Key Insights for Dermatology Nurse Practitioners

At the opening session of the Society of Dermatology Nurse Practitioners Annual Symposium, Kathleen Haycraft, DNP, FNP-BC, DCNP, FAANP, shared insights into the state of the profession and what’s ahead.

In a health care industry where 75% of today’s professionals may no longer still be working in the sector by 2025, the number of nurse practitioners (NPs) is growing.1There are approximately 355,000 NPs in the United States and all are pivotal in patient care. This number is a 9% increase from 2021 and of that number, more than 5,000 are dermatology NPs.2 As Kathleen Haycraft, DNP, FNP-BC, DCNP, FAANP, a member of the board of directors, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, in Austin, Texas, noted in her presentationat the 3rd annual Society of Dermatology Nurse Practitioners (SDNP) Annual Symposium, that role will expand by 36% by 2026.3

Many states have begun passing laws that give full practice authority to NPs. New York has become the 25th state to make this decision.4 Haycraft also noted that numerous studies show that states with full practice authority have better outcomes—and that statistic is unaffected by the complexity of a patient visit as shown in coding.

She then outlined strategies she would like to see NPs and the industry employ as the NP role evolves:

  • Nationally standardized training: “We need a national certification exam for dermatology NPs,” Haycraft said. That would, she said, strengthen NPs’ qualifications in the job market.
  • Improved measurements for clinical hours: “We also need to better track and measure those hours—that experience counts,” she said. “If you teach, this is something you need to assess and quantify.”
  • The end of rigid practice hierarchies: “Statutory team models create a team by law and set someone in charge of that team—a physician,” Haycraft said. “Organic teams develop naturally.”

As the role of the NP becomes only more important, it is imperative that there are steps taken to help strengthen their authority in dermatology patient care, Haycroft concluded.

Disclosures:

Haycraft has served on advisory boards for BioFrontera, LEO Pharma, Ortho-Derm and UCB and has advised Regeneron.

References:

  1. Washington Post-KFF frontline health-care workers survey, Feb. 11-March 7, 2021. Washington Post. Updated April 22, 2022. Accessed April 22, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/context/washington-post-kff-frontline-health-care-workers-survey-feb-11-march-7-2021/ba15a233-9495-47a9-9cdd-e7fa1578b1ca/
  2. NP fact sheet. American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Accessed April 22, 2022. https://www.aanp.org/about/all-about-nps/np-fact-sheet
  3. Haycraft K. Hot topics in dermatology. Presented at: The Society of Dermatology Nurse Practitioners Annual Symposium; April 22-23, 2022; Nashville, TN.
  4. New York grants nurse practitioners full practice authority. Healthcare Dive. Published April 13, 2022. Accessed April 22, 2022. https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/new-york-nurse-practitioner-full-practice-authority-COVID/622043/