You currently serve as chair of the recently created Newborn special interest group (SIG). What motivated you to be a founding member of this SIG?
I have been working as the only NP in our Newborn Nursery for 21 years. I had stopped being a member of NAPNAP years ago, but I also didn’t join NANN because it was ICU driven. Later I decided I wanted to return to my roots, NAPNAP. I called NAPNAP and asked if anyone like me was out there and if they had a forum for us to communicate with each other. They said “No.” but I could create one if I could get 20 members of NAPNAP to join a SIG. I reached out to members via the list serve until I was able to procure 20 members that were doing what I was doing. There were several of us in NAPNAP working in Newborn Nurseries and the rest is history. I am proud to say we now have 70+ members.
What are your goals for the Newborn SIG in 2018? What do you hope to achieve?
My goals include working with other SIGs to collaborate and bring newborn care to the forefront of patient care, share protocols and guidelines from across the nation and show the health community that pediatric nurse practitioners are a good fit for running newborn nurseries across the U.S.
In your opinion, which new trends are the most impactful in today’s pediatric health care world?
Eat, Sleep, Console 9=(ESC) as a means to measure Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) in the newborn population. Like the rest of the U.S., newborns are greatly affected by the opioid epidemic. Across the nation we are scoring infants on withdrawal based on a less-than-optimal tool. ESC is a new concept out of Yale that could very well help keep infants out of the neonatal intensive care units and off of narcotics. I am patiently waiting for more information on studies to help support a better way to help our population on NAS.
How can NAPNAP members not only prepare for these trends but also serve as health care leaders in light of them?
Read and keep an open mind to evidence-based practices regarding NAS. To be a leader you must get involved. I sit on our state initiative to try and share information among hospitals in the state of Kansas.
When you’re not being a rockstar pediatric-focused APRN, what do you enjoy doing?
I love traveling, exercising and reading.
Click here to find out more about joining the Newborn SIG and information about our other 19 SIGs.