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NP Week - Awards, Scholarship, and Membership meeting

Posted 17 days ago by Melissa J Hinton

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Happy NP Week!

I hope that you were honored and recognized by your peers for your talent, stamina, focus, skills, and education. NPs are making a difference. Our voice is being heard by your legislators, and NPs are respected at the capitol and the governor's office. 

During NP Week, UNP presents awards for clinical excellence and scholarships for student NP research. If you didn't have a chance to attend the membership and awards meeting, please take a moment to review the attached agenda and PPT.

A big thanks to Jackie Shifrar and Julie Steele who have been THE awards committee for several years, Jackie with 12 years under her belt, and we welcome Nick Stucki to the nominations committee.

As UNP continues to gain traction on the hill and are receiving more requests for involvement in healthcare across the board, there are some exciting things that will be happening in the upcoming session. Watch for the APRN Compact bill and implementation of the CARES Act Home Health Orders. The board is supporting All Copays Count, ERA pay equity, surgical smoke evacuation, and we are working with APP leaders at Intermountain and UAPA for acknowledgement of APP "Blue Sheet" orders. Please share your ideas and stories with us that can support these initiatives AND write, text, call, or meet with your personal district House Rep and Senator. Your voice is what makes healthcare issues important!

As we prepare to begin another year, I would like to thank any who have shown their support in any way during my tenure as president of your professional organization. There have been significant hurdles, but there have also been winning changes, despite limitations caused by the global COVID-19 and variant pandemic. Together, we have:

1. Developed board role & responsibility definitions and an organizational chart for continuity.

2. Re-established essential relationships, communications, and support with our colleague organizations (UAPA, UNA).

3. Membership is being updated to include legislative districts which prompted a national change within the ENP Network. This will help with essential grassroots movements in promoting full practice authority and other political endeavors.

4. In 2021, legislation to remove the pain clinic C&R language passed! It has been a long journey, and although we are still designated a "yellow state" by AANP, Utah NPs (including new graduates) enjoy unrestricted practice that does not require any type of collaborative documentation. Be sure to read HB 287 2021 for specific language.

5. CARES Act Home Health orders are being made a permanent rule through the state Health Facilities Committee and are slated to be in effect starting was early as January 2022.

6. Created a History of UNP (see UNP/UNP Organization History) which identifies the key progress that has happened since our inception in the 1990s.

7. Licensed NPs in the State of Utah grew from 2,600 in 2019 to 4,076 as of today!!!!

8. We have begun work to bring a bill to the legislature in the General Session 2022 that would update Utah's APRN Compact Language. This will help recruit and retain NPs, and allow more access to quality, safe, affordable healthcare (especially along rural state lines).

Beth Luthy and Julie Balk have been incredible representatives for UNP legislation. Thank you for your continued efforts and guidance in current healthcare issues, even as you have moved on. Your leadership shows that we are all needed to create a compelling voice. Thank you to the past presidents who reached out and have been so helpful in many ways. Thank you to our legislator friends and our collaborative organizations!

Thank you to those who have taught me "the ropes" and have been mentors to me. Your guidance has been essential. Please welcome Amy Bleak, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, as UNP's Acting President. She is a capable and talented NP that will guide UNP into another chapter of progress and advances in healthcare.