The First-Timers Orientation welcomed about a hundred newcomers to the 2013 Annual Meeting Friday evening. Dean Mazurek, CRNA, APN, of the PR Committee, welcomed guests to the Meeting and introduced guest speakers from around the AANA.
Mazurek likened the AANA to a high school class and the Annual Meeting was the reunion, welcoming everyone into a culture he hoped they’d be a part of for a long time.
“Speaking on behalf of everyone, we’re all very glad to see you here,” said Mazurek. Brian Berry, Jr., CRNA, MS, also of the PR Committee, spoke about the opportunities present at the convention.
“Network and find jobs. Soak it up,” said Berry.
Representatives of AANA leadership were on hand to greet newcomers and speak about different aspects of the Annual Meeting and the organization. President Janice Izlar, CRNA, DNAP, encouraged all guests to attend the Business Meeting at 8 a.m. Sunday.
“Every member has the right to go to the microphone and speak on any issue before the Association,” she said.
Following Izlar, AANA Executive Director/CEO Wanda Wilson, CRNA, PhD, shared her views about the organization, and Steve Hamilton, CRNA, president of the Nevada Association of Nurse Anesthetists, welcomed everyone to his state.
“We want you to go home and tell everyone what happened in Vegas,” said Hamilton. “Take it easy so you can enjoy yourselves.”
Throughout the hour, Berry and others entertained the crowd with jokes and trivia questions with prizes. The most surprising response of the evening was to a question from President-elect Dennis Bless, CRNA, MS, positing how much original AANA dues were. An audience member answered five dollars without even needing to hear the multiple-choice options.
Leslie Jeter, CRNA, MSNA, chair of the Program Committee, encouraged newcomers to go to the activities and fundraisers of the Annual Meeting, and Donna Rosenstock, senior exhibit manager at Slack Inc., said there were 125 exhibitors this year and 162 booths in the Exhibit Hall.
Janet Dewan, CRNA, MS, chair of the Health and Wellness Committee, shared details about the committee’s offerings, including the 5K Walk/Run and fun runs every morning, and the Jan Stewart Memorial Lecture 9 a.m. Monday.
Emily Grost, BSN, student representative of the Education Committee, gave some words of wisdom to her fellow students in attendance. “This is your new profession, embrace it,” she said.
To encourage first-timers to continue to advocate for their profession, Ruth Ann Morris, CRNA, MS, chair of the CRNA-PAC committee, spoke about what the PAC stands for while Frank Purcell, senior director Federal Government Affairs, and Christine Zambricki, CRNA, DNAP, FAAN, senior director of Federal Affairs Strategies, appeared in 1950s “Rat Pack” getup in homage to the theme of the CRNA-PAC fundraiser Saturday night.
Overall, first timers received an informal welcome and bits of knowledge from officials representing all aspects of the AANA, encouraging them to enjoy their time in Las Vegas and come to many Annual Meetings in the future.
Ruth Ann Morris (left) promotes the CRNA-PAC fundraiser as Chrinstine Zambricki and Frank Purcell (right) flaunt their 50's attire.