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Time to Get Involved

Published September 4, 2013 4:19 PM by Renee Dahring
Now that Labor Day has come and gone, it's officially the end of summer. Fall is a good time to get back to all those projects we put on hold. Which means this is a good time for my "get involved" speech. 

This past year has seen a great deal of political action in healthcare. There are new laws that have resulted in a multitude of new regulations, most of which are still in play. NPs and PAs have much at stake. Many states have passed legislation to increase our autonomy and practice but there are still several more states with pending action. And we will always need to be ever vigilant to make sure any progress we have made doesn't get undone. 

It's up to all of us to do what we can to protect our professions and our patients. I would like to offer a few suggestions of what you can do. 

I feel strongly that we all need to stop using terms like "mid-level". If your employer is using this language to describe you, try to persuade them to remove it from their vocabulary. Educate them and let them know why we find "mid-level" to be offensive and insulting. And if you are still using this term to describe yourself, for goodness sake, please stop! You are only hurting your image as a professional.  (See my previous post "Middle of What?" if you need a few reasons.)

Don't put each other down. I don't have to go far online or even personally to hear our professions disparaging each other. PAs complaining about NPs and vice versa. And sometimes we aim critiques against our own groups, too! If one group moves forward it doesn't mean the other moves back. Progress isn't always symmetrical, but it IS good for all of us in the long term. Stay positive and support all advanced practice clinicians. 

No need to wage a war against physicians either. Stay on topic and talk only about your own work and accomplishments. I want to cringe every time I read or hear one of us saying "We spend more time" or "our patient satisfaction is higher" to promote our professions. We just need a seat at the table, it's not necessary to take over the whole meal. If we want to have physician buy in and support, we need to knock off that sort of talk. It isn't making us any friends. 

Join any and all organizations that are working towards legislative action in our favor. If you don't have the time to get personally involved then just give them MONEY. In our system nothing happens without lobbyists and lobbyists take money. Simple as that. 

2 comments

I agree the term is not appropriate for the level of care we provide...my new position is to oversee the NP's, PA 's CNM,and Audiologist...we are all grouped together within this multi center  group practice

Patricia, Internal Medicine - PatientCare Manager mid Level, Mt Kisco Med Froup September 16, 2013 8:30 PM
Mt Kisco NY

Agree with Renee. We need to mention each other also in interviews and other things. No need for NPs to sell PAs (and vice versa) but the "we are the only profession besides physicians who can do this or that......makes whomever say it appear small-at least to me.%0d%0aI want to echo the "get involved" part and if you can't do that JOIN the associations that you think are doing a good job representing you.Some new ones in the PA world too.%0d%0aLet's all collectively make a difference this year for both our professions and for our patients.%0d%0aDave

Dave Mittman, PA, DFAAPA September 16, 2013 4:50 PM

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    Occupation: Nurse Practitioners and NP Recruiters
    Setting: correctional healthcare/career consulting/teaching
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