Where Are the First-time Attendees?

May 1, 2009
Lisa Schulmeister, RN, MN, APRN-BC, OCN, FAAN

This year, I’m not seeing as many nurses wearing "First Time Attendee" ribbons as I did last year.

Today’s sessions are winding down as Special Interest Groups (SIGs) begin their meetings. Nurses are leaving the San Antonio Convention Center with bags bursting with information and giveaways. I’m starting to see band-aids on the back of heels and slow methodical movement. The massage chairs ($1 per minute) are filled with nurses getting their shoulders (and in some cases, feet) massaged. In the ONS Resource Center, there are long lines of nurses waiting to use the computers, which have free Internet access.

This year, I’m not seeing as many nurses wearing “First Time Attendee” ribbons as I did last year. Attendance is down a bit but those attending appear to be enjoying the educational and after-hours activities. I asked a few nurses what they’re enjoying most. One said the educational sessions, another said the food, and a third said the weather (it’s 94 degrees here and sunny). A first-time attendee said he was enjoying “everything” and added that he already plans to attend next year’s ONS Congress.