1. Puetz, Belinda E. PhD, RN

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I've just returned from the National Nursing Staff Development Organization (NNSDO) convention in Chicago. The convention was held in the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, located right on the river, so there were lovely views of the water and the boat traffic. It was difficult to be distracted, however, because of all of the exciting happenings inside of the hotel.


The convention started with a variety of workshops, one of which on writing for publication I taught. The group numbered about 23, and all were enthusiastic and motivated about this career advantage. I expect to see some of their manuscripts in Journal for Nurses in Staff Development in the future!


The convention opened with a presentation by Lori Rodriguez on the future of nursing education and the role of the nursing professional development (NPD) specialist. The grand opening of the exhibits followed; it was wonderful to see the bustling crowds and all of the exhibitors interacting over displays of NPD products and services. For the first time, the lifestyle exhibits and the NNSDO Book Store were located in the exhibit hall. The Book Store featured a number of publications related to NPD by publishers other than NNSDO, which provided a one-stop shopping experience for participants.


The next day started with two presentations based on the Institute of Medicine Report: one by Linda Burns Bolton and the other by Michael Bleich. Dr. Bleich's presentation particularly resonated with me, as he discussed leadership of NPD specialists in the current-and future-healthcare environment and noted the difference between management and leadership, a distinction that's not always easy to implement in practice, as management is best known and certainly safest!


Concurrent sessions and poster presentations rounded out the content and seemed quite well received by the nearly 1,000 NPD specialists in attendance. Of particular note was the Business Meeting-attended by over 250 individuals, although the fact that those in attendance were eligible for a drawing for which an iPad2 was the grand prize may have influenced attendance just a bit. Board Member Mary Harper and Task Force Chair Dora Bradley presented on a potential name change for the organization and promised feedback as the process continues. The participants used an audience response system to weigh in on the proposed change[horizontal ellipsis]a use of technology that was a first for NNSDO.


Then, too, there were the annual Fun Run, Affiliates Networking session, Sunday brunch, and closing session speaker. The days were jam-packed with activities, both professional and personal, educational and social. If I've forgotten to mention any of the wonderful things in which one could participate, I'm sorry[horizontal ellipsis]


The entire convention this year was expertly planned and smoothly implemented. Kudos to the Planning Committee and the Dancy Association Management Company staff for a job well done. The convention gets better every year, but it seems that it may be hard to top this one. However, Boston, here we come in 2012!