If you’re a nurse with an eye for career advancement, you’ve probably considered attending a nursing conference or two in the coming year. But, with the cost of registration fees and travel, it’s normal to ask whether it’s worth the expense. According to fellow registered nurse Jennifer Olin, every nurse should invest in attending at least one conference. She shares seven reasons why in her blog for RN Central. Here’s a quick rundown.
1. Lifelong Learning: Attending a conference is one of the best ways to expose yourself to new advances in medicine, prescriptions, and medical technology as well as best practices for patient care.
2. Continuing Education Credits: If you live in a state that requires you to earn CEUs to maintain your nursing license, attending 4-5 sessions a day for a few days at a professional conference is a great way to get all the credits you need for a couple of years.
3. Networking: Interacting with nurses from around the country is a tremendous benefit to both you and them. Olin says, “Talking to other RNs from other hospitals, cities and states can open your mind to ideas that will improve your practice. And, you can help your colleagues improve theirs.”
4. Discovery: You’re not locked into staying “in your lane” or specialty when you attend a conference. There’s a wonderful opportunity to explore other nursing specialties that interest you and give yourself a window into the next step on your career path.
5. Advancement: If you’re interested in taking on an extracurricular leadership role that shows your commitment to the profession and your career development, conferences offer a great way to roll up your sleeves and volunteer to serve on committees.
6. Improving Your Reputation with Colleagues & Management: When you attend conferences, you have the opportunity to bring back a wealth of new information to your co-workers and manager. By sharing your newfound knowledge, you not only help your home team grow, but you also send a message about your dedication to be being the best nurse you can be.
7. Having Fun: There’s no better way to “sneak” a vacation in while advancing your career than attending a nursing conference. It’s a great way to see a new city, meet new people, and indulge in some great food.
Now that you know all the reasons you should attend a conference in 2018, the only thing left to decide is which conference is right for you. Stay tuned! We’ll discuss that in our next Career Advancement blog.