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Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing

College of Health Sciences

UW Nursing celebrates National Nurse Practitioner Week
with notice of DNP Program accreditation

UW Nursing students work with DNP program director, Dr. Ann Marie Hart

UW Nurse Practitioner students and DNP program director, Dr. Ann Marie Hart

The University of Wyoming Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing has particular reason to celebrate National Nurse Practitioner Week (November 9-15) this year: the school's Doctor of Nursing Practice Program just received news of official accreditation from the accrediting body, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). At the same time, Wyoming Governor Mead signed a proclamation declaring November 9-15, 2014 National Nurse Practitioner (NP) week in Wyoming.

DNP program coordinator, Ann Marie Hart, and School of Nursing Dean, Mary Burman, comment on the importance of NPs in Wyoming:

NPs provide a considerable amount of health care to Wyoming’s residents. Currently, there are 705 NPs licensed to practice in Wyoming, and a recent survey of Wyoming’s NPs revealed that these NPs typically see 15 patients a day and provide care to residents in almost every community in the state, including rural communities, such as Alpine, Chugwater, and Meteetsee.   

Most of Wyoming’s NPs work in primary care clinics, providing care for individuals experiencing acute illnesses and injuries, such as pneumonia, abdominal pain, sprained ankles, and lacerations. Wyoming’s NPs also provide services for individuals with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and emphysema and help people make lifestyle changes to address conditions such as obesity, smoking, and insomnia. As well, they provide routine health services such as well-child exams, prenatal visits, employment exams, and family planning.

Additionally, a sizeable number of NPs work in mental health settings, providing care for individuals with illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. Other Wyoming NPs work in hospitals, emergency departments, and nursing homes, as well as for the Veterans Administration. Importantly, a growing number of Wyoming’s NPs provide care via Telehealth, a technology that allows them to provide care remotely without having to be physically present with patients.

Multiple studies have shown that NP-delivered care results in patient outcomes similar to physicians and patients are satisfied with NP-delivered care. Moreover, a recent study of Medicare and Medicaid data revealed that states that allow NPs to practice to their fullest ability experience lower hospitalization rates and improved community health outcomes. - We are proud that Wyoming is one of these states!

In summary, NPs provide a significant amount of health care in Wyoming. We are fortunate to live in a state that supports NPs and allows them to practice independently and to the fullest extent of their education and licensure. Simply put, because of NPs, the people of Wyoming are healthier. Please join us in celebrating National NP week by thanking your NP!

Ann Marie Hart, Associate Professor and DNP Program Coordinator
Mary E. Burman, Dean and Professor
Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing
University of Wyoming

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