NAPNAP Revises Position Statement on Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs

NAPNAP Revises Position Statement on Children and Youth
with Special Health Care Needs

Position statement calls for family-centered care, inclusion of advanced practice registered nurses.

NEW YORK, May 26, 2021 – Today, nearly one in five children under the age of 18 are considered a child or youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) because they have or are at increased risk for having chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional conditions requiring higher levels of health care and other related services. To optimize pediatric health outcomes, it is imperative that these children and their families receive comprehensive and individualized care according to an updated position statement from the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP).

Citing education, knowledge and skills, the position statement cites pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) as uniquely qualified to provide high quality cost-effective care to CYSHCN while facilitating multi-disciplinary collaboration between members of the health care team.

“Pediatric-focused APRNs are experts in pediatrics and advocates for children who focus on holistic care, a vital component in caring for CYSHCN,” said NAPNAP President Jessica Peck, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC, CNE, CNL, FAANP, FAAN. “We create partnerships for family empowerment to support the physical and behavioral needs of CYSHCN and promote effective communication between all members of the health care team.”

With today’s medical advances, 90% of CYSHCN are surviving into adulthood, making optimal transitional care a critical component of their comprehensive health care, one that has historically had multiple barriers, including lack of formalized transitional programs. The position statement calls for health care transition to begin in adolescence with collaboration between the patient, family and health care teams in both pediatrics and adult care.

In its position statement, NAPNAP affirms the need for collaborative care that includes uniquely qualified pediatric-focused APRNs who can advocate for patients and manage care coordination. It is imperative that CYSHCN-related legislation and regulations include provider-inclusive language to reflect the nature of the interprofessional medical home model.

This position statement was published in the May/June issue of the Journal of Pediatric Health Care and can be accessed here.

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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 healthcare 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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