The Nurse Practitioner Association New York State (The NPA) is celebrating Nurse Practitioner Week and marking the 30th anniversary of the legislation that recognized nurse practitioners as licensed and certified health care providers in New York State.  

A proclamation from Governor Cuomo, noted the 30th anniversary of Chapter 257 of the New York Laws of 1988, which established the scope of practice of nurse practitioners enabling them to fill crucial health care needs for New Yorkers. 

The proclamation went on to say, “Whereas throughout this state, more than 25,000 nurse practitioners serve as an integral component of our health care system, focusing on prevention as well as treatment of health problems, and it is fitting that we recognize these professionals for their dedication, compassion and significant contributions to the health and well-being of New Yorkers, now, therefore, I, Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of New York, do hereby proclaim November 11-17, 2018 as Nurse Practitioner Week.” 

The NPA is also celebrating the Governor Cuomo’s approval of the NP Health Care Proxy bill, which empowers a patient’s attending nurse practitioner to make determinations of capacity for purposes of implementing a health care proxy. The legislation was sponsored by NYS Senate Health Committee Chair, Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau), and championed by NYS Assembly Health Committee Chair, Dick Gottfried (D-Manhattan). The new law creating this authority for nurse practitioners to make determinations of capacity takes effect on February 3, 2019.

Stephen Ferrara, DNP, FNP, FAANP, Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs at Columbia University School of Nursing and Executive Director of the Nurse Practitioner Association New York State, said, “This is a great time to be a nurse practitioner in New York State. On behalf of NPs across the state,  I thank Governor Cuomo, Senator Hannon and Assemblyman Gottfried for their recognition of the vital role of nurse practitioners in providing quality care to New Yorkers. Continuing to modernize New York’s laws will ensure that NPs are able to provide the best possible care to their patients and their families.  Clarifying the laws regarding health care proxies will help ensure that NPs can continue to best counsel and provide advanced care planning to the most vulnerable populations.” 

NP of the Year and NP Student of the Year
As the role of Nurse Practitioners as health care providers in hospitals, in private practice and in other settings continues to evolve and expand, The NPA is recognizing two individuals who exemplify the nurse practitioner commitment to evidence based, compassionate and high-quality care.

NP of the Year: Rochelle Kepes, PMHNP-NP, DNP
Dr. Kepes is recognized for her outstanding leadership and mentoring of many registered nurses and nurse practitioner students as a clinical instructor as well as for her commitment to community service. A resident of Nyack, Dr. Kepes received her DNP from Hunter College School of Nursing, and her MS from Columbia University School of Nursing.  

NP Student of the Year: Tonya Erdle, RN, enrolled in the FNP Program at George Washington University
Ms. Erdle is recognized for her dedication to learning and her volunteer work with underserved populations at home and abroad. A resident of Avon, she has promoted health and wellness for the homeless and has also traveled to Kenya to provide healthcare and education.

The Nurse Practitioner Association New York State 
Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses who have completed advanced education, at a Master‘s or Doctorate level, plus additional clinical preparation. These professionals are authorized to independently diagnose illness and physical conditions, perform therapeutic and corrective measures, order tests, prescribe medications, devices and immunizing agents, and refer patients to other health care providers. The Nurse Practitioner Association New York State (The NPA), the only statewide professional association of nurse practitioners, promotes high standards of healthcare delivery through the empowerment of nurse practitioners and the profession throughout New York State. For more information, visit:

Honors NP of the Year and NP Student of the Year

Dr. Rochelle Kepes

Tonya Erdle

The Nurse Practitioner Association New York State Celebrates 30 Years of Providing Quality Health Care to New Yorkers During Nurse Practitioner Week

Nov. 11-17

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