1. Section Editor(s): Newland, Jamesetta PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FAANP, DPNAP

Article Content

Happy New Year! Another cycle begins. This month, America will witness the inauguration of a new president. Whether or not you agree with the election's outcome, we as members of society must embark on this new beginning together. Transition of power from one political party to another in the executive branch of the U.S. government brings inherent change. Challenges for and decisions of the new administration will affect every person in the country in some way.

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The unknown sparks apprehension in most people, but real or perceived vulnerability does not have to equate to paralysis and powerlessness. Now is the time to exercise one's civic responsibility and participate in the legislative process to protect and defend the rights of everyone. Expectations of candidates to follow through on every promise made during a political campaign-at any level of government-must be tempered by possibility and opportunity.


I find strength in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Be involved, especially as the future of healthcare delivery, access, and quality are at the forefront and integral to advanced nursing practice.


The 29th Annual Legislative Update

The January issue includes the anticipated 29th Annual Legislative Update. In its 29th year, the update has become a staple for NPs and other stakeholders committed to continuing progress toward full-practice authority in every state for all NPs. Dr. Suzanne Phillips works tirelessly during the year to assemble accurate facts for each state while considering how to present the content in a fresh and interesting way.


NPs continue to face significant challenges today as we define and confirm our role in an uncertain healthcare environment. Even seemingly small successes in the legislative arena at the state level can have significant implications for the patients we serve. The existing barriers function as drivers for innovation, persistence, and performance.


NP public awareness

After 28 years as an NP, I should no longer be surprised at the frequency with which other healthcare providers and administrators ask, "What is a nurse practitioner?" or "What are you able to do?" I am not as taken aback when the question comes from a patient or someone in the general public. I have an "elevator speech" catalogued in my brain for instant recall, but I find I often have to modify the words or depth of information given based on who is asking the question and why.


There are resources to help with explanations. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners created a short video about NPs in 2013 as part of a NP Public Awareness Campaign; it was updated in 2015 for the 50th Anniversary of NP practice (check it out at


The continuing battle for full-practice authority

In February 2016, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and AARP sponsored a webinar on the progress made since the 2010 landmark Future of Nursing report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine's Health and Medicine Division (formerly the Institute of Medicine). The webinar, The Evidence Shows: Better Laws Mean Better, More Accessible Care, specifically addresses the need to allow advanced practice registered nurses to practice to the full extent of their experience and education to improve access (


You can listen to the 60-minute archived webinar or view just the PowerPoint slides on this website. Data for all four advanced practice roles are included. The site has a separate section on celebrating NPs, plus numerous other resources ( Regularly check with your individual state NP organizations to stay informed about legislative actions in your state and what you can do. Let us make 2017 another landmark year!


Jamesetta Newland, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FAANP, DPNAP

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