Independence Day Thoughts

What mental images do you see when you hear “Independence Day”? Do the pictures include barbecue, fireworks, and outdoor concerts?

Since the 4th is just a few days away, we’d love to know what this holiday means to you. At the same time, both of us, Johanna (who frequently writes here) and Barbara, will share our thoughts with you.

Here’s Johanna:

It must have been late August 1976…

I was a naive twenty-two-year-old when I first landed in St Louis. I’d come to join my newly remarried mother, her husband, and my younger sister. She had lived in the US as an exchange student for the last 12 months and loved it here.

From the moment I got off the plane, I was in awe…

Everything I laid my eyes on was new, different, and mind-blowing.

It seemed there was an abundance of everything and everywhere!

I remember my first trip to the grocery store…

  • Shelf after shelf filled with cereals (I’d grown up eating one, maybe two).
  • Rows filled with bread, sweets, and prepackaged meals.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables, many of which I’d never seen and couldn’t identify.
  • And there must have been enough detergent to do laundry for an entire month!

And no, I wasn’t moving from a third world nation, I was moving from a small town in Germany.

I’d moved to the US to be with my family and because America then represented opportunity and personal freedom.

Fast forward to the America we live in today.

Personal freedom still is highly valued, even though we have seen attacks on the personal freedom of select groups over the last few months…

But enough said; this is not about politics but about Nurse Practitioners and business.

So what about opportunity in today’s America?

I believe there is still plenty of opportunities to be found; even though for many they’re more challenging to access today.
That’s why it pays to prepare. You want to educate yourself about your industry and the changes in it taking place. Because big surprises are the last thing you need in business!

And learn as much as you can about the “business side of healthcare.” Because “opportunity goes to those who are prepared!”

Wishing you a wonderful 4th of July!
Johanna Hofmann, MBA

And now, it’s Barbara’s turn:

When I think of all of us as healthcare providers – all nurses, advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), physician assistants (PAs), physicians and everyone else who calls themselves healthcare providers, I think about the freedom to practice, and the right to practice to the full extent of our license.

There is a lot of confusion among healthcare providers about independence for nurse practitioners. Heck, there is confusion among APRNs about being independent.

While freedom and independence are part of the American dream, here’s what I see as truth in healthcare.

When it comes to healthcare providers – regardless of your designation – this much is true. Our focus is to provide the best care we can to those who come to see us. And in order to do so…it takes all of us. It takes a team.

Now before anyone gets’s carried away by that last sentence, consider this. There is not one single healthcare provider, again, regardless of their designation, who provides care in isolation. When the patient requires different expertise, we seek out that expert.

A true collaborative practice allows each of us to practice to the full extent of our capabilities and consulting with other experts in their field when necessary.

However, in order to provide the care where it is needed, and to be able to work to the full extent of our education and license, APRNs, and, indeed, physician assistants, need to be set free from unnecessary shackles.

Over 200 years ago this country was founded on the belief that we have freedom and liberty for all. While we have not always heeded that ideal, over time, many indiscretions have been corrected. It’s now time to do so with APRNs and pass laws in all states and territories allowing for full practice authority, overseen by the respective Boards of Nursing.

Happy Independence Day!

Barbara C Phillips, APRN, GNP, FNP-BC, FAANP

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