The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students at the Kirkhof College of Nursing took advocating for the nursing profession to a new level by organizing an educational forum held at GVSU’s Cook DeVos Center for Health Sciences on February 10. The well-attended event focused on nursing education and scope of practice for advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) in the state of Michigan. A panel of nurses described their specialties, interprofessional collaboration and methods for delivering quality patient -centered care across the lifespan.
Michigan legislators and staff learned how nurses practicing at all levels can help to eliminate access to care issues when allowed to practice to the fullest extent of their education and licensure. The recent passing of HB 5400 provided small incremental gains to APRN scope of practice, and while appreciated, Michigan remains one of the most restricted states for APRN practice in the nation.
“I come from a very small town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. There is a sign on our health clinic that reads, ‘closed because we have no physician’. Michigan’s restrictions on scope of practice for advanced practice nurses leaves my community without the quality care they deserve. My dream is to change that. Nurse practitioners can change that,” said Ali Saheb, KCON DNP student and Grand Marais native.
Community members shared their personal stories about choosing nurse practitioners for their primary care, and DNP students provided an in-depth look at professional levels of nursing practice and how they differ from other health care professions.
“Nursing students have a stake in advocating for our profession. Only through education and broadened awareness will nurses realize the opportunity to practice to the full extent of their education and licensure. We must build relationships with our legislators to bring about the needed change”, said Cynthia McCurren, dean and professor with the Kirkhof College of Nursing. “This advocacy experience is invaluable for our students.”