Future Nurses Have Their Say

By Maureen Shawn Kennedy, AJN editor-in-chief

I spent part of last week in Pittsburgh, attending the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) annual meeting. This one was special—the 60th anniversary of the organization.

Despite the celebratory air (not only because of the anniversary, but because the organization had exceeded its membership goal of 60,000 members), the 2,700 attendees seemed very serious about the work of the organization and about learning skills to help them in their careers—there were few slackers in this crowd.

The approximately 500 students who represented their states in the house of delegates dealt with some 40 resolutions, on such diverse topics as increasing awareness of the effects of third-hand smoke on children to supporting the “BSN-in-10” movement (a push for legislation requiring all new nurses to get bachelor’s degrees within 10 years).

For me, the best part is meeting future nurses and speaking with them about career plans. I met many students in the exhibit hall, where I was demonstrating AJN’s new iPad app. Unlike last year, when jobs seemed to be scarce, many of the seniors I spoke with this time around had already secured jobs—and those who hadn’t seemed confident they would.

Finish this sentence . . . I asked several of those about to start their nursing careers to finish the following sentence: “I’m excited about starting my nursing career because . . .” You can listen to their comments in this short podcast.