As reported in the July 2021 publication “Exhausted and Burned Out: COVID-19 Emerging Impacts Threaten the Health of the Pediatric Advanced Practice Registered Nursing Workforce”, one-third of pediatric health care respondents indicated moderate or extreme concern for feeling professionally burned out. With the continuation of the pandemic into its third year, the mental and physical impacts on providers are a serious threat to our health care delivery system.
The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) applauds Sen. Tim Kaine and Rep. Susan Wild for introducing the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. With bipartisan support, the bill passed the House in December 2021 and the Senate on Feb. 17, 2022. It awaits the president’s signature to become law.
Named for a courageous emergency department physician in New York City who worked tirelessly in the epicenter of the pandemic’s early days, contracted COVID-19, returned to care for patients and ultimately died by suicide on April 26, 2020, the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act:
- Establishes grants for training health care professionals in evidence-informed strategies to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, mental health conditions, and substance use disorders.
- Seeks to identify and disseminate evidence-informed best practices for reducing and preventing suicide and burnout among health care professionals, training health care professionals in appropriate strategies, and promoting their mental and behavioral health and job satisfaction.
- Establishes a national evidence-based education and awareness campaign targeting health care professionals to encourage them to seek support and treatment for mental and behavioral health concerns.
- Establishes grants for employee education, peer-support programming and mental and behavioral health treatment.
- Establishes a comprehensive study on health care professional mental and behavioral health and burnout, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on such professionals’ health.
NAPNAP understands that pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses are passionate about patient care and often prioritize the well-being of others over themselves. We strongly urge all health care providers to take time to engage in mindfulness exercises and seek professional treatment immediately for physical and mental health concerns.
Feb. 22, 2022