Reflections on the Assembly

I know this is an education blog, and I don’t usually do a lot of reflecting here, but this week was a strange and wonderful one, so I hope you’ll give me a bit of latitude. First off, I was sick this week, so some of you I never got a chance to see. I barely remember Thursday, and I literally left the hotel once in the 5 days I was in ATL. Be that as it was, some pretty tremendous work was accomplished at the Assembly, and we were privy to one of the all-time great recreational events ever sponsored by the organization.

The theme of this week, officially and unofficially, was getting back to our nursing focus: shifting our priorities away from evidence collection and back toward comprehensive healthcare that benefits all of our patients. It was refreshing to hear so many people embracing the theme, because nursing-focused care is patient-centered care. At the end of the day, evidence collection can only be one small piece of the larger patient encounter. I was privileged to address the IAFN Board of Directors on this issue, as it relates to sustainability. The reality is (at least in the Sustainability TA project) we’re seeing the nursing-focused programs faring much better than those that have adopted a more investigative focus.

Yesterday we facilitated an inspiring and exhausting workshop on program management and leadership development. Thanks to everyone (NSVRC, faculty and participants) who made it such an incredible day. The session definitely filled me with a renewed sense of excitement for the work. Before we had even finished for the day we were already planning for next year in Pittsburgh.

The conversations in the hallways and hotel rooms are often some of the most valuable moments of the conference. It’s where new projects are birthed and partnerships formed, and this year was no different. In the coming weeks, I hope to be bringing some expanded content to this site, including targeted offerings for our Canadian readers, as well as more general, international content (details of that soon). I so appreciate all of you who made it a point to find me and tell me how much the site means to you. It was fantastic to get all the feedback and to meet readers face to face.

If you didn’t get to see the Vagina Monologues Friday night, you missed the event of the week. I have no words to describe how amazing it was to watch my friends up on that stage. And I will never look at Elise in the same way again. If you were there, you know what I mean.

I’m not the only one who feels like this was the best Assembly yet. Kudos to the board, the planning committee, and most importantly, the home office staff who are consummate professionals and make it look easy to put on an international conference. I enjoy this meeting now in ways I never did even 4 or 5 years ago.

And one more thing: Kim and Megan, you guys are rock stars. If you are in any way representative of the next generation in the profession, I might just sit back and start coasting. Print this out and tack it up on the wall of your office. I know your boss won’t mind.

Looking forward to seeing everyone next year in Pittsburgh.

4 replies on “Reflections on the Assembly”

Thank you for all your support, it really means a lot. I really enjoyed meeting everyone, and all the networking that is such a highlight of the assembly. I feel so lucky to be part of such an amazing profession.

I really enjoyed the conference. I’ve been to several over the years and this one was close to my home. I’m really disappointed that I didn’t get to meet you – when I found out that you were there I tried to find you but now I know why I couldn’t. I’ve always gotten so much out of your web site – it helps me in my small program a lot. I just wanted to say again that I really appreciate the work and help you put into this site.

Megan: glad you’re part of our small but mighty band now. And Pam, I’m so sorry we didn’t get to meet up in ATL. Hopefully Pittsburgh for sure (if not sooner)!

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