November 2, 2009

Nurse Practitioner Week Nov. 8-14

VALDOSTA -- Area cities will acknowledge Valdosta State University’s Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP) program as they sign proclamations in honor of Nurse Practitioner Week, Nov. 8-14.

Valdosta Mayor John Fretti will sign a proclamation at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, in Martin Hall. The College of Nursing will serve light refreshments and provide tours after the brief ceremony. Lake Park, Nashville, Hahira, Quitman and Morven city officials signed proclamations at recent council meetings. College of Nursing Instructor Myron Faircloth said he applauds the region for recognizing the vital role NPs play in providing comprehensive, patient-centered health care.

“Our nurse practitioner students have been serving the area in residency clinics since we started the program in 2007,” said Faircloth, who graduated from the VSU College of Nursing in 1995. “It is essential to consider the importance of nurse practitioners in overcoming the shortage to primary care.”

Valdosta State’s ANP program prepares advanced practice nurses to provide primary care for individuals and families from 13 years of age. Dr. Maria Whyte, nurse practitioner program coordinator, said ANPs graduate with leadership skills and an understanding of evidence-based practice in health promotion, illness prevention and the management of acute and chronic illnesses.

“We have graduated six students so far, and we currently have 21 NP students in the program -- all learning to develop patient education strategies, apply ethical and legal principles to complex health care situations and develop effective care plans,” Whyte said. “Often delegated clients with the most complex social and economic limitations, adult nurse practitioners are well suited to optimize health in a less than optimal health care system.”

The theme for the 2009 National Nurse Practitioner Week is “125,000 Solutions To The Primary Care Shortage” -- indicating that the solution to the health care shortage lies in the 125,000 NPs licensed in the United States.

Call the College of Nursing at (229) 333-5959 for more information about the proclamation signing at Martin Hall or to explore a career in nursing. The ANP program is accepting applications until Sunday, Nov. 15.

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners,, has more information about the week and working in the field of nursing.

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