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WHEREAS, nurse practitioners (NPs) are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who have advanced clinical education and training, building upon their initial registered nurse preparation; and
WHEREAS, in this year, 2020, we celebrate the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife; and
WHEREAS, NPs are working tirelessly to diagnose and treat patients with COVID-19 and to combat community spread nationwide; and
WHEREAS, NPs work to expand access to care in underserved communities, end health disparities, and combat systemic racism in health care; and
WHEREAS, NPs provide high-quality primary, acute, and specialty care services while focusing on health promotion, disease prevention, health education, and counseling, guiding patients to make smarter health and lifestyle choices every day; and
WHEREAS, there are 290,000 licensed nurse practitioners in the United States, and more than 13,105 licensed NPs in Virginia; and
WHEREAS, the confidence that patients have in NP-delivered healthcare is evidenced by the more than one billion visits made annually to NPs across the country; and
WHEREAS, more than five decades of research demonstrates the high quality of care provided by NPs; and
WHEREAS, better utilization of NPs through modernized state laws and improved system policies creates better health through a more accessible, efficient, cost-effective and higher quality health care system; and
WHEREAS, nearly 1,000 NPs in Virginia are practicing with autonomous licenses, thereby increasing access to patient care in the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, NPs with two or more years of clinical experience were able to practice autonomously under the Governor’s Executive Order 57 during the COVID-19 state of emergency, thereby further increasing access to patient care; and
WHEREAS, Virginia is proud to recognize and honor the service of NPs to our Commonwealth;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize November 8-14, 2020, as NURSE PRACTITIONER WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.