This week the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is holding their annual conference, the National Teaching Institute – affectionately known as NTI. Oh, how I wish I could be in Denver this week, but it just wasn’t in the cards this year for me. There is nothing more inspiring than being surrounded by over 6000 nurses who are gathered to make themselves better so they can take care of their patients better. Just the gathering in that space is worth the admission.
I remember my first NTI. It was in Orlando 2004. When I left, I felt like I could do anything! I had learned so much. Validated what I did know. Been inspired. Overwhelmed. I literally felt the power of nursing. If you have been to NTI or any large conference, you know what I am talking about. The energy is contagious. I used that inspiration to power me forward. A few short years later, I had the opportunity to speak at NTI. It certainly was a career high point.
I am often told that these large conferences are not worth their time or money. I beg to differ. Here are my reasons why nurses should attend conferences.
So yesterday was the last group clinical day in the hospital for my senior students. Then today was the last group clinical day for my fundamentals students who will be entering the hospital for the first time in a few weeks. I couldn’t help but reflect on the next chapter they will each encounter….
The seniors are anxiously counting down graduation and stressing that they get their choice preceptorships. I have had the unique opportunity to have these students in fundamentals and then at the end of their journey. It has been so fulfilling and rewarding to see each of them grow and learn. They each will make amazing contributions to the nursing profession and I am so proud of them – just like a mom! My hope for them is that they remember what they know – hold on to it! Do the right thing, no mater “what everyone else is doing”. Treat every patient as the special person that they are – treat them like your family member and you will make the right choice. Go above and beyond – you owe it to them and would want the same. NEVER stop learning -the wonders of healthcare is that it is always changing and there is always something to learn. Make me proud when I see in the halls with my new group of students!!
On the other side, the fresh students are anxiously awaiting the unknown of their new roles and responsibilities in the hospital. Documentation, med pass, caring for multiple patients…. it sounds so overwhelming. But, your advice is the same, make the right choices with the knowledge you do have. Seek out every possibility the day brings you – the world is out there to teach you so much – but you have to go find it sometimes. You have the skills and you are ready – now show them what you got!!
Good luck to you all – keep in touch…. and make me proud!!
So what advice do you have for nursing students…. leave me your comments and make an impact on the next generation!