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!

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