16 MAGNET EDITION | 2018 | www.advanceweb.com O fficially, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Conference takes its name from the Magnet Recognition Program®, awarded to health care organizations who place special value on nursing talent. But an observer could be forgiven for thinking the name came from the conference’s unique abil- ity to attract nurses from around the United States and the entire world. This year, over 10,000 nurses converged on Denver, Colorado from October 24–26 for three days of learning, networking, and recognition. Speakers from several walks of life dis- cussed what it means to receive the Magnet designation, and not only the honor it affords but the responsibility it bears upon its holder. “As leaders, our job is not to fix reality,” said Cy Wakeman, president of Reality-Based Leadership. “It’s to embrace it, and move beyond our egos to the best part of us and answer the call to greatness.” The largest nursing conference in the United States has many professionals who strive to reach that level of greatness taking the opportunity to learn from those who have. “While it’s great to receive an award, for me the truest reward is being a nurse,” simplified Sheila Dinotshe Tiou, chair of the Global HIV Prevention Coalition. Dr. Tiou received the prestigious HRH Princess Muna Al Hussein Award in recogni- tion of more than 30 years of impassioned advo- cacyfornursingandhealthcareacrosstheglobe. Of course, the attendees are at the heart of what makes the conference so prominent, and this year those attendees were greeted by sev- eral hundred exhibitors, who enjoyed unop- posed exhibit hall hours to display their latest products and innovations. “The energy, the excitement, the passion and the expertise are just incredible,” summarized Dr. Pat Reid Ponte, president of ANCC. “You can feel it.” “Every nurse that comes to a Magnet con- ference leaves changed,” said Dr. Loressa Cole, CEO of ANA Enterprise. “If they could bottle that up and take it back to where they work and share that joy… we could really change the experiences of nurses and improve the lives of our patients.” The conference was capped off with a key- note speech from Aron Ralston, an American outdoorsman best known for surviving a six- day ordeal trapped in Blue John Canyon and survived only by amputating his own forearm after becoming trapped beneath boulder. He has since spoken of how he may have lost part of his arm, but regained his life on that fateful day (The movie 127 Hours is based on Ralston and his ordeal.) “It’s not what we do in our own lives that enrich us but it’s what we do for others,” Ralston told the assembled nurses. “May your boulder be your blessings too.” MAGNET AWARD WINNERS The ANCC announced the recipients of the 2018 National Magnet Nurse of the Year® Award during the conference. The award, which recognizes the outstand- ing contributions of clinical nurses to innova- tion,consultation,leadership,andprofessional risk-taking, are presented in each of the five Magnet Model components: • Transformational Leadership • Structural Empowerment • Exemplary Professional Practice • New Knowledge, Innovations, and Improvements The Power of Attraction Magnet Conference brings in over 10,000 nurses By Rob Senior CONFERENCE  |  MAGNET EDITION