School of Nursing

November 15, 2017

Happy National Nurse Practitioners Week

Azita Emami

Happy National Nurse Practitioners Week!

National Nurse Practitioner Week is held annually to celebrate these exceptional health care providers. There are 234,000 nurse practitioners licensed in the U.S. and more than 6,000 in the State of Washington. NPs are proven, expert, patient-centered clinicians, and they are the health care providers of choice for many people because of their unique combination of medical and nursing expertise and skills.

National Nurse Practitioners week also reminds lawmakers of the importance of removing outdated barriers to practice so that NPs will be allowed to practice to the full extent of their experience and education.

In Washington, we are fortunate to be among 18 states in which nurse practitioners have full practice authority. That means state practice and licensure law provides for all nurse practitioners to evaluate patients, diagnose, order and interpret diagnostic tests, initiate and manage treatments — including prescribe medications — under the exclusive licensure authority of the state board of nursing. This is the model recommended by the Institute of Medicine and National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

I am proud that Gov. Jay Inslee issued the first proclamation of 2017 in the United States honoring nurse practitioners.

Even with such a supportive governor and practice environment, there is important advocacy work to be done. Each year, there are hundreds of proposed regulations and legislative bills with potential to greatly impact nursing education, practice and research are introduced in the federal and state legislatures.

Please save the date for the annual Nurse Legislative Day organized by the Washington State Nurses Association and consider participating if you can:

Step up. Speak out. Influence.: Join hundreds of nurses and students from all across Washington state at your annual lobby day in Olympia. The governor is invited as our keynote speaker again this year, and we look forward to honoring a bipartisan group of legislators as 2017 Nursing Champions. Morning sessions are followed by lunch (provided) and afternoon meetings with legislators on the hill. Help influence the state of nursing, health care, and patient safety!

More information about our school’s participation in Nurse Legislative Day will follow.

This week, I invite you to follow a feature on our Facebook page in which we are highlighting our clinical preceptors of the year. These healthcare professionals are crucial to helping us prepare our Doctor of Nursing Practice students, the next generation of advanced practice nurse practitioners.

And if you see a nurse practitioner, please take a moment this week to say thanks.