Many of you know I still practice on the weekends as a nurse practitioner for Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital and I’m adjunct faculty for Drexel University in Philadelphia. I am currently teaching a course on using evidence in practice and this week is focused on using change theory to implement evidence. Change – one of the hardest things for us to do. We become stuck in doing things the way they have always been done. All you have to do is look at your current practice setting and see others who resist change. Courage and perseverance are the necessary ingredients to implement change. How many of us really have the so-called “right stuff” to make changes in our own practice settings?
As I look back on our nurse practitioner profession, I am amazed at the courage and perseverance it took for Drs. Loretta Ford and Henry Silver to step out of the so-called “healthcare norm” and decide there needed to be a better way to provide care. A nurse and a physician worked together to change practice. They did not do this for recognition. Rather, they did it to improve access to quality care for those who were in need. They implemented change in a healthcare system by using courage and perseverance.
Why did you become a nurse? Why have many of you gone on to be advanced practice nurses? Were you afraid of making a change? When I think about why I became a nurse practitioner, it was because I saw an opportunity to connect the art and science of nursing and medicine in my own practice to improve patient care. I am sure many of you have a similar story.
This is Nurse Practitioner Week and I want to thank each of my NP colleagues for the work you do each day. You emulate what Drs. Ford and Silver did over 50 years ago; you meet each day with courage and perseverance to implement change and improve patient outcomes one patient at a time.
Anne Dabrow Woods, DNP, RN, CRNP, ANP-BC, AGACNP-BC, FAAN
Chief Nurse, Wolters Kluwer, Health Learning, Research & Practice
Adjunct Faculty, Drexel University
Nurse Practitioner, Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital