You Don’t Know What You’re Missing

Hi ENA community! Lindsay Lawless, Treasurer-Elect for California ENA and I wanted to share my first experience attending the ENA State and Chapter Leaders Orientation (SCLO) in Las Vegas, NV! This is a leadership development event that is designed specifically for officers in state and local chapters. This orientation provides the knowledge, leadership, and networking opportunities these positions needs to effectively manage their roles. There is a lot of planning involved in this 2-day event and it did not disappoint!

We arrived on Friday and kicked off the weekend with a ENA Foundation State Challenge Reception where we mingled with hundreds of ENA members from all over the country, had cocktails, and competed with other state chapters to raise money for the ENA Foundation which provides scholarships and educational support to emergency nurses and future emergency nurses. The most compelling reason to attend conferences like SCLO, in my opinion, is that these events offer something that is only available at conferences: human interaction. The conferences foster feelings of camaraderie and offer multiple opportunities to interact and connect with other emergency nurses. These interactions may be fleeting or have long-lasting effect; many enduring friendships have sprouted and been renewed at these events. Pictured is myself and East Bay, CA President-Elect Michele Redlow whom I connected with at the annual ENA conference last year and she is now one of my mentors and dear friend.

The next day we started the day with a wonderful breakfast with the ENA board of directors and an ENA update. This was a great time to meet the board of directors and hear about the work they have been doing to address hot topics in emergency nursing. The most anticipated part of the day was hearing our keynote speaker, thought leader and well known contrarian Jeff De Cagna, discuss ENA’s capacity for foresight. He works with associations and non-profit boards to strengthen their performance through learning with the future. There was so much insight and information gained during this engagement. He really moved the crowd with some of his famous quotes such as “We grow in time to trust the future for our answers.” I walked away feeling highly rejuvenated, inspired, and armed with new information and insight that I couldn’t wait to share with others!
The concurrent sessions were 20 minute mini sessions lead by ENA staff specializing in the particular areas such as marketing, finance and budget, government relations, digital communication, and member engagement. It was fascinating to hear from each person about the work that goes into each area and also what is available to us as members simply by using the website! We also got to hear about updates coming to TNCC and ENPC and provide feedback to each respective course.

Once the sessions ended for the day most of us met for dinner, drinks, and mingling together which is always so fun. Emergency nurses all over the country are working hard and experiencing much of the same good experiences and bad. Through it all, we are in it together. The affirmation comes at conferences such as these. If you have the opportunity to attend a conference, take it. If the opportunity doesn’t arise, seek out other ways to update your knowledge such as using the website, using ENA on-demand, visiting the ENA facebook page, or joining your local chapter. It’s now easier than ever to attend a nursing conference, and take it from me, you don’t know what you’re missing!

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