Happy Nurses Week everyone! I want to personally thank you all for following the call to nursing and to pediatric nursing. Our children are unique and precious gifts of creation. We know that we are blessed and enriched by the opportunity to care for them and their families every day.
Year after year, nursing is at or near the top of the list of most trusted professions. In thinking about this, I believe the reason that so much trust is placed in nurses is found in our Nursing Code of Ethics and the way our daily practice puts these principles into action.
Provision 1: The nurse practices with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth, and unique attributes of every person.
Provision 2: The nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient, whether an individual, family, group, community, or population.
Provision 3: The nurse promotes, advocates for, and protects the rights, health, and safety of the patient.
Provision 4: The nurse has authority, accountability, and responsibility for nursing practice; makes decisions; and takes action consistent with the obligation to promote health and to provide optimal care.
I am proud to be a nurse and a pediatric nurse practitioner. And, I am proud to be a member of NAPNAP and to work with so many outstanding professionals in support of our mission “to empower pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs), pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and their interprofessional partners to enhance child and family health through leadership, advocacy, professional practice, education and research.”
If we are true to our core ethical principles, I believe we will be able to navigate the many challenges we face in evolving a healthcare system that is patient focused, protects the rights of all and acknowledges the inherent dignity and worth of every person.
I had the privilege of representing NAPNAP at recent meetings of the Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN) and the Association of Pediatric Surgical Nurses (APSNA). It was marvelous to network and share speakers and information with our sister pediatric nursing organizations. One common theme was concern about current trends and challenges to ensuring an adequate future workforce of pediatric specialist nurses at all levels. From the shortage of nurse faculty, to the increasing challenges in providing sufficient high-quality clinical education sites, to the debate about how much simulated clinical experience can substitute for hands on experience in caring for children and families, there are many common concerns to discuss. How can we best tell how we fell in love with caring for kids and encourage the next generation of nurses to specialize in pediatrics? There are no simple answers, but I believe mentorship is key. We must all reach out to our younger colleagues and students and show them how rewarding it is to work in pediatrics. Having a personal relationship with a trusted professional is, I believe, necessary to have successful transitions from student to nurse to advanced practice nurse and to help our young professionals grow from novice to expert. So again, Happy Nurses Week. Do something nice for yourself, and then reach out and do something nice for a less experienced colleague. Discover the rewards of mentoring for yourself!
My Warmest Best Wishes,