Everyday Heroes... Nurse Practitioners
The week of November 7 - 13 is the 2010 National Nurse Practitioner (NP) Week and the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford celebrates this distinguished group of healthcare providers. The College of Medicine has nurse practitioners in each of their clinic locations including: Gail Brick at University F.W. Shappert Primary Care Clinic at Belvidere; Michelle Brady and Carole Eatock at University Primary Care Clinic at Rockton; Patricia Nordman at University Primary Care Clinic at Mt. Morris; Eve Ackerman, Judie Heinschel and Elizabeth Mendeloff at the L.P. Johnson Family Health Center; Kelly Rosenberger and Debbie Gortowski at Women's and Children's Health Center; Tanya Munger at the Winnebago County Justice Center and Jean Gale at the Juvenile Justice Center.
Nearly 10 years ago, David Letterman returned to his television show after cardiac bypass surgery and introduced the NP and the nurse who cared for him, as "the real heroes of medicine." He also noted that the healthcare team he brought on stage saved his life and remarked, "But that's not the big deal. The big deal is that they do it several times a day and hundreds of times a year."
Patients who have an NP as their healthcare provider know the healthcare they receive from their NP is high-quality, comprehensive, personalized, and patient-centered. In addition to diagnosing and managing acute and chronic illness, NPs place a strong emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention. They are skilled clinicians who include teaching and counseling individuals, families, and communities as a major part of their practice.
By providing both expert clinical care and health counseling, NPs may help their patients lower the cost of healthcare. For example, patients with NPs as their primary care provider have fewer instances of emergency room visits, shorter hospital stays and often have lower medication costs. This can be attributed to the fact that NPs partner with patients for their health and provide the necessary information so that the patient knows when early intervention is needed. For nearly half a century, NPs have been meeting the primary, specialty, and acute care needs of their patients with a high level of medical expertise and patient satisfaction.
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) was created in 1985 to provide NPs with a unified way to network and to advocate for NP issues across all specialties at the local, state and national levels. AANP continually serves as a major resource for NPs, their patients, and other healthcare consumers, to promote excellence in practice, education and research; to provide legislative leadership to advance health policy; to establish healthcare standards and to advocate for access to high-quality healthcare. AANP is the oldest, largest, and only full-service national professional membership organization for NPs of all specialties, representing the interests of the 140,000 NPs practicing in the United States today. For more information, visit www.aanp.org.