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GNSA Bulletin - October 2021 Edition

Published October 07, 2021

Emerging Leaders

Jennifer Riske, BSN, RN, OCN


DNP Program

University of Michigan


Anticipated Graduation Date:  

April 2022


Clinical Adjunct Lecturer for the Second Degree BSN Program at University of Michigan-Flint School of Nursing; Contingent RN at Beaumont Health Ambulatory Infusion Troy Campus

I have been an oncology nurse for 16 years, including eight and a half years as a traveling nurse. During that time, I have worked alongside some amazing nurse practitioners. I was inspired to enroll in the FNP program so that I could play a larger role in my patients' care and impact the health of patients across the lifespan. The DNP program at University of Michigan was the perfect fit for me because I have always been passionate about sharing evidence-based practice and nursing knowledge with my fellow nurses. During my time at the University of Michigan, I have had some amazing leadership opportunities, teaching experiences, and the ability to work closely with respected faculty members. After graduation, my goal is to teach for a nursing program and have a clinical practice in either adult oncology or primary care.



GNSA members are doing extraordinary things across the country and globally. Are you our next emerging leader? Do you excel in your graduate program, demonstrate excitement for your nursing work, and/or have potential to greatly contribute to health care? If so, submit an emerging leader nomination form today to self-nominate or nominate a fellow student. The emerging leader will be selected from the applicants and notified when they will be profiled. Help us recognize future nursing leaders!


Noteworthy Article: 

In the September-October 2021 issue of the Journal of Professional Nursing, Dr. Denise Crismon and colleagues, published an article titled 'COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on Experiences and Perceptions of Nurse Graduates'. The article highlights the challenges perceived by new nurse graduates on their transition into practice due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The specific groups surveyed were BSN, RN-BSN, AND DNP students who graduated between December 2019 and April 2020. The authors identified three overarching concerns from these groups, including difficulty finding employment post-graduation.

Take Over the GNSA Instagram!
Are you interested in sharing details about your life as a student? Want to show how you balance your time between work, school, and home? If so, participate in the GNSA Instagram Takeover Tuesdays. Share your strategies for success with other graduate students. What is your go-to study snack? What does your desk look like? Have you recently attended a webinar and want to share your experience and thoughts? Share all this and more on #Takeover Tuesday. Fill out this form to participate

Join the GNSA!
Take advantage of the various benefits that are free to you as a graduate student! Tell your fellow students and make sure they join today! Click here to complete the online application.

Getting the Most Out of Attending a Conference

Those new to the practice of "conferencing" might be unfamiliar with choosing and navigating a conference to best meet your goals, dealing with conference etiquette, and balancing socialization and self-care. There are no shortages of professional conferences offered to nurses, and almost every nursing organization offers one to its members. Nevertheless, in order to get the most out of a conference, preparation is essential. Continue reading for advice on how to make your conference experience purposeful, meaningful, and successful. 
Pre-conference Preparation
Start by thoughtfully selecting a conference that best suits your career goals and objectives. One method for selecting a conference is to choose based on the overall content described in the program. For example, if you practice clinical work and research, you may want to select a conference that offers a wide range of applied and experimental presentations. Once you have decided on which conference(s) to attend, you will need to register, reserve your hotel room (or other lodgings), and purchase your airline ticket (or other transportation accommodations). You may also want to coordinate with a colleague to share a hotel room to cut the cost. Decide whom you want to meet at the conference and try connecting with them in advance to better your chances of getting together. Additionally, you may find it helpful to write down goals and objectives (Beccera et al., 2020).

During the Conference
Given the multitude of conference events you can attend with other professionals, you need to tactfully represent yourself, your organization, and your field. Be prepared to meet professionals in any setting before, during, and after the conference events. Get plenty of rest! Conferences are sort of like marathons that require planning to maintain energy for successful behaviors. During the events, actively listen to the speakers and take notes. Avoid the temptation to get work done by multitasking. Give the speaker(s) your full attention and engage in meeting new people. Before leaving the conference, make it a priority to verify that CEUs are organized and fully submitted. Take a picture, make a copy, or take a screenshot of whatever documentation you are required to submit before submitting so you can have a record of how many CEUs you earned. Additionally, if you have attended the conference with funding from an organization, sort any receipts for reimbursement. Even if you are funding your own conference experience, take time to organize receipts for tax deductions (Beccera et al., 2020).

Post-Conference Considerations
Review your notes and locate articles of interest mentioned during the sessions. In addition, follow up with further actions you plan to make. For example, you may have met a contact to whom you promised you would send a research article. Creating a contact list of those you met at the conference, relevant details about your interactions with them, and any follow-up tasks will help you remember your conversations. Also, sending an appreciative e-mail about the talk's content or quality of the discussion at the end of the conference can plant a networking seed that may bloom by the next event. Make notes of important meetings or discussions on professional business cards. Lastly, reflect on your conference experience. Given the amount of work and money put into attending a conference event, consider whether you will elect to attend it again in the future. Reflecting on the benefits of attending in temporal proximity to the event should allow for a more accurate evaluation than thinking back after several months or years (Beccera et al., 2020). 

Becerra, L. A., Sellers, T. P., & Contreras, B. P. (2020). Maximizing the Conference Experience: Tips to Effectively Navigate Academic Conferences Early in Professional Careers. Behavior analysis in practice, 13(2), 479–491.
Denise Robertson, MSN, RN, NEA-BC
GNSA Leadership Council Member
University of Tennessee - Knoxville


Share Your Experience with Attending a Nursing Conference Through the GNSA Community

Have you attended a nursing conference before? What was your experience? Which sessions did you enjoy the most and why? What barriers did you encounter when planning for the conference? As the GNSA plans for its next national conference, we would love to hear some of your takeaways from previous conferences that you may have attended. Share with the community by logging in to your MyAACN account and clicking on GNSA Connect from your GNSA dashboard. If you have questions about how to access or use this resource, contact Autumn Spriggs at


Register Now: Nursing Virtual Fair, Thursday October 7, 10am-8pm EST


Register now and speak with 110 nursing schools at the FREE Discover Nursing Virtual Fair on Thursday, October 7 from 10am-8pm EST! Learn about nursing specialties and the steps to obtaining your next degree or certificate. During the Fair, schools will discuss their programs, including nursing master's (MSN/MS/MN), DNP (Post-Bachelor's and Post-Master's), PhD (Post-Bachelor's and Post-Master's), and Post-Graduate Certificates. Program representatives will be available to answer your questions in an interactive, virtual setting. Join from anywhere at the time that works best for you! Over 3,000 students will be attending this week's event; don't miss out. Register now!


Deadline Extended: Share Your Feedback in the 2021 GNSA Evaluation Survey!

Great news! There's still time to send in your feedback and enter a drawing for a chance to win a $50 gift card from GNSA. Help us improve on our programming and services by completing the 2021 GNSA Evaluation Survey. Your feedback is critical to ensuring that we provide the right value to graduate students across the country. The survey will close on October 31. To complete the survey, click here.  

Meet This Month's Newest Liaisons! 
Are you interested in further developing your leadership skills? Do you have an interest in building a stronger connection with the students and faculty at your school? If so, sign up to serve as a GNSA Liaison for your institution. Click here to learn more about the role and find out who the current Liaisons are. As a GNSA Liaison you will be among the first to know about opportunities, scholarships, and events. We are looking forward to an exciting fall semester. If you have any questions, contact Autumn Spriggs at

Balancing School, Work, and Life for Your First Year as a Graduate Student
October 11, 2021 at 6:00 pm ET
The first year of your graduate school experience can be particularly challenging. Join this panel discussion as current graduate nursing students discuss tips and tricks on how to successfully balance school, work, and life. During this webinar, you will hear suggestions for navigating your first year, explore time management strategies, and learn from the personal experiences of the panelists.
Navigating the Nurse Faculty Role
October 12, 2021 at 4:00 pm ET
Are you considering a career in nursing academia? Join this webinar to better understand what to expect as new nursing faculty, including how to prepare for your new position, what to expect during transition from student to faculty, and what challenges and opportunities are available in academia.
Self Preservation: Practicing Radical Self-Care During Difficult Times
October 27, 2021 at 1:00 pm ET
Self-care is an essential survival skill for nurses. Now more than ever, nurses must equip themselves with the tools to practice radical self-care, as an act of self-preservation. This presentation will focus on your overall physical, emotional, and mental health in a way that feels relevant and measurable for nurses, paying specific attention to areas of your life that directly impact work-life balance. Tangible steps to practice self-care will be discussed.


Geraldine "Polly" Bednash Scholarship

This scholarship program provides $5,000 in support to outstanding nursing students in baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs at AACN member institutions. Eligible applicants must be admitted or enrolled in a nursing school affiliated with CastleBranch or have submitted an application through the centralized application service, NursingCAS The next application deadline is October 31, 2021. To apply and learn more about the scholarship requirements, click here.  

Stay Connected and Get Involved

Stay up to date with AACN's policy and advocacy efforts by signing up for AACN's Grassroots Network. By signing up, you'll receive action alerts requesting you to contact Congress on timely issues, and other updates on advocacy and policy opportunities. You will also be sent AACN's policy and advocacy newsletter, Washington Weekly. To join today, click here

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