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Together in 2025

Last weekend, in the heart of our Lone Star State, Phyllis and I found ourselves amidst the vibrant energy of dedicated healthcare professionals at the Texas Nurses Association (TNA) annual conference, aptly named "Gaining Traction." As the dust settles in San Antonio and we attendees return to our respective corners of the healthcare world, we at CODE YOU wanted to take a moment to reflect on the invaluable experiences, connections, and insights gained during this empowering event — maybe even inspire some new nurses to attend next year in Austin.

The theme, "Gaining Traction," was so timely as we in healthcare work hard to recover from the devastation of the pandemic and regain our momentum. It's about moving forward collectively, leveraging knowledge and collaboration to drive positive change. At its core, the conference aimed to equip us with the tools for professional advocacy, foster connections with like-minded colleagues, and reignite our passion for our chosen vocation.

One of the most significant aspects of any nursing gathering is the opportunity to advocate for our profession. We go into nursing because we care, but we are more than caregivers; we are innovators and advocates for patient rights, healthcare equity, policy reform, and safe workplace cultures. Many of this year's presenters advocated for nurse wellbeing, peer support, better staffing ratios, adequate compensation, and ending workplace violence, all things we are passionate about and know are vital for our profession's future. 

Beyond advocacy, the conference emphasized the importance of connection and camaraderie among nurses. In the fast-paced and sometimes painful world of healthcare, it's easy to feel isolated or overwhelmed. However, gathering with peers who share similar experiences and challenges felt rejuvenating. The TNA conference facilitated coaching and networking opportunities where nurses could exchange ideas, hear from marginalized voices, and find support in a community of like-minded professionals. Collectively, our individual resolve was strengthened to focus on things like nurse wellbeing and cultivate a sense of solidarity, which is essential for sustaining passion and resilience in the face of adversity.

Perhaps most importantly, the conference served as a poignant reminder of "WHY" we do what they do. In the midst of hectic shifts, bureaucratic hurdles, and ever-evolving healthcare technology systems, it's easy to lose sight of the fundamental purpose behind our scrubs and stethoscopes. However, by coming together to celebrate achievements, share stories of impact, grieve the painful aspects of our profession, and reaffirm our commitment to compassionate care, we were reminded of the profound difference we make in the lives of our patients and communities every single day.

Thank you to the TNA conference committee. The momentum gained from this gathering will undoubtedly reverberate throughout the nursing community. We are now armed with newfound knowledge, fortified connections, and a renewed sense of purpose. We attendees will return to our workplaces inspired to continue the noble work of caring for others.

The only thing we found missing in this year's conference was you, the dedicated bedside nurse. Please consider joining us in Austin in 2025.

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