April 2014 Western Institute of Nursing (WIN) New Scholar Award Winners
In April 2014 two students were selected to receive the Western Institute of Nursing (WIN) New Scholar Award. Ms. Siobhan Cassell and Caitlin Kovacevich received funding to attend the WIN conference in Seattle, Washington to present their research posters.
Caitlin Kovacevich – Spring 2014 BS Program Graduate
The Western Institute of Nursing (WIN) conference of 2014 was hosted in Seattle. The theme this year was “Taking It Global, Research, Practice and Education in Nursing.” The main objectives of the WIN Conference 2014 were to explore the impact of nursing in practice, education and research on a global platform in addition to domestic advancements. Promotion of researched based innovative nursing practices translated into practice and policy, in addition to sharing and networking within the nursing profession. This was achieved by poster and symposium presentations based on categories dividend into various subject matter. Subject matter was varied and included many topic: advances in nursing education, simulation stations, caring for people with AIDS, health equity in vulnerable rural populations, and educating military leadership about domestic violence. During the four day conference there were over 400 posters presented, over 200 symposium sessions which ran concurrently, in addition to guest speakers, luncheon awards, breakfasts, and fun gatherings.
As a new Baccalaureate graduates the sheer magnitude of information presented was awe-inspiring. I had the pleasure of meeting in person, nurses whose research papers I had read during school and used their research findings to help me write papers. I got to experience the science of nurse’s work in research, education and practice on so many levels I knew I had made one of the best career choices of my life. These men and women shared with me their enthusiasm, the trials and tribulations of their knowledge and experiences in obtaining the rich and evolving role of nurses in hospitals, schools, communities, and abroad in countries less fortunate than here in the US.
I truly appreciate the opportunity I had to discuss in person in such a large-scale forum such a variety of professional issues. To meet in person so many professionals who have contributed to the ongoing growth in nursing was inspiring and shifted my outlook on nursing. I now feel I have a part to play in this profession, that my work matters and I can contribute to this profession in a personal way by the way I deliver care. I can also contribute to the profession on a proactive political front by supporting policies and regulations, which contribute to positive health care. I also feel a part of something bigger as I become involved in several ongoing studies while there, and have now experienced the value of research, practice and education. Someday I may go on to contribute something very meaningful which will change lives for the better on a bigger scale.
I saw professional networking first hand. I experienced how enriching it can be to one’s work and personal life to exchange experiences face-to-face with people who share similar interests and passions. It made nursing come to life for me. I can say without a second’s hesitation that going to the WIN 2014 conference has changed my professional life and opened up windows in my mind that I never thought possible.