Justification for Attending
AONE knows many education and travel budgets have been slashed in recent years. If you've been to AONE's Annual Meeting and feel that the training you get is worth the cost, you're likely going to be asked to justify it. Need some help on how to craft a conversation with your supervisor on why he or she should support your attendance at AONE's 45th Annual Meeting and Exposition? Here's a quick list of ideas to help you make your case.
First, make sure you have a firm grasp on why you want to attend and the benefit it will be to you, personally and professionally. The AONE Annual Meeting and Exposition offers 20 hours of continuing nursing education contact hours but there are also lots of other opportunities to learn that will be of value to you and your employer. You will:
- learn actual leadership skills you can employ right away.
- network with national leaders, experts and fellow colleagues.
- build your own confidence and ability to affect change in your work environment.
- see and experience new technologies, products and services at the largest trade show for nurse leaders.
- validate your nursing leadership expertise through certification.
- hear inspiring and important messages from top speakers inside and outside health care.
- renew your commitment and dedication to nursing leadership.
Second, determine the benefit to your organization if you attend. AONE's Annual Meeting and Exposition features the latest information and best of what's new in technology and practice in the world of nursing leadership. Your time in Boston will:
- allow you to get high value education all in one place.
- be a good use of your organization's educational dollars - AONE offers high value.
- provide an opportunity to see new products and services and meet industry leaders who can help you address challenges you face in your organization now.
- let you see what new technologies or projects other nurse leaders employ that might help you tackle future obstacles.
- allow you to recharge your batteries and return renewed and ready to continue with the great work you do.
- spread the good word about work your organization is currently engaged in.
Third, be creative as you think about the logistics of getting to Boston and what will be going on back home.
Try to find help with funding
- Find out if foundation grants from your hospital or other organizations might support your attendance.
- If education dollars are slim, approach your hospital CEO or administrator for support for leadership development as opposed to nursing education funds.
- See if your local chapter might offer scholarships.
- Take advantage of AONE's group discount if other staff are attending.
Think about your staff and colleagues
- If staffing is tight, suggest that you and one of your star upcoming leaders (or your supervisor if you are the star) attend together as a learning/mentoring experience and create a plan for how you will share information with your colleagues when you return.
- If multiple members of your team want to go hold an essay contest or have the team decide who is most deserving.
- If you work in a hospital system connect with your system colleagues to see if a group discount might be possible.
Sometimes it's just about saving money and planning ahead
- AONE will be offering coffee and lunch three days of the full conference - Don't eat out when you don't need to.
- Book airfares early and using AONE discount codes available on our travel page.
- Be sure to use AONE's approved housing registration (after you register) since we've negotiated the best rates.
- Save on expenses by sharing a hotel room with a colleague - you'll be so busy you'll only be there to sleep.
- If you live local to Boston this is a great chance to eliminate hotel and travel costs.
- Don't miss the President's Welcome reception - no need to pay for dinner on Thursday night - there's always tons of food and drinks!
Fourth, have a detailed plan for how you will share what you learn. Tell your supervisor about your plans to:
- share the information you collected. AONE offers downloads of the concurrent session handouts and there's no reason you can't share these with your colleagues and staff. Consider putting together a booklet of these slides, new tools and techniques for your next staff meeting.
- implement at least one change with your team. Find something, however small, in the content you hear and bring it home to your team. Be sure to document the process and any financial savings - you'll have this in your pocket for next year.
- form a multi-disciplinary work group to implement other learnings if possible. It's always better to get buy-in from different groups to reinforce your participation.
- train others. Share, share, share! Follow-up is what makes attending great conference year after year possible. If you discover something you plan to implement or use, it doesn't hurt to remind people where and when you learned the info - it will keep the meeting important throughout the year.