Since 2000, Nurse Practitioners of New York (NPNY) has partnered with Hunter- Bellevue School of Nursing, CUNY, to take part in NPNY’s Advocacy and Lobby Day in Albany. On Wednesday March 8, 33 Nurse Practitioner students, along with their professor and 8 NPs from NPNY arrived by bus to advocate for the NP profession. All the NP students are in Master’s program and have extensive nursing experience as RNs; they will be well prepared to provide primary health care.
As part of NPNY’s civic engagement program, NPNY prepared information folders for everyone and were briefed in class and on the bus about issues important to nursing and public health and as to how to be an advocate when talking to legislators. For most it was the first time in their life to meet and talk with their elected representatives and they were nervous. By the end of the day, however, everyone felt that they could speak confidently with their legislators.
What makes the day special for everyone is that every year State Senator Velmanette Montgomery has met with each group to show her support for Nurse Practitioners.
Senator Montgomery is a fierce advocate and the lead proponent of legislation to expand the scope of practice for nurse practitioners in New York State. The Senator’s name appears on every bill that advanced the NP profession beginning with the original 1985 licensure bill that recognized the profession in law; the NP Modernization Act that passed in 2015, that allows NPs to practice independently after 3600 hours of practice, as well as a recent law that allows NPs to sign death certificates.
Senator Montgomery acknowledged the important role nurse practitioners play in the delivery of health care services to New Yorkers throughout the State, especially in rural communities. The Senator reminded the group that "health care is not a privilege, but a right and you are the NPs who are going to deliver it.”
Afterwards Senator Montgomery posed with all for a picture on the steps of the Legislative Office Building. NPNY and the Hunter Bellevue School of Nursing are most grateful to Senator Montgomery for her continued support.