Washington, DC (PRWEB) September 27, 2011
Nurse practitioners, advanced practice nurses and registered nurses from across the United States will celebrate National Nurse-Managed Health Clinic Week, October 2-8, 2011. Senate Resolution 256, co-sponsored by Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI), and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), which was approved by the Senate on September 13, 2011, officially designates the week beginning October 2nd as National Nurse-Managed Health Clinic Week.
Nurse-managed health clinics serve as crucial health care access points for vulnerable and underserved patients in rural, urban and suburban communities throughout the country. This designated week will provide a national forum to promote the services offered by the 250 nurse-managed health clinics in the United States and recognize the contributions of nurse practitioners and nurse-managed health clinics throughout the nation.
“National Nurse-Managed Health Clinic Week celebrates the work of nurse-managed health clinics operating in the United States. It also highlights the need for policymakers to continue funding these clinics through the Affordable Care Act’s Public Health Prevention Fund,” said Tine Hansen-Turton, Chief Executive Officer of National Nursing Centers Consortium (NNCC), a national organization that provides critical support to these nurse-managed health clinics.
Last year, the US Department of Health and Human Services released $14.8 million in Prevention Fund dollars to support grants to 10 nurse-managed clinics as part of the Affordable Care Act’s Nurse-Managed Health Clinic Grant Program. These grants, which were intended to enhance ongoing efforts to increase primary care access and develop the health care workforce, are already proving to be extremely successful. The clinics receiving funding are expected to provide primary care to over 94,000 patients and train more than 900 advanced practice nurses by the end of the grant period. However, in an effort to reduce federal spending, both Congress and the Obama Administration elected not to renew these grants in 2011.
Eighty percent of the care provided by nurse-managed clinics is preventative and the Institute of Medicine’s report on the Future of Nursing specifically states, “Nurse-managed health clinics offer opportunities to expand access; provide quality, evidence-based care; and improve outcomes for individuals who may not otherwise receive needed care. These clinics also provide the necessary support to engage individuals in wellness and prevention activities.” If Congress and the Obama Administration truly want to make prevention a priority, then it is absolutely critical that money be set aside to support nurse-managed clinics. Additionally, with close to 32 million new patients slated to receive insurance in 2014, the nation needs to take full advantage of all available quality primary care providers.
“Nurses are ready, willing and able to step up and meet our country’s primary care needs,” said Amy Barton PhD, MSN, the chairperson of NNCC’s Board of Directors. “By providing funding for nurse-managed clinics through the Public Health Prevention Fund, Congress will be enhancing the ability of these clinics to provide accessible, cost effective and high quality care to the most vulnerable Americans, and helping to educate the next generation of primary care providers.”
Nurse-managed health clinics are led by advanced practice nurses, most of whom are nurse practitioners who act as primary care providers for patients. They provide primary care, health promotion and disease prevention services to patients least likely to receive ongoing health care services. This population includes patients of all ages who are uninsured, underinsured, living in poverty or members of racial and ethnic minority groups. More than 85 of the nation’s leading nursing schools operate nurse-managed health clinics, enhancing learning and practice opportunities for nursing students and other health professions students.
ABOUT NATIONAL NURSING CENTERS CONSORTIUM
A critical supporter of nurse-managed health clinics in the United States, National Nursing Centers Consortium (NNCC) works to advance nurse-led health care through policy, consultation, programs and applied research to reduce health disparities and meet people’s primary care and wellness needs. The nation’s 250 nurse-managed health clinics reduce health disparities by providing high quality comprehensive primary health care, health promotion and disease prevention services to uninsured, underinsured and vulnerable patients in rural, urban and suburban communities.
Contact: Tine Hansen-Turton
National Nursing Centers Consortium (NNCC)