Attendees meet in Philadelphia to learn, celebrate, and connect


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In October 2022, nurses from across the globe gathered in Philadelphia, Pa., to attend the co-located ANCC National Magnet Conference(R) and ANCC Pathway to Excellence Conference(R). This was the largest conference to date with more than 11,000 registered in-person and virtual attendees. Fewer travel restrictions this year meant more international participation, and 200-plus nurses from more than 20 countries outside of the US attended. The excitement among the record-breaking crowds was evident everywhere, from the conference rooms to the exhibit hall to the awards ceremonies. The theme of this year's conference was "Educate, Innovate, Celebrate," and the 3-day event definitely delivered in all three areas.

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Educational opportunities began before the start of the actual conference with pre-conference events that included a 1-day Research Symposium, an NCPD Symposium, and Program Guidance Workshops for both the Magnet and Pathway programs.


The conference had over 120 educational sessions with speakers from both Magnet and Pathway hospitals. Conference rooms were packed with nurses eager to learn about their colleagues' research and initiatives, with many attendees remaining to ask questions at the conclusion of sessions. One benefit of the co-located conference is that anyone can attend any session regardless of where they are on the Magnet or Pathway journey. Because the conference was offered both in person and virtually, in-person attendees had access to the virtual presentations after the event so they could earn more continuing-education credits (up to 44 credits were available for attending the different sessions).



Attendees wanting to learn about additional innovative ideas and evidence-based practices could stop by any of the more than 175 poster presentations to hear about successful projects and efforts at other organizations.


With over 55,000 square feet of exhibit space, the largest exhibit floor in conference history was filled with more than 400 companies, consultants, educational institutions, and more, all energized by the opportunity to present their products and services to attendees in person. There was even a therapeutic puppy playpen for anyone wanting to take a short break to unwind with a furry friend.



The conference kicked off with a welcome party at the Franklin Institute, featuring great food and entertainment that included the famous Mummers, a hip hop drumline, the Go Go Gadget band and DJ, and a room with silent disco.


Three inspirational keynote speakers brought their messages to life with powerful voices and motivational words. Nicole Malachowski, Colonel, USAF (ret.), an accomplished military leader, combat veteran, and the first woman pilot on the Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron described a mindset of "pushing the envelope" and creating an environment in which both leaders and their team members can flourish. Ben Nemtin, a mental health advocate and author, shared his battle with depression and the bucket-list quest that changed his life. He encouraged listeners to talk about their struggles and normalize conversations about mental health. Simon T. Bailey, a success coach, author, and certified Caritas Coach, emphasized the importance of taking care of yourself so you can take care of others and offered guidance for igniting leadership and culture.


Another conference highlight was the recognition of all the Magnet(R) and Pathway to Excellence(R) organizations designated or redesignated in July 2021 through August 2022. With extraordinary fanfare that included banners, pom-poms, matching t-shirts, and explosive applause, teams joyfully celebrated their well-earned moment in the spotlight.

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Throughout the conference, many organizations and individuals were recognized with awards for their outstanding contributions and accomplishments, including:


* Pathway Award winner: MedStar Washington Hospital Center


* Pathway Nurse of the Year Award winner (nurse leader): LaTarya Gulley, ACCNS-N, MSN, RN, Lieutenant Commander, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Va.


* Pathway Nurse of the Year Award winner (direct care nurse): Marika Widmann, BSN, RN, MS-BC, South Texas Veterans Health Care System, Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital Division, San Antonio, Tex.


* ANCC Magnet Prize(R) Award: St. Joseph's University Medical Center


* National Magnet Nurse of the Year Award(R) in each of the five Magnet(R) Model components:


* Transformational Leadership: Geri Narsete-Prevo, MSN, RN-HROB, CEFM, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago


* Structural Empowerment: Kimberly Elgin, DNP, APRN, ACNS-BC, PCCN, CMSRN, UVA Health, Charlottesville, Va.


* Exemplary Professional Practice: Michele Santoro, BSN, RN, Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Conn.


* New Knowledge, Innovations, and Improvements: Andrew Greenway, MSN, RN, CCRN, ACCNS-AG, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York City, N.Y.


* Empirical Outcomes: Anne Dye, DNP, NP-C, CSC, OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio




Above all, the conference provided a space where nurses could revel in the camaraderie and fellowship of other nurses. For those wanting to catch up with colleagues outside the venue or explore the historic City of Brotherly Love, there were many great restaurants and attractions within walking distance. They likely left the conference feeling renewed and validated. In the wise words of one conference attendee, "There's really nothing quite like being in a room with 10,000 other nurses who just get it."