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 utilization of telehealth to enhance the care of children through tele-practice, tele-education, tele-research, tele-consultation and remote patient monitoring is already having a significant impact on today’s pediatric healthcare world. The application of telehealth technologies will continue to expand and will one day simply be viewed as the way we do care, rather than something new and innovative. Pediatric-focused nurse practitioners must be well versed in the world of virtual care and how telehealth can enhance the care of their patients. Today’s families demand high quality, convenient care and most are already comfortable with the digital world. For-profit, direct to consumer companies market themselves to patients as convenient alternatives to office based care. In fact, several large businesses and insurance companies already offer virtual solutions to their employees and plan participants. As clinicians, we must work to ensure that our patients are offered convenient, high quality virtual solutions in order to remain competitive in the healthcare marketplace and to ensure that the care provided to our patients meets established standards and is inclusive of the medical home. Regardless of an NP's practice site, embracing telehealth can contribute to the improved efficiency and effectiveness of the care provided while meeting the demands of today’s consumers.
What motivated you to volunteer for NAPNAP? What has been your most fulfilling volunteer experience to date?
I have been a member of NAPNAP since I became an NP over 20 years ago. I regularly attended local chapter meetings and the national conferences but did not volunteer until about 4 years ago when I moved to South Carolina. Moving from a state with full practice authority to one with many restrictions on NP practice motivated me to get involved. I have since learned that volunteering with NAPNAP locally and nationally is incredibly rewarding both personally and professionally. Networking with other NPs, supporting one another, enhancing pediatric healthcare and working together to advance our profession through legislative and other means are just a few of the benefits of volunteering.
I have enjoyed all of my volunteer roles, but my favorite is serving as the NAPNAP Liaison to the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Telehealth Care. To represent over 9000 pediatric focused nurse practitioners on a committee of pediatricians that is developing the guidelines to define pediatric telehealth care is phenomenal! I have learned so much and feel very blessed to have a seat at the table with so many incredible pediatricians!
How do you manage your professional association volunteerism while maintaining a busy clinical schedule?
As NPs most of us have become skilled at time management. We tend to focus on activities that we feel are most important when establishing our schedules. For me, I had to change my view of volunteering from one of “someday when I have time” to “if not me, then who?” Once I acknowledged the importance of being involved, I was able to modify my crazy schedule to prioritize volunteering. I always feel like I wish I had more time to invest, but I recognize that if we all give what we can, together we can all make a difference.
When you’re not being a Rockstar pediatric-focused APRN, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy spending time with my family and experiencing all that Charleston has to offer. We especially love walking and biking on the many beautiful beaches in SC.