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Contact: Sheila Watkins, Division of
Nursing - 208/792-2409, or email@example.com
Idaho Nurses Meet in Lewiston
The Idaho Nurses Association will be meeting in Lewiston later this month.
Leaders in nursing from St. Joseph Regional Medical Center and Lewis-Clark State College
have been planning for several months to host the state convention, which takes place at
the Red Lion Hotel October 11 to the 13th.
Lewiston nurses are excited to be hosting the state association this year. Sheila Watkins,
a nursing professor from Lewis-Clark State College and one of the event organizers said,
"The convention is an exceptional learning and networking opportunity for those new
to the nursing field, as well as those already immersed in it." Nurses and student
nurses from around the state will attend lectures by nurses, pharmacists and doctors to
help them better manage the care of patients and job related stresses.
Stress and overwork have been important issues for nurses, who fill vital roles in all
areas of health care. A growing national shortage of nurses captured the attention of
political leaders and educators earlier this year, and the recent terrorist attacks in New
York and Washington D.C. have brought the shortage to the forefront again.
Thursday, October 11 will feature a dinner lecture on caring for terminally ill people in
hospital and home settings. Lectures begin Friday at 9:00 a.m., with registration at the
door starting at 8:30 a.m. The keynote presentation is, "Chicken Soup for the Nurse's
Soul." The keynote speaker is LeAnn Thieman, a nurse from Colorado who was
"accidentally" caught up in the Vietnam Orphan Airlift in 1975. Her book, This
Must Be My Brother, details her daring adventures in helping to rescue three hundred
babies during the fall of Saigon. According to Watkins, Thieman will share true stories
and life-balancing lessons intended to "inspire and uplift health care workers and
consumers-so we invite the public to join us."
Thieman subsequently adopted one of the orphans from the airlift, and her adventures with
adoptive parenting, the orphan airlift and obstetrical nursing have been published in
several Chicken Soup books. She received congratulations from then President Ford for her
work with the Vietnamese orphans, has published articles in popular journals, and has been
featured on Fox-TV news. Her story will be on PAX-TV's It's A Miracle this fall. She
co-authored Chicken Soup for the Nurse's Soul, and will autograph books following her
Following the opening presentation, attendees can choose among lectures on the problems
with antibiotic-resistant organisms, use of humor in the cardiac care unit, or legal
issues for nurses. Afternoon sessions begin at 1:30, where attendees may choose to hear
Theiman's talk, "You've Got to See It to Be It," learn about standardized
nursing languages, or hear about the "Eden philosophy" in long-term care
The final session features local doctors Dr. Tom Grissom and Dr. Glenn Bigsby, talking
about chronic pain management and teenage sexuality respectively. Sandi Evans, Executive
Director of the Board of Nursing will also be discussing Idaho's new licensure law, which
allows nurses to practice nursing in some states under their Idaho nursing license. Evans
will also discuss disciplinary issues such as impaired nurses, the nursing shortage in
Idaho, and other professional concerns.
Anyone interested in any of the sessions is invited to attend. To help cover costs, there
will be a fee to attend: $10 for students and starting at $27 for non-INA members. Friday
evening the nurses and students will relax and exercise with a line dancing party.
Saturday, nursing students will have presentations by their peers, while the association
has its House of Delegates House meeting, where delegates from regional districts vote on
budget issues, the legislative platform for the association and resolutions presented by
districts or the Idaho Nursing Association Board.