Gail Bagwell, DNP APRN CNS
Wherever you are reading this, I hope that spring has officially sprung in your neck of the woods. After a winter that wreaked havoc on much of the country, I think I speak for many of us when I say that we are more than ready for the familiar feelings of renewal and energy that this hopeful season often ushers in. This year in particular, as we round the corner to times that feel a little more normal, spring just feels good.
One of the reasons for feeling hopeful right now is the amazing work that is being done on the vaccination front, with three versions available to a growing number of recipients. As a healthcare leader, I hope you have not only taken the opportunity to get vaccinated but also have educated yourself in ways that allow you to advise and encourage your family, friends, and patient families about the vaccine. Be sure to use the latest COVID-19-related recommendations and resources on the NANN website, including vaccine hesitancy tools. Of note is a new statement from the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care, "Family presence during a pandemic: Guidance for decision-making," which references NANN's joint consensus statement with the National Perinatal Association (NPA) and the Association of Women, Health Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) on essential care in the NICU during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We learned early this year that the Year of the Nurse has been extended through 2021, which to us means keeping a sharp focus on our members' self-care. It has never been more important for you to take care of your whole self physically, mentally, and emotionally. Don't miss what's sure to be an informative conversation with NANN Past President Pamela Spivey on the important topic of compassion fatigue at the next NANN Connections, Thursday, April 8, at 6 pm CDT. Get the details and register through the link in the Association News section of this edition of E-News. Spread the word to your nursing colleagues—all are welcome at this free event aimed at creating meaningful connections in our community.
Throughout the year, the NANN E-News Board Update will inform you about our latest achievements related to our strategic plan. This month, I'm excited to provide updates related to Advocacy and Awareness. This has been an active space over the past year, with so many accomplishments, including the recent release of "Essential Care in the NICU during the COVID-19 Pandemic," a joint consensus statement with AWHONN and NPA, and NANN's signing on to the Nursing Community Coalition letters to request continued funding of nursing workforce development and nursing research programs. Position statements on RN staffing in the NICU and COVID-19 vaccination are in process and will be released soon. For the latest on important topics and ways to get involved, read our dedicated Health Policy and Advocacy Committee's From the Hill to the NICU, emailed on the last Tuesday of each month.
The next several months will be busy as we plan for our fall conference and build out our organization's Racial and Health Equity strategies. We will keep you in the loop as new information and opportunities become available.
Until our next update, I wish you all the best. Take good care of yourself and be well!