Purpose for the Program
Attending a national conference is a stimulating growth experience, and mentorship thrives, but attendance is not feasible for all nurses. Sharing knowledge and expertise with local hospital staff is needed once the national conference has ended. A vision was inspired by two labor and delivery nurses after attending the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses’ convention in Las Vegas, where numerous coworkers presented case studies and posters. The idea to allow these same coworkers to disseminate their information in a relaxed, informal, and social environment evolved into the first annual Sharing Topic of Research and Knowledge (STORK) day. This was an educational day centered on sharing topics of research and knowledge through oral presentations and a poster fair with an opportunity to receive continuing education credit. The development of this day was multifaceted. Initially, the basis was to honor accomplished coworkers by providing a venue to repeat their presentations locally and for others to showcase their posters. This was also an opportunity for those with family, financial, or travel restrictions to attend an affordable, quality educational program. The day was designed to feature speakers from a variety of our maternal–child departments, demonstrating the interdependence and communication relationships necessary to provide optimal patient care. Moderators for each speaker were solicited from the list of registrants, which created an additional opportunity to engage nursing peers.
To create dynamic alliances through mentoring relationships, STORK day offered an avenue for mentoring interaction between nurses through invitations sent to institutions in a tri-state area. Nursing students from local colleges and universities also were invited, potentially introducing them to their first professional conferences. This day was a commitment to the development and empowerment of others, young and old, as well as the promotion of the future of our profession.
Implementation, Outcomes, and Evaluation
Professional development includes increasing knowledge regarding medical equipment and supplies or advancing an education. Vendors from maternal–child health-related products and universities with hospital-affiliated programs were invited to participate. The vendor room successfully provided information, demonstration, and sample products to all attendees. Community participation was the final component of the educational day. Door prize donations were requested from numerous local and national businesses. The winning numbers were announced between each presentation, which added excitement and pleasure to a day of intense topics.
Implications for Nursing Practice
STORK day proved to be an effective opportunity for professional development and distribution of nursing practice innovation. Participation created a sense of accomplishment and pride and ignited a passion and renewed commitment to professional excellence in nursing.