Session Title: Pediatrics
Session Type: Abstract Submissions (ARHP)
Background/Purpose: The Pediatric Rheumatology Nursing (PRN) Network is an electronic listserv linking 190 pediatric rheumatology nurses in 8 countries. Pediatric rheumatology nurses often have a sense of isolation because the closest nurse in this specialty could be 1000 miles away. However, this communication system makes consultation with another pediatric rheumatology nurse as close as one click away.
The purpose of the PRN Network is to promote communication, networking and to enhance practice knowledge, thereby improving patient care in pediatric rheumatology. The listserv goals are to exchange best pediatric rheumatology nursing practices; discuss difficult treatment issues such as patient adherence; share family educational and support products, activities, and materials; and exchange disease information, resources, school forms, treatment protocols, and procedures.
Methods: The PRN Network began in 1988 with a quarterly newsletter disseminated to pediatric rheumatology nurses in the United States (US). The nurses who initially received the newsletter were part of 11 multidisciplinary pediatric rheumatology teams from SPRANS Grant Programs (Special Programs of Regional and National Significance) through the US Division of Maternal & Child Health. The newsletter was published from 1988 to 1996. Grants totaling $3,000 were obtained from Astra USA to underwrite the newsletter. By 1997, the newsletter reached pediatric rheumatology nurses throughout the United States and Canada. The number of nurses on the mailing list increased from 20 to 60 nurses, primarily through word of mouth.
In 1998, the PRN Network listserv was initiated. Some nurses were participating on the well-established pediatric rheumatology (physician) listserv run by Peter Dent, MD, through McMaster Children’s Hospital in Ontario, Canada. However, the pediatric rheumatology nurses felt that a nurse-only listserv would enable them to discuss issues relevant to their profession. This listserv was launched on a trial basis with 7 nurses. By 2002 there were 31 nurses on the listserv. By 2004 subscribers had grown to 82. In 2010, there were 146 nurses.
Lack of funding required startup from a home computer. Eventually the listserv transitioned to the server at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. The listserv coordination is done from a home laptop and the database is maintained on gmail. Twice a year listserv members receive a copy of the updated member list.
Results: There are currently 190 nurses on the Listserv – from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. Benefits of the listserv include increased knowledge of timely issues, management of medication shortages, sharing of difficult cases, promotion of patient adherence, conference planning, and sharing of educational materials.
Conclusion: There is no cost to participate on the PRN Network listserv. Once a year, an email is sent to the physicians’ pediatric rheumatology listserv to recruit nurses for the PRN Network. All pediatric rheumatology nurses are welcome to join. For more information, contact Norma Liburd at email@example.com.
N. L. Liburd,
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ACR Meeting Abstracts - https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/the-pediatric-rheumatology-nursing-network-an-international-email-managed-communication-system/