We started 2020 off by acknowledging the World Health Organization-designated “International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife” that coincides with Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday celebration. Today, as we face the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am certain that the courageous work of nurses, other healthcare providers, and all first responders across the globe would make Florence Nightingale very proud. We at NPWH and HealthCom Media want to acknowledge and express appreciation, in particular for women’s healthcare providers (HCPs) who continue to provide the best care for patients despite all challenges.
So, let’s continue celebrating and acknowledging the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. Here are just a few ways NPWH is doing this:
NPWH believes it is vital to support our next generation of WHNPs. Just a few years ago, we initiated our Student Leadership Program. Chosen student leaders have been enrolled in WHNP programs across the country. They have attended our annual conference to engage in educational development, conference leadership opportunities, and networking with national leaders in women’s health. This year’s 10 student leaders will participate in a 12-month mentorship with a current or past NPWH board of directors’ member or a WHNP academic program leader. They will be selected based on leadership, creativity, and scholastic qualities. Each applicant must be nominated by a WHNP program director or faculty member. The Student Leadership Subcommittee selects students from these nominations based on the information provided in their application.
You can help support a WHNP student leader to attend the 23rd Annual NPWH Premier Women’s Healthcare Conference this October 2020. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to the NPWH Loretta Ford Student Scholarship Fund. To see and hear from student leaders who attended the 2019 conference, go to our journal website. If because of COVID-19, the conference must be offered in a virtual format, donations will be used to ensure that selected student leaders can still connect and participate in the conference in a very meaningful way, have ongoing mentoring, and that they are able to share their experiences with NPWH membership.
NPWH wants to acknowledge the exceptional work our members do to prepare the next generation of WHNPs. These are our WHNP program educators, preceptors, mentors, conference presenters, review course presenters, and article authors. We especially thank the 31 nationally certified WHNPs who participated on the task force to prepare the 8th edition of Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner: Guidelines for Practice and Education. This document defines the role of the WHNP, identifies entry-level practice competencies, and guides educators in developing WHNP educational programs. It also provides guidance on the WHNP role and competencies for other stakeholders in women’s health to include educational program accrediting bodies, state advanced practice registered nurse regulating bodies, WHNP certification body, WHNP students, other HCP colleagues, and employers. NPWH members can download a PDF of the guidelines for free and purchase a printed copy for a discounted price here.
Most recently, several NPWH members participated in a writing group and as reviewers for the preparation of the NPWH Essential Role of the WHNP White Paper. Thank you for your insight and dedication in producing this document that provides details and clarification on the unique aspects of WHNP education, competencies, certification and continuing education requirements, roles on the healthcare team, and some specialized areas of practice for which WHNPs are distinctly prepared. This white paper also describes strategies to address challenges and to ensure a robust future for the role of the WHNP. The audience for this document includes prospective and current WHNP students, practicing WHNPs, other members of the healthcare team, schools of nursing and nurse practitioner faculty, employers, and consumers of women’s healthcare services. It will be available on the NPWH and journal websites soon, to be announced in the NPWH weekly e-brief.
Finally, we hope to see you at the 23rd Annual NPWH Premier Women’s Healthcare Conference in October whether we get together in person or virtually, or both. Let’s plan to continue to celebrate WHNPs and other nurses who provide women’s healthcare in the United States and internationally. If there is one thing we learn from this pandemic, it is that we are all in this together across the globe and must work together to ensure the health of women and their families.
– Beth Kelsey, EdD, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP