It's National Nurse Practitioner Week!

Happy National Nurse Practitioner Week!  Whether you are an NP student, have been practicing for 30 years or realizing the dream of becoming an NP is still years away, take some time today to appreciate yourself and the nurse practitioners around you.

As I look at the NP profession this nurse practitioner week, I'm excited.  Despite the polarizing politics surrounding healthcare this year, NPs are in a unique place.  We have momentum.  Opportunities for nurse practitioners are continuing to grow.  With millions of individuals projected to become insured (if someone could just get that website up and running...) providers are going to need to step up and care for those newly insured Americans.  Nurse practitioners will play a pivotal role in filling this need.

Policymakers haven't overlooked the fact that nurse practitioners will be a key piece in the healthcare reform implementation puzzle.  While some states have a long way to go, laws regarding nurse practitioners are becoming increasingly favorable.  Nurse practitioner independent practice is on the docket in 5 states and counting.  Those states not ready to make the independent practice step are taking smaller steps by passing legislation regarding issues like NP prescribing privileges. 

Not only are laws regarding nurse practitioners changing, the new face of healthcare is creating emerging markets for nurse practitioner practice.  Hospital readmission penalties, for example, have opened a new home healthcare market staffed by a large number of NPs. 

If you are a nurse practitioner this week, you have undoubtedly played a role in the successes nurse practitioners are experiencing today.  Whether you are a kind face to patients in need or work lobbying for NPs in Washington, "Thank You" for all you do to promote the nurse practitioner profession.  Keep up the good work!

To hear more about the changing healthcare landscape and how nurse practitioners fit in, attend my free webinar hosted by Barton Associates on Thursday, November 21st at 1:00pm EST.  Hope to see you there!