burnout and better patient outcomes and lower costs to the health care system — a win for all.”

A local news report about the dangers associated with vaping quoted AANP member Paige Pioppi, who indicated that fun flavors may seem attractive and harmless to teens. “This is really emerging to be a national health crisis,” Pioppi said.

Additional coverage of deaths associated with vaping quoted AANP member Joan Gatte. “Vaping definitely is a major health concern at this point,” Gatte said. “We have been alerted by the Louisiana Department of Health to report suspected cases and that has come about because of the recent outbreaks across the states.”

This October, AANP member Dewana Bobo will host diabetes education classes in her community. Learn more about Dining with Diabetes.

Congratulations to AANP member Jessica Sullivan and Illinois State University’s Mennonite College of Nursing, who received a $2.8 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to prepare NPs with the experience they need to serve in rural or underserved areas. “The idea with that is that they have more exposure to vulnerable populations so that they feel more prepared to care for those populations when they graduate,” Sullivan said in a press release.

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