January 19, 2011

Make the Most of your Nursing Conference

Posted in Nursing Tips tagged , at 1:23 am by Nursing Tales Team

The American Nurses Association 2011 NDNQI® conference is coming up this month! Conferences can be valuable and enriching experiences, so follow these tips to make sure you make the most of the opportunity!

1. Double-check your travel arrangements. Before the conference, whether in your hometown over or across the country, make sure you’ve planned ahead and made arrangements for getting to your destination. If you are flying, look online for the flight number, terminal, and whether or not it is on time. Will someone drive you to the airport or will you pay for parking? Could you carpool? Once you get to your destination, make sure you have a place to stay – with a friend from school or at a nearby hotel. Will you need transportation or does the hotel provide a shuttle? If you need to rent a car, ask your place of work and see if they have any special deals with rental car agencies; ask the rental car agencies if they offer special deals for health care professionals. If you feel very efficient, write down all the information you will need – flight numbers, phone numbers, and confirmation numbers – and keep it all handy in a binder or briefcase for easy access throughout your trip. You might also consider carrying your most important documents with you on a beaded lanyards around your neck. Don’t forget spending cash for the gift shop and the restaurants you will likely visit.

2. Know your conference. Even if attending the conference is not the way you would prefer to spend your weekend, make the most of the experience by looking at the information provided to you and taking advantage of the opportunities offered. Check out the key speaker’s credentials and maybe read one of their books so that you are prepared to ask questions if allowed. Look at the list of breakout sessions or workshops and decide ahead of time which ones sound most interesting. To maximize the value you get from a conference, be proactive and decide in advance which sessions will be most beneficial. And don’t forget to go in with an open mind. It is surprising how much you can learn if you are willing to do so.

3. Get to know your colleagues. Most conferences hand out name badges and badge holders at the event, so you can easily see the names of fellow attendees. When you introduce yourself, make a note of their name and use it several times during the conversation: “Larry, was it?” “Nice to meet you, Diana.” “So, Robert, where are you from?” “It was a pleasure meeting you, Claire.” Not only will this make a favorable impression on your new acquaintances, but the repetition will make it easier for you to remember their name in the future. When you meet them the next day and can greet them by name without even looking at their badge you will set yourself apart from the average crowd. Also, since you know the badge holders are almost always required at these functions, do yourself a favor and buy a beaded lanyard that you like. This is a way to polish your look AND make you smile!

January 9, 2011

Celebrate National Nurses Week 2011

Posted in Nursing Tips tagged , at 1:22 am by Nursing Tales Team

The American Nurses Association has announced the theme for 2011’s National Nurses Week as “Nurses Trusted to Care.” National Nurses Week is celebrated every year from May 6th – 12th (May 12th is the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the forbearer of modern nursing). May 6th is National RN Recognition Day, May 8th is National Student Nurses Day, and May 12th is National School Nurse Day. National Nurses Week was first observed in 1954 in honor of the 100th anniversary Florence Nightingale’s mission to Crimea; but it was not made official until twenty years later when President Nixon issued a proclamation in 1974. Since then, the American Nurses Association has made a point of using this week to honor the nation’s indispensable nurses for the tireless commitment they give 365 days a year.

Visit http://nursingworld.org/NationalNursesWeek to download a media kit for raising awareness of this event and of the value of the nursing profession in your community. Nurses are renowned for blending art with science. They must be dedicated individuals with a wide array of interests, strengths and passions as a result of the many ways nurses are called upon to serve. No matter where they serve — emergency rooms, school based clinics, and homeless shelters – they are expected to bring to each role a passion for the profession and a strong commitment to patient safety. Their strength and spirit allows them to meet the needs of every person with whom they come into contact.

Due to poor working conditions, long hours, reduced pay and increased duty demands, there is an ongoing nursing shortage across the industry. With nurses retiring and changing professions in large numbers, it is crucial to start spreading the word of the important need nurses fill in the health care equation. Reaching out to primary and secondary academic institutions and training students to consider nursing as a future career goal may help funnel talent back into the pool. Also, making nursing school more attainable by providing scholarships and daycare for single mothers might draw people who are interested in nursing into the profession. If you are a nurse, consider making time to appear at community functions such as Town Councils and raise awareness of the difficult and sometimes dangerous work load nurses are expected to fill. Identify areas that community leaders can get involved in solving the problems.

During National Nurses Week, make a point of telling a nurse in your life how much you care and respect the work they do! Since every nurse is required to keep their ID on their person, consider purchasing nurse-specific badge holder or beaded lanyards for badges to hand out. You can easily find a diverse assortment of badge holders and beaded lanyards for badges online that make perfect gifts for the nurses in your life. You might also take a bouquet of flowers to the local emergency room. Have students that you know decorate a large poster telling your school nurse how much he or she is appreciated. Be creative – nurses are worth it!