As baby boomers age, the U.S. will see its senior population grow rapidly over the next decade. Now, more than ever, the need for flexible health care options is paramount.
And thanks to National Nurse Practitioner Week, or NP Week, health care consumers are getting more acquainted with their choices. On Tuesday, Nov. 14, El Paso Mayor Dee Margo presented a new proclamation officially recognizing Nov. 12 through 18 as NP Week.
Nursing leaders from all over El Paso, including Christina Blanco, D.N.P., R.N., who represents the North Texas chapter of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), came to City Hall for the proclamation’s signing.
Dr. Blanco, an assistant professor in the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing, is a vocal advocate for the role that NPs play in making quality care accessible in an increasingly complex health care climate. As one of the AANP’s elected representatives, Dr. Blanco supports NPs at the local and national levels. Major goals include removing barriers to practice; educating NPs and promoting NP research; and assisting in professional growth opportunities.
Dr. Blanco hopes the spotlight on NP Week will help patients recognize NPs as viable options when selecting a provider. “Nurse practitioners receive advanced training, making them expert clinicians equipped to provide primary, acute and specialized care,” said Dr. Blanco.
Nurse practitioners offer a holistic approach to health care, often at a lower cost to patients. “Rather than just diagnosing and managing illnesses, NPs help patients understand their complete health picture by integrating health promotion, disease prevention, counseling and patient education,” she said.
Leading up to NP Week, Dr. Blanco recently presented at the 2017 Texas Health Care Policy and Leadership Conference on federal guidelines affecting NPs, and what NPs can do to increase access to care. Along with her South Texas counterpart, she currently represents over 19,000 NPs practicing in Texas.
For more information about NP Week, visit the AANP’s website.