The Excitement Builds

This week is the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS 2010) 35th annual Congress. Sadly I had to leave the rainy 50 degree weather of Chicago-land to head to sunny San Diego. Its a tough responsibility, but one I take on without complaints.

This week is the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) 35th annual Congress. Sadly I had to leave the rainy 50° weather of Chicago-land to head to sunny San Diego. It’s a tough responsibility, but one I take on without complaints. I have been attending ONS Congress for the past 9 years. Over the years my experience and what I look forward to has obviously changed somewhat. I can remember the first year I attended. I was so excited to be among the 3000-4000 oncology nurses that attended and I wanted to soak in every piece of education I could. I remember sitting in some sessions being overwhelmed and thinking I didn’t know or understand much of what they were talking about while in others feeling that my practice was being validated. Over the years, as I said, the excitement changed to other things. Most recently I find myself havng a different outlook about Congress. Now my excitement comes from networking with other oncology nurses, meeting up with old friends and seeing what’s happening in other areas of the country with oncology nursing. I know longer find myself with the wide-eyed wonder of my first Congress, but that’s ok. I’ve grown since then. Now I can easily pick and choose which sessions to attend and spend the majority of the time either presenting something myself or connecting and re-connecting with other oncology nurse leaders.

However, this year has brought another aspect of attending. This year I’m bringing two other nurses from my hospital with me. These two nurses have never attended the Congress or any kind of national conference. They helped me on two projects that were accepted as poster presentations, so not only are they attending they have two posters to present! From the time our posters were accepted, to finding out they would be able to attend, to the planning and booking and scheduling, the excitement has only grown. I found myself being caught up in the excitement of Congress, especially attending for the first time, once again. I remembered the first time I was planning to attend and having no idea what to expect. I tried to meet with these nurses to fill them in a little on how things would go. From how to choose sessions to registering for ancillary events to not trying to do things every minute of the day. I tried to prepare them, but the excitement continued to grow and they, naturally scheduled themselves for breakfast, lunch, and dinner meetings, in addition to all of the sessions throughout the day.

Their excitement is refreshing. As their excitement grew so did mine. I find myself, with that same excitement of looking forward to Congress as I did when I first started attending. A different kind of excitement than I’ve experienced the last several years, and it’s been refreshing.

I’m looking forward to experiencing Congress through their eyes this year. I’m looking forward to watching them make all the discoveries of what to do and what not to do just as I once had to. And I’m looking forward to sharing that with you.

By the time my next blog is due, we will be back home and back into our every day routine. But I will share with you the experience of experiencing Congress for the first time once again. It should be very exciting.