J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital
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Huntingdon, PA 16652
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Nurse practitioners provide solutions to the healthcare crisis

As the healthcare provider shortage crisis looms, nurse practitioners offer the high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered services needed to help solve the increasing demand for healthcare in the United States.

Nurse practitioners are licensed, expert clinicians with advanced training who provide primary, acute and specialty healthcare services. They work as a partner with their patients, helping them make educated healthcare decisions and healthy lifestyle choices.

Penny Kaye Jensen, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, FAANP is president of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

"Nurse practitioners have a proven track record of success, and research has shown that they provide high-quality primary care with outcomes that are similar to, or even better than, primary care physicians," Dr. Jensen said.

National Nurse Practitioner Week, November 13 19, 2011, is a time to celebrate these unique healthcare providers and to remind lawmakers of the importance of allowing nurse practitioners to practice to the full extent of their experience and education.

J.C. Blair utilizes nurse practitioners that work in a variety of clinical settings. J.C. Blair's nurse practitioners include Gina Lechene, CRNP, in the J.C. Blair Primary Care Center and the Hospitalist program; Sharon Stiver, CRNP, with J.C. Blair Company Care's Occupational Health Program and J.C. Blair Cardiac Care Center; and Shawn Bookhamer, CRNP; Deb Messner, CRNP; Vickie Lathero, CRNP; and Linda Dubois, CRNP, with the J.C. Blair Hospitalist program.


"At J.C. Blair, we have found that nurse practitioners and family physicians working together in practice complement each other," said Vice President of Patient Care/Chief Nursing Officer Pamela D. Matthias, RN, MSN, NE-BC. "At J.C. Blair nurse practitioners (NPs) provide primary and some acute care, and are qualified to meet the majority of patients' health-care needs. They promote a comprehensive approach to health care and emphasize the overall health and wellness of their patients. NPs have been a great addition to our health care delivery system."

"Being a nurse practitioner is an extremely rewarding career, and I can definitely say that the interaction I have with patients is very fulfilling," said J.C. Blair nurse practitioner Gina Lechene.

Lechene indicated that most nurse practitioners have years of nursing experience before they become advanced practice nurses. They bring with them their nursing knowledge and then it is applied to whole new level of practice. Nurse practitioners can work in a variety of specialties from inpatient care (hospitalist service, cardiology, occupational health, etc) to outpatient care (primary care, pediatrics, women's health, etc). The focus of the nurse practitioner role is taking care of the "whole" patient, and a large focus is preventive medicine.

"Nurse practitioners are a vital component of the current and future healthcare delivery system," concluded Lechene.

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is the oldest and largest national professional organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. AANP represents the interests of approximately 148,000 nurse practitioners in the country and advocates for the active role of NPs as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered and personalized healthcare. For more information, visit www.aanp.org.