Supporting Early Career Professionals at ENA18

About one-third of ENA members have fewer than five years’ experience in emergency nursing, and those newer to the field have unique needs. ENA is happy to help in many ways, including with an event this afternoon that promises to provide valuable insight into how influential professional development and ENA involvement can be on newer nurses’ careers.

The Emerging Professionals Lunch is scheduled for noon in the Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom.

ENA and its far-reaching community of more than 43,000 members are flush with innovative ideas, engaging educational opportunities and decades of experience to help support this growing cohort. Since 2012, conference planners have partnered with Stryker to host events for those emergency nurses with fewer than five years’ experience, allowing the emerging professionals to tap into the wealth of knowledge available to them. 

Since Emergency Nursing 2016, that event has become the much-anticipated Emerging Professionals Lunch. 

“We wanted an opportunity to gather emerging professionals attending the conference so they can network with those in a similar phase of their career,” said ENA Member Relations Director Bridget Krause. 

Aside from good food and like-minded company, the event offers a panel of emerging professionals making the most of their career. It’s an opportunity for attendees to hear from peers who have been in their shoes and achieved success along the way. 2018 Rising Star Award recipient Kimberly Russo and Lauren Plaine, this year’s emerging professional liaison to the ENA Board of Directors, will discuss how they navigated early career challenges as well as taking on leadership roles within ENA.

Russo said it can be challenging to get involved early in one’s career, but that’s what makes the event so valuable.

“This panel is the perfect opportunity to ask questions and learn from someone else’s career and experiences in ENA,” she said. “Hearing from other members you can relate to can empower you to go out there, get involved and make a difference.”

Krause said the event also enables newer ED nurses to directly connect with leaders of ENA and the emergency nursing community. One of those leaders, Garrett Chan, will complete the three-person panel. Chan, a member of ENA’s Academy of Emergency Nursing Board, is slated to announce a new AEN initiative – a mentoring program that pairs seasoned emergency care professionals with burgeoning nurses.

“This panel offers an opportunity to those in leadership positions or actively engaged in projects to share with newer nurses how to start their journeys,” said panel moderator and ENA board member Jennifer Schmitz. “They offer encouragement to pursue their interests and share their own experiences in how they became involved. The panel supports new engagement and new members stepping up, either within their organization or within ENA.”

Ask the Experts:

What is your advice for new emergency nurses?

Ask all the questions, no matter how silly you feel they might be.

—Lauren Plaine, Emerging Professional Liaison to the ENA Board of Directors

Emergency nurses should know they have chosen an unbelievably rewarding career, and they should follow their passion, regardless of their years of experience. Opportunities are within their grasp and they should take them. They should use their voice and be heard; their opinions and ideas matter and can be influential.

—Jennifer Schmitz, ENA Board Member

You have the ability to make a difference. No matter how hard and frustrating it may be, never give up.

—Kimberly Russo, 2018 ENA Rising Star Award recipient

Be patient with yourself; there is a lot to learn. The emergency nursing community in ENA is here to help you whether it is in acquisition of knowledge or skills, dealing with compassion fatigue or supporting you in your professional development.

—Garrett Chan, ENA Academy of Emergency Nursing Board Member

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