This past April, I went to the 58th annual National Student Nurses Association Convention in Orlando, Florida.  It took place at the Disney Coronado Springs Resort and Convention Center.  I went with two other KILN scholars Jessica Fenty-Scotland, Shiva Moshtagh and six Boston College Student Nurse Association members.  There, I met nursing leaders, professors, students, and even an editor from Lippincott Publishing.  The theme this year was “Experience the Magic of Nursing” and looking back on the trip, I realize how nurses can miraculously touch people’s lives.

We all had the privilege of having breakfast with the President of AARP, Boston College alumna, and keynote speaker Jennie Chin Hansen.  She spoke to us about her career path and offered us general advice we need in life.  She also shared with us her experience as an undergraduate at BC. For example, she said that it is a good idea to take a Public Speaking course because no matter what career path we choose, we will always need to speak in front of an audience.  I actually took her advice and when I returned to BC, I signed up for a Public Speaking course.

Another highlight of my trip was the plenary session featuring speakers: Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN, Chief Executive Officer of the National League for Nursing; and Marybeth Farquhar, PhD, RN, Vice President of Performance Measures at the National Quality Forum in Washington, DC.  After they spoke, members from the audience were allowed to come forward and ask them questions about the Health Care Reform Bill and how it affects the nursing discipline. Rebecca Patton, MSN, RN, CNOR, President, American Nurses Association served as the moderator. I thought the audience had good questions and the speakers did a great job at answering them.

I went to several focus sessions, which among them were Acing Nursing School Exams, Managing Complex Medical Issues Through the Application of Rehabilitation Nursing, Landing Your Right Job, Graduate Nursing Program: Exploring Your Options, Make Your Voice Heard-Rockin’ Nurse Advocacy, Creating Your Leadership Legacy, Making It Count- Ultimate Money Skills, Documentation-Avoiding Malpractice.  I actually went to a Pharmacology focus session since I am currently taking Pharmacology.  I felt more confident coming out of the session than I did going into it.  We learned various mnemonic devices on how to remember medication side effects and nursing interventions.  In general, the convention was a great experience.  Next year, it will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah and I look forward to go again and experience  the Magic of Nursing.