President's Message| Volume 26, ISSUE 4, P241, July 2012

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Being Present

      As I begin my Presidency, I think about a behavior one of my great mentors, Dr. Bill Cohen, helped me understand and frame as a part of life. It is a term used in psychotherapy called being present. When one is present one is “in the moment“ with the patient. We connect emotionally and are fully engaged with the other person. We are able to really listen and take in all of the verbal and nonverbal information that is being shared. We are not distracted or thinking about what we just did or need to do. We share a special moment and connection.
      I am sure all of you have known these special moments in life, whether it was with your spouses, partners, families, friends, coworkers, students, or patients. These moments of being present provide us with the richness in life that gives us human connection and fills our coffers with the depth and fullness of relationships.
      So how does this relate to the National Association of Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) and my new role as President? As I begin my term in office, I hope to be present to you as members. I may not be able to meet with you in person, but I pledge to listen, reflect, ask questions, and try to understand what it is that you need and are most are interested in from NAPNAP. I want to hear from you, whether it is in the form of an e-mail message, a phone call, or in person. I promise to listen and seek input from you. I will encourage the Board members, staff, Chapter officers, and Special Interest Group (SIG) Chairs to also be present for you. Although we may not be able to fix all of your concerns or problems, we will do our best to listen to your ideas, address your concerns, and follow through with a plan or response.
      To make sure being present is a two-way street, I ask that each of you take some time to reflect on what NAPNAP means to you and how you can be present for NAPNAP, our members, and the children and teens we care for. What do you need to do to connect on a deeper level with your colleagues, patients, and families? How can you be a better listener, health care provider, and pediatric nurse practitioner? What can you do for NAPNAP? If you have not been involved yet, we need you to take the first step. Volunteer to do one small thing you have not done before for your profession or NAPNAP. Volunteer activities may include precepting a student, teaching a class, joining a committee, running for Chapter office, or helping to plan a Chapter event. I guarantee that if you take time to connect and be present, you will end up feeling more replenished than when you started.
      NAPNAP is at an exciting juncture. We are in the midst of redefining our strategic plan and resetting our vision and direction. We are assessing your needs through a membership survey, hoping to align what you identify as professional needs and desires with what NAPNAP can provide. We hope to meet the needs of all of our members, whether you work in primary care, the inpatient setting, a school, or in a subspecialty area. We hope to continue to increase our membership and reach out to meet the needs of all nurse practitioners who care for children and adolescents. As we move ahead with these initiatives, I pledge to be present for you and hope that you will seize the opportunity to “play it forward” and be present for your professional organization, as well as your patients and colleagues.