NTI (National Teaching Institute) is an annual critical care nursing conference through AACN that gathers nurses from all over America. It’s basically like Disneyland for ICU nurses. Ok… maybe not that great, but it’s pretty close. There’s over 300 educational sessions offering over 37.5 CEUs, over 400 vendors (hello!), and over 9,000 acute and critical care nurses attended in 2018.
The world of ICU nursing is constantly evolving. It is not only important, but it is crucial that RNs don’t remain stagnant in their workplace, and continue to stay up to date on the latest research and evidence-based practice. This was my third time attending, and I can’t explain how energizing it is to go every year. NTI gives you that annual reboot to stay passionate for your career. Because nursing after all, is so much more than just an occupation. It has become a way of life for all of us.
Each year, NTI is held in a different location. This year it was in Boston, with Orlando coming up next in 2019 (hello Disneyworld trip!). You get to stay in a hotel with your nursing friends, and strengthen relationships with them outside of work. I truly believe hanging out with your coworkers for fun drastically improves your job satisfaction.
The conference goes from Sunday to Thursday, with Thursday being a half day and Sunday offering some preconference classes. I usually attend the Sunday Leadership Development Workshop (LDW) being a board member of my local AACN chapter. Technically, the conference begins Monday. Each day is up to you. You make your own schedule based off of what classes you want to attend. There is everything from hemodynamics to trauma, to political issues in nursing, to advanced practice nursing classes. There’s sessions on safety, nurse burnout, and certification reviews. So many classes. You get to schedule what you want to learn about and check out all of the amazing vendor stands in between classes. The best part is even if you miss a class, they’re all available to you online after attending.
When you’re not at the conference, you get to tour around a new city with your coworkers or relax at the hotel. They do a “Nurse’s Night Out” during the week, where they host a party at one of the city’s big tourist attractions. Last time I went it was in New Orleans, at the museum where they keep all the Mardi Gras floats. There was a bar with music and dancing, it was so much fun. Nurses know how to party amiright?
If you’re certified, there’s also a Certification Celebration dinner to celebrate your accomplishment along with other certified nurses. This was my first year attending as a certified nurse and it was so much fun! Additionally if you attend NTI, you get a free month of access to AACN’s certification reviews online, as well as lecture printouts which are normally almost $200. This is what I used to help me study for the CCRN. The online sessions are really helpful!
NTI is great for bringing fresh new updates in critical care back to your unit. It gives you the opportunity to network with nurses across America and talk about the things that work great for your unit, and the things that need improvement. If you see a piece of equipment you love at the conference and want to implement it on your unit, the vendors are more than happy to set up a visit to your unit to talk about it. There’s also tons and tons of booths from universities you can talk with if you’re interested in furthering your education.
Basically if you’re an badass critical care nurse like myself you need to be at NTI. Let me know below if you’re thinking about attending next year in Orlando – I would love to meet up with you guys! For more info, check out AACN’s website here. Leave any questions below!