May 2024 President's Letter

Greetings SPN Members!

Nurses Make the Difference

Happy Nurses Month to all our fantastic Society of Pediatric Nurses members! This year’s theme is “Nurses Make the Difference,” and I can think of so many examples of how nurses I know have made a difference in the lives of patients, families, and colleagues. We are lucky to work in a profession that allows us to have such a profound impact on the lives of others, sometimes in ways we don’t even recognize! I hope each of you has an opportunity to celebrate our profession and your contributions to it with friends and colleagues throughout the month.

Annual Conference

Speaking of nurses making a difference: I’m still in awe of all the change-makers and innovators I met at our 34th Annual Conference, held April 17-19 in Phoenix, AZ. We had over 550 pediatric nurses in attendance, all of whom were committed to helping us blaze the trail to nursing excellence! Attendees had 3 action-packed days of learning and connection, with topics ranging from physician/nurse shadowing to enhancing interprofessional collaboration to the implementation of a statewide school-based telehealth program. Our keynote speakers inspired and challenged conference attendees to think differently about some of the biggest issues facing pediatric nursing today, and I particularly enjoyed attending the Thursday evening poster session for a chance to connect directly with poster authors and gather ideas for novel practices to bring back to my organization. I hope you’ll consider joining us for the 35th Annual Conference, April 30-May 2, 2025, where we’ll “Imagine the Possibilities” for pediatric nursing’s future and celebrate another milestone for SPN as an organization! The call for abstracts opens Tuesday, May 28 – you won’t want to miss an opportunity to share your innovative and impactful work with pediatric nursing colleagues from around the country.

Leadership Transition

The conclusion of this year’s annual conference also marked a transition in leadership for the organization. I am honored to assume the role of SPN president for the next two years, and I look forward to working alongside our dedicated Board of Directors to uphold SPN’s mission of advocating for the specialty of pediatric nursing through the advancement of excellence in education, research, and evidence-based practice. We are focused on creating a powerful community of nurses committed to the highest standards of pediatric nursing care, and we welcome your thoughts, feedback, and ongoing engagement with all of our work.

I am incredibly grateful for the dedicated leadership of outgoing president Kathy Van Allen. During her tenure, Kathy worked to stabilize and sustain SPN post-pandemic, ensured that SPN used its voice to advocate for the needs of pediatric nurses and the patients and families they serve, and strengthened SPN’s partnership with peer organizations. Kathy has been a mentor to me as I prepared to take on this role, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to carry on the good work she has championed.

We also said goodbye to two additional board members: Secretary Ann Bowling and Director Michaela Lewis. Ann, who served two consecutive terms on the board, was instrumental in the development of our Pediatric Nursing Excellence model and Pediatric Fellowship Course. Michaela has led a revision of our RN residency core competencies and was instrumental in the development of our Access to Care position statement. We are grateful for Ann and Michaela’s service to the board and for their ongoing work within the organization.  

I’m pleased to welcome our two newest board members: Secretary Ann Spence and Director DeAnne Ellis. You may remember Ann from her previous service on the board – she served as director from 2016 to 2022. DeAnne is new to the board, but certainly not new to SPN! I look forward to working with Ann, DeAnne, and all the rest of the board members in the coming year to ensure that SPN remains an organization that supports your professional development and practice as a pediatric nurse.

Jennifer Baird, PHD, MPH, MSW, RN, CPN

SPN President

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