POSITION STATEMENTS 

SPN defines a position statement as a statement that is relevant within the current healthcare environment. It clearly and succinctly states SPN's position on an emerging, controversial or debatable topic.

The purpose of SPN position statements is to articulate the Society's official stance on a course of action or a SPN policy on pivotal issues affecting the specialty of pediatric nursing and the health care of children and their families.

The following position statements provide a well-thought-out starting point for advocacy around that issue. Use these statements to serve as a reference to support your policy at your institution.

SPN produced and endorsed position statements are researched, written, and reviewed by pediatric nurses with specialized expertise in the area of concern. All position statements go through committee and Board of Director review at a minimum of every two years.

SPN Produced Position Statements

SAFE STAFFING FOR PEDIATRIC PATIENTS

March 21, 2022

The Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN) remains committed to advocating for high-quality, culturally sensitive, and comprehensive care of children and families. The healthcare needs of pediatric patients present unique challenges due to different developmental stages, limited communication skills, and differences in epidemiology and approaches to treatment as compared to adults. This position statement serves as the framework to assist organizations providing care to children in implementing evidence-based and outcomes-driven staffing plans to promote high-quality care.

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Child Welfare

September 16, 2021

Child Welfare is the promotion of child well-being and the protection from harm. The issue of child welfare is important to pediatric nurses and children's health care. The efforts of the Society of Pediatric Nurses concerning child welfare are rooted in the need to make children, and children's health, a national priority. Children may be vulnerable for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to human trafficking, social determinants of health, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (one's sexual or gender identity), intersex, and asexual/aromantic/agender(LGBTQA) concerns, and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES). The assessment of a family's resources to ensure adequate support is essential. The pediatric nurse is in the critical position to identify the needs of children, assess children's vulnerabilities, provide trauma-informed care, advocate for rights, and ensure protection.

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Child Health Content in the Undergraduate Curriculum

June 10, 2021

Baccalaureate and associate degree nursing programs decrease pediatric nursing didactic content and clinical learning experiences. Revisions in the pediatric nursing undergraduate/pre-licensure curriculum emphasize existing content and concepts related to children and their families and strengthen undergraduate pediatric nursing education. The trend toward reducing child health content and clinical hours in pre-licensure education are of great concern. It threatens the preparation of future clinicians and the children in their care and neglects the specific health challenges of infancy and childhood. (Bowling et al 2018; Betz, 2017).

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Importance of Immunization Against COVID-19

January 26, 2021

SPN commends your dedication to caring for infants, children, and families throughout this COVID-19 pandemic. SPN urges all members to rely on data and experts in the field who have determined through rigorous scientific and regulatory processes that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective. The promise of a vaccine for the United States population has been a goal since the pandemic began, and its availability is a significant step to containing this virus. With nurses being the most trusted profession, we have the opportunity to advocate for the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine and influence our communities by educating our patients, families, neighbors, and friends on the importance of vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccine is our best hope for ending this pandemic.

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Significance of Population Health in Pediatric Nursing

September 18, 2020
Last Update: September 16, 2021

The purpose of this statement is to recognize the significance of population health in the delivery of patient and family-centered care to improve outcomes.

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SPN Responds to Impact of Separating Children from their Caregivers

July 13, 2020
Last Update: January 2021

The Society of Pediatric Nurses joins the multitude of voices speaking out against the separation of children from families at the United States border. There is ample evidence supporting the need for infants and children to form attachments with caregivers and to remain in their care throughout childhood.

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Tobacco Exposure in Children, Adolescents and Families

April, 23 2020

 Tobacco exposures, including personal tobacco use, secondhand smoke, or thirdhand smoke exposures, are highly prevalent, and there is clear evidence linking human health consequences with tobacco exposures. The U.S. Surgeon General reported scientific evidence demonstrating no safe levels of secondhand smoke exposure and tobacco smoke as a known human carcinogen is associated with disease and death in nonsmokers (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006; 2010a). Tobacco smoke exposure links adverse health outcomes, particularly cancer, cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. Physiological mechanisms underlying smoking-related diseases include DNA damage, inflammation, and oxidative stress (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006; 2010a). The primary addictive component of tobacco is nicotine. Repeated nicotine exposures become associated with daily environmental cues, producing long-term changes in dopaminergic signals in the reward/reinforcement brain centers and eventually resulting in addiction (Das, Cherbuin, Anstey, Sachdev, & Easteal, 2012; Siqueira & American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Substance Use and Prevention, 2017).

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The Role of the Pediatric Nurse in the Promotion and Protection of Human Milk and Breastfeeding

 June 23, 2022

The World Health Organization (WHO) (2022) and the Association of Women’s Health Obstetric & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) (2021a, 2021b) recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life, and continued breastfeeding with addition of complimentary foods for the first year and beyond. However, despite improvements in breastfeeding initiation rates in the United States, exclusive breastfeeding rates at 6 months and one year remain low (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), 2021).

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Overweight Children and Adolescents

July 22, 2019

Overweight and obesity remain an American epidemic, affecting one in every six children (National Association of School Nurses, 2018). According to The State of Obesity (n. d.), the latest data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show that the national obesity rate among youth ages 2 to 19 is 18.5%. 

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Transition of Pediatric Patients into Adult Care

June 21, 2019

The Society of Pediatric Nurses is committed to addressing the long-term biopsychosocial needs of adolescents and emerging adults. They include those with disabilities and special health care needs (ASHCN), preparing to leave the pediatric and child-centered care systems and enter the adult-focused systems of care. During this transition from pediatric to adult care, pediatric nurses can help these emerging adults proceed with their development to the extent possible in achieving the competencies associated with adulthood.

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Early School Start Times (Consensus Statement)

June 21, 2019

This is a joint consensus statement with the National Association of School Nurses. Optimal sleep during growth and development is critical for our nation's youth's health, safety, and academic success. Over half of high school youth and near one-third in middle school report 7 hours or less sleep on school nights (National Sleep Foundation, 2014). These reports are in sharp contrast to recommended adolescent (age 12-17) sleep requirements of approximately 9 to 10 hours (Carskadon, 2011). The registered professional school nurse is in a pivotal position to collaborate with students, families, teachers, pediatric nurses, school administration officials, and other health care professionals to address factors contributing to insufficient sleep.

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Early Childhood Development

July 8, 2014

The purpose of this statement is to delineate the role of the pediatric nurse as it pertains to early childhood development.

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SPN Endorsed Position Statements

The Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health
SPN endorses this policy statement developed and copyrighted by the American Academy of Pediatrics in August of 2019

Firearm-Related Injuries Affecting the Pediatric Population
SPN endorses this policy statement developed and copyrighted by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2012 and reaffirmed in 2017.

Weighing All Patients in Kilograms
SPN endorses this policy statement developed and copyrighted by the Emergency Nurses Association in 2020.