Reviewed by Abbie Jacobs, RN, BSN
National Nurse Practitioners week was celebrated Nov. 13 – 19 across the country and Kingwood Medical Center in Kingwood, Texas took the opportunity to spotlight some of its brightest during that week.
Sandy Wood, NP, said that her becoming a nurse practitioner had been her life goal. She expressed her excitement over how the role of the nurse practitioner is continuing to grow and become more prominent, calling NP’s “the new way of the future.” According to Wood, NP’s have a unique opportunity to assist both physicians and nursing staff while communicating with and educating patients.
Christin Touchet’s interest in nursing likely came from her step-mother who is also a nurse. Touchet worked as a nurse in a critical care setting before deciding that she wanted to be more involved in the problem solving and caring of patients. She decided to become an NP and now works at Kingwood as a cardiology nurse practitioner. Touchet loves the opportunities her role as an NP provides in guiding patients toward healthier lifestyles.
Brett Whaley spent five years working in Medical and Neurosurgical Intensive Care before receiving his Masters of Science in Nursing and certifying as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Whaley says that the ACNP role allows him to display the extensive qualifications of nurse practitioners, especially in a critical care setting.
Melinda Stephenson, Kingwood Medical Center’s CEO, explained the difference between how physicians and nurse practitioners generally approach their duties. “The physician typically uses a disease-based approach with a focus on diagnosing a problem and treating that problem. Nurse Practitioners use an approach that is nursing-based, focusing on the patient and his/her environment as a whole,” said Stephenson. She added that nurse practitioners educate patients on ways to live a healthy life.
The United States has recognized the nurse practitioner role for more than 50 years and there are an estimated 222,000 NP’s currently licensed.