It’s Convention Month!
Last month the AMSN Board of Directors made the very difficult decision to change the format of our annual convention from hybrid (in-person and virtual) to all virtual. The convention was to be held in Orlando, Florida, and with the pandemic once again causing infections and hospitalizations to increase due to the delta variant, it became apparent that a change would be necessary.
We had such high hopes for a return to an in-person convention. We were so excited to see our friends and colleagues, many of who we only see at convention each year. However, our overall mission is always to support the care of our patients and the medical-surgical nurses who provide that care. Ultimately, we knew we had to ensure everyone’s safety, and we knew a virtual convention would be the safest option.
While it is no one’s first choice, there are some things to look forward to with a virtual convention.
Last year during our virtual convention, we had the best time using the chat function during sessions. We could all talk as much as we wanted while the speakers taught us new information, validated current practice, or reviewed information we may already know well.
This kind of chatter would be frowned upon if we were all together in a ballroom at the convention center because it would be highly disruptive and deemed disrespectful. But I would argue we learned just as much while chatting with each other while still paying attention and learning from the speakers—we were chatting about what they were saying after all!
Last year we sent all attendees swag bags with items to use during convention sessions and wherever they would be useful after convention. We also provided everyone with money from a food delivery app so you could have food delivered to your house to show you we care about feeding you and ensuring you didn’t have to miss a session. We will be providing many of the same items this year, and I hope you enjoy them!
One of the most fun parts of the AMSN convention is giving out awards. We will highlight our AMSN PRISM Award recipients from the last year and give additional awards such as the Clinical Leadership Award and the Clinical Practice Award to those deserving recipients. These awards allow us to recognize our medical-surgical colleagues who go above and beyond to make a difference.
Of course, the highlight of the convention is the great speakers we have lined up, including Terry Foster, who will make us laugh as we reflect on the last year, Sue Hassmiller will talk about the importance of the 2020-2030 Future of Nursing Report, and the impact medical-surgical nurses can make over the next decade, and Tim Cunningham will probably surprise us with his wealth of experiences and storytelling ability.
In addition, we have knowledgeable and talented AMSN members and peers who will share their experiences with the evidence-based practice projects and performance improvement initiatives they have implemented to improve patient care and the practice environment.
Even though we won’t be in person, we will have this opportunity to connect. I hope you will join me, the AMSN Board of Directors, our partners, and, most importantly, you—our members in attending our virtual convention this year. I look forward to interacting with you soon!