by, Bree Fallon, BSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM,
My first day of AWHONN Convention and my heart is completely full.
I started my day today walking in to Lisa Miller’s Bedside to Boardroom session today having no idea what to expect of the day in front of me. As my first AWHONN session began, I glanced at the nurses sitting around me. I found veteran nurses with years and years of experience, younger nurses with perhaps only a few years under their belts; I was excited to learn of the new graduate nurse in my session. What an amazing opportunity for each of us. For four hours I sat in awe of the woman in front of us. Brilliant and engaging, I listened intently hanging on every word and every piece of experience that Lisa gave to us. As I listened, I was truly humbled to be in room with such an impressive, pioneer in our field. Challenging us to always read the evidence and be experts in our field, I left the session with a flurry of thoughts and ideas written down in my notebook to bring back to KC.
Following the session I stopped by the ribbon booth as instructed to do by the moderator of the sessions and picked up my fetal monitoring instructor ribbon, certified ribbon and 1st time attendee ribbon. The women at the booth broke out two maracas and clapped and yelled when I told them it was my first conference. It is such a celebration to be here and participate and the enthusiasm is palpable. As I walked into the general session up toward the enormous stage clad in AWHONN decor, I could feel myself getting goosebumps. The energy was indescribable.
Before the awards, a nurse shared her personal triumph coming from a broken home, putting herself through nursing school and becoming a nursing leader. Her story was so touching and inspiring it brought me and those around me to tears of happiness and pride for her.
Later in the day I attended the Perinatal Initiative session, and was in awe and amazed by Dr Lu. The work that is being done at the national level and his personal call to action to partake in the initiatives really moved me. As the town hall opened up, nurses from across the country stood up and shared their work. My mind began to churn and it hit me. I truly believe that I can do this too. I can be part of the initiative. I can bring this back to Kansas City and in collaboration with my peers in Kansas City, we can truly make a difference. Nurses can make the difference.
So many amazing experiences and emotions, I can’t wait for more tomorrow!
Bree Fallon is a Clinical Educator for Perinatal Services at Shawnee Mission Medical Center, the busiest delivering hospital in Kansas City. She graduated from nursing school in 2004 and started her career in a tertiary care facility, providing high risk intrapartum and antepartum care. In 2010, she moved to Children’s Mercy in Kansas City who was looking for experienced L&D nurses to help open the their new Fetal Health Center.