Conferences= Pilgrimages

  1. Has anyone ever been to a nursing conference?

    I'm reading a David Lodge book. In the prologue it talks about conferences:
    The modern conference resembles the pilgrimage of medieval Christendom in that it allows the participants to indulge themselves in all the pleasures and diversions of travel while appearing to be austerely bent on self-improvement. To be sure, there are certain penitential exercises to be performed- the presentation of a paper, perhaps, and certainly listening to the papers of others. But with this excuse you journey to new and interesting places, meet new and interesting people, and form new and interesting relationships with them; exchange gossip and confidences (for your well-worn stories are fresh to them, and vice versa); east, drink and make merry in their company every evening; and yet, at the end of it all, return home with an enhanced reputation for seriousness of mind.
    I thought this passage was amusing and probably accurate.

    Has anyone here attended a nursing conference?
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    11 Comments

  3. by   elkpark
    I've attended many over the years (and will continue to do so). I love 'em -- as Lodge describes, a break from the typical routine, travel to someplace new (sometimes) and interesting, professional networking opportunities, CEUs, new professional info (I, personally, find live presentations much more stimulating and worthwhile than reading), free time to spend how you wish ("quasi-vacation"), AND they're deductible at tax time. Does it get any better than that? You can rub elbows and schmooze with the people who are the top authorities in your field, and I find that the informal chit-chat with a presenter is often more valuable and educational that the formal presentation. I usually cut costs by staying in a cheaper local motel/hotel than the convention site (or stay with friends if possible). I find that I return home not only with "an enhanced reputation for seriousness of mind," but a fresh new attitude toward and enthusiasm toward work (that lasts for a while, at least ...)

    If you haven't been to at least one, I strongly encourage you to "take the plunge."

    BTW, I love Lodge's novels.
  4. by   caliotter3
    My supervisor invited me to a conference one time. He took the opportunity to make a move on me. I figured out that he planned that all along. I still enjoyed the conference though, if you just subtracted that little episode!
  5. by   FireStarterRN
    This is my third David Lodge book Elkpark. I'm really enjoying his writing, it's insightful and amusing! This one is called Small World. I just finished Paradise News, and I've read Nice Work. He's so entertaining, with a great feel for human nature.
  6. by   FireStarterRN
    Quote from caliotter3
    My supervisor invited me to a conference one time. He took the opportunity to make a move on me. I figured out that he planned that all along. I still enjoyed the conference though, if you just subtracted that little episode!
    I'll have to try a conference.
  7. by   caliotter3
    Quote from FireStarterRN
    I'll have to try a conference.
    Now if it was the right supervisor! What a way to motivate your staff! (With the wrong one, it's nothing more than harassment! )
  8. by   ElvishDNP
    I've been to several, and loved them all! Haven't been recently, but when I worked at a community health center, I went to 3, I think. One was the East Coast Migrant Stream Forum, and the other two were with the National Diabetes Collaborative.

    The analogy to a pilgrimage is an appropriate one, IMO.
  9. by   NeosynephRN
    Just got back from NTI yesterday...4 days of talking about ICU, seeing new products and eating good food and playing on Burbon Street...what more can you ask for.
  10. by   FireStarterRN
    OK, it sounds great! Anyone know of any good conferences coming up?
  11. by   elkpark
    Well, as a minimum/starting point, I guarantee you that your state nursing association has an annual convention, and the national organization for whatever your specialty is has an annual convention. Those would be two places to start investigating. (STT also has an annual convention, etc., etc., etc.)

    In my state, the state nursing association has several specialty "councils" within the organization, and those specialty councils put on "mini-conventions" (1-1/2 days) each year which are inexpensive but have lots of good content. Lots of university SONs offer conferences (U of Kentucky does an annual one for nurse educators that is v. good.) Once you start looking around, you'll be amazed at how many worthwhile educational opportunities there are out there!
  12. by   FireStarterRN
    How about something to NY city or some other cool destination? It'd give me an excuse to get there on my own.
  13. by   elkpark
    Quote from FireStarterRN
    How about something to NY city or some other cool destination? It'd give me an excuse to get there on my own.
    Start looking around -- I'm sure you will find something.

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