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Learning Center Experience
By LaDonna Hart, MSN, APRN, NP-C, President,
Nebraska Nurse Practitioners
My journey as a nurse practitioner (NP) started when my undergraduate
instructor asked me to apply to the new Family Nurse Practitioner program out
of Kearney, Nebraska. I graduated and began my RN career; however, the dream
for advanced practice never left my mind. In 1998, I became a Family Nurse
Over these 19 years, I have had the honor to work with many
different clinicians in a variety of health care settings, including women’s
health, family practice, urgent care, and retail settings.
In 2013, I was elected President of the Nebraska Nurse Practitioners
(NNP), the state’s most prominent professional NP organization. In 2015, NNP, along
with policymakers and stakeholders, passed LB107 and became the 20th state to
have Full Practice Authority for NPs. This legislation is changing the
landscape of health care and impacting the access to professional clinicians
and services in our communities. As a result of this legislation, owning a NP
practice in Nebraska has become a more realistic possibility and just one of
many opportunities for NPs.
Patients benefit from our unique perspective and approach to health
prevention and disease management. Earlier this year I opened Hart Family
Health PC, a NP-owned and operated medical practice in Lincoln. Hart Family
Health joins many independently owned NP practices located throughout the
state. Practices such as those in North Platte and Sutherland, Nebraska, reach
our most rural and vulnerable populations. Over 90% of counties in Nebraska are
in a health care provider shortage area for psychiatric-mental health services,
and NPs are a highly qualified workforce capable of helping to alleviate this
Being an advanced practice nurse requires me to be engaged and
committed to lifelong learning. In May 2016, I graduate with my Doctor of
Nursing Practice degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, having
focused my scholarly project on the political astuteness and political participation
of nurse practitioners in Nebraska.
The future is bright for NPs. There are over 1,200 NPs licensed in
Nebraska and over 170,000 credentialed and practicing across the United States.
As Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, we are advocates not only for individuals
but also for the health of populations. When I reflect upon my journey, it
becomes evident that it is really the journey of our profession.
I am one NP in a choir of voices, singing the same song and reflecting
on where we were, where we are, and where we need to be. I am on an incredible
ride; I can’t wait to see what happens next. Feel free to contact me with any
questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent
the view of Kaplan University.
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