Nurse Practitioners: Touching lives and inspiring future healthcare heroes


Nurse Practitioner Week 2023 is here from November 12 to 18, offering a unique window into the world of nurse practitioners and their profound impact on our patients and communities. In 1965, Drs. Loretta Ford and Henry Silver developed the first NP program, and almost 60 years later, the nation’s 355,000 NPs are improving the health and lives of millions of patients and their communities every day.

This year, the nurse practitioner’s role was recognized as the No. 1 job for helping people by U.S News & World Report. NP Week is an excellent time to recognize the value these professionals bring to health care and to showcase the important work they do for their communities.

Nurse practitioners specializing in primary care make invaluable contributions. They prioritize disease prevention, health promotion, and patient-centered care, bringing unwavering commitment, extensive knowledge, and empathy that significantly impacts healthcare. They lead the charge to enhance patient outcomes, reduce healthcare costs, and address healthcare inequalities. These professionals genuinely deserve recognition and appreciation for their remarkable efforts. Their role in primary care is becoming increasingly important, particularly in underserved communities where access to healthcare is limited.

The stories of nurse practitioners changing lives through primary care are genuinely inspiring. NPs blend nursing and medicine to support their patients. They've helped patients manage chronic pain and regain fulfilling lives. They've assisted those struggling with mental health, providing support and resources that help them overcome their challenges. NPs also focus on lifestyle management to help prevent chronic diseases and promote healthy, productive lives. These examples scratch the surface of the many ways NPs make a difference in primary care.

As the demand for primary care services grows, nurse practitioners take on a more significant role in transforming healthcare. It's important to recognize the crucial part played by institutions like the Florida State University College of Nursing in shaping the future of healthcare for our nursing students. With nursing globally being the most trusted profession, they are unwavering in their commitment to providing high-quality education, empowering students to follow in the footsteps of remarkable NPs. These students will be the future NPs who stand at the forefront of improving patient outcomes, reducing healthcare costs, and addressing healthcare disparities. Their work is not just commendable; it's truly inspiring, with an immeasurable impact on patients' lives.

Nurse practitioners are leading the way in primary care, and during this special week, we invite you to explore their impact on healthcare and education. Share your experiences and stories about nurse practitioners on social media using the hashtag #NPWeek2023, and remember to tag @FSU_Nursing on Instagram and @fsucollegeofnursing on Facebook.

Let's celebrate their invaluable contributions and inspire the next generation of healthcare heroes. If you haven't worked with a nurse practitioner yet, we encourage you to do so. You'll be grateful you did.

This article originally appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat on 11/12/2023