In your opinion, which new trends are the most impactful in today’s pediatric health care world? How can NAPNAP members not only prepare for these trends but also serve as health care leaders in light of them?
The trend which is high on my list is our need as PNP’s to focus on the social determinants of health. We need to focus on the things like gun violence, poverty and access to care and determine what our role is in these topics that negatively affect our patients.
Another trend is the increased use of information technology, social media and online resources for our patients. PNPs must stay current and utilize the technology that is comfortable for our families. PNPs should be informing and providing the information that is web-based.
Most of us became PNPs because we like taking care of children, not staying current on the waves of changes in health care. In order to provide the care children, deserve, we have to step out of our comfort zones to stay informed which may involve reading about health care legislation affecting kids. Membership in NAPNAP helps because of the updates provided by the National office and our chapter legislative chairs. NAPNAP also sponsors a Capitol Hill Day every other year, which a tremendous opportunity to plug in to what is happening at a national level.
Becoming and staying current on social media and medical information on the internet is a moving target. Stay close to younger colleagues and ask your young families and patients what their primary source of medical information is, then investigate how to utilize this online source in your practice.
What motivated you to serve as a leader on NAPNAP’s executive board?
I was impressed by the executive board members who responded in 2014 when unaccompanied minors where coming across the southern border in droves. The Board quickly determined this to be a pediatric health care issue and issued statements in support of healthcare for these vulnerable children. When I witnessed their quick reaction, I thought to myself “I want to be a part of that.”
How do you manage your professional association volunteerism while maintaining a busy clinical schedule?
I try to manage my time and have always been efficient. I make priorities, and this helps me stay focused on what I feel is most important. I say “yes” a lot but I also know how and when “no, thanks” is the most appropriate answer.
When you’re not being a rockstar pediatric-focused APRN, what do you enjoy doing?
I am a runner and I enjoy practicing yoga. I am involved in medical mission work and have two trips planned this year, to India and Nepal. I also like to volunteer my time to local organizations helping immigrants. Sometimes it is just sorting through donations and sometimes it involves nursing care, both help me to contribute in a small way. I also have an amazing grandson who is the light of my life.