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Defy Gravity: Reach New Nursing Summits!

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March 7, 2011 - Over 3,000 attendees are anticipated for the NSNA 59th Annual Convention at the Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, UT, April 6-10, 2011. 

Opening & Closing Nights
It’s never too early to start planning for the NSNA 59th Annual Convention, which takes place at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, UT on April 6-10, 2011.  Keynote speaker, Patrick Hickey, Dr PH, RN, CNOR, is the first registered nurse to climb the 7 Summits.  Author of “7 Summits: A Nurse’s Quest to Conquer Mountaineering and Life,” and celebrated speaker, Dr. Hickey is a clinical assistant professor of nursing  at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC.  His keynote address, “Reaching the Summit of Nursing Education: Are You Prepared for the Journey?” will stretch your imagination and motivate the achiever in you. 

The week closes out with the Closing Ceremony with speaker G. Rumay Alexander, EdD, RN, presenting the endnote closing address: “Defying Gravity… Wicked Problems… Wicked Solutions.”  Dr. Alexander is a clinical professor and Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.  Also during the Closing Ceremony will be the presentations of NSNA Program Activity Awards and the introduction of the 2011-2012 NSNA Board of Directors and Nominating and Elections Committee.

NCLEX-RN® Mini Review
NSNA encourages students to use Convention as an opportunity to prepare for the most important test they will every pass. Eight hours (spread across three days) of selected topics frequently questioned on the NCLEX-RN exam are presented by highly skilled teacher, Judith C. Miller.  The schedule allows all Convention attendees, including delegates, to take the entire Mini Review. NSNA members may add the Mini Review for only $20 if they pre-register for the Convention.

Plenary & Focus Sessions
As future RNs and advanced practice nurses, NSNA members will be at the core of the transformation of nursing in the 21st Century. During the Thursday, April 7th Plenary Session, Dr. Sue Hassmiller, of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing, explains the importance of the Institute of Medicine report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.”  The Friday, April 8th Plenary Session is “Launching Your Career—Advice from the Cognoscenti!” This session is geared towards helping attendees write the next chapter of a personal career plan.  Moderated by National League for Nursing President Cathleen Shultz, the panel features past NSNA leaders: Giselle Melendez, Jennifer Tucker, Trisha Mims, Michael Desjardins, and Kenya Haney.

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, over 25 one-hour focus sessions cover a broad range of topics related to personal and professional growth. Topics include: chat with the ANA President, acing nursing school exams, nephrology nursing, nurse midwifery, nurse advocacy, pharmacology, emergency nursing, nurse anesthetists, psychiatric nursing, graduate nursing programs, career progression, college money skills, social media issues, stress management and more.

American Red Cross Disaster Certification
On Wednesday, April 6, 2011 the American Red Cross offers a course designed to prepare pre-licensed nursing students to volunteer during disasters. Attendees receive course certificates and the ARC Student Nurse Pin, but more importantly, gain the knowledge and skills to volunteer in their communities. Enrollment is limited 150 NSNA members on a first serve basis. Pre-registration is required. Pre-register by emailing nsna@nsna.org. Participants must be registered for the NSNA Convention.

The top awards in each NSNA program will be awarded during the Closing Ceremony on Saturday, April 9, 2011. The traditional General Scholarship and Promise of Nursing Scholarship recipients will be recognized during the Opening Ceremony on Wednesday, April 6, and the Marilyn Bagwell grant recipient and Honorary Member are recognized at this time. The Isabel Hampton Robb Award winner will be honored during the Thursday, April 7 plenary session, and the Leader of Leaders award presented during the Friday, April 8 plenary session.

Exhibit Hall
This is an opportunity for attendees to speak with recruiters, learn about the newest books and products, and network. NSNA is providing a Career Counseling Center during exhibit hours to help plan a solid nursing career. Attendees are asked to prepare by making a list of interests, needs, priorities and goals. Career counselors will also look over resumes and discuss the basic steps for career success.

Project Showcase and Poster Sessions
NSNA members are invited to share school and state chapter projects (i.e., Breakthrough to Nursing, Image of Nursing, Empowering Resolutions, Legislation/Education, Financial Excellence, Disaster Preparedness); community and international health activities, and research they have conducted at NSNA's Project Showcase. Posters will be displayed in the Exhibit Hall during exhibit hours on Thursday and Friday, April 7-8.  Joint student and faculty submissions are welcomed.  The topic of the poster should be of interest to faculty and students, and adaptable for display on a pin-up (bulletin) board.   The purpose of Project Showcase is to foster the sharing of information, research dissemination, and education.

Student Activity Tables
School and state constituents may sell fundraising items at the Annual Convention. Tables are available on a first-come, first serve basis. The half-table fee of $20 can be made in the NSNA Convention Office.

Other Highlights
• The House of Delegates convenes to vote on resolutions and elect the 2011-12 Board of Directors and Nominating and Elections Committee.

• Council of State Presidents – State presidents, presidents-elect, state consultants, and staff, will join the NSNA Board of Directors for collaborating and networking.

• The Foundation of the NSNA Beehive Auction will be one of Convention’s most popular events. Money raised during the event supports the Mary Ann Tuft Scholarship Fund. Held on Friday, April 8, 2011, the auction features interesting and unique items from across the country donated by individuals, chapters, sponsors, and other contributors.

• Attendees can relax, dance, meet new friends, win prizes and enjoy music at one of Convention’s most enjoyable evenings, the First Night Party. This year’s theme is “Superheroes,” giving attendees a chance to dress up as their favorite superhero (or create their own) and show off their superhuman dance moves.

The Convention Sponsors make the week’s events possible through their generous support:

UCLA Health System
American Nurses Association
U.S. Army Recruiting Command and Army Nurse Corps
Nurses Service Organization
American Organization of Nurse Executives
Assessment Technologies Institute, LLC
Delmar, Cengage Learning
Life Uniform
University of Utah College of Nursing
University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing
Oncology Nursing Society
National League for Nursing
Catholic Healthcare West
National Council State Boards of Nursing
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

NSNA is a membership organization representing 56,000 students in Associate Degree, Diploma, Baccalaureate, generic Masters and generic Doctoral programs preparing students for Registered Nurse licensure, as well as RNs in BSN completion programs.

Source: NSNA