The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and the American College of Nurse Practitioners (ACNP) have announced their intentions to join forces and merge the two organizations, starting January 1, 2013. The new joint organization will be called the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and will be co-presidented by the current presidents of both organizations: Dr. Angela Golden from the AANP and Dr. Ken Miller from the ACNP. David Hebert, who has been serving as Chief Executive Officer of the ACNP, will be the CEO of the newly-formed AANP.
The new organization will have approximately 40,000 members, and as such will be the largest professional membership organization in USA for nurse practitioners of all specialties.
This merge comes at a time when nurse practitioners in this country are facing new challenges: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) means about 30 million more patients are expected to enter the healthcare system through 2019, and the shortage of primary care physicians is continually growing, and is expected to surpass 52,000 by 2025.
As reported here previously, many of the states are meeting these challenges by giving more responsibility to the nurse practitioners, similar to that of primary care physicians. In other states, NPs are allowed to work only under the supervision of medical care.
The new AANP will add a strong, unified voice to the growing movement working to ensure nurse practitioners can practice to their fullest potential.
This trend is not universally accepted. Reid Blackwelder, MD, president-elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) reitereates the AAFP’s position that patients are better served with physician-led healthcare teams and that NPs should not deliver healthcare independently.