Over 1,500 nephrology nurses and health care professionals gathered at the American Nephrology Nurses' Association (ANNA) 39th National Symposium April 27-30, 2008, in Philadelphia, PA, making it one of the most highly attended conferences in the association's history.

Innovation was the recurring theme in all education sessions, which spanned nephrology nursing practice. Conference planners this year highlighted nursing informatics and evidence-based practice to help attendees learn the latest ways to keep patients safe and improve outcomes.

"Nephrology nursing calls for such a high level of skill and knowledge, and the advances are rapid-fire," said ANNA's new President Sue Cary, MN, APRN, NP, CNN. "The nurses recognize this and I was so impressed at this symposium by their passion and enthusiasm to learn best practices so they could achieve optimum patient safety."

At the conference, held at the Philadelphia Marriott and Pennsylvania Convention Center, the attendees earned contact hours for continuing education, met with exhibitors and industry representatives staffing more than 250 booths, and enjoyed networking and entertainment events.


Outgoing ANNA President Sandra Bodin, MA, RN, CNN, hosted the symposium's Opening Ceremonies on Sunday, April 27. Immediately after, speaker Faith Roberts, BSN, presented the opening session, "Keeping a Professional Presence in Times of Change." Roberts coached the attendees on how to be a force in the health care industry while applying the core values of care and competence to their daily practice.

On Monday, April 28, renowned bioethicist Arthur Caplan, PhD, delivered the Janel Parker Memorial Keynote Address. Dr. Caplan discussed the most urgent bioethical issues health care professionals face today, such as organ transplant, gene therapy and human experimentation.

New Officers

ANNA's incoming officers were inducted during the Nephrology Nurse Day Recognition Luncheon on Tuesday, April 29. Bodin continued ANNA's tradition of transitioning to a new president by passing ANNA's "Vision Crystal" to 2008-09 President Sue Cary, MN, APRN, NP, CNN, a nurse practitioner at Ochsner Health System, Baton Rouge, LA. As she accepted the crystal, Cary outlined her goals which include promoting the nephrology nursing specialty, increasing ANNA membership, and continuing ANNA's advocacy efforts on health policy issues involving nephrology. Cary will also focus on generational issues in the work place and on mentoring nephrology nurses for future leadership roles.

Joining Cary and Bodin on the 2008-09 ANNA Board of Directors are the newly inducted members: President-Elect Donna Bednarski, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, CNN, CNP; Secretary Rowena Elliott, PhD, MSN, RN, CNN, BC, CLNC; Southeast Vice President Loretta Jackson Brown, MSN, RN, CNN; and Western Vice President Nancy Pierce, BSN, RN, CNN. Returning officers complete the remainder of the Board and are as follows: Treasurer Donna Painter, MS, RN, CNN; Northeast Vice President Debra Castner, MSN, RN, APNC, CNN; North Central Vice President Molly Cahill, MSN, NP-C, APRN, BC, RN, CNN.

Awards and Honors

At the symposium, ANNA distributed more than $90,000 in scholarships, grants and awards.

Beth Ulrich, EdD, RN, FACHE, FAAN, senior vice president, Professional & Consulting Services, Gannett Healthcare Group, Pearland, TX, and editor of Nephrology Nursing Journal, received the "Outstanding Contribution to ANNA Award," the highest honor bestowed upon an ANNA member. Sharon Longton, BSN, RN, CNN, CCTC, transplant coordinator, Harper University Hospital, Detroit, MI, was awarded the Ron Brady Memorial Award for Excellence in Volunteer Leadership. Robert MacKinnon, RN, CNN, of Boston, MA, and Lauren McClure, BSN, RN, CNN, each received the ANNA Board of Directors' Award, which recognizes two grassroots members for advancing the goals and objectives of ANNA. A complete list of all awards and scholarships is available on the ANNA Web site, annanurse (click on 'Members' tab, 'Awards/Scholarship/Grant Program').

2009 Symposium

ANNA's 40th Annual National Symposium will be held April 26-29, 2009, at the Bayfront Hilton San Diego and San Diego Convention Center. For more information about the symposium and ANNA, contact the ANNA National Office at East Holly Avenue Box 56, Pitman, NJ 08071-0056; phone 888-600-ANNA (2662) or 856-256-2320; fax 856-589-7463; e-mail annaajj; Web site annanurse.

ANNA is a professional nursing association with over 12,000 members. Its mission is to advance nephrology nursing practice and positively influence outcomes for patients with kidney disease through advocacy, scholarship, and excellence.

American Nephrology Nurses' Association

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