November 13 – 19, 2011 is National Nurse Practitioner Week
To All Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners,
This week November 13 – 19, 2011 is National Nurse Practitioner Week, a time to celebrate your unique and significant contributions as healthcare providers. Please use this week as an opportunity to remind lawmakers of the importance of allowing nurse practitioners (NPs) to practice to the full extent of their education and training.
It’s an exciting time to be a nurse practitioner. The Institute of Medicine’s report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” are just two of the recent publications confirming this opportunity. Sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and led by a committee of nationally renowned experts from nursing, medicine, and other disciplines, it concluded that nurses need to take a greater leadership role in the delivery and development of care. The public’s high regard and trust for our profession, along with our education and skills, places us in an excellent position to assume that leadership role. For nearly a half-century, nurse practitioners across the United States have provided comprehensive, cost-effective, patient-centered services to millions of Americans in need of primary, acute and specialty healthcare services. As a key component in quality care, NPs and nurses are being called on by both patients and health care experts to optimize our profession’s contributions in order to better meet the needs of all patients. In order to provide all patients with quality health care it is imperative that we continue to practice to the fullest extent of our skills, education, training and licensure.
The Merriman Webster Dictionary defines a nurse as “one who looks after, fosters or advises.” and “to promote the development or progress of.” The dual nature of the word reflects the dual nature of the nursing profession: As nurses we look after, foster and advise our patients and families but we are also responsible for promoting the development and progress of the nursing profession. Every nurse, from bedside, to clinic, to boardroom, to classroom plays a vital role in transforming both our profession and patient care. Let’s step up and meet the challenge. Let’s become the change we want to see. Congratulations to each and every one of you for being that leader, defining what quality care should be to our patients and most importantly, demonstrating that compassion coupled with skilled practice makes for the best outcomes possible!
In celebration of Nurse Practitioner Week, we are encouraging every advanced practice nurse who receives this letter to make some kind of media contact during Nurse Practitioner Week. Please write a letter (or email) to your local newspapers and share the contributions that advanced practice nurses make to the citizens of our state. You are encouraged to use the Talking Points from the Coalition of Advanced Practice Nurses which can be found on the FNA website at www.floridanurse.org and the FNPN website at www.fnpn.org to craft these letters. Choose a few key points to make your point that Florida Nurse Practitioners provide high quality care to its citizens and provide the solution to our access-to-care problem in the state. And don’t forget your local public radio stations, they continually look for timely topics to cover on their shows. Make your voice heard by participating in our media blitz during NP Week this year.
Happy Nurse Practitioner Week from your colleagues at the Florida Nurses Association and the Florida Nurse Practitioner Network.