Colleen McGauley, NP

Colleen McGauley, FNP-BC, a family nurse practitioner with Mass General’s Children’s Orthopedics Service, recently spoke at the annual conference for the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP). Colleen delivered a lecture entitled "An Introduction to Orthopaedics for the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)," meant to introduce both primary and acute care PNPs to some of the musculoskeletal treatments and conditions that orthopedic clinicians specialize in.

According to the Association, NAPNAP pediatric nurse practitioners are experts in pediatrics and advocates for children. PNPs and their fellow pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) are certified, licensed advanced practice nurses who have obtained a master’s degree, postgraduate certificate and/or clinical practice doctorate from an accredited academic program. They have completed advanced course work in physical/health assessment, pharmacology and pathophysiology.

Family nurse practitioners like Colleen deliver specialized care to both children and adult patients, whereas PNPs focus solely on children. Both nurse practitioner groups routinely deliver some of the most vital pediatric medical care, including:

  • Performing pediatric health care maintenance, including well child exams, developmental screenings and in-depth physical assessments, such as vision, hearing and dental
  • Performing school physicals and provide childhood immunizations
  • Diagnosing and treating common childhood illnesses such as allergies, ear and respiratory infections and skin conditions including acne
  • Diagnosing and managing common childhood chronic illnesses, including asthma, diabetes and allergies
  • Providing families advice on common child health concerns, including nutrition, obesity and weight management
  • Providing behavioral counseling to children and caregivers on improving school performance, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and reducing harmful risk-taking behaviors
  • Screening and managing mental health illnesses in children and adolescents and prescribing medications and referral to therapy
  • Providing guidance on in-home safety, unintentional injuries, sports injuries, motor vehicle and bike safety
  • Creating differential diagnoses and diagnosing acute and complex illnesses and complications
  • Partnering with patients and families to manage acute, chronic, complex and critical health conditions
  • Prescribing and evaluating therapies (medication and non-medication based)
  • Utilizing developmental, patient- and family-centered approaches
  • Managing acute, chronic and critical pediatric diseases and injuries
  • Working closely with an interprofessional team to provide the highest level of evidence-based care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults with congenital deformities and life-threatening illnesses
  • Managing complex and ongoing intensive therapies in a variety of settings, including inpatient and outpatient hospital settings, emergency departments and home care settings