Each year, millions of patients turn to nurse practitioners (NPs) to meet their health care needs — and for good reason. NPs deliver high-quality health care patients count on in more than 1 billion visits each year, encouraging patient wellness, managing routine care and tackling complex chronic conditions for patients of all ages. This November 8-14, our nation will recognize the outstanding care NPs provide patients during National Nurse Practitioner Week. 

This year, patients have even more reason to be thankful for the NPs in their lives, due to the tremendous sacrifices these providers continue to make to combat COVID-19 in communities nationwide. In fact, 60% of NPs are directly engaged in testing and treating COVID-19 patients in primary, acute and specialty care settings. We’ve seen NPs open mobile clinics, provide care in people’s homes, launch drive-through testing centers, deliver telehealth services and mask up to treat the sickest patients in hospital Intensive Care Units (ICUs). 

This year also marks the 100th birthday of Loretta Ford, NP, EdD, FAAN, who cofounded the first NP degree program at the University of Colorado and is viewed by many as the “mother of the NP profession.” It is because of her trailblazing work that the NP role has grown to more than 290,000 strong.

To all of America’s NPs, we salute you and thank you for your commitment and contribution to our health. Thank you for the tremendous sacrifices you have made this year to keep your patients and communities safe. Please join us in thanking NPs — and the patients who choose them.