In an editorial published by the Gilmer Mirror, nursing and rural health advocate, Vicki Brooks DNP, APRN, FNP- BC, FAANP, talks about the critical need for access in rural areas, and how APRNs can be a part of the solution.
“ It’s well documented that rural Texans face obstacles when it comes to providing and accessing health care services, including workforce shortages, aging infrastructure, and difficulties in getting health care coverage,” said Brooks. “This has huge negative implications on both the physical and mental health of people of all ages.”
“Unfortunately, for a lot of rural Texans that leaves them with two options: long trips to find care, or no care at all,” added Brooks. “Far too many rural Texans go without care.”
Brooks cites studies showing that NPs are more likely to work in rural areas, where the population is also aging at a faster rate than elsewhere. She also highlights that two-thirds of the practitioners added to the workforce between now and 2030 will be advanced practice clinicians like nurse practitioners. If we don’t fully utilize this workforce, Texans, and especially rural Texans, will suffer.
“The truth is, Texas is lagging behind and Texans are suffering the consequences,” said Brooks. “Rural Texans feel the increased suffering of these consequences.”