NSNA 71st Annual Convention - Informational Speaker Sessions

Nephrology Nursing: Unlimited Options 
The American Nephrology Nursing Association (ANNA) presented how this field is in increasing demand as seen during the pandemic there were not enough dialysis-trained nurses or machines available to cover the need. She also explained the versatility of the job, because nephrology nurses can be in many different settings such as in a hospital, outpatient facility, home health, pediatrics, and even on cruise ships. For those working in an outpatient facility, nurses are the ones who manage the facilities and can get to know their patients very well. 
ANNA offers:

  • Free online education modules about Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Free virtual student membership & scholarships
  • Access to the Nephrology Nursing Journal
  • Networking opportunities

Nurse Licensure Compact: Licensing Without the Hassle
The speaker explained how you can take your NCLEX in any state in the nation, however, it is important to obtain your license in your primary state of Residence. If you live in 1 of the 39 states (ex. Arizona) that are included in the Nursing Compact then you would have the ability to work in any of them. Some states are not included in the compact and therefore require a single-state license. States that currently are not a part of the compact are American Samoa, California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Nevada, and Oregon. However, many of these states currently are working on legislation to potentially become a part of the compact. You can learn more about the license compact here: https://www.ncsbn.org/compacts.page. 

From Flight Suits to Scrubs: Emergency Nursing Careers and Specialty Certification 
A panel of nurses from all different emergency medicine fields speaking about their certification: Emergency, Pediatric Emergency, Trauma, Ground Transport, Flight 
Each spoke about the importance of their emergency certification. 

  • Displays their knowledge and gain recognition
  • Became a good resource for peers
  • Several leadership opportunities arise after the completion
  • Opportunity to become an exam publisher for BCEN
  • Shows commitment to continuing education

All who spoke on the panel relayed the same message that the exam was difficult, but that through studying for each certification, they used everything that they learned from it in their daily nursing roles.

Save a Life! Naloxone Rescue for Opioid Overdose
Students from ETSU Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy first explained the cycle of addiction and what happens as someone builds up a tolerance to the substance, and how they start to become dark and disconnected from the world around them. They then discussed important information on naloxone, which has no misuse potential and no effect if accidentally administered to someone not taking opioids (ex. children, pets). A good way to speak with patients/families about naloxone is to stay judgment free. A way to address it is to avoid the words “opioid overdose” and use “breathing emergency” instead. They also discussed some of the good samaritan laws that are out there and how they promote bystanders to want to get involved. (They are willing to do Zoom sessions for schools that are not near them!).

Crossing the Finish Line: Test-Taking Strategies for Passing Your Next Big Test
During this session, they taught NCSBN’S six functions of clinical judgment that can be applied to the Next Generation NCLEX (NGN) questions. These steps helped with the practice questions since the NGN questions require a lot more critical thinking and planning. They also suggested a grid approach where you could take the possible answers and make a grid on why you think each could be a possible answer, and then use your clinical judgment to answer the question. 
The Six Steps:

  1. Recognizing Cues (What is significant)
  2. Analyze the Cues (Determine what they could mean)
  3. Prioritize Hypotheses (Decide what is the priority for the patient)
  4. Generate a Solution (Determine what you can do)
  5. Take Action (Asking what you will do)
  6. Evaluate the Outcomes (Did your intervention help) 

Securing Your Dream Job by Crafting a Career Pathway and Personal Brand
In this session, Lisa Urban went over ways for us to decide what kind of career pathway we are interested in. She had good insight on how to be open-minded and to think about ways to integrate aspects of healthcare we like into a career Some suggestions were volunteer work, world travel (countries that are short healthcare staff), networking (ex. nursing organizations), and certifications (ex. Diabetes educator). She shared some key branding statements with us so that we could get an idea of what it would look like to create our own starting, for example, how people recognize the Apple logo. She told us to write a brand statement about ourselves so that people trust us and want to work with us based on reading it. Be sure to keep this concise, focus on your unique strengths, and make it authentic.

Errors Happen! Eye Opening Malpractice Case Studies
The Nurses Service Organization (NSO) hosted this session and they hold policies for practicing nursing professionals to purchase. She spoke on the importance of having your own individual policy that will cover you. When you stop working for a hospital, any of your patients can file suit within a wide time frame, and if you are not employed by that company, you are no longer covered under their legal insurance policy. Each day when accepting an assignment, clarify and document your assignment, and fully assess the patients when they are admitted to the unit. It is also crucial to carry out orders in a timely manner and report any significant changes to the provider.
They discussed the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” if there is a claim against you.

  • DO: Contact your supervisor, risk manager, professional liability provider
  • DON’T: Add/delete information in the chart, try to resolve the issue by yourself, talk about the issue with others 

The Art of and Science of Marketing Yourself.
Resume Tips:

  • White or ivory-colored resume paper
  • Do not necessarily need a goal or objective
  • Start with education (can include things such as being on the dean’s list)
  • Licensure & Certifications
  • Experience section: include two headings here - one for clinical experience (location and hours) and any applicable work experience
  • Professional organizations, presentations and/or publications, and special skills/expertise (aspects that are unique to you)

Cover Letter Tips:

  • Should be more “warm & fuzzy” but still business formal 
  • Contains about 3 paragraphs
  • Share why you want to work at this organization (and show what you know about the institute)

Activity Seminar: Population and Global Health
This seminar focuses on the NSNA's efforts to help improve population and global health.This is primarily accomplished through participating in other organizations such as the American Red Cross, Shot at Life, ecoAmerica and more. To get more involved on a national and global level these are great resources to check out and more info can be found on the NSNA website. If you are interested in getting involved on a local level, our chapter of SNAAz will be planning community outreach events aimed at improving the health of our community, so be sure to keep an eye out for future emails. 

The ABC’s of Neuro Assessment: An Introduction to the Neurological Patient Population
This focus session was aimed at explaining how to perform a neuro exam. The first step is to assess the patient's mental status which can often be done by asking if they are aware of person, place, time, and situation. Next through assessing balance, you can have the patient push and pull against the nurse's hands. Next, you will do a sensory exam to assess how well the patient can feel using instruments such as a tubing fork, alcohol swab, or other reflexes. Finally, there are many assessments of each cranial nerve for a more in-depth neuro assessment. 

Mental Health First Aid: Be the Difference
Knowing how to handle mental crises and help people during extremely difficult times is essential. With this certification, you can provide appropriate care to those who are experiencing a mental health crisis. You will learn to recognize signs of potential crises and risk factors. You will also learn how to help those with depression, anxiety, psychosis, trauma, and substance use disorders. You can become mental health first aid certified by completing training, and you can find more information here: https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/.

Terrance Kenan Leadership Lecture “Health Literacy 101”
This session highlighted specific tools that nurses may implement to increase the health literacy of their patients. Patient education remains essential in bridging the gap and ensuring the best possible patient outcomes.

  • Listen to understand
  • Advocate with courage
  • Practice health equity with intentionality by using the social determinants of health
  • Use the acronym MRI when interacting with your patients regarding health literacy: most respectable interpretation
  • Remember - “nursing is the knowledge we possess not the tasks we perform”

Seminar: Secretary/Treasurer’s Workshop
Secretary: The agenda should begin with a call to order, a roll call, and reading and approving meeting minutes. The meeting minutes are a vital part of documentation and are considered legal documentation. The Secretary also keeps the meeting on time and has a schedule for members to follow.
Treasurer: The Treasurer will calculate the budget by reviewing the last two years. From there they can review income including sources, expenses, and necessities. With this information, a balanced budget can be formed.
Fundraising Ideas:

  • Partnering with local hospitals
  • Scrubs buyback programs
  • Restaurant fundraisers
  • Designed Starbucks cups

Pharmacology Made Insanely Easy
The presenters, Lorreta Manning and Sylvia Rayfield, discussed their book, Pharmacology Made Insanely Easy, and ways to memorize medications. Their use of songs, phrases, images, mnemonics, and active learning made memorizing and gaining pharmacology knowledge so easy. The presenter used the CRAM technique to memorize drugs. This stands for Create, Retention, Accelerate, and More. Using the learning styles previously named in this pattern will help students retain more information.