From left to right: KILN Scholars Chenille Morrison, Anna Diané, and Andrea Lopez

I attended the National Student Nurses’ Association 60th Anniversary Convention and Alumni Reunion hosted in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA. Entitled “Spanning the Distance: 60 Years of the Evolving Nurse,” the convention was an unforgettable event that gave me a lot of experience and memories. As an NSNA member, I am part of a great organization and I am glad I got to experience brilliant speakers, thrilling topics, and extraordinary networking opportunities. Leaders from states and schools came together to demonstrate their progress in nursing affairs. I had the opportunity to meet nursing students and registered nurses from all over the nation and was able to see the large support network available for nurses.

I attended several of the focus sessions that included everything from pharma-co-karaoke to academic and professional development. I loved hearing from Suzanne Prevost, president of Sigma Theta Tau International,  who spoke of a topic that is dear to my heart. Suzanne Prevost talked about “The Role of Nurses in a Global Community” and discussed the current status of professional nursing across the United States and compared it to other regions of the world. After reviewing the different health challenges occurring around the world, I am eager to know the results of the 2012 HRSA National Sample Survey of RN’s to see if there have been any significant health improvements.

From left to right: Kaitlyn Blais (Worcester State University, MSNA Media), Allison Mamishian (Worcester State University, MSNA Outreach Chair), Chenille Morrison (Boston College, MSNA Secretary), Judy Shindul-Rothschild (Boston College, MSNA Faculty Advisor), Andrea Lopez (Boston College, MSNA Breakthrough to Nursing Chair), Anna Diane (Boston College, MSNA President MSNA).

I learned that there is a need for prepared professionals to understand the many cultural values that come into play in healthcare affairs, which in turn will make patient care more efficient. The path to efficient care starts with educating nursing students. It is important to expose nursing students to different cultures that will be presented as they begin clinical practice.  I am pleased that colleges do provide nursing students the opportunity to study abroad and work in developing countries. Prevost asked what I (or nursing students in general) could do to have an impact in global health. The answer to this was to give my talents back to the community.  Health professionals have the talent to improve the healthcare of many people.  They can also improve healthcare by advocating for change to increase access to healthcare services. I am a strong believer that one way to start this change and to give back to the community is by educating nursing students to be among the first to hear, call, and respond.

This convention allowed me to discover my nursing passions and keep me motivated for next semester. I am only at the beginning of my career. It is great that students that are passionate about the profession are given the best support as they start their careers. I learned. I was inspired.