Winter greetings to everyone. I am happy to say that we are past the halfway point of winter, and the days are becoming noticeably longer. It also means that NAPNAP’s election season and our 38th National Conference on Pediatric Health Care, March 16-19 in Denver, will soon be here.
I hope your holidays were filled with many good things, especially the warmth and love of time spent with family and friends. What I treasure most about the holidays is the unique spirit of the season. It is a special, uplifting time when people seem to have more open minds and open hearts. I have resolved this year to try to hold on to this spirit as we enter a time of great uncertainty and change.
It’s difficult to believe that tumultuous 2016 is almost over. While agreement on any issue has seemed to be out of reach, I think we all can agree that a bit of peace, comfort and joy is just what we need. Let me start by wishing you my most sincere wishes for a joyful holiday season. All of you give so much during the year to your colleagues, students, patients and their families. This has been a good year for NAPNAP.
Happy Nurse Practitioner Week to all my wonderful colleagues. I am continuously impressed by our members’ unyielding dedication to their patients and our profession, and I applaud you during this very special week. Especially during this month of Thanksgiving, know you all have my thanks and gratitude.
I begin this message with hopes for the safety and security of all of our members in the coastal areas affected by Hurricane Matthew. Like you, I am dismayed by the destruction and loss of life. I think it is important for all of us to take a moment from our busy routines and contribute in some way to the relief efforts. We can show we care in so many small ways. There is quite a bit of other news to share with you.
The beginning of a new school year and the celebration of Labor Day mark the end of summer. Football season has begun and with it the other fall competitive event, political campaign season. This year in particular there are some drastic and worrisome differences in the tone and tenor of political debate. Americans have traditionally been a hopeful and optimistic people. We have always valued civil discourse and an open debate of conflicting ideas without the meanness, combativeness and lack of ethical behavior we are currently seeing.
I am so honored to become NAPNAP’s 40th president. Thank you all for your confidence and trust. My sincere gratitude to Cathy Haut and Mary Chesney, our prior two presidents, for their mentorship and support. You have my pledge that I will represent our association to the best of my ability. To this end, I will be focusing on three areas in the coming year...
On June 30, I will end my year as NAPNAP president. I am proud of this organization’s response to issues that affect the mental and physical health of children and our continued advocacy for child health at both local and national levels. As members, we can always count on NAPNAP to be our voice at the table, promoting the important role of pediatric-focused advanced practice nurses in creating healthy environments for children and their families.
A few weeks ago, I shared with you some NAPNAP history. Started in 1973, NAPNAP had an initial 400 members. Currently, we have more than 8500 members. The growth of this organization is attributed to you, NAPNAP’s dedicated pediatric-focused healthcare providers! Once again, I say Thank YOU for all of your participation in NAPNAP activities and for advertising the benefits of membership to your colleagues!
Weather is never a predictable factor! Making plans for outdoor activities must always involve a back-up location in case of inclement weather. Throughout my experience this year as NAPNAP president and the past 18 years as a NAPNAP member, I have never been concerned that the association's barometer is going to change, as this organization is stable with a predictable, but extremely progressive forecast.
Congratulations to all pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurse graduates! We welcome you to active participation in the profession. We are also excited about our members who will be receiving their PhD and DNP degrees this spring! In order to fulfill some of the educational needs of members, NAPNAP collaborates with industry in our Corporate Circle membership program, which offers healthcare-related businesses an opportunity to partner with NAPNAP in their mutual dedication to child health.
A round of applause for all nurses! National Nurses week begins on May 6, the official National Nurses Day, and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. The U.S. observed the very first National Nurse Week in October 1954 to correspond with the centennial of Florence Nightingale’s service in the Crimean War. There were various celebrations to recognize nurses over the next several years, but it wasn’t until 1982 when Ronald Reagan officially proclaimed May 6 as National Nurses Day.
Welcome Spring! I hope you filed your taxes on time! It is hard to believe that our national conference was over almost a month ago and we have results from the 2016 election already! As the new leadership group is oriented and the Executive Board prepares to begin their 2016-2017 work in July, the staff of the national office is working hard to provide you with new and exciting member benefits! We are thrilled to offer you the following new opportunities.
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!