NAPNAP Addresses Resilience and the Post-pandemic Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Workforce

NAPNAP Addresses Resilience and the Post-pandemic Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Workforce

NEW YORK, March 29, 2022 – Following a 2021 study on COVID-19 impacts on the health of the pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nursing (APRN) workforce, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) released a position statement that recognizes the significant, long-range impacts of this collectively experienced trauma and advocates for sustainable strategies to ensure the pediatric-focused APRN workforce has the necessary resources and support to address critical health challenges associated with mental health stressors and professional burnout.

Prior to the pandemic, there was already a pediatric provider shortage disproportionately impacting rural and medically underserved communities which was exacerbated by the global public health crisis. Dealing with pandemic conditions resulted in one-third of pediatric-focused APRNs reporting moderate or extreme concern for feeling professionally burned out (Peck & Sonney, 2021). Studies indicated frontline health care workers had the highest levels of anxiety making it a challenge to perform basic daily activities, much less professional clinical responsibilities.

“As frontline providers, pediatric-focused APRNs have stressful jobs and often limited resources,” said NAPNAP President Dr. Andrea Kline-Tilford. “It’s essential that we identify and address clinician burnout and mental health concerns so that we can move forward to provide high quality, equitable, accessible, evidence-based care for the more than 72 million children in this country.”

In order to build and support resiliency in the workforce, NAPNAP believes it is critical to prioritize promotion of physical and emotional safety and basic needs for health care workers and their families and health care system changes that promote professionalism. In its position statement, the association offers numerous strategies for pediatric-focused APRNs, health care and academic organizations and professional organizations. For individual clinicians, NAPNAP recommends prioritizing personal well-being, seeking mental health support and resources, and committing to healthy behaviors. On the organizational front, recommendations include reinforcing the value of and regard for pediatric-focused APRNs, ensuring occupational safety and eliminating stigma for those seeking mental health care. Professional societies can help by providing opportunities for pediatric-focused APRNs to connect to share lived experiences, develop programs focused on peer support and advocate for policies that enable work-based employee support.

These are just recommendation highlights. We highly encourage you to read the full  position statement in the March/April 2022 edition of the Journal of Pediatric Health Care which can be accessed online.

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The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) is the nation’s only professional association for pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) dedicated to improving the quality of health care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults. Representing more than 8,000 health care practitioners with 18 special interest groups and 53 chapters, NAPNAP has been advocating for children’s health since 1973 and was the first APRN society in the U.S. Our mission is to empower pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses and key partners to optimize child and family health. www.NAPNAP.org

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