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Texas Doctor of Nursing Practice Conference attendees listening to a speaker

TCU Nursing hosted the third annual Texas Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Conference this summer. The Texas Nurse Practitioners organization aims to empower nurse practitioners to advance their profession and the health of all Texans through a unified voice and was attended by nurse practitioners all over the state.

“DNPs Forging the Future of Healthcare: We’ve Got the Evidence!” opened with a light breakfast and networking along with a poster presentation session. Representative Stephanie Klick ’81 from House District 91 and Senator César Blanco discussed health care reform in Texas through the Texas legislature.

Harris College appreciates its ability to bring thought leaders and guest speakers to campus for important conversations.

“Rep. Klick is a TCU Nursing alumnus and has been a champion for Texas nurses for many years,” explains Director of Graduate Nursing Kim Posey, PhD., DNP, APRN, AGPCNP-BC, GS-C and Texas DNP Board of Directors’ member. “Senator Blanco is from El Paso and has also sponsored bills to support nurse practitioners in Texas.”

Rep. Klick explained that there are currently only two nurses in the state legislature. Senator Blanco emphasized the importance of health care professionals becoming involved in advocacy and legislature.

“I come from a family of nurses and see the dedication, care, value and skill you all offer,” said Senator Blanco. “Your role in improving the health care system is instrumental; We need your frontline experience and expertise of patients’ needs.”

Senator Blanco speaking from the podium at the Texas Doctor of Nursing Practice Conference

Senator Blanco touched on the strides made in guaranteeing the state’s readiness and protection of health care workers by establishing an increased personal protective equipment (PPE) stockpile for future health emergencies and addressing the struggles of accessing health care in rural areas.

Bringing light to the heath care worker shortage, Senator Blanco explained that 90% of Texas is classified as Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). “That is over 7.5 million people. We do not have the primary care workforce to care for Texans.”

 Representative Stephanie Klick posing with conference attendee

Senate Bill 25 was a crucial step in addressing the skyrocketing demand for nurses and the nursing shortage. The bill provides support for nursing-related postsecondary education including scholarships for nursing students, loan repayment assistance for nurses and nursing faculty and grants for nursing education programs.

Rep. Klick’s topics of discussion included workplace violence in health care, the importation of wholesale drugs from Canada, extended health care coverage for pregnant women, nurse faculty loan repayment program reform and the recruitment of psych-mental health professionals in rural areas along with the infrastructure to bring telehealth services to rural areas, among others.

Other notable TCU alums to who spoke at the conference include Senator Blanco’s cousin Christy Blanco ’97, DNP, RN, WHNP-BC, FAANP and Jim Allard ’17, DNP, RN, NEA-BC.