February 21, 2011, 11:44 pm

Advanced Career Life Support: The 2011 ENA Leadership Conference

Greetings from Latte Land, USA, aka Portland, Oregon!

Thanks to wonderful colleagues (including one who works miracles with the schedule), I am able to take some time off to regroup, recoup and recharge while visiting my daughters.

I was also able to attend the 2011 ENA Leadership Conference. Nothing beats a day spent with hundreds of emergency nurses for re-energizing your perspective. I could blog daily for a month on what I picked up this weekend.


Portland is cold. On Friday, it was near freezing, and the current of warmth emanating from the Convention Center felt like aerosolized Ativan.

Not that I needed it.

In fact, I was attending the 2011 ENA Leadership Conference praying for an epinephrine-like jolt to my professional eco-system. Something, anything (!) that would send a few hundred joules through my enervated, inertia-leaden, this-close-to-asystole, ambition-is-having-a-near-death-experience self.

(I sound like a real attractive nurse, yes?)

So, I dialed 911 (aka Anthony Phipps, ENA Media Rep/Nice Guy), asked if I could cover the conference for the blog, and he dispatched ACLS (Advanced Career Life Support) in a megadose of Yes!


AnnMarie Papa is the current President of ENA. She is funny, articulate, and not afraid to dance onstage.

She also gave a wonderful description of leadership when she told the group at the general session to go out and “inspire a passion for what you do”.

Inspire a passion for what you do.

It felt like a little yellow Angry Bird hit me right between the eyes.*


Think about it.

Passion is contagious.

The best nursing leaders are passionate about nursing and that passion – that energy – expands and encompasses those around them. The best leaders inspire you to do your best. Because of them, you go the extra mile without a second thought. They energize you professionally. Working with them/under them is stimulating. Easier.

We all have the potential to be nursing leaders, at the patient bedside, in the exam room, in the community or in the boardroom. No matter what degree, how much experience or what specialty we choose.

If we inspire a passion for what we do.

Do you inspire a passion for what you do?

If you do, then you are a nursing leader.


AnnMarie Papa never did meet the nurse in the tenth row, stage left who was taking notes in the dim lighting.

But she definitely made an impression.

A simple exhortation. The end of one sentence spoken midway through an action-packed General Session of a national nursing conference.

But it hit me square in the chest.

Inspire passion for what you do.

I can’t really describe why that statement took my breath away.

But perhaps it was because right there, right then, on that Friday morning at the Portland Convention Center, I was in the presence of hundreds of nursing leaders who were all

…inspiring passion for what they do.

It was awesome.


The absolutely stunning photo of “Downtown Portland Snow” was found in the Flickr Photostream of 321 Photography.

*The author of this post would like to clarify that she is not a Green Pig in an army helmet. She is, however, addicted to Angry Birds. She blames her coworkers.


  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Emergiblog, Jack. Jack said: Well done.-> RT @Emergiblog: New post at Emergiblog, the ENA Leadership Conference, Portland and Angry Birds! : D http://tinyurl.com/4osh7tn […]

  • Candy

    February 22, 2011 at 8:08 am

    So happy you found renewed passion and vigor for nursing, whatever form that takes for you! I think the best NURSES are passionate about nursing and can work miracles wherever they are — at the bedside, in the manager’s office, or at the conference. That includes YOU, blogger of all things nursing. You’ve certainly inspired me!

  • RehabRN

    February 23, 2011 at 5:38 am


    Love it! What a great quote!

    Inspire passion for what you do.

    May we all, ED nurses or not, make this our mission.

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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