Philadelphia's Nursing Community Bands Together To Honor & Promote Nursing As Career


    Two Programs to Debut During National Student Nurses Association Convention in April

    Philadelphia, the birthplace of American medicine, will host the 50th convention of the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA), April 3-7, 2002. To coincide with the convention, the Philadelphia-area nursing community is teaming up to raise the awareness of Philadelphia as a nursing center at a time when the nation faces a major nursing shortage. To show their commitment to the nursing profession, The Independence Foundation, 16 nursing alumni associations in the Philadelphia area, and the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau's Nursing Committee of the Greater Philadelphia Health Care Congress, are working together to initiate a nursing-themed mural, which will debut at the southeast corner of Broad and Vine streets on April 4, during the NSNA convention. The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau's Health Care Congress is also sponsoring one-day of convention registration for a group of area high school students who have shown interest in nursing as a career.

    A nursing advisory panel worked with the Philadelphia Department of Recreation Mural Arts Program on the concept of the mural that will be created by local artist, Sam Donovan. Painting is in progress and the mural will debut during a reception at 4:00 PM on April 4, during the NSNA convention. This is only the second time that a mural will be created specifically to welcome a convention to Philadelphia. The same artist created the Underground Railroad mural at 9th & Chestnut streets, which debuted during the 2000 Republican National Convention.

    Sponsors of the mural are the School of Nursing Alumni Associations of Thomas Jefferson Hospital, Methodist Hospital, Germantown Hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital, Albert Einstein Medical Center, Lankenau Hospital, Frankford Hospital, Temple Hospital, Abington Memorial Hospital, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania & Penn Nursing, and Villanova University. Contributors are the School of Nursing Alumni Associations of Roxborough Memorial Hospital, Chestnut Hill Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital, Northeastern Hospital, and Sigma Theta Tau-Delta Tau Chapter.

    "This mural will serve as a permanent contribution from Philadelphia's nursing community to the city and its nursing profession. It will create visibility for nursing as a career through the city's highly visible mural collection. And the timing is just right during NSNA, when thousands of registered nurses and nursing students will be visiting Philadelphia," said Bill Warfel, chairman of the Nursing Mural Project and a member of the Nursing Committee of the Greater Philadelphia Health Care Congress.

    "The support for our convention has been tremendous in Philadelphia. The nursing community, including the Nursing Committee of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau's Health Care Congress, has really embraced this convention," said Diane Mancino, executive director, NSNA Convention. "We are excited to be holding our 50th annual convention in Philadelphia."

    In addition to creating the mural, the Nursing Committee of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau's Health Care Congress is sponsoring a group of area high school students to attend a day of workshops at the NSNA convention on Thursday, April 4. This is a prime opportunity for high school students to network with more than 4,000 nursing students from across the country. Students from Philadelphia Academies, Inc., and its health academies of Frankford, Martin Luther King, Lincoln, Overbrook, South Philadelphia and William Penn high schools, and the fitness, health, promotion and sports education academy of Benjamin Franklin High School, will participate in the program. Following the convention, each academy will be paired-up with a mentor from the Philadelphia nursing community to help guide the students during the early stages of their careers.

    "These students have all shown interest in entering the health care industry, especially nursing, as a career," according to Joan Randolph, chair of the Nursing Committee of the Greater Philadelphia Health Care Congress. "Following the convention these students will be matched up with professional mentors from the Philadelphia-area health care industry in hopes of keeping them interested in the field of nursing and in Philadelphia as their learning center."

    The NSNA convention is expected to use more than 9,000 total room nights and generate nearly $1 million in delegate spending for Philadelphia during the April meeting.

    The Greater Philadelphia Health Care Congress is a division of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (, and serves as a liaison between Philadelphia's extensive health care community and the many professional societies and associations that may consider the city for future meetings and conventions. Health care-related conventions typically represent one-third of all conventions held in Philadelphia each year. In 2002, Philadelphia's biggest convention year ever, more than 50 percent of all citywide conventions to be held in Philadelphia are health care-related.

    NSNA is a membership organization representing approximately 30,000 students in Associate Degree, Diploma, Baccalaureate, generic Masters and generic Doctoral programs preparing students for Registered Nurse licensure, as well as RNs in BSN completion programs. For information on how to register, contact NSNA, 555 West 57th Street, Suite 1327, New York, NY, 10019, (212) 581-2211, fax (212) 581-2368, or visit under Meetings on the home page.

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    Jessica Jaworski
    (215) 636-3412
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