President's Message

Celebrating Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Week

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President Laura Searcy, MN, APRN, PPCNP-BC

It is the eve of my departure for Denver and I am looking forward to welcoming a record setting 1,700+ friends and colleagues to our 38th National Conference on Pediatric Health Care. My fellow Executive Board members and I will be there to greet you in person at our Wednesday evening Welcome Social and at our Conference Kick-off and Opening Session on Thursday morning.

Whether you are joining us for our celebrations in Denver or holding down the fort at home, Happy Nurse Practitioner Week. Treat yourself to something special and take a few moments to reflect with pride on your unique and vital role in caring for our children. Every one of you are true health heroes.  

I also know that the ongoing debate about the future of our healthcare system and the implications for children’s coverage, benefits and access is weighing heavily on all of us. Issues or rumors with the potential to have disruptive and negative effects on children are emerging frequently. I want to take time to explain to you, our members, how NAPNAP monitors and responds.

First, NAPNAP strives to be a non-partisan organization. Children don’t have political affiliations and neither do we. We are an association of over 8,500 members with diverse viewpoints all along the political spectrum. We respect and support differing viewpoints and respectful debate among members.

NAPNAP works to educate and advocate to our elected officials of all political parties and help reach bipartisan consensus whenever possible. The last CHIP reauthorization and the 2016 passage of the 21st Century Cures Act are examples of legislation with bipartisan support benefiting our nation’s children and young adults. However, we will not back away from an issue where the well-being of children and their access to the care and services they need is at stake.

NAPNAP is vigilant but thoughtful in how and when we react and comment on the many different stories, rumors and trial balloons coming from the news media, administration and Congress. It is neither possible nor prudent for NAPNAP to respond to every rumor of potential actions that may or may not actually be proposed.

However, rest assured that NAPNAP’s health policy team is constantly working with child health, advanced practice nursing and other coalition partners and through our own individual efforts to ensure the best outcomes possible for children. We are in frequent communication with Congressional leaders, the administration and various government agencies. We analyze issues according our annually approved Health Policy Agenda and our published position statements. Our responses are evidence-based and reflect the most accurate and current data and research available.

We use our Advocacy Center for major issues that affect the greatest number of members. Please respond quickly to any calls to action that NAPNAP sends out. It literally takes about 30 seconds to personalize the pre-formatted letter that already identifies your elected officials and hit “send”.

Our members are encouraged to contact us at heathpolicy@napnap.org or contact me personally at president@napnap.org with questions or concerns. These are times when we also encourage members to have your Representative and Senators office numbers in your “favorites” section on your phone.  As constituents, communicate your concerns about anything you hear early and often. This constant grassroots advocacy is the most powerful influence we can have.

Thanks for caring.  Happy Nurse Practitioner Week.  Safe travels to all coming to Denver. 

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