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Much to Celebrate and Much to Defend: An NP Week Like No Other

Op-Med is a collection of original articles contributed by Doximity members.

An ongoing global pandemic, a contentious election, racial unrest — all within the WHO’s International Year of the Nurse & Midwife. 2020 has tested NPs and the entire nursing profession like no other time in modern history, and NPs have answered the call to serve. In recognition of these efforts, Doximity has compiled a collection of #NPWeek posts for reflection. 

AANP President Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, kicked off the week by solidifying the profession’s commitment to racial health equity: “For 50+ years, NPs have championed the needs of patients. Today, we’re combating COVID-19 and working community by community to break down barriers that reinforce inequalities, and to end institutionalized racism that impacts our patients and nation.” Thomas’ statement encourages all NPs to reflect on how they are promoting racial justice with their patients and communities this year. 

The Massachusetts Coalition of NPs shared a proclamation from Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker outlining 12 points on the essential work of NPs: “Whereas, 22 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands have implemented full practice authority for NPs, granting patients full and direct access to the outstanding care offered by these health care providers; and whereas, Massachusetts is proud to recognize and honor the service of NPs to our state.” So far, the AANP has received proclamations from 38 states and the district in support of this year’s NP Week. 

Many NPs used the #NPWeek platform to urge the incoming U.S. administration to include nurses on the COVID-19 taskforce, “as we are key members of the multidisciplinary team.” This year’s NP Week occurs when COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. have reached an all-time high of more than 60,000

Clinicians of other credentials have expressed gratitude for their NP colleagues this week, including one ED physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Society of PAs in Genetics and Genomics. Miguel Peralas, MD, shared, “NPs and PAs provide excellent care to our bone marrow transplant and CAR-T patients, and continue to work hard on the front lines during the COVID-19 surge in New York City. We are very fortunate to have such a great team at Sloan Kettering.” NPs work with a variety of clinicians in different settings and specialties, making an impression not just with patients, but with their teams as well. 

Future and retired NPs celebrated NP Week by reflecting on their hopes for patients and thanking past mentors. One University of Florida DNP student shared, “I hope to create a safe space for patients to share their worries, concerns, and needs. I will strive to empower each of my patients with individualized care, education, and comprehensive, evidence-based treatment plans.” Another NP gave special recognition to two colleagues who inspired her back in 1973 to join the profession: “They were my first exposure to APRNs and made me believe, ‘I could do that!’ Wherever you are ladies, thanks!” 

Who and what are you thankful for during this year’s NP Week? What have been your most valuable lessons this year? Share in the comments below! 

Illustration by Jennifer Bogartz

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