Aspire to Imagine Presenting at the 2018 ANPD Annual Convention

Jo-Ann R. Robinson, DNP, APN-BC, RN-BC, C-OB (pictured on the right with, from left, 2017 ANPD Annual Convention attendees Kari Schmidt and Kelli Baron) is the System Director for Professional Development & Education at Bon Secours Charity Health System in Suffern, NJ.

I hope that you had the opportunity to attend the 2017 ANPD Annual Convention, “Aspire to Transform,” in New Orleans last month. This convention drew our largest convention attendance yet. As the 2017 Convention Content Planning Committee Co-chair, the convention was a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends, colleagues, and experts in the field and meet new nursing professional development (NPD) practitioners. Going to convention every year feels like coming home for me. The energy is amazing. After spending five fabulous days at pre-convention and convention in New Orleans, I left feeling empowered to initiate the new ideas and programs that I learned about and was re-energized to advocate for our specialty.

There are several highlights of the convention that impacted my professional practice and personal journey. Michele Deck’s opening session remarks were so inspirational. She used an analogy of a rock in her pathway to help us reflect on our own barriers to personal and professional transformation. Her question of, “What is your rock?” resonates with me still. Her rock symbolized the struggles that we face, which could hold us back from moving forward in life if we let them. I felt grateful for all that I have in my own life and continue to reflect on how we all can better respond to stressful situations in order to remove our obstacles and be open to renewal.

Another magnificent general session was presented by Dr. Bernadette Melnyk. Dr. Melnyk’s session truly moved us to explore evidence-based approaches to care and advocate in our organizations to create a culture of evidence-based practice (EBP). Her own account of how EBP impacted the care of her daughter during a very critical time in her life was a powerful testament to the importance of incorporating EBP and mentoring others to use evidence to guide their practice.

60 concurrent sessions exemplified how NPD practitioners from around the country and the world are leading the transformation of our specialty as well as helping optimize patient care and safety. At the 2016 convention ANPD launched the new NPD Scope and Standards of Practice (3rd ed.). Many of us in attendance wondered how we were going to advocate for and initiate the new practice model in our healthcare systems; at this year’s convention, NPD practitioners shared how they implemented the practice model. Some examples were changes in NPD job titles and descriptions, methods to measure return on investment, and development of new competency management programs. We have accomplished an enormous task in only a year.

Another example of how we aspire to transform our practice was evidenced by the 81 posters that were proudly displayed by the presenters. As I walked through the poster reception, it was remarkable to hear the brainstorming between the poster presenters and participants as they imparted their ideas and knowledge regarding the innovative strategies that they utilized and the outcomes that they achieved. I overhead many say, “I’d like to start this in my institution.” I had the same thought. The poster reception was a great opportunity to network and share resources promoting EBP in our specialty.

As the 2018 Convention Content Planning Committee Chairperson, I’m pleased to announce that ANPD is accepting abstract proposals for concurrent sessions or poster presentations for next year’s annual convention to be held July 17–20, 2018 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, with pre-convention workshops on July 16 – 17. Our theme is Aspire to Imagine.

Can you imagine presenting at the 2018 ANPD Annual Convention, sharing your new, innovative approaches to NPD practice? I couldn’t imagine presenting at the ANPD Convention until one of my colleagues tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to submit an abstract with her. I responded, “Why would they pick us to present?” She shared with me the theme of the convention, “Lighting the Fire Within: Igniting Passion for Learning & Advancement.” She believed that the strategies we implemented to keep the passion for education alive in our organization truly fit the theme and convention goals. As nervous as I felt, I agreed, and we submitted the abstract hoping that others would want to hear our best practices. Finally, after a few months, the letter arrived: Congratulations! Your Abstract Has Been Accepted.

We presented our first concurrent session at the 2005 ANPD (formerly named NNSDO) Convention held in New Orleans. It was a gratifying experience to share our innovative techniques to promote professional growth and foster an environment of recognition and self-care. What seemed like simple solutions to preventing fatigue and burnout for the NPD practitioner were considered new and exciting to our peers. The positive response that we received was incredible. We could not wait to share other best practices and present again.

Building upon this experience, we submitted another abstract for the 2006 ANPD Convention. We hoped to have the opportunity to share our secrets for creating a poster or podium presentation from inception of the idea, to planning, to presentation. This time we did not feel as anxious as we waited to hear if our abstract was accepted, which it was. We presented again, except this time our families were present, which was a great source of support. We did have some butterflies in our stomach at first. As the session went on, it felt natural to talk to our peers about something that motivated our practice. The participants were truly engaged in learning and stayed afterwards to hear more. After the convention we became resources to other NPD practitioners who were considering submitting an abstract. I could not encourage them enough to submit an abstract, and I advise you to do the same.

I was fortunate to be selected to present at two additional convention concurrent sessions and a poster presentation before becoming a Convention Content Planning Committee member. Now I’m the one tapping my colleagues on the shoulder saying, “Let’s submit an abstract and share our best NPD practices!” I’m tapping you, too, to submit an abstract for our 2018 Annual Convention.

Do you have an innovative strategy that you believe others can learn from on topics ranging from orientation/onboarding, competency management, education, role development, collaborative partnerships, research/EBP/quality, and leadership? If so, the planning committee is waiting to read your abstract. Log on to the ANPD website and submit your abstract today. Submissions will be accepted until September 5, 2017 at 11:59pm. I hope to read your abstract and see you at the 2018 Convention.

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