Letter to the Editor: Nurse practitioners add valuable service

Nov. 11-17 is National Nurse Practitioner Week.

Delawareans should be aware there are over 1,100 nurse practitioners providing care to the people in our state. Nurse practitioners are an important part of the healthcare workforce with over 250,000 nurse practitioners providing care to patients in primary care and specialty practices in hospitals and clinics.

Since the 1960s, NPs have provided high-quality care and have a master’s or doctorate degree. Combining their medical and nursing expertise NPs offer patient-centered, safe, affordable care including the ability to diagnose, treat illnesses, prescribe medications.

The demands on our healthcare system are complex and as the number of patients needing care grows, providing healthcare practitioners to serve all of the needs is challenging. Nurse practitioners are among the team of health professionals positioned to provide direct care to patients as primary care clinicians and specialty care practitioners.

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners reports that the patient have confidence in the care delivered by NPs with more than 1.02 billion patient visits each year.

In 2015 Delaware passed a law to allow nurse practitioners to apply to practice independently after demonstrating competent care after two years of collaborative practice. The numbers of nurse practitioners practicing independently and even opening their own practices continues to grow in Delaware allowing citizens more options and opportunities to access quality health care.

Join with others to recognize and celebrate Nurse Practitioners Week.

Connie Crane BSN, RN Student. Doctor of Nursing Practice/Family Nurse Practitioner Program
University of Delaware

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