Do you attend your state nursing convention? If so, how do you feel afterwards?

Nurses Activism


  • by Jenny P
    Specializes in CV-ICU.

I just got home from our 4 day state nursing convention and I'm exhausted, exilarated and extremely glad I went. I've been a delegate and attended 22 out of the last 23 conventions in my state The only one I missed was because my dtr. wasn't born prematurely so I could attend it! :D

I learn so much about my state nursing association and what is happening in the different practise areas in my state that I find it amazing that other nurses don't go! I do find that 1 person CAN make a difference (and we had several votes that were either won or lost on just 1 or 2 votes this year). I'm wondering: do you go to your state nursing convention; why or why not; and if so, do you feel you did make a difference?

I'm sure some people are happy to see me there each year, just as there are some people who wish I wasn't there again!

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

I am ashamed to say I have not in my 16 years as a nurse. I can say I have five kids, three of them in college, I and my husband are in college and I could never afford to go to many conventions. Our floor at the hospital never sent anyone. In the last 11 years I have done home health they would never send anyone to that.

What did you like best about it?



2,709 Posts

What do you mean "they would never send anyone?" First of all, "they" dont "send " anyone. Its like an ed day for a professional conference. You dont wait for someone to "send" you - you go for yourself, for your own growth, & your own benefit.

Convention is a NURSE thing - NOT a hospital thing.

Dont wait for an employer to pick people "to send". If you really want to go, just tell them you are going to your professional annual convention (same as they all do!). And since the hospital & pts will benefit from the experience & education you receive at the convention, you should apply to your employer for help with the expenses...... they do it for the MDs, the other professionals, the executives, and the CEO---- why not you too?

If you were part of a nurses union, this professional issue would be negotiated into your contract & the employer would not be able to deny you. If you arent union, you are at his mercy, but the least you can do for yourself is try - present your argument & apply for the funds & ask why its ok for all the other professionals there to be assisted in attending their professional conferences but its not ok for the nursing professionals there. Maybe no one ever told your employer there is a such thing as a nurses convention. So tell him, & ask him to help pay for your attending, like they help the other professionals. You get out of this life only what youre willing to take.

Convention is great - really energizing & invigorating & hopeful. You dont have to be a member to attend a state assoc convention. Its packed with tons of CEU classes on topics like financial planning for RNs, retirement planning for RNs, legal issues for RNs, clinical issues & practice, educational issues, management issues, workplace issues, OSHA, JCAHO, legislative/government affairs, separate breakout sessions for each specialty group & their own issues (like for home care nurses), plenary sessions, and any other kind of nursing topic you can think of.

Its like a CEU conference marathon - different ones going on at the same time - you attend the ones that interest you. Some are serious, some are lots of fun. There are even sessions specially for retired nurses & there are also fun fund raising events like 10K races to help support charities like Nurses House or American Cancer Society. In addition, there is a vendors showcase & job fair going on throughout the convention so nurses can find out the latest in equipment, supplies, techniques in the field, and career opportunities.

There are member's voting body sessions that include every member attending & there are union branch break-out sessions for the unionized nurses in the assoc.

There are luncheons and dinners sponsored by the vendors & participants that bring nurses from all over the state together in celebration of themselves & to have a good relaxing enjoyable time together. Also, there are usually sightseeing excursions planned by the nurses who live in that city.

A state assoc convention is usually held in a different city around the state every year. One year it may be taking place close enough so that you can drive to it & not have to stay over in a hotel. Or you can choose to go to just one day of the convention - so no need to stay overnight - or go to just part of it & not stay the entire 4 days. You dont have to attend the whole convention - you can register for however few days you choose & still obtain a lot of knowledge from the sessions you will attend. Also, if you are a member of your state assoc, the registration fee & hotel rooms are usually discounted. Member or not, if you shared the room with 2 or 3 of your nurse friends, the costs can be significantly less for each.

In my union, nurses receive paid educational days from work to attend convention & for registration reimbursement - NOT out of the goodness of our CEOs heart , but because WE insisted on it, demanded it, & had it written into our union contract.

After all, its an accepted professional business world fact and practice that professionals will attend their organizations annual convention. The CEO, MDs, & other executives attend their professional conferences & conventions all the time --- with expenses paid for by the hospital too. Why should we accept being treated as second class citizens in the professional world & accept being told we cant be treated as the other professionals are treated?

Dont wait for you employer to offer to "send you". Nobody is going to be "sent" to convention and assisted with the costs of attending until somebody demands that the employer do so for the nurses too.

I know how you feel - Im a single parent of 3 daughters in private school, paying the mortgage & doing the college thing for one too. Still I have to do something for myself at least once a year. I go to the UAN convention for just 2 days in June every year. I go to my state assoc convention when I can but sometimes its too far away - last month it was in Montreal - I couldnt arrange child care so I didnt go - which bothered me because convention is where the members do the voting & directing of the business of the assoc and if youre not there, you miss out on having your say. (the members passed a resolution this year for mail-in ballots, so I think this problem is going to be solved now)

So I attended my state assoc convention last year - missed it this year - but I will be attending our state assocs legislative workshop (one day on Wall St) & then our legislative lobby day at our state capitol (one day in Albany). Total expense: $1.50 for the train to the free Staten Island Ferry, then I walk the few blocks to our Wall St office from there. I'll be back home in time to get the kids dinner. To Albany, cost is a tank of gas & a couple of EZ pass tolls on the NYS Thruway. No more excuses to be uninvolved.

If you cant attend a convention, try one of the state assoc's inexpensive workshops or legislative events - those can be just as educational, invigorating, exciting, & energizing as convention.

Dont be ashamed for not being able to be more involved when you children were small, but now that they are older, if you really want to be involved, where there is a will there is a way. You might find that one inexpensive day of your time is do-able too.

Going to convention tomorrow. All Wisconsin nurses should be there whom are a part of WNA. We would not like a repeat of last year's convention when there wasn't enough people to meet quorum numbers.

As for how I feel? Ask me on Sunday


735 Posts

Most of the time I leave feeling inspired and re-educated.

This year I was very disappointed. The sessions were slow and uninformative. The one session I WAS interested in I couldn't hear because of a bad PA system.

I skipped the last day.


renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

I stand corrected.........our nurse managers got to go and the hospital paid for it........but not us lowly LOL floor nurses.......hehehe. I should go...................I would love to learn more about it.......


renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

Moon enjoy your conference. Stop and tell us how it went okay?



2,709 Posts

What a disgrace. The majority of nurses take no initiative to help themselves to do what they have to do to make the changes they need, but no doubt, as theyre sitting back uninvolved, they'll turn right around & complain that not enough is being done for them. How do they expect anything to be accomplished when they are tying their own hands?


2,709 Posts

Proves my point. So did any staff RN ever TELL the employer they are going to their professional assoc convention & TELL the employer they EXPECT it to help pay the associated costs, as it does for all the other professionals to attend THEIR own conferences & professionals conventions? I doubt it. But then they will make excuses for their own lack of initiative & uninvolvment.

If ONLY the nurse managers & nurse executives attend your state assoc convention, where the voting is done to address issues & direct the path of the assoc, who's issues do you think are getting addressed by that assoc & what do you think that assoc is going to focus on? But then staff RNs, while choosing to keep themselves out of the arena, have the audacity to complain that their issues are invisible. my kids say..... Duhhhhh.

Nurses will only be thought of as professionals when they start seeing themselves as one. Id be willing to bet that nurses there just ACCEPT that the employer will not treat them the same as it does the other professionals so they dont even bother to demand better. But its no excuse for them to be enablers, just shrug their shoulders & say oh well.

Somebody has to start taking the bull by the horns & stop allowing themselves to be treated as second class citizens in the professional world. You get from this world only what your are willing to take.

Jenny P

1,164 Posts

Specializes in CV-ICU.

On Tuesday afternoon at our convention we had Paul Wellstone and Roger Moe (who is running for Govenor) come and speak to us at a political rally. Wellstone joked with me and I talked with him like at other rallies and political functions over the years. Sadly, now Wellstone is dead. Nursing and America has lost a political ally and a strong supporter of human rights. This was indeed a convention I won't forget.

yes, it is quite sad about the senator and his untimely death. my sympathies are extended to his family.

as for the convention... it was awesome. i love convention times. it is true that a good convention should leave you with a positive outlook and food for thought and it re-energizes you to continue the job you love even more after each convention.

a lot of this year's convention was based on the image of nursing. one of the speakers discussed how nurses are portrayed and the topic that we should go back to the cap, white uniform and white shoes. not only the whites but we should introduce ourselves as nurse (last name here) to command respect and authority from our patients. we are the patients nurses and not friends and we need to be treating them as our charges.

please keep in mind this is only the message that i took away from the speaker, i in no way necessarily support or oppose any of the ideas.

but keep in mind who goes to convention. if the students were not a part of the convention, the average age of the convention would be in the 40's. and truly what positions do the nurses of the convention hold? nurse managers, nurse practitioners, nurse educators and other higher level nurses are the majority of the makeup of the attendes. the basic young floor nurse is not a major ingredient to the convention. this is a shame due to the fact that the discussion particulary in the bylaws and annual meetings has to do in some part to staff nurses. for example there was discussion to make mandatory ceu's a part of rn licensure renewal in a state that currently does not mandate this.

jt really makes the point of this in her post

if only the nurse managers & nurse executives attend your state assoc convention, where the voting is done to address issues & direct the path of the assoc, who's issues do you think are getting addressed by that assoc & what do you think that assoc is going to focus on? but then staff rns, while choosing to keep themselves out of the arena, have the audacity to complain that their issues are invisible. my kids say..... duhhhhh.

for those that know me and my background, image the surprise when they announced installation of new officers and i stood up along with the other new officers as staff nurse director elect. let's just say i was the odd man up there. but truly i am glad. i don't believe that the message of ana constitutent state organizations are being given to the young new staff nurses who

1. we want to have to encourage the professional image of nursing.

2. whom really will be in charge of the path that the profession takes in the upcoming 20 years.

so... we will see if my being on the state board of directors will be a good influence for the profession and i hope that change is in the air.

vote for me- moonshadeau for ana president 2022:rotfl: :rotfl:

legsmalone, RN

125 Posts

I don't graduate until June, but am looking forward to the NSNA convention coming up in April, my school is planning on sending at least a group of 20 seniors so far, not counting the 2 classes of students behind us. I am glad to hear that the state conventions are so good, makes me look forward to April even more!

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