A Millennial Reflection on her First NASN Conference

By Dahiana Defina posted 08-19-2018 23:46

Hello Everyone,

NJSSNA along with NASN gave me the opportunity to attend the 2018 NASN conference in Baltimore Maryland this past June through their millennial scholarship to incorporate millennial into their leadership academy.  The leadership academy focused on NASN’s vision that every student counts and the importance of data driven assessment to guide school nursing practice. In order to do this membership recruitment and retention is an important aspect of this vision. We discussed multiple ways that other organizations have incorporated to reach new and past members and how to strategically incorporate small guiding steps towards our overall mission.

As a new nurse to school nursing practice, I left the conference not only inspired by the many nurses that I had the pleasure to meet but enthusiastic to expand my nursing practice and take leadership roles within my school. Janice Selekman’s presentation on the Principal and the School Nurse: Building a culture of health inspired me to set up a meeting with my own principal and reflect on procedures that had occurred this past year and ways that we can improve not only the process but communication. Terri Sjodin taught me the importance of a great first impression, what public speaking mistakes not to commit, and how to creatively convey my message to important officials in order to get what I am looking for. Linda Wolfe shared nursing history and how the power of the past will guide us to our future.

I could go on and on regarding how amazing it was to attend this conference, but most important I would like to share how important it is to become involved because that is what I learned the most. Nursing practice is where it is today due to the efforts of lots of nurses with a vision to drive nursing care forward. We might not know how we can contribute but reaching out to your local organization and letting them know that you would like to become involved is the first step. Start off with small task, then small roles which will eventually land you to bigger roles. When we get together to collaborate we learn from each other and you are able to take on big tasks and work towards them together.

Thank you NJSSNA and NASN for giving me such a wonderful opportunity. I hope to continue to grow and maybe someday contribute my wisdom to later generations.

Yours Truly,

Dahiana DeFina

#NASNat50 #NASN2018 #MillenialCSN




10-04-2018 11:05

Hi Dahiana,

I am inspired by your positivity, your energy and your ideas.  It was truly my honor to attend the NASN2018 Leadership Academy with you and I am eager to have you involved in NJSSNA/NASN.  We are better as an organization when all NJ school nurses are members and involved - it is together that we can share ideas, devise, initiate and carry through plans to meet the needs of our students.


09-19-2018 19:59


Thank you for your blog.  I am delighted that you had such a positive experience at NASN 2018.  I like this quote from your blog,

"Nursing practice is where it is today due to the efforts of lots of nurses with a vision to drive nursing care forward....When we get together to collaborate we learn from each other and you are able to take on big tasks and work towards them together."

I encourage you to work to drive school nursing care forward to the future.

Laurie Combe

Thank you so much for sharing your experience at #NASN2018.  The community of school nursing is supportive and inspiring at the same time.  I am always energized after attending the national conference. Meeting and talking with so many amazing school nurses helps to jump start my year ahead. 

Good luck on your leadership journey.  You have terrific role models and mentors in New Jersey to help along the way.  I'm glad you have joined the world of school nursing as we all work to improve health services for our students. 

Beth ​

Thank you for attending as our NJSSNA "millennial scholarship recipient" . We enjoyed meeting you and spending time with you at the NASN conference. We value your professionalism,your fresh ideas, and commitment to school nursing.We look forward to your participation with NJSSNA!

It was great to meet you during the conference and for you to share your insights as a millennial school nurse.  I am sure that the New Jersey State School Nurses Association will be enriched by your participation and leadership in the future.   

Mary Blackborow