Lizz Welch-Carre, EdD MS NNP-BC APRN
NANNP Council Chair
There are moments when it seems like time is standing still. Yet, when we look back, it often seems like time flies. At this present moment, it feels like time is flying. This will be my last NANNP Corner update. Bobby Bellflower will become the chair of the NANNP Council, and I will be the immediate past chair after the 2020 NANN Virtual Conference. I hope that all of our NANNP members will be able to attend the conference October 21–23, especially the APRN summit on October 23. Heather Herson Burris, MD MPH, will discuss "Racial Disparities in Birth Outcomes: Considering the Environment Outside the Hospital Walls." You can register for the conference here.
I have been blessed to work with some phenomenal council members over the last several years: former Council Chair Lee Shirland, incoming Chair Bobby Bellflower, Kristin Howard, Barbara Snapp, Julie Sundemeier, Mary Whalen, Taryn Edwards, Moni Snell, and Sandra Bellini. Each of these leaders has an incredible passion for infants and their families. They also are strong advocates for the role of the neonatal nurse practitioner in providing the best care for neonates. It is an empowering experience to be among people who share your passion.
Going forward, the NANNP Council will continue to focus on workforce development, education, and advocacy. The 2019 NNP Workforce Survey was completed, and an executive summary will be published in Advances in Neonatal Care in the coming months. NANNP's position statement on the DNP as entry into practice was revised in 2018, and NANNP liaisons will continue to collaborate with the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty as the National Task Force updates educational requirements for nurse practitioner education. NANNP also will remain a member of LACE, a group that includes representatives from NP population foci, credentialing bodies, licensing organizations, and educational institutions. LACE's primary focus is on APRN consensus model adoption and implementation.
In recent months, several social issues have been brought forward. First is racial disparities in health care and across many spectrums of society. The second is the lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) that exists in this nation. Unfortunately, our struggle with DEI contributes to the disparities in health care. NANN and NANNP are working diligently to create a strategic plan to address DEI within our own organization and in the neonatal nursing profession as a whole. I know that members of the NANNP Council would love to hear from individuals and NANN chapters who have ideas that could improve outcomes among our patients and increase diversity among neonatal nurses and NNPs. MyNANN is a great place to reach out and share ideas.
I suspect that COVID-19 will continue to be a part of our lives for months to come. It has required that we change our typical isolation practices. It has created stress for many as they work on the front line, try to manage childcare or care for their parents, and maintain their own health so they can continue to work. Going to the grocery store has become a bigger event than it used to be. "Did I touch my face? Did I sanitize my hands?" I would encourage everyone to turn to your peers and support one another. Practice grace. Practice self-care.
I want to thank everyone for the honor and privilege of working with you. I am humbled by the passion, compassion, and commitment that you have brought to the care of neonates. Your work is impactful. It changes the future for individual patients and their families. You should be proud.