April 2023 President's Letter

Greetings SPN Members!


In a March press release, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) highlighted the worldwide nursing shortage as a global health emergency. Their March 2023 report, Recover to Rebuild: Investing in the Nursing Workforce for Health System Effectiveness, stated the only way health systems around the world will recover is by making sufficient investments in the nursing workforce. Evidence from studies in 24 countries provide evidence of how COVID-19 compounded an already fragile health system. Most have seen the impact COVID-19 has had in our work environment, including nurses having experienced symptoms of psychological distress, increased nursing turnover, and others who have left the profession. I share this resource with you to let you know that the challenges we are facing are broader than what we see in our individual organizations or regions and hope you find this report helpful as you work to rebuild your nursing workforce.

The ICN is a federation of more than 130 national nursing associations representing millions of nurses worldwide working to advance nursing, nurses and health through policy partnerships, advocacy, leadership development, networks, congresses, and special projects. The ICN collaborates directly with member associations addressing issues of importance to the nursing profession. Nurses who are members of their country’s national nursing association (i.e., American Nurses Association) are automatically part of the ICN.



I hope to see you April 26-28 at our 33rd Annual Conference in Pittsburgh. There are educational opportunities on varied topics facing our profession presented in three pre-conference workshops, plenary sessions, breakout sessions, and posters. Learn about the newest equipment and resources by visiting the companies and organizations exhibiting products, services, and technology.

Our opening keynote speaker, Carolyn Jones, a photojournalist and filmmaker, will be sharing her work that has captured the personal stories of nurses through photographs and film. During her keynote presentation she will share excerpts and stories from her book, The American Nurse and her three feature documentaries, The American Nurse, Defining Hope, and In Case of Emergency. Her body of work has helped focus attention on the nurses who serve their community and who have knowledge to address the challenges of pressing issues facing healthcare, in turn, providing audiences with a newfound appreciation for the role nurses play in the health and well-being of our nation. Be sure to pre-register for Movie Night on April 27 to view The American Nurse!

Our Past Presidents Vicky Bowden, DNSc, RN; LaDonna Northington, DNS, RN-BC; and Kristen Straka, DNP, ARPN/CNS, CPN, RN; and Past Vice-President Janice Selekman, DNSc, RN, NCSN, FNASNwill lead an interactive discussion on the topic of Issues Impacting Mental Health of Pediatric Patients and Care Providers. This interactive forum will allow participants to share best practices and learn from other participants about issues impacting pediatric healthcare at their institutions.

I am also excited to share that our Pre-Licensure Core Competency Task Force has integrated the SPN Nursing Excellence Model domains and concepts into the pre-licensure competencies. Task force members Michaela Lewis, DNP, ARNP, CPNP, CPN, CPEN, CNE, CNE-c1, PMHS and Laura Kubin PhD, RN, CPN, CHES, CNE will be presenting the updated evidence-based core competencies that prioritize and determine the foundational knowledge and skills needed in pediatric nursing for the newly graduated nurse.

SPN members Julie Van Orne, MSN, RN, CPN, CNL and Mary Cazzell, PhD, RN are principal investigators in a national research study, Nurse Perceptions of Caring for Pediatric Patients with Behavioral Health Needs on Inpatient Non-Psychiatric Units (Acute Care Units) and will share their findings during the Annual Conference. This project resulted from SPN membership feedback regarding the concerns in quality and safety of pediatric nursing care of children in non-psychiatric acute care units and emergency departments while waiting for admission to a pediatric behavioral care unit.

SPN has also worked with UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh to schedule an evening for a hospital tour. The tour provides an opportunity to network with UPMC nursing colleagues and observe their hospital environment and operations. Pre-registration required.

I am looking forward to meeting new colleagues and reconnecting with those of you who I have met over the years. Be sure to register now and make your hotel reservations as there are a limited number of rooms still available at the Annual Conference rate!

Kathy Van Allen, MSN, RN, CPN

SPN President

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