April 10, 2020

Indiana State Nurses Association 2019 Annual Convention in Brief

As I mentioned this past Friday, I attended the Indiana State Nurses Association (ISNA) Annual Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was a new experience for me, and I truly enjoyed it. Here’s a brief outline of the day’s events.

There were two keynote addresses offered. The first, by Ernest J. Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN, who is the current president of American Nurses Association and the first male to serve in this capacity, focused on nurse activism and advocacy in the service of causes. Recounting much of his professional life story, Dr. Grant inspired listeners to follow a vision for their careers that avoids losing sight of the good that nursing as a profession in uniquely situated to bring about.

The second keynote address was offered by David Griffiths, MBA, BS, who is Senior Vice President, Healthcare Division of Aon Affinity. His very informative presentation on professional liability in nursing was replete with strategies to minimize risk and support career longevity.

Throughout the day, there were six other presentations. Elizabeth L. Law, MSN, RN spoke about strategies for successful role changes in nursing.

Alicia Smith, BSN, RN, CHPN and Eva Burgan, BSN, RN, OCN explored the role of nurse navigator, differentiating it from that of case manager by emphasizing the long-term relationships forged between nurse navigators and patients.

Stephanie M. Baranko DNP, RN, NEA-BC, CLSSGB discussed potential alternative nursing career paths to avoid nurse burnout, including case management, utilization review, insurance and stop loss, and clinical account consulting. In doing so, she stressed that there is a great deal of influence available in patient care away from the bedside.

Molly Daugherty, RN, BS discussed the role of insurance authorization nurse, noting that insurance companies would do well to hire RNs and LPNs for insurance authorization roles and that in this role nurses can be “instrumental in reducing patient financial toxicity” related to health care expenses.

Jan Erlenbaugh Gaddis, BSN, RN-BC then explored the alignment of faith community nursing with current trends in health care. She discussed specific populations served by health care and faith community nurses’ contributions in the fields of oncology, palliative care, transitional care, and nurse self-care.

The final speaker Jackie Eitel, RN, MSN described her career with the Indiana Health Information Exchange, illustrating its structure and importance. Following her presentation, I was left with the impression that the total impact of health information exchanges nationwide is unknown but must be astronomical, given the potential of these systems.

The convention was labeled as such presumably because, interspersed throughout the day, were segments of the annual members’ meeting of the Indiana State Nurses Association. Various aspects of the meeting included officer reports, awards, election and induction of new officers, and discussion and voting on two resolutions.

I plan to cover the resolutions in greater detail later, but briefly the first pertained to firearms safety and public health, while the second was related to surgical smoke evacuation.

The conference was entitled “One Profession, Many Careers,” and every speaker approached the general theme from his or her unique perspective. However, I did find it ironic that none of the speakers spent much time referencing or proposing solutions to the widely touted nursing shortage or the problem of nurse burnout.

These topics were left in the background, as if they were to be taken as givens prior to the discussion. As a second-career nurse relatively young in the field, I would’ve enjoyed more discussion of these topics.

Again, the preceding was a brief outline of the presentation content of the convention. As you might imagine, it was difficult to keep up with the worthy potential content streaming from the podium. I’m still learning by doing when it comes to event coverage via social media. At any rate, I hope you enjoyed my Twitter coverage and will check back for my after-event blog coverage.

I hope to take the time this week to touch on some of what I see as the more significant aspects of the program. I hope you’ll join me for some ongoing discussion of these topics.

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