While the COVID-19 pandemic created many different impacts on the lives of people, it also threatened the pediatric nursing workforce and created disruption across the pediatric care continuum. A recent article published in the Journal of Pediatric Health Care reexamined the overwhelming holistic impacts of COVID-19 on the pediatric advanced practice registered nursing (APRN) workforce two years after the original assessment.
The COVID-19 pandemic profoundly disrupted the pediatric care continuum with devastating long-term effects for children and their families. These disruptions significantly harmed pediatric-focused APRNs, spanning professional and personal spheres. With especially alarming findings of poor mental health, more than 81% of surveyed pediatric APRNs reported concern for their mental health, in addition to 79% reporting feeling nervous, anxious, or on edge in varying degrees.
“The public narrative of COVID-19 quickly centered around a misguided consensus that the pandemic did not impact children. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many children and their families suffered significant social, emotional, and even physical injury,” said Jessica L. Peck DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC, CNE, CNL, FAANP, FAAN, author of the article. “The pediatric nursing workforce is in great need of professional support to provide meaningful support to these families without feeling pressured to sacrifice their own health and well-being.”
Pediatric-focused APRNs and their fellow pediatric providers are uniquely trained and equipped to meet the needs of the families and patients they encounter. Unfortunately, with the compromise to the workforce continuum from pre-licensure training through professional practice dealing with burnout, the current health care shortage risks continuing. To address these concerns, pediatric APRNs must be represented in critical decision-making forums to have a voice in developing systems-based reforms to respond to the complications that arose due to COVID-19 and ensure high-quality health care for children and their families.
The article “The Cost of Caring During COVID-19: A Clarion Call to Action to Support the Pediatric Advanced Practice Nursing Workforce” was published in the November/December edition of the Journal of Pediatric Health Care and can be accessed here.
Dec. 21, 2023