In my career I have taught both undergraduate and graduate nursing students about maternity and pediatrics. I have mentored graduate students and worked in a variety of settings, including newborn services, a free adult and pediatric clinic for underserved populations, working as a flight nurse, and working in the emergency and critical care departments. Throughout my busy practice I completed my DNP.
I became interested in NAPNAP 12 years ago when I was completing my pediatric rotation in my nurse practitioner program at Novant Health Randolph Pediatrics and NICU. I began to attend the monthly Charlotte chapter meetings as a student and I have been attending ever since.
NAPNAP’s impact extends to my involvement in volunteer initiatives. I have been a board member for eight years for the North Carolina Charlotte chapter and worked on the annual NAPNAP conferences in Charlotte. Through the chapter I have volunteered for: Girls on the Run, book drives for elementary schools, March of Dimes, Diabetes walks, among many other activities. I also went on to serve for three years on the national committee for continuing education.
It is essential to volunteer to keep the momentum of guiding pediatric patients as they develop into active, productive citizens. We are role models, and our volunteering helps to model behaviors that patients will adopt. There are many recurring stressors for pediatric patients, and as NPs we can provide resources, guidance and non-judgemental information to support children’s choices and actions.
NAPNAP has provided me with the ability to volunteer, support local and national pediatric initiatives, mentor students and gain access to valuable pediatric information that I use and recommend in my everyday practice. My experience here has been priceless. I am thankful for my access to peers, and their knowledge has helped me become a better clinician as well.