This week, we take the time to celebrate nurse practitioners and the value they bring to healthcare. The World Health Organization designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife; little did we know how impactful this designation would be as we were faced with the COVID-19 pandemic. This year challenged our strength, courage and resilience in ways we never thought possible, yet we rose to the occasion and continued to care for people in need.
State governments temporarily lifted many of the restrictions around collaboration, supervision, and licensure so nurse practitioners were able to provide patients access to care during the pandemic. Care was not delivered in a silo; nurse practitioners have worked and continue to work collaboratively with other healthcare providers to deliver high quality, equitable care that addresses the social and behavioral health needs of our patients. We must not forget that healthcare is “person-centered,” and it takes an interdisciplinary, collaborative team to help patients discover their optimum health potential. There is room in healthcare for medicine and advanced practice nursing.
Nursing is one of the most dynamic professions in healthcare. We have the opportunity to practice as direct-caregivers, leaders in healthcare organizations, faculty, researchers, and advanced practice nurses, just to name a few of our many roles. I have enjoyed being a nurse practitioner for over 22 years and it gives me great joy to support nurses on their career journey to become nurse practitioners. While we may experience uphill battles defending our practice to those who don’t understand collaboration is at the center of all we do, we cannot let that deter us. We must support each other and recognize the value we bring as leaders in clinical practice. Never forget our patients recognize the difference we make in their lives every day.