Ep #42: The Role of Nurse Practitioners in Healthcare

Nurse practitioners play such an important role in healthcare so let’s learn more about the profession. The CEO and president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners join us on this episode to share their accomplishments, challenges, and goals to improve the industry and empower their nurses. Did you know the CEO of the Nurse Practitioners used to work for the AANA?

On This Episode:

When it comes to healthcare, nurse practitioners play an important role in providing treatment for consumers. Whether on their own or in collaboration with physicians, these nurses provide a great service to patients.

We wanted to spend an episode on the profession and get a deeper understanding of what they’re facing on a day-to-day basis. To help us do this, we brought on David Hebert and Sophia Thomas. Dave is the CEO of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners while Sophia is the current president. She took office in mid-2019 but has many years of experience in the field.

The goal of this episode is to learn as much as we can about nurse practitioners. We’ll ask David to define the profession and explain the role of the NP and how the AANP works to improve the careers of their 100,000+ members. He’ll also share some of the accomplishments and progress he’s most proud.

Sophia also talks about the challenges facing nurse practitioners today. More than half of our states have laws in place that keep NPs from having their own practice, and they’ll explain why that’s not a good thing for the profession or the consumer.

Join us as we discuss getting involved, why the CRNA community is so important, how we each can make a difference, and the advice he would give professionals at each stage of their career who are considering getting involved. Those are just some of the topics we’ll cover during this episode of the Beyond the Mask Podcast so come join us!

Check it out at the top of the page and use the timestamps to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

[1:46] – Welcome in our guests Sophia Thomas and David Hebert

[3:06] – What is a nurse practitioner?

[4:44] – Tell us more about your organization, AANP

[5:47] – Sophia explains how the AANP is structured.

[6:44] – David talks about his role at AANP and a little about the role of nurse practitioners.

[8:41] – Why lobbying is so important in this line of work.

[9:27] – The AANP has really increased their PR and media efforts in recent years.

[11:31] – What are the challenges facing nurse practitioners today?

[12:29] – David explains why nurse practitioners should be able to work independently.

[14:23] – 28 states still require some sort of collaborations and that makes it difficult on NPs.

[17:15] – It’s important for everyone in the profession to understand the issues and then get involved politically.

[20:02] – Sharon talks about her goals to get nurses involved in the formulation side of the profession.

[22:57] – We want to empower nurses to do more than just work and go home.  

[23:46] – Quality and cost of healthcare is important to consumers, but so is convenience. These are things that nurse practitioners can provide.   

[27:01] – A unified voice in the profession is very important and that’s the goal of the AANP.

[28:26] – How does your credentialing work?

[30:40] – What is David most proud of in his role at the AANP?

[31:51] – David shares his history with AANA and what he remembers about that role.

[34:18] – Some final thoughts from Sophia on the history of the profession.  


“Nurse practitioners have great relationships with physicians out beyond the beltway, as we say, and work collaboratively in a variety of settings. But the fact is, if a patient wants to choose a nurse practitioner, he or she should be allowed to. The nurse practitioner should not be required to have a piece of paper sitting in a drawer that requires either supervision or collaboration.

-David Hebert, CEO of AANP

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