South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard proclaimed November 8-14, 2015 Nurse Practitioner Week. This year, nurse practitioners (NPs) have a special reason to celebrate. Fifty years ago, at the University of Colorado, the first NP program was established, and now, 50 years later, there are more than 205,000 NPs licensed to practice in the United States.
“Improved access to care, reduced hospitalizations, and overall enhanced quality of life are among the numerous benefits experienced by South Dakotans who receive primary care from nurse practitioners who have established a strong presence in frontier, rural, and urban settings,” said Dr. Mary Minton, Associate Dean of Graduate Nursing at South Dakota State University.
National Nurse Practitioner Week is a time to celebrate these exceptional health care providers and the importance of removing outdated barriers to practice so that NPs will be allowed to practice to the full extent of their experience and education so that patients are allowed full and direct access to all the services NPs are educated and certified to provide. Nurse practitioners are informed, in touch and involved, making them the health care providers of choice for millions and a solution to the primary care crisis in America.