Holly Storm, freshman
Hundreds of student nurses coming from all different programs and schools met in Harrisburg Pennsylvania on November 18th to November 20th for the Student Nurses Association of Pennsylvania Annual Convention. During the days of convention, the student nurses went to business meetings, keynote speakers, workshops, resolutions hearings, and candidates’ presentations. Each school that was attending the conference had delegates able to vote in the matters brought to the convention.
The business meetings were three meetings throughout the two main days of the convention. The first meeting was to call to order the convention, bring up opening matters, and ask if anyone wanted to run for a position on the board of directors. The second was to make sure no one else wanted to run for a position, and the final meeting was to vote on the resolutions and announce the new board of directors.
The keynote speaker at the convention was Dr. Loretta Sweet Jemmott who spoke on her experiences to becoming a leader in nursing. Dr. Jemmott is the Vice President of Health and Health Equity and Professor of Health Professions at Drexel University. She has worked with HIV/AIDS prevention and how to develop, facilitate, and promote positive changes in health behaviors. Her speech was invigorating and inspiring.
There were two sessions of workshops throughout the two main days of convention. The first session had four topics to choose from including “Your Journey and Your Ride: Becoming the Leader You Want to Be”, “No Capes Needed, Finding the Courage to Lead: Conquering Challenges to Reap Rewards”, and “Hate Having a Boss? Me, Too! Start Your Own Company”. The Second session of Workshops included “PA Action Coalition: Championing Nursing’s Future, Building Your Own Yellow Brick Road”, and “Diversity in the Nursing Workforce and Why it Matters”. All the topics in the workshops dealt with leadership in the nursing field whether it be the challenges that will be faced on the way or how to deal with the fear that comes with being a leader in the nursing field. These workshops were very helpful for career planning and I found myself intrigued by many of the topics.
The resolutions and candidate’s presentations were a large majority of the last day of convention. The candidates for each position had to give a two-minute speech on why they are running and what they can do the SNAP board if they are elected. After the speeches were given there was Meet the Candidates and voting. Then there was the resolutions hearing where eleven resolutions were brought before the delegates and presented. This included a reading of the resolved statements, or what the authors should be done about the issues written about, and an opening statement given by the authors. Though there was also time to debate the resolutions, there was almost no debating and amazingly all eleven resolutions were passed. DUSNA’s resolution on intersex infants was passed with unanimous support.
When the election results were revealed, there was a dramatic overturn in SNAP leadership with Vice President, Marcus Henderson routing Meghan Long, the incumbent, for President. This was especially surprising, considering all of the successes of SNAP this past year. DUSNA was happily surprised at the Awards Banquet to receive several accolades for both individual members and the organization as a whole. The Scope’s own, Sarah Dudley received a SNAP Freshman Member Scholarship and Bridget Seelinger received the Jamey Thiel Miller Memorial Legislative Award for being active in nursing and politics. DUSNA was awarded a Gold Category Award for Recruitment and Retention and was the only chapter in the state of PA in level 2 to receive the Chapter Excellence Award, a highly coveted award amongst SNAP chapters. It was a highly successful SNAP convention with successes for DUSNA all around!
The SNAP convention can seem very overwhelming to those who have never been before, but it is a worthwhile experience. All the speakers who were at the convention were inspiring and as much of a success it was this year, it will only keep getting better throughout the years.