Ok, so I strayed a bit on my blog about convention last time. It’s all in the getting there, right? So, let’s really review the convention and make the case for why you should go to a conference that reflects your interests. Here goes…
I was honored to go the the NSNA (National Student Nurses Association) in Nashville in early April representing UMANS (University of Maryland Association of Nursing Students). We came together with 3000 students, faculty and potential employers as well as schools offering online continuing education (think Nurse Practitioner, Masters degree in Nursing and PhD). All at the Gaylord, which is a hotel with shopping, restaurants and a convention center all hermetically sealed under a transparent biodome. You never have to leave! Here are some things we saw and did:
- NCLEX Mini Review Course to practice our test taking skills;
- Became certified to be an American Red Cross Disaster Relief volunteer;
- Learned about Emergency Nursing (including flight nursing—yes, that’s right, flying in a helicopter and being the first responder for accidents and disasters);
- We saw ways nurses can work with our wounded troops. We love our military!
- Alex was a delegate (I was an alternate delegate—kind of like the first runner up in the Miss America pageant…or not) so she got to vote on resolutions put forth by nursing students from all over the country. We are planning on writing one or two to present next year. Exciting!
- Was introduced to Innovation in Nursing, an initiative for nurses to embrace their entrepreneurial spirit and come up with ideas to improve patient care. See what landed Melissa Gersin, RN on Shark Tank!
- Learned about how healthcare providers can be on the lookout for signs of human trafficking from the McCain Institute’s initiative to combat modern slavery;
- Were taught about how a great nursing job is taking care of incarcerated patients…in actual prisons!
- A nurse spoke to us about her worldwide travels with Operation Smile, helping to surgically correct children and adults born with cleft lips and palettes;
- And last but not least, was a break-out session called “What to Do with Things You Can’t Control—Like Nursing School!”
Before we left to come home, we made sure to gather up lots of SWAG from the vendor area so we could share some of the magic with our cohorts. (Emile even broke her suitcase stuffing it full of personalized pens, pencils, shopping bags, highlighters, nursing books and brochures!). As I leave you this week, enjoy our madness as we entered the vendor inner sanctum…