'Policy in Action' Summit in Washington, D.C.
Almost 100 nurse practitioners attended the American College of Nurse Practitioners' 2010 National Nurse Practitioner Summit & Leadership Conference in Wasington, D.C. this past weekend. I was there, too, and was excited to see how dedicated and passionate the attendees were about working together to educate the public and legislators about what nurse practitioners are and what they're able to do.
In fact, working together was a common theme and although there's a lot of work to do yet to get the message across about NPs, Carolyn Hutcherson, the CEO of ACNP, said "We have a stronger voice than we ever have in D.C."
There was discussion about how NPs fit into healthcare reform. Presenter Kathleen White (director of the Johns Hopkins University DNP program) pointed out that a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that the public thinks the economy is a more important issue than healthcare. So, White says, NPs can get involved by using their education skills to explain how important healthcare is to the economy.
It's not too late to get involved and educate legislators and the public now that President Obama's healthcare summit has just occurred. As Marsha Seigel, NP, president of ACNP, said, "We've heard there would be a snowstorm in hell before healthcare reform was passed; well, maybe this is it."