Joan Rikli, MBA MSN RN NE-BC CPNP-PC
What strange and challenging times we are experiencing.
As the awakenings of spring and promise of summer days come upon us, we are sheltering in place, working in institutions battling on the front lines, and also being impacted greatly by fewer non-COVID-19 patients, procedures, and surgeries.
But deliveries don't stop and our NICUs remain active, with challenges of mothers who have COVID-19 or limited visitation, and new technologies that allow parents to stay connected to the neonates in our care.
This certainly doesn't feel like the International Year of the Nurse. I've joked about that myself and seen the memes on social media that poke fun at this year, which feels anything but celebratory. However, I'd like to challenge that thinking just a little bit and ask, "Has any year ever been more the Year of the Nurse?" We're witnessing incredible demonstrations of gratitude for nurses and other healthcare workers. We're seeing support and compassion between colleagues across institutions, systems, and social media. We're marveling at the creativity and ingenuity shared by our profession in unimaginable situations. I have never been prouder to be a nurse.
NANN has been working hard behind the scenes to provide resources to help neonatal nurses during this time.
- We're sharing regular updates on new offerings on our coronavirus web page.
- We developed a new position statement, Mothers with COVID-19 and Their Newborn Infants, in partnership with the National Perinatal Association.
- We discussed coronavirus in a recent episode of our NANNcast podcast.
- We released the webinar, Coronavirus Disease 2019: The Neonate, Risk for Vertical Transmission and Perinatal/ Neonatal Management Strategies, which can be viewed by through the NANN Store.
- In partnership with Pampers, we are offering all 16 of our Best of NANN Sessions Conference Recordings free to all neonatal nurses through August 31. As more educational events are canceled or postponed and funding is restricted, we hope this helps you meet your continuing education needs.
Speaking of events, it was with heavy hearts that the NANN Board of Directors made the difficult decision to transition our 36th Annual Conference in October to a fully virtual meeting. With so many unknowns related to the coronavirus pandemic, a virtual meeting is the safest way for us to convene and connect this year due to the threat of a possible COVID-19 resurgence in the fall and many nurses' inability to travel. We were so excited to visit New Orleans together and look forward to celebrating in the city in a future year. For now, we hope you'll register today to join us virtually October 10–12 for an amazing lineup of speakers addressing important topics; opportunities to meet with industry leaders; and innovative ways to network, connect, and recharge with your neonatal nursing peers.
If there's one thing I have learned in 2020, it's that we are stronger together. Now is the time to lean into our community of neonatal nurses around the globe, to lift each other up and support one another, and to work together as we define a new normal in the coming year.
The time and talent you share with NANN do not go unappreciated—NANN is special because of each of our members. Thank you for all you are doing and know that NANN stands beside you.