The American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners (AAENP) met on October 27, 2019, in Denver, Colorado, to celebrate the 5-year anniversary of the Academy. The open board meeting offered the opportunity for members to share their thoughts, collaborate with board members, network with colleagues from across the country, and support the continuing growth of the AAENP. A celebration of the organization's many accomplishments since its inception in 2014 occurred during the AAENP reception.
Since 2014, AAENP members have worked tirelessly to achieve the following milestones and successes:
- Secured an AAENP membership of over 1,000. Our growing membership is reflective of the diversity of our practice – urban, rural, and critical access. With members from the continental United States, Hawaii, Australia, and Canada, the AAENP continues to explore new ways to provide meaningful support to the estimated 16,000 nurse practitioners currently practicing in emergency care settings across the unites (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2019 and 2018).
- Created an organizational structure, which includes five regional directors and individual and state representatives. With the support of this structure, the unique needs of each state can be answered and supported by a designated voice. Repeatedly in the past few years, state representatives have responded in a timely manner to legislation and other practice concerns at the state level, working with Boards of Nursing to endorse solutions, which provide avenues to safe patient care by emergency nurse practitioners (ENPs). This is a fantastic way to get involved in advocacy and the AAENP!
- Established nine standing committees (Bylaws, Education, Finance, Marketing, Membership, Validation, Practice, and Political Action/Advocacy). Much of the work being done by the AAENP occurs by our members at the committee level. Involvement in these groups provides opportunities for professional growth and mentoring the next generation of leaders to continue the work for our profession.
- Partnered with the publisher Lippincott (Wolters Kluwer) to establish the Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal (AENJ) as the official journal of the AAENP in 2015. A digital subscription is available to our regular members, with an option for print copies also available. The sustained AENJ/AAENP partnership not only offers a mechanism for member communication, but also provides targeted continuing education opportunities for our members in each edition.
- Completed and published a national Role Delineation Study to define current ENP practice, in collaboration with the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB). This important data provides representation of current ENP practice to not only guide the creation and maintenance of a valid certification exam, but “real-time” snapshots inform advocacy efforts. Because a role delineation is not static but rather a reflection of present practice across a continuum, a repeat study is planned for 2021 to capture an updated snapshot of ENP practice.
- Authored numerous publications including the Scopes and Standards for ENP Practice (2016) and the Practice Standards for the Emergency Nurse Practitioner (2018). Together, these documents define our professional standards and describe more fully our roles. Although the 2018 Practice Standards are synonymous with and inclusive of current competencies, they are more robust than static competencies in their ability to capture growth in provider knowledge, skills, and abilities.
- Spearheaded the creation of the Emergency Nurse Practitioner Certification Exam (ENP-C) in collaboration with the AANPCB. This exam offers one mechanism to validate ENP knowledge in a manner understood by our stakeholders. With nearly 800 certified ENP-C providers, the AAENP celebrates those members who have achieved this milestone with us.
- Disseminated additional publications describing regulatory, practice, and educational aspects of the ENP role. The AAENP continues to support the efforts of experts among us in data-based responses to clinical and practice concerns, which solidify our position among the emergency department (ED) workforce.
- Advocated for the ENP role within multiple State Boards of Nursing. The AAENP is assisting individual State Boards of Nursing to find the appropriate language, which satisfies legislative needs to support the education of NPs who will provide care to provide high-quality care to patients in their states. Individual members, in concert with regional leaders and AAENP advocacy experts, have been instrumental in changing practice climates within several states in just the past 2 years.
- Redesigned the quarterly newsletter, ENP Voice. The newsletter has been refocused to highlight efforts and share successes from our membership across the country, as they work to advance patient safety in emergency care.
- Collaborated with organizational stakeholders such as the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) among others. With recognition of the synergy possessed when organizations work together, efforts to engage with our partner organizations continue to build.
COLLABORATIONS ARE KEY!
The AAENP will always be true to its mission and vision while collaborating with stakeholders to primarily protect the ENP's employment, as well as to protect the patients for whom they care. Throughout the growth and evolution of the organization over these past 5 years, the successes have only occurred through synergistic work of our members, stakeholders, and organizational partners. Despite challenges, the AAENP leadership remains steadfast in their commitment to the organization's mission and vision.
The AAENP promotes high-quality, evidence-based practice for nurse practitioners providing emergency care for patients of all ages and acuities in collaboration with an interdisciplinary team. More specifically, the Academy seeks to:
- Establish guidelines for quality and safety emergency health care
- Encourage the continuing clinical education of ENPs
- Support training and education in emergency care
- Facilitate research in emergency care
- Collaborate with professional health organizations and academic institutions
As we look forward to the next 5–50 years, we celebrate the heritage and diversity among ENPs that brought us to this point ... cling to the relationships that propel us forward and strengthen us all individually and collectively.
–K. Sue Hoyt, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, ENP-C, FAEN, FAANP, FAAN
Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal
Professor & Director NP/ENP Programs,
University of San Diego
Founding Member and Past Board Member,
American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners
–Jennifer Wilbeck, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, ACNP-BC, ENP-C, FAANP, FAAN
American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners
Professor and Director, ENP Specialty,
Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
–Elda G. Ramirez, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, ENP-C, FAEN, FAANP, FAAN
Founder, American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners
Director Emergency/Trauma Nurse Practitioner Program,
Cizik School of Nursing
American Association of Nurse Practitioners. (2019). Nurse practitioners infographic. Retrieved from https://storage.aanp.org/www/documents/Infographic.pdf