This post is written by guest writer, Kristi Armstrong, 2nd year MEPN
(USD MEPN Students Brittani De Reimer, Evan Gum, Ann Lawani, Kristi Armstrong, Coco Watase, and Kira Adsit with keynote speaker Dr. Mary Foley)
Recently, I had the opportunity along with several of my fellow MEPN students to represent USD at the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) Mid-Year Career Planning Conference. The meeting was held in San Diego but there was significant turnout from students and faculty across the country.
The first day culminated with the keynote address by Mary Foley, PhD, RN, FAAN, titled “The Future of Nursing: Tag You’re It!” In this address, Dr. Foley spoke to the exciting future of nursing related to changes in technology, workforce demographics and public views of healthcare. After the address, she answered questions from the audience and discussed her international work in Rwanda with USD students.
Over the period of several days, the conference offered interactive lectures ranging in topic from how to improve study skills, improve professional marketability and education about nursing licensure. The NSNA also provided many opportunities for networking and career planning. One panel in particular titled “The Leading Edge of Nursing” featured several emerging nursing roles in healthcare and included USD’s own Eileen Fry-Bowers, PhD, JD, RN, CPNP who discussed her career in child advocacy and health policy.
(Dr. Eileen Fry Bowers addresses the NSNA Conference audience as part of the “Leading Edge in Nursing Panel”)
In addition, the exhibit hall allowed attendees to explore professional organizations, hospital systems, and nursing schools across the United States including some from our own backyard such as SHARP Healthcare, UCLA Health, and USD. Although some were not applicable for my own intended career path, I enjoyed speaking with many representatives who were happy to discuss their healthcare expertise and provide valuable insight into the endless career opportunities for registered nurses.
Overall, I found the NSNA Mid-Year Conference experience invaluable for networking, career planning and learning more about the nursing profession. Thank you, Dr. Marsh, for your student sponsorship for this event! I highly recommend for MEPN students in the future!