Authors

  1. Freda, Margaret Comerford EdD, RN, CHES, FAAN, EDITOR

Article Content

It's important news when disparate nursing organizations with sometimes competing needs come together and cooperate to improve nursing practice. Today I want to celebrate one such significant collaboration. In April 2008, the Society for Pediatric Nurses (SPN) and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) will jointly release their historic document titled "Scope and Standards of Practice for Pediatric Nursing." This effort on the part of the two largest organizations for pediatric nurses (along with input from the ANA) began in 2004 and has continued since then, with writing groups from both organizations working toward developing a unified scope of practice for all pediatric nurses, in all settings (inpatient/acute care, ambulatory facilities, schools, camps, palliative care, perioperative setting, transport), and at multiple levels of education (generalists, advanced practice pediatric specialties, and all certifications). Additionally, in this spirit of cooperation and colleagueship, this month all editors of nursing journals which have any connection with pediatric nursing are publishing editorials about these new standards of practice in an effort to help spread the word about the magnitude of these new integrated standards.

 

As described in their draft document, the new standards and scope of practice create a unified voice for pediatric nursing, a specialty that works with the 73 million children and adolescents in the United States. All nurses who practice with this population (defined by NAPNAP as birth to 21 years) need to read and understand these standards of care (available at the ANA Web site after April 2008 [http://www.nursingworld.org]), because these will be the standards to which all future pediatric nursing practices will be held. This document addresses 16 standards: assessment, diagnosis, outcomes identification, planning, implementation, evaluation, quality of practice, practice evaluation, education, collegiality, ethics, collaboration, research and clinical scholarship, resource utilization, leadership, and advocacy. Each standard is described in depth and serves as a guidepost for appropriate pediatric nursing in the 21st century. Measurement criteria for each standard are also provided, thereby allowing the nurse to gauge the outcome of his or her practice. The document also describes the absolutely crucial nature of several integral components of pediatric nursing:

 

* forming a partnership with the families of the children

 

* working toward the elimination of disparities in health outcomes

 

* thinking globally in terms of elimination of childhood disease

 

* becoming culturally competent

 

* understanding complementary/alternative therapies for children

 

 

The "Scope and Standards of Practice for Pediatric Nursing" is essential reading for all of you who work with children, and I urge you to access it on the ANA Web site in April 2008. You can be proud of the work done by the writing groups for the two organizations, because their diligence will help to guide your practice now and in the future. Too many people talk about nurses not cooperating with each other-I'm so pleased to share this very positive news about nurses doing what was needed to help their patients and themselves. Be sure to support their efforts!!

 

Margaret Comerford Freda, EdD, RN, CHES, FAAN, EDITOR

 

margaretfreda@yahoo.com