August 2022 President's Letter

Greetings SPN Members!


Our new, refreshed SPN website was launched a little over a month ago! We hope you find the new format and navigation familiar but improved. If you are logging in for the first time, please remember that although your previous username is unchanged, you will need to create a new password. The website contains many valuable resources, and our new format has improved how members are able to connect to the SPN community!

Please take a moment to update your personal profile and identify areas where you have knowledge and expertise. This information is useful to help us identify members for involvement and engagement in your areas of interest as opportunities become available. Update your Areas of Expertise by August 31st to be entered to win a surprise from SPN! Including your profile picture will help others be able to put a face to a name, especially if you are participating in our members’ Discussion Forum. The Discussion Forum is a great way to engage in networking, sharing of information and best practice. Be sure to check it out by logging in to the SPN website and then clicking Discussion Forum under the navigation heading Members!


In September 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement on School Start Times for Adolescents. Shortly thereafter, the Society of Pediatric Nurses and National Association of School Nurses released a consensus statement on Early School Start Times recommending delaying the start of the school day for adolescents.

In a 2017 position statement, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine shared data showing the impacts of increased sleep:

  • greater engagement in school
  • reduced first hour tardiness and absences
  • less depressive symptoms and irritability
  • improved reaction time resulting in decreased motor vehicle accidents
  • reduced risk-taking behaviors such as smoking, alcohol consumption and drugs
  • improved behavioral weight loss interventions

The 2020 National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) revealed that only four states reported having an average public high school start time of 8:16 or later – Alaska, Iowa, Minnesota and South Carolina. My home state of California enacted a law in 2019 mandating later school start times. Schools were given until July 2022 to comply. Public high schools are to start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. and middle schools (ages 11-14 years) no earlier than 8:00 a.m. While the changes in school start times may impact logistics with parents’ schedules, I am hopeful employers will allow for flexibility with work schedules to accommodate the later start time as it is very likely to have significant impact on the mental health and psychological well-being of children. Share how your state has responded to this recommendation by emailing [email protected]; subject line: School Start Times.


October 3-7, 2022

While October seems months away, Pediatric Nurses Week (PNW) will be here before we know it. Start planning your PNW celebration now! PNW is an opportunity to promote our profession and highlight excellence in pediatric nursing. It is a time to reflect on contributions to improve the health of children and support families and communities. Check out our online resources to help plan your celebration, and be on the lookout for additional information in the next few weeks to order your PNW celebration items!


In response to the news of Tennessee nurse, RaDonda Vaught’s, sentencing a couple months ago, there has been much discussion about the impact of this case to our profession. Please join us on August 10th from 1-2pm PST/3-4pm CST/4-5pm EST for our next Coffee Break session as we discuss dimensions of professional practice in a Just Culture.


If you attended the SPN Annual Conference in April and have not yet completed your conference evaluation, please do so by August 8, 2022 to receive your continuing education hours.

Kathy Van Allen, MSN, RN, CPN

SPN President
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