By Maureen Shawn Kennedy, AJN editor-in-chief
Last week, the city of Boston hosted the annual meeting of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE). For those unfamiliar with this group, it’s a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association and its mission is, according to the Web site, “to shape health care through innovative and expert nursing leadership.” It’s been a few years since I last attended this conference, and I was amazed at increase in both sophistication of exhibits and number and variety of sessions. There was even an iPad app for the meeting!
Best-selling authors abounded: Dan Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth of What Motivates Us, opened the conference and Thomas Goetz, executive editor of Wired magazine and author of The Decision Tree: Taking Control of Your Health in the New Era of Personalized Medicine, closed the meeting. Dee Dee Myers, former press secretary to President Bill Clinton, also talked about her new book, Why Women Should Rule the World.
As at many meetings this past year, the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing report figured prominently, with a track focused on interpretations and implementation of its recommendations.
I asked Linda Burnes Bolton, chief nurse officer of Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and co-chair of the report, if she thought nurses in hospitals felt left out of the report because of the emphasis on NPs and community health. She acknowledged that many did, saying that chief nurse executives need to do a better job in communicating recommendations to staff and in building the recommendations into strategic plans. “Every nurse in my facility received a copy of the report, and we look at our policies and practices against the report. It can help hospitals help RNs to practice better.”
I spent a lot of time in the exhibit hall, one of my favorite spots at large meetings. Aside from seeing the cutting-edge technology, you meet everyone walking through the aisles—great networking. High-tech health information technology and “smart” systems dominated. I especially liked the COWS (computers on wheels) designed for pediatric units—tigers and ladybugs and no cords (oh my). Posters were interesting, and hopefully you’ll see some future articles in AJN based on some projects. And of course there were the giveaways and lattes and popcorn, reason enough to stroll through the hall. (Full disclosure: AJN was previewing our soon-to-be released iPad app, available for free on Wednesday, March 28, from the iTunes store, and we distributed pens and screen cleaners.)
So—met a few old friends; connected with potential new authors and a columnist; attended a few really, really good presentations and a few OK presentations but no subpar ones; spent some time at the company booth (Wolters Kluwer Health) meeting colleagues and doing demos of the AJN app; saw some interesting exhibits; and came away with some new ideas, new insight on trends, and a few new pens—not bad for two days.