The Association of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Nurses was founded in 1989 by a group committed to improving the educational opportunities for nurses caring for children with gastrointestinal disorders. With the generous support of the members of NASPGHAN (North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition) the organization has grown from 25 to over 300 members representing nursing colleagues from the United States and Canada.

APGNN is the author of the Clinical Handbook of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Edited by Rosemary J. Young and Lisa Philichi and published by QMP in 2007.

APGNN and NASPGHAN are committed to improving the lives of children with GI and liver disease. APGNN is represented on NASPGHAN and the NASPGHAN Foundation committees and is represented on the NASPGHAN Council by the President of APGNN.

APGNN has participated at the World Congress of Pediatric Gastroenterology held in Boston, 2000, Paris, 2004, Brazil 2008, Taipei 2012 and Montreal 2016, allowing members to connect with international colleagues as well.

APGNN welcomes new members and associate members. Please complete the membership form today.

To learn more about the organization, please review the PDF below to see the Presidents Annual Report to Membership October 2017. Included is the organizations strategic plan. As you will see, there are multiple opportunities for professional development and everyone is welcome to participate!

Report 2017 – 2018

President’s Report

The mission of the Association of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Nurses is to be the recognized leaders in pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition nursing and family education by our members, physicians and healthcare consumers.   Our vision is one of excellence in the care of children with gastroenterology and nutrition illnesses and their families.  In addition, promotion of pediatric nurses in this specialized field is a central part of our mission.  APGNN’s growth has resulted in the need to continually evaluate our overall strategy in order to ensure longevity and relevance. 

In 2014 the APGNN executive board worked with NASPGHAN to develop a 3-5 year strategic plan.  At the direction of past president Ryan Shonce, much of our organizations efforts since that time have been focused on meeting and accomplishing these goals.   It was therefore imperative to revisit our strategic plan and update where appropriate, while assuring consistency with our vision and mission.  The following goals are the focus of our current strategic plan.   Each goal has both short term (6-12 months) and long term (2-3 years) objectives to support achievement and sustainability of these goals.  Listed below are the strategic goals and objectives planned to meet those goals.

  1. Maintain a needs-based educational program:  Annual Conference – we will continue a theme based annual meeting looking at current trends in practice and the needs of the membership based on conference evaluations.  In effort to facilitate ease in attending any portion of the annual conference – APGNN, NASPGHAN and CPNP (Council for Pediatric Nutrition Professionals) we have changed our CE provider to Amedco, the same provider for NASPGHAN and CPNP.  This should allow members to seamlessly and accurately evaluate those lectures they attend and receive appropriate credits for their participation. 


  1. Continue to identify meaningful ways to recognize evidence-based nursing:  We aim to achieve this goal through ongoing promotion of our abstracts, awards and scholarship offerings.   The Excellence in Education award 2018 is being awarded to an APGNN member that was involved in the NOVEL project.   This was a project our research committee became involved with at the inception of the project.  This is an example of a collaborative effort beyond APGNN but focused on pediatric GI needs.  We will continue to highlight collaboration and multidisciplinary efforts that advance excellence in nursing.  We award three posters of distinction at every conference for those abstracts that exemplify excellence, innovation, quality and evidence based practice.   During the annual meeting some award recipients will have the opportunity for an oral presentation to showcase their project.  Over the past few years we have changed the process for abstract submission to be electronically submitted.  This has streamlined the process and submissions and reviews are much more efficient.  This process will be continued.  This year we had 10 abstract submissions approved.  We have strategies to highlight the award recipients through our quarterly newsletter and via social media.  New in 2018, we were able to create an Abbott Nutrition Travel Scholarship.  This award will provide funding for 3 members that submitted a nutrition related poster abstract.  Our long term goal will be to continue offering this award and increase the number of applicable abstracts submitted to make this a more competitive award.  We continue to offer up to 4 conference scholarships to members based on need.


  1. Create a marketing program to advocate the necessity of evidence based nursing to optimize patient care and outcomes:  We will continue to partner with organizations with educational and evidence-based patient care missions such as NASPGHAN/NASPGHAN Foundation, NAPNAP and the Nursing Organization Alliance (NOA). 


APGNN board members are liaisons on NASPGHAN committees.   Due to the mutual respect of our organizations and known benefits of multidisciplinary collaboration, we will be incorporating NASPGHAN involvement with APGNN committees.   This was initially identified as a goal in the 2014 strategic plan.  We believe there are several benefits for APGNN with this relationship.  First, there may be projects we can collaborate on and develop together.  We will have a physician liaison on our research committee which should be helpful as we have many nurses that are passionate about quality improvement and research, but may lack the educational training and experience to feel competent in the research chairperson role.  We feel the addition of a physician liaison will enhance the efforts of this committee.


We will be starting the third edition revisions of the Pediatric GI Handbook.  This is updated and revised every 5 years.  We are currently sold out of the second edition of this Handbook.  There has been a significant increase in demand for this book over the past year.  Mead Johnson has again, graciously agreed to support this project.


APGNN and NAPNAP have dual reciprocity memberships allowing members of both to receive a 20% on membership to both organizations.  We are working to strengthen our relationship with NAPNAP and long term goals will include a speaker exchange program. 


  1. Provide educational resources to members to enhance evidence-based practice:  Our clinical practice committee completed the much anticipated biliary atresia continuing education module that is available on the members-only website.  One CEU will be awarded at the completion of this module. There is no charge for any of the APGNN CEU modules.  We will continue to develop additional modules.  Currently in process are two basic liver modules that will hopefully be ready for release in early 2019.  There are nine telephone triage guidelines on our website.   Over the next 6-12 months, we will be reviewing and updating these guidelines.  We will also consider future guidelines to develop over the long term (2-3 years).  These guidelines are helpful for nurses new to pediatric gastroenterology and assure all pertinent triage questions and considerations are being reviewed.  As an APGNN member, we also have full access to NASPGHAN/NASPGHAN Foundation modules and slide sets. 


We videotaped our 2017 conference and are working with NAPNAP to host one CE module from this conference on their educational offerings website.  We are planning to tape our 2018 conference and intend to have NAPNAP host several more CE modules to be available for a nominal fee.  Long term planning includes offering one free module to members unable to attend the conference.


  1. Provide educational resources for consumers (patients/families/caregivers):  After several years of challenges, our Patient and Family Education Committee is actively working with the NASPGHAN Public Education Committee.  Initial work is being directed at updating and improving the website www.gikids.org.  Our long term objective associated with this goal is to increase the utilization of the GIkids website.  Following the review of these currently existing resources, we aim to assess the need for additional topics and help develop these resources in conjunction with NASPGHAN.


  1. Increase APGNN membership skills in conducting and utilizing research for best practice:  We continue to evaluate best methods to engage members in research, but through our mentoring program, we have made 1 mentor-mentee match with a member interested in research.  We plan to increase participation in and strengthen the experience of mentorship in research.


  1. Generate and recognize participation in research in pediatric GI/Hepatology/Nutrition:  As previously noted in years past we have had zero to four applicants for the Susan Moyer research grant.  It is important for APGNN members to continue to apply for this competitive research grant.  We had one submission that was funded this year.  Grant recipients have the opportunity for an oral presentation at the annual meeting.  This year, the research committee submitted an abstract with data from a survey sent to APGNN membership.


  1. Increase the number of members in the organization:  We recognize there is significant room for growth of our membership and a large amount of our efforts focus on increasing membership.  We have a public and a private, members-only website.  On our public website, we continuously update our “Membership Benefits” section to highlight why pediatric GI nurses should become members.   Twice a year we write an article for the NASPGHAN newsletter explaining the benefits of membership and encourage NASPGHAN members to have their nurses join this association.  We have had success with the “buy three get the fourth free” institutional membership option so this will be continued.  We have a dual membership with NAPNAP (National Association of Pediatric Nurses Practitioners) and members of both receive a 20% discount on membership.  For the first time we were able to award a new APGNN member the Abbott Nutrition Travel Scholarship.  This scholarship was developed to encourage participation in APGNN early in their membership experience.


  1.  Retain and increase engagement of current members:  Over the past several years, we have made several changes in effort to improve the retention of members. 

We will continue, with the help of the NASPGHAN administrative office, to have a Listserve that while still not as robust as we would like, fulfills the desire of membership to have available.  It is an excellent tool to ask questions and elicit dialogue with colleagues across the country.

We have streamlined the renewal process by working with the NASPGHAN administrative office staff.  This has significantly reduced processing delays and frustrations with new membership verification, renewals, and the questions and concerns fielded through www.apgnn.org.  They have been able to keep our membership directory accurate and up to date.  We will continue to work closely with the NASPGHAN office as they have elevated the level of professionalism of our organization.

At the 2017 annual meeting we launched our professional mentoring pilot program.  This program was offered to members new to APGNN who identified they would like a mentor. There has been significant interest in this program, from both mentor and mentee aspects.  Unfortunately, we have only made 4 connections and our goal was 10.  We learned many lessons over the last year and plan to make improvements in the flaws that to date have been identified.  Over the next 12 months, we plan to open the mentoring program to the entire membership and long term, will focus on continuous improvement and refinement of this program.

For several years, we pursed pediatric GI certification in multiple facets.  Unfortunately our organization is currently too small for this to be feasible.  We are still committed to development of some type of baseline standard of care and we are evaluating the ability to develop training modules that would initially be targeted toward new to GI nurses and then expand to tenured nurses.  This remains a lofty goal that the executive board has spent years working on with no results.  Because this continues to be a desire of our membership and is strongly supported by the executive board, we will continue to pursue this goal.


  1. Provide ongoing education and support of APGNN leadership:  We will continue to support an annual leadership retreat.  This is crucial for the executive board to plan and discuss the direction of APGNN.  We will continue to have bi-monthly conference calls to discuss committee projects.   We support the President attending meetings with the Nursing Organization Alliance which focuses on leadership issues in nursing organizations.  It is important to recognize nursing leaders and we will continue to award an APGNN Mentor award and will continue with the Excellence in Clinical Practice award.  This will be the third year for this award.


  1. Update and maximize effectiveness of the Website:  Our media committee continues to improve our presence on social media.  Our quarterly newsletter keeps members informed of our committee’s activities and provides members with important dates and deadlines.  Lastly, the media committee continues to improve the website.  We are working closely with our website developer to update the site and to utilize web based tools to assess the activity on our website.

We have an excellent and energetic board and I am certain we are continuing to position APGNN as a premiere organization for pediatric GI nurses and nurse practitioners.  We will continue to work closely with NASPGHAN and CPNP as collaboration can only strengthen our organization.  I would like to thank the current and incoming APGNN Board members along with the membership at large for your ongoing support during my tenure. 


Respectfully submitted,

Amy Donegan APRN, MS,

APGNN President




2 Related Files


  Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation Presidents Report 2017 9,770 K   Published November 24, 2017   view
  Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation Presidents Report 2016 3,266 K   Published May 11, 2017   view