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NANN Conference Scholarships, Annual Educational Conference, and Product Spotlight

Section Editor(s): Heaberlin, Pamela

doi: 10.1097/ANC.0000000000000057
NANN pages

Board Member of National Association of Neonatal Nurses

Correspondence: Katie Macaluso, BA, National Association of Neonatal Nurses, 8735 W Higgins Rd, Ste 300, Chicago, IL 60631 (

The author declares no funding or conflict of interest.

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Opportunity, networking, continuing education: these are just some of the benefits of attendance described by NANN's 29th Annual Educational Conference scholarship recipients. NANN awarded 29 registration scholarships to attend the conference in part because of a grant from Mead Johnson. These scholarships were awarded to members who had an interest in advancing their career and involvement in neonatal care, management, and research.

Attendees of the 29th Annual Educational Conference attend an interprofessional concurrent session featuring the diverse viewpoints of a parent organization director, physician, nurse, and parents

Attendees of the 29th Annual Educational Conference attend an interprofessional concurrent session featuring the diverse viewpoints of a parent organization director, physician, nurse, and parents

When asked why attendance at the NANN Annual Educational Conference is important, several themes emerged. Networking and keeping current on neonatal topics came out on top. Mary Ann Blatz, MSN, RNC-NIC, IBCLC, clinical nurse specialist at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital and the 2013 Small Grant Award Recipient, offered this reflection: “I attended the NANN Annual Educational Conference to update my knowledge base of neonatal nursing care, network with colleagues, and accept the Small Grant Award for my proposed research: A Feasibility Study of a Smart Phone App That Allows Mothers of Preterm Infants to Monitor Their Breastmilk Supply for Their Infants Hospitalized in the NICU.”

Connecting with colleagues from across the country was especially beneficial for strengthening relationships, as Lizz Welch-Carre, MS, RN, NNP-BC, Children's Hospital Colorado, scholarship recipient and NANN Health Policy and Advocacy Committee member, describes: “The conference benefitted me because I was able to network with others, in particular those individuals who are part of the Health Policy and Advocacy Committee. Up until that point, my only contact had been via e-mail or phone.”

When asked what they would bring back to their units, the conference scholarship recipients talked about updated neonatal care practices and innovative ideas that they learned at the conference presentations. Grace Sullivan, MSN, RN, York, PA, scholarship recipient and current Small Grants Committee Member, described one of her favorite conference presentations. “The most interesting presentation for me during this conference was a speaker who presented on HIV/AIDS and gaining knowledge about how to treat moms and babies based on their health practices and HIV/AIDS status. She was knowledgeable and presented in a way that involved the audience and helped us to practice the new knowledge that she shared through interactive scenarios. I am hoping to create a small bulletin board for my unit to share the knowledge gained from the above-mentioned presenter. The knowledge would be helpful for our labor and delivery and maternity units as well.”

The conference scholarships offered many benefits to these members to network, learn of innovative neonatal care practices, and earn important neonatal-focused continuing education hours. Sharyl Sadowski, MS, NNP-BC, Orland Park, Illinois, Medication Safety in the NICU Position Statement Task Force member and conference scholarship recipient, plans to attend the 30th NANN Annual Educational Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. She states, “It is the one event where I feel I get timely information about neonatal care, can network with others in the neonatal field, and have fun while learning!”

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Why You Should Attend



Attend the conference to

  • recognize the role of the neonatal nurse as a leader and change agent for the profession,
  • position yourself as an advocate for patients and their families,
  • apply evidence-based practice recommendations in clinical care,
  • gain performance practices that support patient safety,
  • establish a mechanism for reaching and collaborating with professional peers, and
  • identify products for use in your clinical care environment.

Additional information regarding this year's conference can be found at

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Become a Developmental Care Specialist



The Neonatal Developmental Care Specialist designation is intended for all neonatal healthcare professionals with developmental care experience and offers the opportunity to apply and assess knowledge through the completion of an online examination. The examination includes both cognitive assessment questions and scenario-based cases. This designation is available only through NANN.

NANN offers 3 exclusive packages to help you obtain your designation. These tools will help you achieve better results within your NICU while enhancing and increasing your developmental care knowledge and, ultimately, your professional growth opportunities.

To learn more about NANN's developmental care packages, visit

© 2014 by The National Association of Neonatal Nurses