GWU Hunt School of Nursing Celebrates Contributions of Nurse Practitioners

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Benefits of NP Care Highlighted During National Nurse Practitioner Week Nov. 11-17

A Family Nurse Practitioner student talks with a patient in a simulation lab at GWU.
Family Nurse Practitioner students participate in simulation labs as part of their training at Gardner-Webb.

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is celebrating more than 50 years of practice during National Nurse Practitioner (NP) Week Nov. 11-17. The first NP program began in Colorado in 1965. Today, this distinguished group of health care professionals number approximately 248,000 strong, with an additional 23,000 NP students graduating each year.

The Hunt School of Nursing at Gardner-Webb University graduated its first class of NPs in the spring of 2015. The program’s 121 alumni are now serving throughout rural North and South Carolina. “Educating Nurse Practitioners in the community of faith and learning at Gardner-Webb prepares our graduates to care for the health of the whole person,” observed Dr. Anna S. Hamrick, assistant professor of nursing and chair of the NP program. “Our NP students have opportunities to apply what they are learning in the classroom by working with live patient actors in simulation and in real world clinical practicums under the guidance of preceptors.”

Millions of patients choose NPs as their health care providers, with visits totaling more than 1.02 billion annually. Focusing not only on diagnosing and managing acute and chronic illnesses, NPs integrate health promotion, disease prevention, counseling and patient education to help patients understand their complete health picture.

National NP Week brings visibility to the role of the NP, helping consumers make wise choices when selecting their health care provider. “Patients repeatedly report an extremely high level of satisfaction with the care they receive from Nurse Practitioners,” affirmed Hamrick, who maintains her clinical practice as a nurse practitioner with Hospice and Palliative Care of Cleveland County, N.C.

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. AANP provides legislative leadership at the local, state and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education and research; and establishing standards that best serve NP patients and other health care consumers. AANP represents the interests of NPs as providers
of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered health care. For more information, visit

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a place where Christian compassion meets critical thinking. A private, Christian, liberal arts university, Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective servant-leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at