EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso’s Dr. Christy Blanco was named the 2022 Texas Nurse Practitioner of the Year at the Texas Nurse Practitioners Fall Conference in Round Rock, Texas on Sept. 24.

She was selected for demonstrating excellence as a nurse practitioner and as a role model for other nurse practitioners and the nursing profession.

Blanco, an associate professor at the TTUHSC EP Hunt School of Nursing and former president of the Texas Nurse Practitioners Board of Directors, has been promoting accessible, quality health care by nurse practitioners for over a decade.

Courtesy: TTUHSC EP

She is taking the lead in building a stronger nurse practitioner community and working to find solutions to health care access by engaging with legislative leaders in the Texas State Senate and House committees and serving as a panelist in health policy proceedings. 

“Health care doesn’t just start with the patient,” Blanco said. “There is a lot to consider, and one of those considerations is access to care. I’m doing what I can to advance nurse practitioners and break those barriers that keep health care from rural areas around us.”

Blanco said one of the most significant barriers in Texas is a requirement that a nurse practitioner must have a delegation agreement — a contract — with a physician before the nurse practitioner can provide care. Nurse practitioner organizations and advocates like Blanco are working to eliminate regulatory mandates affecting nurse practitioners across the country.

“I’m advocating at all levels to get nurses at the table whenever health care decisions are being discussed,” Blanco said.

Blanco earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston in 2010. She joined the faculty of TTUHSC El Paso’s Hunt School of Nursing in 2016.