September, 2008 Archive

September 28, 2008, 4:22 am

Homeward Bound

The lights are out, the stage is empty, the 2008 ENA Annual Conference and Scientific Assembly is over.

The memories and stories remain.

I’m heading home this morning, where I will be processing, and writing, blog posts about and inspired by my time at the ENA conference.

Next stop: the 2009 Conference in Baltimore! If you have never been to an ENA Conference, plan for 2009.

It’s so worth it!

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September 26, 2008, 8:04 pm

A President for ALL of Us

Greetings from Minneapolis, where it is absolutely beautiful. I love this city.

Here at the Convention Center, I have access to the Press Room!

Okay, it’s a room with tables and internet connections, but it’s a Press Room!

I, ladies and gentlemen, am “the press”.

And I have the credentials to prove it!


It feels like an “All Access” pass at a rock concert!

I can’t thank the ENA enough, especially Tony Phipps, Media Director, for the opportunity to cover the ENA Annual Conference from this perspective.

Because of their generosity, I had an experience that doesn’t often come to an ENA member.

I met, and interviewed, the President of ENA: Denise King.


Ever wonder what kind of person becomes the President of the ENA?

Someone who is used to working hard, dealing with challenges every day.

An ER nurse. One of us.

Meet Denise King.


Denise started her career in ENA like most members.

She paid her dues and read the journal. That was about it. She did attend the Annual Conference one year and while she found it “mind-blowing” and “very moving”, she just kept paying her dues and reading the journal.

She’s embarrassed to say this, but her manager made her go to her first ENA meeting. Essentially she said, “There is a meeting and you are going with me.” Denise went.

She wasn’t sorry. Denise says that the ENA has been the best resource for her job in emergency nursing, no matter where she works, and that she found “professional fulfillment” by becoming more involved in the professional organization.


Say you’re a staff nurse and ENA member who wants to get more involved. Where do you start?

Surprisingly, Denise recommends becoming involved in the ENA at any level. If you aren’t connecting locally, get involved at the state level. If you don’t find what you want/need at the state level, you can participate at the national level.

Even if you are “just” a dues-paying, journal-reading member of ENA, your membership is important. Remember, ENA acts as the voice for all ER nurses, not just members. When Denise stands up and states the case for ER reforms, the fact that she has a 35,000 member association behind her carries a lot of weight.

Size matters. Membership in ENA is on a steady increase, and it isn’t hard to see why. Denise says that she tries hard to keep ENA “member-centered”.

Let’s put it this way. Denise can speak about the issues facing emergency nurses with clarity, specificity and with authority…and then turn right around and shoot-the-bull about life in the ER from the perspective of a staff nurse.

Because she is one. She’s one of us.

If you aren’t a member of ENA, maybe it’s time to take another look.

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September 25, 2008, 9:37 pm

ENA Annual Meeting – I Made It!

I can’t believe I am actually here in beautiful Minneapolis (land of James Lileks, my blogfather!) for the ENA Annual Meeting and Scientific Assembly!

I already have a ton of post ideas – six, to be exact, and that was just from the keynote address!

I did want to mention, before going on, that I met Zippy’s cousin today! This is Eenah the Lobster (get it? E-N-A = Eenah) and she is the mascot for the 2009 ENA Meeting in Baltimore!

Zippy himself should be arriving at my door any day now. Hubby is expecting him!

I hope I can show him as good a time as everyone else has. Hope he likes coffee. And NASCAR! And the Cleveland Browns! And Notre Dame! I’ll turn Zippy into such a Notre Dame fan he’ll turn irish green!


The lovely lady on my left is Ms. Candy Goulette, Editor of Advance for Nurses, my partner in crime and the reason I’m sitting here in Minneapolis right now!

She forced convinced me to go, and an I glad she did!


Today was a great overview of what to expect the next two days.

I learned a lot so far this trip.

I learned my hotel is on one side of downtown and the convention center is on the other.

  • I learned that trying to present a neat, professional appearance in heels was really not smart.

Because my hotel is on one side of downtown and the convention center is on the other and I walk to get there.

  • I learned there is booze in my little refrigerator here in the room, but I somehow have no urge to drink it.

I have, however, wiped out the Diet Pepsi and Pringles stash.

  • I learned the entire exhibit section is giving away iPods of all sorts. Maybe I’ll win them all!

I had my picture taken with a dog. A REAL dog. A Saint Bernard. At the Zoll exhibit. Picture will be available Monday. I also got a little stuffed St. Bernard.

  • Had my picture taken by Healthcare United– they asked if I was connected to Emergiblog! Well, yes, I guess you could say that! Nice folks, good talking with them! I’m linked on their site – how cool is that?

I learned I am officially 11 years too old to join the Navy Nurse Corp. Damn it. I thought they had upped the age to 55. Oh well, I got literature for my daughter. Just in case she loves those dress whites as much as I do!

  • I met the folks from NurseZone, who advertise on Emergiblog. That was fun.

Which leads me to mention that the second bed in my room is covered in swag. Really high quality swag.

  • Which means I’m going to need another piece of luggage to take this all home.

There is a TON of great stuff out there, and at the end of all my post ideas I’m going to post about them. I love gadgets and I love new stuff!

Well, I have to get up in six hours and walk (in Reeboks) to the Convention Center.

I have much more profound things to say, really I do, but I’m too pooped to blog with any coherence (as you can tell).

Oh, if you go to any sort of nursing conference? Go with Candy! She knows everybody!

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About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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