Friday, April 8

Climbing the Mountain

Hello, from Salt Lake City, Utah! I can’t believe I’m here, and part of this amazing convention for the NSNA (National Student Nurses’ Association) as a national candidate. Boy, it’s a wild adventure! I look forward to preparing a presentation for you when I get back, so that I share this experience with you all! I wish you were here with me. These 3,000 nursing students that are in attendance are ALL investing in their futures by choosing to be part of this experience – they are engaged, and value these resources that NSNA makes available to us! I’m honored to be part of this group. We are all climbing, working hard in our programs to make it through, make it to the top, and make it happen!

Ok, to sum it all up:

• Tuesday: arrived in Salt Lake City, lost a bag of luggage, of course the one with my suits; met a few other national candidates for an informal dinner, a chance to get a taste of what’s to come.

• Tuesday night: baggage delivered to the hotel (thank you, Delta) and MI averted

• Wednesday: 5am alarm, 6am breakfast, 7am opening of Campaign Headquarters to set up (see pic below); find my Virginia State Board friends (VSNA) to rally for some support; begin campaigning by manning the post in Campaign Headquarters from 12-2pm and greeting all voting Delegates that circled through, and then finding all of the meeting rooms where sign up sheets are posted for the states to sign up for caucuses; plan my next 2 days of attempting to visit most of the 50 caucuses, around the other obligations; keep smiling! Oh, and sleep and eat.

• Thursday (today!): 5am alarm, 6am breakfast, 7am caucus where I started off a little rushed, a little vague with my goals as potential Imprint Editor, and with a major migraine; by the end of the morning I had been accepted as a speaker to 15 state caucus meetings and presented myself well, better and better with each one! Manned my post in Campaign Headquarters for Delegates to come through again, then visited our grand opening of the Exhibit Hall at noon. Ate some yogurt, couldn’t find lunch. Didn’t want to miss the chance to speak at the caucuses, back to those for the afternoon! I think I spoke to 30 states today. Oh, and my handwritten thank you note to each state was very impressive.

• What’s on tap for tomorrow? The biggest day ever!

o Friday is our last huge day, before voting happens early Saturday morning and then closing ceremonies. Tomorrow I will be on my feet, literally, from 5am until after midnight, and it’s the day of my hugely daunting speech. I’m ready, and have even included a reference to BSMCON and our health care system, and to Dr. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring! My speech is not about my “plan” for Imprint as future Editor, but actually about ensuring that “caring” is the foundation of our nursing education and future practice, not just an afterthought. The art and science of caring is the heart of nursing, and it’s how our hearts touch the everyday.

o There are 2 sections of speeches Friday, and I’m in Part One between 2:30-4:30. It goes in order of rank, from lowest to highest – Imprint Editor is last of the Part One block. There is then a break, and Part Two is the VP and Presidential speeches and debates that last until dinner. I can relax and listen. Then after eating something, we actually have our last push AFTER these speeches, from 10pm-midnight tomorrow night! This gives everyone a chance to come and talk with all of the candidates AFTER hearing our 3 minute personal statement and 5 minute response to impromptu questioning.

• Saturday? Early morning voting occurs, and only Delegates vote. This year, BSMCON is not an official constituent and does not have a voting Delegate. Next year we will! We just need 10 active NSNA members by Feb. to qualify for the first voting Delegate, then we get another Delegate for each additional 50 active members of NSNA. Some schools have 20, 30, or more Delegates! I think PA has the most state Delegates this year with 78, and that’s a lot of school support!

o I will find out at noon what the results of the elections will be, new national Board of Directors members are announced, and closing ceremonies occurs.

o If I’m elected, Sunday morning there is a mandatory working breakfast for all of us, when we’ll meet, have our first official photos, and discuss the coming months, including the summer intensive training week at NSNA headquarters in Brooklyn, NY, when I would potentially meet my staff, learn the ropes, share some enthusiasm and creativity, and exude Bon Secours Enthusiasm! 

Yes, this is a long update. I’ve been so busy and so excited, and I just can’t wait to share it all with you! Here are a few photos to give you a taste of this experience, and I really hope that I’m shining a light on some of the amazing things that NSNA can bring into our lives as students…it’s all about US! I can’t wait to see what happens next!

So tomorrow, Friday, please say a prayer for me at about 5pm, which will be when I’m on stage in mt. time giving my speech. I will keep you posted, and see you next week with the scoop! A special thank you goes out to the entire College for your loving support; Peggy, for assisting me every step of the way with the planning; Dean Bodin and Dr. Green for your support and permission to attend, as both a BSMCON representative and a national candidate; and our own SGO, for having faith in me and supporting me in this amazing campaign adventure.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,


1 comment:

  1. Keep up the great work! The conference sounds like an amazing experience, as well as your campaign journey. Good luck!