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Q&A with Advanced Practice Nursing Corporate Director, Carol Patrick

Q: How long have you worked for Northwell Health?

A: I  have been with Northwell Health via Huntington Hospital since 1981 (35 years), in a variety of capacities, beginning as a Registered Nurse, then working my way up to a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Critical Care, Critical Care Director, Electrophysiology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Three years ago, I became the Corporate Director for Advanced Practice Nurses at Northwell Health, and since have been balancing that role as well as allocating a portion of my time as an Electrophysiology Nurse Practitioner.

Q: What does the Nurse Practitioners Council do for our NP’s within the system? 

A: Our System NP Director’s Council meets monthly for 2 hours, provides an avenue for advocacy and communication from all of the systems Nurse Practitioners to our leadership. Maximizing the ability of the NP’s to practice to the top of their licensure is the vision and goal of our leaders. The Mission of the System NP Director’s Council is to be the voice of the advanced practice professional, while promoting the highest standards of evidence based, patient centered, quality care. Supporting and promoting excellence in leadership and professional growth within the advanced practice profession is also one of our main priorities.

Q: Can you talk about the opportunities for NP’s throughout our health system?

A: There are multiple opportunities in innovative work environments for the Advanced Practice Nurses at Northwell Health in both the inpatient and outpatient settings – ranging from e-ICU, telestroke, telepsychiatry, to robotic surgery and our newly growing LVAD impantation HF program, liver transplant program, the outpatient Housecalls and Care Solutions team. The opportunities for advanced practice Nurses here are endless – one can create their own vision, construct a viable business plan and strategy, and their dream can come true. Innovative care models are popping up everywhere – advanced illness programs, palliative/ hospice care, acute stepdown units, outpatient clinics/ programs, perioperative NP oversight, which are all NP managed and run. Assessing metrics such as length of stay, infection rates, skin ulcers, CAUTI, VTE occurrences, patient/ family satisfaction, and team communication are amongst the measurements where we shine.

Q: What role do NP’s play here at our hospitals and facilities?

A: The role of NP’s here is directed North – leading the way in independent and innovative practice and patient centered care. Our NP’s serve as advocates for our patients and families, conduits for change and strong collaboration and communication amongst physicians and other health care providers, engaging referrals whenever needed to optimize patient outcomes, and safe efficient transitions throughout the health care continuum.

Q: Why is Northwell special? 

A: Our Nurse Practitioner’s are the voice of the patient and families – listening, assessing, prescribing, referring, optimizing, performing, and embracing technological advances in care for the prime focus of utilizing time management and efficiency for what matters most, the patient! Northwell is special because our leadership and supportive administration enables EVERY advanced practice nurse to have a voice. They listen to the staff, and have teams of individuals who evaluate Employee Engagement results, working on plans for success and targeting those areas of deficiencies to improve both employee and patient satisfaction. The wealth of educational and participative opportunities abounds – all one needs to do is have an idea and implement it. We at Northwell provide every advanced practitioner with a professional identity and ongoing professional development that makes us the employer of choice.  Interprofessional quality, safety, and the optimal patient experience is a core tenant for our staff to achieve.  Our goal is to foster a singular vision for the health system with the ultimate goal of creating a pathway for every Advanced Clinical Provider to work to the top of their license, and have a voice!

Q: What would you like to say to our NP employees during recognition week?

A: I would like to say THANK YOU for your engagement, enthusiasm, support, and true commitment to high quality, safe, patient centered care. Our time in advanced practice is now – we need to create our destiny in impacting health care, or someone else will do it for us. Get involved with your professional associations, legislative updates, and have a voice in effecting positive change for our providers and patients. The future holds promise and ongoing growth for our significant role in advancing advanced practice nursing. As we celebrate National Nurse Practitioner Week, look at how far we have come, but most importantly – look North – to where we are leading the way in health care transformation.

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