I feel extremely lucky to have attended the Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN) Conference in Scottsdale, AZ – KILN funding made it all possible. It was a truly wonderful environment of learning, building partnerships, and expanding horizons. The title of the conference, “Blazing Trails to Improve Child Health”, was very accurate with the attitude and atmosphere surrounding the conference and all the nurses that chose to attend.
I met some wonderful nurse leaders during my time at the conference. For example, I met a nurse who is now the director of the Palliative Care team at Children’s Hospital in Detroit after being a PICU nurse for 28 years. Also, I met another nurse who practiced in the NICU for 8 years before becoming a PICU nurse for the past 25 years at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland. She also gave a talk about abnormal menstrual bleeding in adolescent and young adult women. In addition, I met newer nurses and recruiters from top pediatric hospitals all over the country- including Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Texas Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati Children’s, and more. What a fantastic experience!
All throughout the weekend I attended talks, workshops, and lectures from motivational speakers. My two favorite sessions were about developing your own research project and identifying early signs of shock in a pediatric patient. After seeing the posters and presentations of excellent research from nurses all over the country, I realized that I would definitely love to be a poster presenter some day at a SPN conference. Therefore, I chose to attend the session that helped novice research nurses begin thinking about how to put a research topic into action. In my opinion, it is our obligation as nurse leaders to forward our science and bring the newest and best care to our patients. I look forward to formulating an interesting research topic at a hospital that supports research after I graduate. I will definitely use the skills I learned from this workshop to create an intelligent, well-outlined research topic.
The second session I really enjoyed was about identifying early warning signs of shock in pediatric patients. Recently in a pediatric simulation at BC, my class had a case where the patient went into hypovolemic shock after a cardiac catheterization procedure due to hemorrhage. Also, as part of my Critical Care Practicum, I participated in a simulation in which I had to identify a patient going into septic shock. As a pediatric nurse, thorough assessment skills and the ability to identify an emergent situation are at the core of our profession. It was really applicable to have the topics I learned in theory at school being reiterated during this professional conference.
Overall, my experience at the 2014 SPN Conference was absolutely priceless. I believe such professional development activities are critical in shaping future nurse leaders. I am so incredibly thankful that this opportunity was made possible through KILN funding. I will carry the skills I learned here into my practice as a registered nurse and return for future conferences undoubtedly.