paulPaul Tankersley, BSN, RN, OCN

Paul Tankerlsey has been a nurse for 10+ years, and is employed as the Director of Infection Prevention and Control nurse in Houston medical center in an LTAC setting. Clinical experience includes Joint Commission facility survey leadership preparation, program and policy restructuring for medical/surgical, intensive care, renal and hepatic transplant, and infection prevention. Program physician liaison program to ensure patient, nurse, and physician communication focuses on care without time delays or errors.

Paul is currently finalizing the MSN Healthcare Policy program at Chamberlain University while concurrently completing the MSN-FNP program. Paul completed the RN to BSN bridge program at Galen College of Nursing San Antonio, currently serving as a public spokesperson. Paul is on the advisory board for program curriculum for CHCP (College for Health Care Professionals), a partner with NAA. Paul has created multiple partnerships between higher learning organizations, healthcare corporations, and healthcare advocacy groups to decrease education costs and build strong advocacy partnerships.

The past year of my life has been crazy. This past year has proven to be a real challenge. As a full time nurse and nursing student, I have an over-whelming number of assignments, duties, and tasks to keep up with on a daily basis. Add in 12 hour clinicals 3 days a week, there is very little downtime in my life. Just a ton on my plate until school is finished but I wouldn’t trade my life for anything less.

Infection prevention and control has changed my life, and I love being a nurse. It is the most rewarding career. There are so many opportunities for nurses whether it is at the bedside, in the clinic, on the unit, in the classroom, or leading. Going to school has been a real blessing in my life. I enjoy working with other students as a team to complete our education which is one of the exciting things about going to school. I am anxious to finish my current degree program and to get started in my next adventure as an advance practice nurse.

NAA Today Blog

Advanced Practice Nurses Play an Essential Role in Health Care

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Advanced Practice Nurses Play an Essential Role in Health Care

Let’s change antiquated laws that limit what APRNs can do


Few professionals enjoy the trust and respect that nurses do. They’ve earned every bit of it and deserve even more.

Why is it, then, that so many of the most educated, thoroughly trained and well-credentialed nurses aren’t allowed to use all their skills and talents to take care of patients who want and need their help? Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) have extensive post-graduate education, including at least a Master’s degree and often a doctorate of nursing practice. They have had specialized training to qualify as a certified nurse midwife, clinical nurse specialist, certified registered nurse anesthetist, or nurse practitioner. Yet in more than two-thirds of the states, antiquated laws prevent APRNs from practicing to the full extent of their education, training and certification.

As we celebrate National Nurses Week from May 6 to May 12, this would be a good time to focus on fixing this inequality, a top priority for AARP because consumers and family caregivers need full access to all of our clinicians.

It’s been over seven years since the Institute of Medicine issued a report calling for nurse leaders to play an expanded role to improve health care in the United States; yet, many barriers and limitations still exist.

Restrictions vary by state, but often APRNs have to wait for a physician to sign documents such as disabled parking placards, referrals for physical therapy, or death certificates. In some states, APRNs cannot write prescriptions for certain drugs – or at all. Some aren’t even allowed to refer patients to specialists.

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Let’s change antiquated laws that limit what APRNs can do



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