NSNA Annual Convention 2009 - Day 4

Once again, the Expo was my first stop. This time I checked out the Poster Presentations prepared by nursing students and faculty. They were all really interesting, and some of the topics look like they would make good resolution fodder in the coming years.

(Capital University Columbus Ohio - Pediatric Hospice)

(Capital University Columbus Ohio - Kangaroo Care for Infants)

(Adelphi University - Public Health issues in NYC)

(Westchester University - Original research on how nursing attire impacts patient perceptions of skill and empathy. Very impressive! They created their own research tool for this one. Check out the pics.)

(Reports on the service activities of U of Maryland - Baltimore Nursing students)

(Brigham Young University - Nursing-oriented Global Health curriculum and it's importance)

(Mount Vernon Nazarene - Stress and Coping skills in Nursing Students)

I'll try to record more of these tomorrow.

Hanging out in the poster presentation section ended up lending almost more useful career advice than the rest of the expo. The faculty on video above from Adelphi university told me they have the combination of CNL and RN-to-MS programs I'm looking for, and it's only 30 minutes away from NYC (who does not have those programs)! I'll have to look them up online later.

A trip to the expo wouldn't have been complete without a quick stop at the AZ booth:

After I had once again filled up my convention tote bag with free goodies, it was time to hit up more focus sessions.

First I attended "Managing Complex Medical Issues through the Application of Rehabilitation Nursing Principals". I figured "hey, I work in rehab/long-term care, I might as well check it out". The speakers were Karen Manning, MSN, RN, CCRN, CAN, Associate Professor, Salem State College, Salem MA and Pamela Larsen, PhD, CRRN, FNGNA, Assistant Dean and Professor, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY. Karen Manning started out by telling a story about how she ended up in Rehab by accident, and told a story very similar to my own. Difficult job market, few openings for new grads, accepting a position in a rehab facility out of desperation and then finding the work exciting and fulfilling. The presentation reminded me how important rehab nursing is and how deep and complex the clinical issues are, promoting independence, managing complex and acute conditions, coordinating care among many different groups of carers. The speakers gave voice to a lot of the potential I see in where I've started my career. One worked more with children, the other worked more with older adults. Pediatric rehab sounded interesting, because it's not exactly "rehabilitation" but "habilitation", since the patient is being helped to acquire new skills, not re-acquire lost skills. Their presentation had me considering staying in rehab/long-term care for two years instead of the one I was originally planning on, so I can get my CRRN (Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse). Hah. I'm already conspiring to form the alphabet soup that would be my title.

Next I planned on attending "Nursing Leadership for the New Millennium: Essential Attributes", but when I arrived I found that it had been moved to...yesterday. Whoops! I scrambled to find a different focus session that looked interesting and settled on "Care Coordination for Complex Patients Across the Healthcare Continuum and Beyond", presented by Lois Tucker, BSN, RN, Care Coordinator, Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center. What a lucky accident! As it turns out the presenter is part of a pilot program that coordinates care inside and outside the hospital among all of Gundersen Lutheran's many clinics and hospitals around Wisconsin, centered around the Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse. Their program really is unique and revolutionary, a team of RNs, Social Workers and office workers help patients who have complex medical needs and are having difficulty coping with their medication regimen, respite care and visits to multiple different doctors/PAs. They provide a single point-of-contact, an RN with a caseload of 50-60 patients (Social workers take on 70-100). The entire department follows over 1000 patients at any one time. An RN comes with them to some of their doctors appointments and takes notes, and they call up and check on them to make sure they're checking their blood glucose or weighing themselves or getting enough sleep or whatever it is they need to do. She said it was sometimes simple things, but having a go-to person to help them navigate the healthcare maze results in a massive return-on-investment for this FREE service (who's laughing now, FREE=MORE nuts?). People use the emergency room/urgent care center less often, they are more likely to get a general family practice physician, outcomes are improved, and when people eventually die they have a Registered Nurse advocating for them every step of the way. Ms. Tucker's Daughter was also in attendance, she's a Care Coordinator who specializes in pediatric cases. When the presentation was over I stayed and chatted with them a bit about information technology and care management.

It was a fascinating presentation, but made me a little sad, thinking about when I was thinking of moving to wisconsin..

After that, a belly full of sushi became an urgent necessity. Then I came back to my room to charge up the electronics, upload videos and write this entry! Stay tuned! Next I'm going to drop by the resolutions hearing, now that one of the friends I made last year from AZ reminded me I can speak from the floor at any time, I just can't file motions or vote (which is fine, I can convince other people to do those things for me. Hah. Politics.)

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