May 2023 President's Letter

Greetings SPN Members!

My warmest wishes for a Happy Nurse’s Month! I am so proud to work in a profession where we have amazing leaders, care providers, educators, and innovators. It is an honor to lead this organization and see your commitment and dedication to our profession and the patients and families we serve. Thank you for making a difference!!

In case you missed it, SPN’s Instagram launched last month! Be sure to follow @Pedsnurses to engage with us and stay abreast of updates and activities.


I had a wonderful time at our 33rd Annual Conference in Pittsburgh last month! Making Connections and Building Bridges was the perfect conference theme. I met new colleagues, including one who traveled from Portugal to participate in the conference, and it was great to reconnect with nurses who I have met over the years. As always, the conference leaves me feeling inspired and in awe of the knowledge and best practice shared across diverse topics of the presentations and posters. I was also excited by the number of first-time conference attendees! There was so much to see and learn, and I cannot wait until we meet again in Phoenix, Arizona from April 17-30, 2024. Registration will open this fall!

If you were unable to join us in Pittsburgh, you will want to sign up for the Virtual Conference Bridge, a one-day event on May 11 that will offer 6 NCPD contact hours. This virtual education event will highlight the best of the Annual Conference, so register here to ensure you don’t miss it!

I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to our Program Planning Committee members Lisa Robinson (Chair), Daniel Marx (Chair-Elect), Nicole Smith, Lori Williams, Michelle High, Jennifer Mahieu, Gayla Goleman (Board Liaison), and Tina Spagnola (Director of Programs) for planning and coordinating such an engaging Annual Conference. Also, a huge thank you to our staff team for all the behind the scenes work that helped make this event successful.


Each year, the Annual Conference marks a change in SPN leadership. I would like to acknowledge two of our Board members who completed their terms in April - Andrea (Drea) Correia, MSN, RN, PHN, CPN, CPL, NPD-BC and Cherie McCann, PhD, MSN, BC, CPN. Drea worked closely with the Clinical Practice and Research Committee driving thought leadership and bringing expertise and a thoughtful perspective to the committee and the Board. Cherie worked with our Chapter Support and Development Committee and helped build consistency and improve communication with our chapters. I am so grateful for their leadership and service to SPN.

We welcomed new Board members whose terms began at the close of the Annual Conference - Jennifer Baird, Jennifer Stephen, and Jennifer Lombardi.

Jenni Baird, PhD, MPH, MSW, RN, CPN begins a one-year term as President-Elect and will assume the role of President at the close of next year’s Annual Conference. Jennifer Stephen, PhD, RN, CPN and Jennifer Lombardi, MBA, BSN, RN, NE-BC will both serve three-year terms as Directors.


It was an honor to present the Margaret Miles Distinguished Service Award to Betsy McDowell, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN. Betsy received this prestigious award in recognition of her contributions to SPN and pediatric nursing. Betsy joined SPN in 1990 and has served on multiple SPN committees and task forces that have produced pivotal resources for our organization, including the Pre-Licensure and Residency Core Competencies. Betsy also conducted a Delphi Study to identify priorities for nursing research and key challenges facing pediatric nursing, and she has served as a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of Pediatric Nursing since 2007. Most recently, Betsy served as the Chair of the Pediatric Nursing Excellence Task Force and was instrumental in the development of SPN’s Pediatric Nursing Excellence Model. SPN is a stronger association and has been able to achieve our mission because of Betsy’s significant contributions of time, expertise, and talents to our organization. Please join me in congratulating Betsy!!


Be sure to join us for the SPN Annual Business Meeting on May 23, 2023, from 10-11am PST/12-1pm CST/1-2pm EST to learn about SPN’s initiatives, accomplishments, and plans for the coming year. Register now!

Kathy Van Allen, MSN, RN, CPN
SPN President
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