WOW! After coming home, I still feel very energized from the NAPNAP National Conference, where more than 1500 pediatric-focused APRNs gathered to learn the latest in their specialties while enjoying sunny Georgia and reconnecting with friends and colleagues over dinner, cocktails or between educational sessions. For many, the NAPNAP conference is the place where friendships continue to bloom year after year. After all, we all share the same passion, caring for children and their families! What better place to catch up, share stories and contemplate the future of our nation's children and child health!
The conference started with special interest group meetings and a first ever Attendee Welcome Social, sponsored by the Nurses Service Organization (NSO) with dancing, dessert and just plain relaxing. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Lisa Wiggins, who hailed from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention located in Atlanta, presented new evidence and epidemiology related to children with autism. Dr. Judith Owens, from Boston Children’s Hospital, presented another intriguing session on the dangers of limited sleep in adolescents. These presentations, along with almost 100 others, offered key information for all pediatric advanced practice providers. At any time during the conference, there were so many topics to consider it was difficult to choose. Some folks took a break from sessions by going to the Georgia Aquarium or the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Sneaking out for a run in Piedmont Park was my special escape on a sunny, 70-degree afternoon! (but don’t tell anyone!)
The NAPNAP Foundation, led by President Jo Ann Serota, offers grants and scholarships to deserving NAPNAP members. Their silent auction at the conference, which featured designer handbags, gift cards and many other fun prizes donated by NAPNAP members, raised $5000 this year. At a reception sponsored by MEDA Pharmaceuticals, NAPNAP attendees learned about respiratory products while enjoying dessert. MEDA donated $100 per participant to the NAPNAP Foundation, raising $25,000 to benefit NAPNAP members. Thanks so much to MEDA, our Foundation Board and all of you who participated in the reception and silent auction!
NAPNAP 2016 conference attendees flocked to Atlanta before the opening conference day and some stayed late. The “early birds” took advantage of learning opportunities such as pharmacology, the primary care and mental health review courses and many highly rated intensive workshops. Those who stayed late included about 100 acute care students, getting ready to graduate and eager to challenge their knowledge through the acute care review course on Saturday and Sunday. Students attending the conference also had their own reception, sponsored by PNCB, AFPNP and Melnic Consulting Group. I had the opportunity to greet these students, their preceptors and faculty members and hope they will continue to attend NAPNAP events, sign up for TeamPeds and consider volunteering through one of the many local and national NAPNAP opportunities. Student members - don’t forget that you too are eligible to vote for NAPNAP leaders!
Speaking of leaders, we also introduced the roster of national election candidates at the conference. Attendees had the opportunity to hear short speeches from the president-elect candidates and chat with the entire group of nominees in the Exhibit Hall. Make sure to read about our candidates on the NAPNAP candidates webpage and VOTE!!
To me, the NAPNAP conference gets better and better each year, as NAPNAP really is the leader in pediatric-focused education! We hope to see you next year in Denver for another fantastic learning experience. In the meantime, consider attending one of NAPNAP’s regional symposia, which will feature pharmacology, emergency care and mental health content. These educational meetings are held in different areas of the country, offering something for everyone!
As I review the program book and complete my session evaluations to obtain CE, I continue to be amazed at the collective talent of the speakers, the continuing generosity of our sponsors and the hard work of Dr. Mary Berg, the Conference Planning committee, Laura Nelsen and all of the staff and volunteers who make this conference great!
Thanks to all of you who joined us in Atlanta!