The week of March 14 is National Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Week, a time to celebrate our profession’s many successes! For more than 50 years, PNPs have provided quality health care for children, and we continue to expand our horizons, working in primary care, acute and specialty care. I am proud to represent our PNP NAPNAP members as we embrace full practice authority and continue to share our expertise with the patients and families we serve. PNPs have a strong history of advocating for children and their families, dating back to the 1970s. Our members have been leading voices in the effort to enact and implement significant legislation, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and many others that support our children’s health and safety. Today, PNPs are valued as pediatric healthcare experts. Congratulations to all PNPs this week!
Again this year, we will celebrate PNP Week together at our national conference. If you haven’t registered yet, you still have time! I look forward to greeting you in Atlanta for an exciting, fun-filled week of learning! We will kick off the conference with our VERY FIRST NAPNAP Attendee Welcome Social on Tuesday, March 15 from 7 – 9:00 p.m. It will be great fun to dress in 80s style and remember fun times from our past. There will be dancing, trivia and great door prizes! Have fun and unwind prior to starting four days of intense learning. Exercise, dance and listening to music are known ways to relax and release stress. The welcome social will allow you to leave your practice, faculty and family concerns at home and prepare to get the most out of your conference sessions.
On the last morning of the conference, you can get in the dance craze again by signing up for Zumba. All proceeds benefit the NAPNAP Foundation, and you can unwind prior to returning home. I never did Zumba before, and last year had great fun with others who were just as clumsy as I was, so don’t worry about your technique! In addition to the Zumba class, the Foundation will hold a silent auction at its Exhibit Hall booth, where you can bid on gift cards, designer bags, electronics, jewelry and many other items. MEDA is also sponsoring a free dessert event Wednesday night after the Opening Reception with proceeds benefiting the Foundation.
On a more serious note, there are so many wonderful learning opportunities at the conference, including a brand new session on the Zika virus taught by Dr. Dennis Conrad. Our opening session will offer the newest evidence on autism presented by Dr. Lisa Wiggins from the CDC. Pre-conference intensive workshop topics include pharmacology, psychopharmacology, ventilation strategies, ordering laboratory tests and interpreting x-rays, all “need-to-know” content for pediatric advanced practice providers. Certification review courses for primary and acute care and pediatric mental health are offered again this year. There are so many sessions on current and popular topics throughout the week, you will have difficulty choosing which ones to attend!
NAPNAP is providing a convenient conference app for your iPhone or Android device again this year. With the app, you can share photos, track your schedule, locate meeting rooms and comment on your experiences throughout the week! Don't forget to download it from iTunes or Google Play before you travel!
Temperatures in Atlanta should be around 60 degrees, which will provide a nice respite from winter weather for many of us. You will find wonderful restaurants, museums and local attractions right in the heart of downtown Atlanta to complement your educational experience. Pay attention to the ancillary event schedule, too, as you can have meals almost every day thanks to breakfast, lunch and dinner events offered by some of our gracious sponsors.
I urge you to celebrate your career and contribution to pediatrics at the NAPNAP National Conference, guaranteed to bring contemporary state of the art learning and great fun! See you there!