Local communities recognizing nurse practitioners next week - East Idaho News

Local communities recognizing nurse practitioners next week

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POCATELLO — By joint proclamation, mayors Brian Blad and Kevin England declare the week of Nov. 14 Nurse Practitioner Week in Pocatello and Chubbuck.

From inside the Beckley Nursing Building on the Idaho State University campus, Blad and England applauded the work of nurse practitioners through personal anecdotes. At the same time, they thanked several students in attendance who are months away from joining those ranks.

As Susan Tavernier, ISU School of Nursing Director of Graduate Studies, told EastIdahoNews.com, a nurse practitioner is a nurse licensed to provide without oversight from a medical doctor. At ISU, she said graduates of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program leave with a doctorate, though they do not carry the title of MD.

What that means, she further explained, is that nurse practitioners — or NP’s — are able to provide quality medical care at a lower price-point than would be available through a physician.

“What you do, honestly, matters, to the health of our communities and of our country,” Blad said speaking directly to the students, faculty and staff in attendance.

Nurse Practitioner Week, by order of the joint proclamation, begins Sunday.

In the proclamation, England said that NP’s provide around 50% of all medical care in Idaho.

“NP’s provide high-quality, primary, acute and specialty care service,” England said, reading the proclamation. “Pocatello and Chubbuck are proud to recognize the value of the service of NP’s in our state.”

Valerie Conley, ISU’s Provost and VP of Academic Affairs also offered comments, saying that NP’s serve “on the front lines” across Idaho’s many rural area.

“Across the nation, NP’s are so critically important to the care of patients, but especially here in Idaho, much of which is rural,” she said.

Tavernier added to that statement, saying that Psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners are needed, primarily in those rural areas, now more than ever.

“Part of our mission, in the School of Nursing, is to help meet those rural health needs,” she said.

Teresa Conner, Dean of the ISU College of Health was also in attendance and echoed the need for the high-quality, cost-efficient care NP’s provide.

Tavernier explained that ISU’s DNP program is a three-year program which currently has around 85 students. That number fluctuates from year to year, she said, but is customarily around the 80- to 100-mark.

NP nurse
In honor of Veteran’s Day, those in attendance for the proclamation honored three members of the ISU School of Nursing. | Kalama Hines, EastIdahoNews.com