Connecting with Students

Sunday, 17 November 2013: 12:00 PM

Marilyn D. Klakovich, DNSc, RN, NEA-BC
School of Nursing, Azusa Pacific University, California State University, Fullerton, University of Phoenix, Azusa, CA

Connecting with the student audience creates content and cost challenges.  Our committee makes a concerted effort to select speakers who will connect with a diverse nursing audience, from students to seasoned professionals.  Our conference theme is based on presentation topics of keynote speakers.  In 2012, President Suzanne Prevost gave us permission to use her call to action “Give Back to Move Forward” as our theme and served as keynote speaker.  Since we try to have the President or President elect of STTI do one of the keynotes each year, students are afforded an incredible opportunity to network with an international nursing leader. For other major sessions, we tap local talent and speakers have presented on administrative, education, and research topics.  Concurrent session presenters are a blend of students and practicing clinicians. From a research perspective, master’s and doctoral projects are presented as well as projects by nurse scientists in either academia or the service sector done to generate new knowledge. Our conference proceedings include abstracts and speaker emails so participants can follow up with speakers for additional information. 

 To keep student costs down, we obtain fees from exhibitors and that are used to subsidize student registration. Exhibitors have included publishers, simulation companies, NCLEX test preparation services and healthcare organizations who recruit students in attendance.  Keeping the cost low allows many more students to attend. Some chapters support registration fees for students on a competitive basis. Chapters have obtained grant funding to support student registration.  These students are expected to volunteer at the conference, thus providing them with leadership experiences. 

 We believe the nurse leaders who thought of this joint venture were planners, thinkers and trendsetters.   Southern California chapters and their students have definitely benefitted from the experiences.  Our conference consortium has simultaneously brought us closer together and enlarged our network.