January 2023 President's Letter

Greetings SPN Members!


I am excited to welcome in the new year! I have savored every minute of time spent with friends and family this holiday. Dealing with the COVID-19 challenges of the past three years has truly made me realize how much I have missed engaging with others in person. Now that I’ve had time to recover from the holiday festivities, I am feeling ready to jump in to face 2023.


There is much to look forward to in the coming year, and I hope you take advantage of the opportunities SPN has available to you!

Call for Nominations for SPN Awards

We look forward each year to honor members with SPN Excellence Awards for exceptional work at the Annual Conference. The Excellence Awards recognize members in the areas of clinical practice, nursing research, education, advanced practice, clinical scholarship, and innovation. In addition, SPN aims to identify and recognize new and creative approaches though education, support of the community, or innovative processes that resulted in better quality care for children and their families by honoring a pediatric nurse, pediatric department/unit, or an SPN chapter through the Innovation Award. This year, we will also be awarding the Margaret S. Miles Distinguished Service Award to a member who has shown exceptional contributions to SPN and pediatric nursing. Please take a few minutes to submit a nomination for a pediatric nurse who embodies the excellence these awards represent.  

Interest to Serve

Our membership is diverse, and members have expertise in many aspects of pediatric nursing. Volunteer service in a national organization provides the opportunity to connect with colleagues in the pediatric community by sharing best practices, experiences and advancing knowledge to positively impact pediatric nursing care. It is also an opportunity for you to become a leader by bringing your passion to the table and engaging as a Board member, in a committee or task force, or by teaching a webinar. The call for interest to serve, known as the Willingness to Serve survey, is now open. Members who are interested in volunteering should submit their interest, committee appointments will be made in March, and members will assume committee activities in April. We look to our members to self-identify areas of expertise in the Willingness to Serve survey. The Board of Directors and national office staff look at these submissions to help identify participants best suited for committees, task forces, and other activities that arise throughout the year.

2023 Annual Conference

Conference registration is open for our 33rd Annual Conference scheduled for April 26-28 in Pittsburg, PA. This year’s them is Building Bridges and Making Connections. Save $150 by taking advantage of the early bird registration rate if you register by March 24, 2023! Our Program Planning Committee has done a fantastic job of scheduling content that will allow attendees to earn up to 24 continuing education credits.

For those unable to attend the Annual Conference in person, we are offering a Virtual Conference Bridge on May 11, 2023, highlighting the best from the Annual Conference. Register now!

Call for Applications for the 2023 PNCB/SPN Conference Scholarship

The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) and SPN offer one registration/scholarship to attend the SPN Annual Conference. The PNCB/SPN conference scholarship includes conference registration and $700 to use toward travel expenses. Scholarship applications are due by February 3, 2023, and applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an SPN member in good standing for a minimum of one calendar year
  • Be working as an RN either part-time or full-time in pediatric nursing (no less than 40 hours per two-week period)
  • Be actively certified in pediatric nursing by the PNCB
  • Agree to submit a written report of their experience at the conference within 45 business days of the conclusion of the conference for publication in the SPN Monthly Digest newsletter and the Journal of Pediatric Nursing (JPN)


Hospitals and pediatric units across the country continue to be pushed to their limit with managing the RSV surge. A colleague recently made a comment that for the pediatric healthcare community, the current RSV surge is “our COVID” and the severity of this RSV season is the result of “immune debt” due to the limited exposure young children have had to the virus because of pandemic prevention measures. This has been one of the worst RSV seasons in many years and atypical in its severely by affecting children older than 2 years as well as adults. My thanks to Tina Spagnola, SPN’s Director of Programs, who has gathered key RSV resources and made them available on the SPN website for members to use and share with colleagues and parents.

As we continue to strive to meet the care needs of children amidst the surges of COVID-19, influenza, and RSV, I hope that a new year’s resolution you all make is to prioritize your own physical and mental health and find ways to support your team and encourage them to prioritize their wellbeing.  

Kathy Van Allen, MSN, RN, CPN

SPN President

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