Jennifer Otto (G’14), RN, had the unique opportunity to meet Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and witness the beginning of a new milestone in patient care for nurse practitioners in Kentucky.
Otto, a current family nurse practitioner student at the School of Nursing & Health Studies, attended the signing ceremony for Senate Bill 7, which will, according to a press release, afford advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) more prescribing authority.
“This was such an electrifying moment,” Otto remarks. “I was able to understand the time and effort so many have had getting Senate Bill 7 to this point.”
Otto is a member of the Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners & Nurse Midwives, and she attributes her membership with the organization as well as a health policy course, taught by Georgetown faculty member Richard Ricciardi, PhD, NP, with preparing her for this historical moment.
“I see myself getting involved further in policy once I graduate,” she says. “Dr. Ricciardi has also been a very positive and energizing force, instilling the necessity to be involved and not become complacent once we graduate. I see firsthand that getting out of the books and clinics and into the pulse of what is transpiring in our industry is a must.”
Otto, who currently resides in the metropolitan Louisville area, says she enjoys close relationships she has developed with Georgetown faculty.
“I am thankful Georgetown’s program exposes its students to more than just what is needed to be an exceptional clinical practitioner,” she says. “When I began applying to graduate schools, I never envisioned myself wanting to be a political activist, but my education has added that to my personal growth.”
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