UK HealthCare

AANP Honors UK HealthCare's Nurse Practitioner ICU Team for Livesaving Care During Pandemic

AANP President April Kapu with members of the UK HealthCare nurse practitioner ICU team.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2022) — April N. Kapu, D.N.P., president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), the largest professional organization representing nurse practitioners (NPs), today recognized and honored NPs from the UK HealthCare Medicine Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for their leadership and unwavering commitment to patient care, notably during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“AANP is proud to honor the truly extraordinary efforts of UK HealthCare’s NP-led Medicine ICU team,” said Kapu. “These NPs have helped deliver lifesaving care to more than 4,400 critically ill COVID-19 patients over the past two years — in a unit that regularly operates at greater than 90% capacity. Their leadership and tireless efforts on the front lines of the pandemic have saved countless lives and are a shining example of the outstanding patient care NPs deliver nationwide.”

The UK HealthCare Medicine ICU team is led by an acute care NP and includes 22 other NPs and three PAs. It is among the first adult ICU teams at UK HealthCare comprised of NPs and PAs, and it laid the groundwork for new NP roles, additional triage teams and other ICU expansions. UK HealthCare is one of the top 10 academic medical transfer centers in the nation.

In addition to their dedication to patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic, the NP-led Medicine ICU team:

  • Serves as the backbone of future growth and expansion for the UK Healthcare Medicine ICU, which covers multiple ICUs across the enterprise at UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital and UK Good Samaritan Hospital.
  • Provides leadership in multiple quality, safety and patient experience projects throughout the system.
  • Ensures patient safety and high-quality care throughout UK HealthCare.
  • Spends countless hours training and supporting a new generation of critical care NPs and PAs.

“On behalf of UK HealthCare, we are grateful to AANP for this recognition,” said Lacey T. Buckler, D.N.P., chief advanced practice officer at UK HealthCare. “NPs are leading the way at UK HealthCare, and their commitment and expertise are vital to the health of our patients and community.”  

Kapu, representing the nation’s 355,000 licensed NPs, many of whom have worked on the front lines of the pandemic, presented AANP’s certificate of recognition to members of the UK HealthCare Medicine ICU team at UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital, followed by a tour of the state-of-the-art ICU facility.

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The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. It represents the interests of the more than 355,000 licensed NPs in the U.S. AANP provides legislative leadership at the local, state and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education and research; and establishing standards that best serve NPs’ patients and other health care consumers. As The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner, AANP represents the interests of NPs as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered health care. To locate an NP in your community, visit npfinder.com. For more information about NPs, visit aanp.org. For COVID-19 information from AANP, visit aanp.org/COVID19.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.