By April N. Kapu, DNP, PRN, CNP-BC, FAANP, FCCM, FAAN
Nov. 13-19 marks the 18th annual celebration of National Nurse Practitioner Week (NP Week), a time to recognize nurse practitioners (NPs) and their role in ensuring you have access to high-quality, person-centered health care. As a proud NP and the president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP), I am pleased to share more about the NP role and the many ways NPs are rising to meet the needs of patients.
Did you know that more than 355,000 NPs are licensed in the U.S.? These skilled clinicians provide health care to patients in primary, acute and specialty care settings – combining the trusted, person-centered focus of nursing with clinical expertise. When you choose an NP for your health care needs, they treat you as a whole person, rather than treating just a set of symptoms or a disease. NPs can provide you information about disease prevention, and we offer a holistic approach to health care that supports your physical and mental well-being.
You may see NPs in a variety of settings, including clinics, NP-owned practices, emergency rooms and nursing homes. NPs work to increase health equity in rural and urban areas, see patients of all ages and practice in specialties from acute care to women’s health. We diagnose illnesses, prescribe medication and advocate for patients to ensure you have full and direct access to the care you need.
Earlier in my career, as a registered nurse working in an intensive care unit, I was motivated to become an NP because I wanted to do more for patients — especially those with preventable illnesses. Like me, thousands of new NPs are entering the U.S. workforce each year and rising to meet the needs of patients. In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranked the NP role first on its 2022 Best Health Care Jobs list and second on its 2022 100 Best Jobs list. If you are among the millions of people who choose an NP, you know why patient satisfaction scores remain strong in more than 1 billion visits annually.
Many opportunities are available to help you join the NP Week celebration:
- Thank an NP online or in person.
- Consider choosing an NP for your primary, specialty, acute or long-term health care needs — AANP’s NPFinder makes it easy to locate an NP near you.
- Recommend an NP to your friends or family members.
NP Week is celebrated once a year, but every day, NPs work to increase health equity by delivering high-quality, person-centered, compassionate care to patients. Happy NP Week!