Spotlight for Nurses: What’s the Big Deal About AWHONN National Conventions?

My first year as a graduate nurse, I was lucky enough to land a job in labor and delivery. I showed up on the unit fresh-faced and wide-eyed, ready and dressed to impress. My mother had been a nursery nurse on this LDRP unit for almost 40 years (that explains the “luck”😉, so I didn’t want to look stupid or be deemed lazy by any of her (or my!) coworkers. Training on the day shift, I was surrounded by seasoned nurses. Everyone around me had been nurses for at least 15, 30, even 40 years! Most had worked on the same unit at the same hospital the entire time.  Every day I came home exhausted from trying to soak up every ounce of information around me. Every night I would pray for something that eluded me: experience.  No matter how bad I wanted it, no matter how much I tried to learn, nothing but time would give me what I longed for. I knew that first year that the only way I was going to be able to keep up with so many seasoned nurses was if I just tried to learn as much as I could from them, and if I tried to learn as much as I could on my own. It was that first year that I told my husband I was going to go to the National AWHONN Convention, because I needed to do that to be a good nurse. So off I went…and that convention changed everything for me.

When I went to the convention, I was amazed that there were so many nurses just like me. They wanted to be better, they wanted to make a difference, they too wanted to learn something new! Even more shocking—my great community hospital that I worked for was no different than any other hospital across the United States. Talking to every other nurse, I realized we were all facing the same issues. We all shared the same struggles. There I was, feeling alone in an ocean, when really, we were all in the same boat.  I left the convention on a mission—I knew I had to do something to make something better. But more importantly, what could we all accomplish together?! 

If you’ve never been to an AWHONN convention, it is truly inspiring. Every single year around May I start looking for school nurse positions. And every June I go to the AWHONN convention and leave thinking I can change the world. And every single summer since, I fall back in love with labor and delivery.


Until my next delivery ❤

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