Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lessons Learned from NTI

As a newbie to AACN’s NTI (American Association of Critical Care Nurses, National Teaching Institute) I did not know what to expect; I certainly did not know how ‘big’ and overwhelming the conference was going to be. And inspiring. I cannot possibly list all the incredible sessions I attended, interesting, intelligent people I met, and information I learned. But I can tell you that being in a room with over 7,000 nurses aspiring to provide the best, safest, quality, evidenced-based care they can was exciting. Sharing success and challenges, heart-wrenching stories and uplifting accomplishments was both invigorating and frustrating. This is what healthcare is supposed to be – nurses committed to caring, compassion and excellence; living it, everyday. Isn’t this why we got into nursing in the first place? Because we care and desire to nurture and heal those who are ill or in need?

One of the highlights of the conference is the AACN president’s message. The current president inspired us and shared how we have “Act[ed] with Intention” as she passed the reigns to the incoming president who unveiled her theme for 2010: “Stand Tall.” So the question is what does it mean to “stand tall” as a nurse and how will I accomplish it? I challenge others as well to think about standing tall: doing the right thing, going the extra mile and striving for excellence. No matter how small the act or the intention, we as individuals can make a difference in each patient’s experience and that alone is cause for standing tall.

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