NP students research hot topic


Allowing registered nurses to practice to the full extent of their education and training is one of the recommendations put forth in the 2010 Institute of Medicine Report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.

In particular, APRNs can help expand access to primary care and should be allowed to do so by practicing to the full extent of their education and training. The Future of Nursing Campaign for Action is working to help remove practice barriers across the country.

Allison Turner, Sarah Bankert and Benjamin Colvin, three recent graduates of Northwestern State’s MSN program, surveyed one group of Louisiana APRNs, nurse practitioners (NP), for a graduate research project. They found that a majority of NPs practicing in rural settings feel the care they give is equal to the care of a physician and that the quality of care is not affected by the collaborative agreement. The survey also revealed that novice NPs value the collaborative agreement more than experienced NPs.

“Nurses have so much to give,” said Turner. “We provide direct patient care and spend a lot of our time educating patients. We just want to be able to do all that we are qualified to do, especially when it makes life easier for our patients.”

Turner, Bankert and Colvin are now practicing nurse practitioners. Colvin currently practices at the Montgomery Family Clinic, Turner is with Louisiana Occupational Health Services in Alexandria and Bankert practices at Ascension Center for Women's Health in Baton Rouge.

Colvin said, “Higher degrees and more experience allow a nurse to move into management, but I have to say I like patient care. I went into nursing to help people.”

Shown in the photo are Benjamin Colvin, FNP, and Allison Turner, FNP.

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The Campaign for Action is working on both the national level and in every state, engaging with consumers, nurses, other clinicians, insurers, health care systems, employers, educators, funders, and public policy makers—all the stakeholders who need to be involved in system change.

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