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From walking the stage to attending inspiring educational sessions and meeting peers from around the world, the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet conference was filled with memorable moments for the Brigham nurses in attendance last month.

“Magnet is all about showcasing what nurses bring to the medical profession,” said Monica Aurilio, BSN, RN, CNRN, of the Neurosciences Intermediate Care Unit. “The knowledge and creativity demonstrated at the conference was empowering.”

The conference, held in Chicago, drew approximately 13,000 nurses from around the world for speeches, presentations, poster sessions, networking opportunities and recognition events.

Moment in the Spotlight
One highlight of the conference is recognizing organizations that have achieved Magnet designation in the past year. Brigham nurses were invited to walk across the stage to the thunderous applause of peers from around the world in honor of the hospital’s second Magnet designation.

“The feeling of being able to represent the Brigham was just incredible,” said Cheryl Hardy, BSN, RN, of Obstetrics and Gynecology. “We all lined up and slowly marched across the stage with Brigham and Women’s Hospital displayed on the screen behind us. We were so proud!”

Rose Allain, BSN, RN, CCM, Emergency Department care facilitator, remembers how her heart was pounding with excitement as she stepped onto the stage. “It was a total adrenaline rush,” she said. “I felt extremely proud to be part of an extraordinary and phenomenal legacy representing the Brigham.”

It was also a memorable moment for Elaine Joyal, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Magnet Program director for BWH. “Walking on the stage was a proud moment with my colleagues,” she said. “I am grateful to be a Brigham nurse, and this moment was a highlight in my career!”

The opportunity to cheer on other hospitals and organizations was special, too.

“To have 13,000 nurses in one room, wow!” said Hardy. “What a feeling. We were able to witness RNs from across the country and abroad march across the stage and show pride in their accomplishments.”

Aurilio echoed these sentiments. “The room has such an amazing, palpable energy,” she said. “The pride shown whether it was a group of two or a group of 100 was incredible.”

Focus on Wellness
One key takeaway of the conference for many nurses was the importance of well-being in the workplace.

“Many of the educational sessions centered on the theme of taking care of the nurse,” said Heather Hogan, BSN, RN, a research nurse in the Thrombosis Research Group, who previously was part of the Integrative Care Team on Shapiro 8. “I was happy to learn hospitals around the country are embracing this concept.”

Aurilio also found herself inspired by the sessions on wellness. “This has always been one of my personal passions, and I left the conference thinking about ways I could implement new strategies in my own workplace,” she said.

Hogan emphasized the need for nurses to practice self-care and for workplaces to offer well-being programs.

“It’s probably safe to say that most health care workers pursue a career in this field because they enjoy interacting with and helping people. To continue to be effective, sometimes you need to participate in self-care strategies,” Hogan said. “It’s OK to take care of yourself. You will be more successful in helping others when your own cup is full.”

Learning from Peers
Karen Keese, MSN, RNC-MNN, assistant nursing director for Postpartum Units and the Obstetrics Float Pool, enjoyed attending many informative sessions. “It was wonderful to learn how other hospitals gain and maintain Magnet designation through new knowledge and innovation,” she said.

Keese noted that a session about tiered interdisciplinary huddles and a poster about improving discharge workflow resonated with her. “Our postpartum units are striving to improve our workflow with a process improvement project, and I brought back several ideas to explore with our process improvement team,” she said. “The sessions were so informative to me as a new leader and assistant nursing director.”

The networking opportunities to meet and connect with nurses from around the country and world were abundant. “I enjoyed conversations at lunch and on the shuttle with nurses from New York City, Chicago, Hawaii and even Brazil to name a few places,” said Aurilio. “It is amazing to hear about the differences and the similarities we share.”

Allain also enjoyed the opportunity to speak with nurses from other organizations. “I was inspired to learn that many are beginning to implement or facilitate protocols that we have had in place at the Brigham for a while now,” she said.