So I’ve spent a lot of time this week getting my school clinic ready. School starts on August 25th, and I am excited to see all of my students again! I have a clinic blog over there that I have recently started, called Nurse Notes. I am trying to come up with a way to get information out to our parents without overwhelming them with paper, as well as keeping my school website uncluttered. It’s a work in progress. NASN has a great Back to School checklist for parents that I have over there. Thanks for checking my school blog out!
I was SO NERVOUS when we took this picture. We were about to start our presentation titled “Making Effective Use of Electronic Student Health Data”, and as our School Nurse colleagues filed in to take a seat, we took this selfie and posted it to the #NASN Twitter feed. It helped to settle my butterflies somewhat.
My mind went from “What if no one shows up?” to “Oh thank goodness, some people have arrived” to “OMG there are a LOT of people in here now” in the 10 minutes before the presentation started. Once my colleague Yvonne started talking I scanned the audience for familiar faces, and was comforted to see several. By the time it was my turn to speak, I was much calmer and focused, and I actually surprised myself by being able to talk “about” the slides, as opposed to just reading from my notes. All in all I’m happy with the presentation, and I am glad we decided to speak on this topic. Sometimes people glaze over when I start talking to them about EHR’s and data, but the Nurses who attended the presentation were interested in the topic and asked great questions. Yeah for data geeks like me!
I saw a lot of great presentations at this conference. Among my favorites were:
National School Nurse Standardized Dataset: What Do I Collect and How Do I Use It? NASN is going to start capturing data points on staffing, student disposition, and chronic conditions. The wheels in my head started turning during the presentation as to how we can capture this info in our District. Some of the data points we are already collecting, which is even better!
How to Turn Your Project into a Manuscript: Really You Can! This presentation was so informative, and the speakers were honest yet encouraging. I was really impressed by their willingness to share their knowledge and encourage everyone in the room to consider submitting a publication to the NASN School Nurse journal or the Journal of School Nursing. (Also an FYI, the JOSN does podcasts!)
Ordinary School Nurses are Extraordinary Leaders. Two past NASN Presidents spoke during this session, and I really enjoyed the contrast between their presentation styles. They talked about different leadership styles, and how “all School Nurses are leaders”. Inspiring stuff.
One highlight for me during the NASN conference was the poster session. As part of the Johnson & Johnson School Health Leadership team from Klein ISD, we have all spent many hours working on our Enduring Change project. Our team decided to present a poster about our project, to gain experience with presenting in a professional setting as well as share the progress we have made with our initiative.
I did not realize until we started to work on the poster content that everything would be digital, and the “poster” would in fact be created using Power Point and displayed on a large TV screen. (The digital nerd in me was super impressed). After MANY revisions, we were happy with the final product, and felt the red background of the J&J template worked well with the graphic that our team member Yvonne designed. The day of the poster session we assembled our team (in matching Klein ISD Health Services shirts!) to answer questions from the attendees and hand out info related to our poster and project.
We were honored to win an award for our poster in the Health Promotion category, and I don’t think Brittany took the award ribbon off all night!
I attended all three of the poster sessions, and really enjoyed the experience. There were posters on research studies, posters on long term projects like ours, posters about students with rare medical conditions, posters on school wellness initiatives, and posters on smaller projects that School Nurses had completed on their own individual campuses. Creating a poster seems like an intimidating prospect, but it really is not! On my own campus, I can think of a few programs we have done that could be poster worthy: the yearly Health Fair, our “Walk to School Day” in the fall, the “Bubble Patrol” that rewards students for good handwashing habits, and our use of websites and social media to keep in touch with our parents.
The point is that as School Nurses we are already participating in poster-worthy projects on a daily basis in our clinics. Presenting a poster at your state or national conference is a great way to be recognized for all your hard work, and champion your projects. It also gives you a tremendous sense of satisfaction to see all of your hard work and efforts reflected on a fancy digital screen for all the world to see.
What poster-worthy project can you think of from your own campus? Consider sharing it at your next conference!