4.04.2008

Conventional

Now with pictures!



The Gaylord Texan resort was pretty swanky, but we stayed at a spring hill suites down the road. This actually turned out pretty well, the hotel we stayed at had free shuttles within 5 miles, free breakfast in the AM and free drinks from 5-7 four days a week. The rooms were bigger also! The resort was pretty fabulous, though. The center of the resort was enclosed in a giant dome, with a huge fountain and some interesting illumination.



There was no shortage of overpriced foodstuffs and incidentals.



Our merch table did pretty well, we raised just about enough money to offset the cost of one of the 8 people in our group.



More views of the resort:




Here are some views of the infamous house of delegates, which took up most of my time during this trip.




The resort, of course, had a fancy steakhouse. They also had a wine bar. The prices seemed reasonable at first until I noticed they were BY THE OUNCE!



I spent a lot of my downtime chillin with the AZ kids, I got to check out some restaurants outside the hotel, and saw an authentic texas boot store.




And, of course, what visit to a resort would be complete without the man painted a metallic hue pretending to be a statue:



I seemed to meet interesting people at a more and more rapid pace as the end of the week drew near. I met an RN with a PhD in human sexuality that used to do mobile field-testing for HIV and hepatitis outside of San Fransisco nightclubs. I met a hotel valet conducting his own research into remote viewing and parapsychology (we had a great conversation about neuro-linguistic programming, you can check out his website here), I met a clinical nurse specialist who's dually specialized in psych and med/surg, and dozens of interesting and articulate student nurses.

I think the resolutions process would go more smoothly if the resolutions were made available online in advance of our business meetings. There was too much uninformed debate going on, too many people debating the technically undebatable, a new parliamentarian and chairs unwilling to cut people off when they're polluting the debate. If the resolutions and supporting documentation were made available online, we'd be able to hash all that out in advance of the business meetings, and use that time for more productive debate.

I'm going to try to stay on as a sustaining member, but there's a chance that if I go right into an RN to MSN program, I could maintain my student membership until I'm actually accepted into the graduate school nursing program. These conventions are just fun. Not as much fun as the national nursing professional organizations conventions, from what I've been told by members. Maybe we can change that!

An update on my thoughts about the dominance of the AMA's lobbying machine: There are a lot of issues on which all of the fragmented nursing professional organizations agree, but they all compartmentalize the revenue from dues so no one really has enough money to exert the appropriate lobbying influence. What if all the professional nursing organizations contributed to a central lobbying fund, sending delegates to a meta-professional convention proportional to the amount payed into the fund? Then meetings can be held and priorities for lobbying could be agreed upon in a way similar (but hopefully better) than the process the NSNA uses, except the actions resolved to undertake at these conventions would then directly become lobbying priorities. Just a thought.

2 comments:

Little Heck said...

Do you think the nursing organizations out there would want to branch under ones such as the ANA or NLN? Given what we know about the liberal-mindedness of the ANA, who is trying to destroy a grassroots campaign on the office of the national nurse, is it possible that such unification may cause fewer people to join such organizations? The ANA is endorsing Hillary for President; however, not all nurses will acknowledge that we, in fact, need universal health care in this country.

by: PM, SN said...

Well, I think given the political nature of some of the professional organizations and their disparate views on things, I think they should get together on neutral ground to decide what their priorities should be. It's possible that the national professional organizations would have greater influence in such an assembly (if they put more money into the joint lobbying fund), but I think it would increase participation rather than stifle it. There has to be some way that all of the nursing organizations can remain separate, but collaborate together on issues of national significance. The ANA and NLN (for example) could easily be outnumbered by, say, emergency nursing, ICU nursing and nephrology nursing professional organizations. This could be a democratic way to get those specialty organizations together at the same table, to help each other achieve their goals.

Perhaps not everyone in the nursing community is in agreement that healthcare should be provided to everyone, but HC has a -horrible- track record on this, despite the lip service she's paid to it, she's been bought and sold by the health care delivery system, and anyone supporting her on the basis that it will somehow move us closer to something approaching humane allocation of health care resources is being misled, I'd say.

I wonder how the decision was made from within the professional organization to endorse a candidate for president. I'm hearing more and more nasty things about our generalized, national professional organizations, all the politicking and bullshit really makes it seem like something I wouldn't enjoy.

I'm just looking at the simple numbers, though. We already have four national professional organizations in the trilateral whatever-you-call-it of professional nursing organizations, I don't think a new parallel organization will help, since the problem is that the dues revenue is spread too thin as it is.

If we can concentrate JUST lobbying dollars, and give all the professional organizations equal footing to utilize that capital to effect change, maybe the professional organizations would seem more worthwhile?