I don't know how many conferences you attend a year but I can tell you just this year, I have paid to attend 3 out of out state nursing conferences and attended 0. Things come up, usually related to my law practice and I can't get away and decide not to attend. I wanted to attend the Kentucky Nursing Board conference last Friday, but I was tired from driving to Columbus, Ohio for the Ohio Nursing Board meeting and I also had client appts. Friday afternoon. I am learning however and I did not pre-register for the KBN conference.
I am pushing 40 years of age, 38 years old to be precise and as a Gen Xer I am in the middle of the boomers who embraced face to face seminars, conventions, and professional association meetings as part of being socialized in the practice of a profession and Gen Yers and Mills who embrace technology like audioconferences, teleseminars, and webinars.
I want to have my cake and eat it too (or a brownie), so why can't associations do both.
I personally would love for more seminars, conventions, and professional associations meetings for nursing and the law to be available via audioconferences, live stream feeds, and webinars. Its not that I don't enjoy the face to face meetings and the networking but you tend to see the same folks at these meetings anyway. So is it really networking?
Also I realized years ago, the majority of nurses don't belong to professional associations therefore as a license defense attorney, the majority of my prospective clients won't be at these types of events anyway. I maintain my membership in ANA, the Center for American Nurses, and the Ohio Nurses Association to support the profession. But to pay my mortgage, I need clients and these potential or prospective clients are not at nursing professional association meetings.
I was contacted last week by a publication who wanted me to write an article for publication. I laughed (after I politely declined the request to write a 3,000 word article for $150.00). Don't get me wrong, I am published in national, state, and local journals and magazines but that's so last century for me as an attorney defending nurses before the State Nursing Board. I published to show yes I can years ago but I reach more nurses with my blog and the internet than I could ever hope to with a hard copy and snail mailed nursing publication. I am not an academic who needs to publish for tenure. Now, ask me to write an article in an e-journal or e-magazine distributed to several hundred thousand nurses, pay me a little or nothing, and I will make the time.
I am also not an ambulance chaser as my hubby says when he sees those personal injury law office advertisements on TV. I can't imagine chasing ambulances anyway because I am very clumsy and I would fall and injure myself. My grandparents have had multiple surgeries in the last year and I have a nephew with an ASD and pulmonary hypertension, so I am at several different hospitals in the Cincinnati area alot. My paternal grandfather is having major surgery this week, so LaTonia Denise Wright, RN, BSN, JD (as my hubby calls me when he is explaining something to me that should be obvious to me) will be at his bedside with her laptop and business cell phone. You as a nurse know all the __ that happens in a hospital; its like the Wild, Wild West in some of these facilities.
No, I don't slip my business card into the pocket of nurses and say "give me a call if you have an issue with the State Nursing Board." Haha, now that's funny. I do however keep business cards on my person at all times when I am in a hospital because you never know:)
Now back to face to face meetings. How many have you attended this year? Do you find the meetings to be cost prohibitive? I am personally questioning why so many nursing associations continue to have annual meetings, conventions, etc? Speaking of a meeting, the Ohio Nurses Association Convention is in two weeks in Independence, Ohio. I am running for office and a delegate for my district, so I am attending but I think I may drive up on Saturday or Sunday morning.
That's a busy week for me with Indiana State Nursing Board administrative law hearings in Indianapolis on Wednesday, Oct. 14th, the Center for American Nurses webinar on Competence, see https://m360.centerforamericannurses.org/event.aspx?eventID=11010 on Wednesday evening, client meetings in Louisville, Kentucky on Thursday the 15th from 10am to 5pm, and the Kentucky Nursing Board meeting in Louisville, KY on Friday the 16th.
What are the chances that I will drive to Independence, Ohio for the Ohio Nurses Association meeting on Saturday the 17th and/or Sunday, the 18th? I am learning because I have not pre-registered for the Convention and if I attend, I will pay at the door.
Maybe this is why nursing professional associations and professional associations in general are struggling for new members and new blood because the leadership is holding tight to last century marketing and membership drives instead of embracing the future.
What is the future? I don't know and I don't have the answers. I do have some ideas. But I don't think paying hundreds of dollars to register for a conference, paying hundreds of dollars to fly or drive to a meeting, paying hundreds of dollars to stay in a hotel, and spending hundreds of dollars to maintain your membership in a professional or trade association is the future. But that's just me.