SUNA Scholarship Recipients Reflect on Conference Experience


2019 uroLogic Conference Scholarship Recipient

I am so honored that I received a scholarship for the uroLogic Conference in Orlando. This will not only make a difference to just me but also to the many patients I interact with. Continuing education is such an essential component to providing high quality care. During the conference, I learned many pearls of wisdom. The conference provided a variety of topics, which can be applied to many clinical settings. While attending the conference, I gained a renewed sense of inspiration to make changes to improve clinical practice. I strive to provide the highest-level patient-centered care in every interaction with my patients, and without SUNA this would not be possible. I plan on continually pursuing higher education and hope to one day give back by sharing my knowledge through research endeavors and by presenting at a future conference. Thank you so much for selecting me for this scholarship. The impacts will be widespread.

Rachael Conner, RN, CURN
Monument, CO

2019 uroLogic Conference Scholarship Recipient

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the scholarship that I received to attend the 2019 uroLogic conference in Orlando, FL. This was my first of hopefully many SUNA conferences and receiving the scholarship made it possible for me to attend.

As a nurse who has been caring for urology patients in the hospital setting for the past 20 years, the conference gave me some insight into what my patients experience both before and after their hospital stay. I was able to attend one of the preconference sessions on various urological procedures. This session gave me information on how certain procedures are performed and gave me the knowledge on how to troubleshoot certain tasks that I can perform in the hospital. I will be sharing the information that I learned during this session with other health care team members so that our patients can experience the best outcomes. During the 2 days of the conference, I was able to attend sessions on various topics. With the variety of different topics being offered for each session, I was able to choose some topics that would help me in my day to day work, but I was also able to select other topics to advance my knowledge on urological nursing issues.

The conference gave me the opportunity to meet other nurses from around the country where we could share our experiences with each other. I was also able to network with other SUNA leaders to gain knowledge on the experiences of the other local chapters.

Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity, and I look forward to attending future SUNA conferences.

Meghan Johnson, BSN, RN, CMSRN
St. Josephs Health
Syracuse, NY

2019 uroLogic Conference Scholarship Recipient

I want to thank the SUNA Foundation Trustees for selecting me as one of the scholarship recipients this year! I was humbled to be selected and grateful for the opportunity to attend the 2019 uroLogic Conference at Coronado Springs in Florida!

The conference planning committee should be commended for such an awesome event. The variety of topics, dynamic speakers, and large vendor participation made this conference fantastic. It was a wonderful time of learning, networking, and enjoying the location. I particularly enjoyed meeting new people and hearing if and how their practices are utilizing nurse navigators. As the urology nurse navigator at my hospital, I provide education and resources to patients and their support people. I also communicate with the urology offices to coordinate follow up and discuss patient needs. At this conference, I gained new knowledge that I can pass along to patients, families, and fellow urology nurses. I made new connections with vendors that will benefit our patients as well.

I came back from the conference energized and with plenty of “pearls” to use in our practices. I shared my excitement with our Springfield Mississippi Valley Chapter group this month and encouraged everyone to attend a SUNA Conference.

Thank you again for granting me this opportunity!

Tia Rapps, BSN, RN, CURN
Memorial Medical Center
Springfield, IL

2019 Past Presidents Scholarship Recipient

I have heard for many years that there were scholarships available to help cover the cost to attend the SUNA conference. This year I was fortunate enough to receive the Past Presidents scholarship! Attending the SUNA conference every year has been critical to my continuing education, and the conference this year in Orlando was no different. I attended many sessions that provided me with the latest guidelines as well as furthered my knowledge in areas that are not in my everyday practice. I intend on becoming certified next year, so the preconference certification review course was helpful for me to identify areas where I will need to focus my studies. While the conference allows me to continue my education, it also gives me an opportunity to network with colleagues. Having met individuals from all over the United State, who I can now contact, I have a quick means of consultation for a second opinion. Networking also helps me to make process improvements in my own clinic as I learn how my colleagues are doing things more efficiently in their offices. I am dedicated to the field of urology and SUNA’s annual conference helps me to provide the best urological care to my patients. I encourage all SUNA members to apply for the conference scholarships as I did not believe that it could happen to me, and it did!

Ashley Read, MS, NP-C
DaVita Medical Group
Colorado Springs, CO
SUNA Rocky Mountain Chapter

2018 uroLogic Conference Scholarship Recipient

I want to express my sincerest gratitude for the generous scholarship to attend the 2018 uroLogicConference in San Diego. The experience was extremely rewarding on many levels.

Networking with urology professionals and developing new friends and colleagues was a wonderful experience and will help me continue to grow and inspire me profession-ally. I learned valuable information at all of the sessions I attended, and I plan to incorporate this information in my current practice as an ARNP in urology within the Veterans Administration (VA).

I am grateful to have learned new information about pre- and postop cystectomy patients. I am excited to contact the ARNP from the University of Michigan, who provided such an excellent presentation and agreed to share clinical pathways with me. I have been back to work for 4 days and have already implemented gum chewing on two open cases on postoperative day one. We have had an ongoing problem in recent months with postop ileus, and I look forward to seeing better outcomes using this helpful idea. I also am very impressed by all the research presented, which inspires me to implement a research project very soon.

Peyronie’s disease has been frustrating for me as a practitioner because we really do not have any good treatments available for our VA patients. We have asked several times about Xiaflex® but for some reason have been told we cannot get it. However, now that I have the literature directly from the American Urological Association (AUA) guidelines to present to our pharmacy, I plan to present some strong proposals to finally be able to offer something to treat our patients with Peyronie’s.

It was awesome to learn about the AUA advocacy page, and I am excited to share the AUA Consensus Statement on Advanced Practice Providers with all of our urology surgeons as many of them do not under-stand the many roles of the APP. Hopefully, we can incorporate many new competencies in our practice.

I truly enjoyed all the presentations, discussions, poster presentations, vendors, and exhibits. My favorite social hour was the wine and cheese event and presentation by Dr. Thomas Keane on prostate cancer. I thought I was completely up to date on that subject, but I still learned so much from his humorous and informative talk. I look forward to seeing everyone next year in Orlando!

Janice Steele Allwood, MS, ARNP-CARNP
Urology Surgery
St. Pete Beach, FL

2018 uroLogic Conference Scholarship Recipient

I would like to take this opportunity to thank SUNA for all the hard work that is put into the national conferences. The material was easy to follow and made sense at the RN level. The speakers were wonderful. I really enjoyed the human touch they added by sharing their own personal experiences.

I have been an OCN certified HEM/ONC for 18 years and wanted something different. I started a new medical career field at age 55. Urology is quite different and a whole new learning curve for me. Urology challenges me in ways I haven’t been challenged before. I am already preparing for the conference in Orlando next year!

I feel that I was blessed to be awarded a scholarship to attend this conference. Otherwise, I would not have been able to go. I learned so much and networked with so many others. It was one of my best experiences at a conference in a long time. My plan is to become certified by the end of next year. Please continue the good work that you do. I appreciated every minute of the conference.

Thank you again. I will be a big advocate for pushing toward learning and experiencing all that is available to me and my staff in the future. Keep up the good work!

Rachelle Fawcett, RN
Caldwell Urology
Lenoir, NC

2018 uroLogic Conference Scholarship Recipient

Thank you for the scholarship to attend the 2018 uroLogic Conference in San Diego. I feel fortunate to have been selected for this wonderful opportunity. I have attended SUNA conferences in the past and when I return, I always feel inspired by the knowledge that I have gained by attending the presentations.

At the conference, I enjoyed the variety of speakers and diverse topics, including gender affirming surgery, advanced urodynamics, and the management of male incontinence. The presentations as well as the collaboration and networking with nurses from other states were just some of the highlights of my experience at this year’s conference. I also enjoyed browsing through the exhibit hall to see the latest technology in continence and medical devices that were being showcased. I found the poster presentations to be very informative, and I enjoyed chatting with the presenters who are passionate about their research.

The SUNA conference contributed to my knowledge and confidence in my clinical capacity as a urology nurse at the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre in Vancouver, BC. The educational sessions that I attended will enhance my assessments and treatment of patients. The knowl-edge I gained during the conference will also reinforce the evidence-based standards to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients. The experiences and information gained from the conference will be translated into my clinical practice and shared with other members from my healthcare team.

Thank you once again for this amazing opportunity to attend the 2018 SUNA conference, and I look forward to attending the next conference.

Teresa Lim, BSN, RN, NCA
Blusson Spinal Cord Centre
Vancouver, BC

2018 Past Presidents Scholarship Recipient

Thank you for the opportunity to attend the 2018 SUNA uroLogicConference as the recipient of the Past Presidents Scholarship. This year’s conference was one of the best I have attended in the last few years. There were many topics that were up-to-date and valuable to my current practice. I felt I gained very important information and obtained new information that will help with my current practice. Many of the lectures focused on standards of care and current practice. Valuable information and resources were presented. I feel I am able to expand my current knowledge base, therefore providing up-to-date care to my patients.

This year I was able to network and meet new SUNA members from across the states. We exchanged contact information, so we can reach out to each other when needed.

Once again, I would like to thank you for this opportunity.

Linda Abriel, MSN, RN, ANP
Capital Region Urology-SPHP
Albany, NY

2018 Arthur T. Evans Scholarship Recipient

As a recipient of the Arthur T. Evans Scholarship, I am writing to thank the SUNA Foundation for assistance in my trip to the 2018 SUNA uroLogic Conference in San Diego. This was the third time I was able to attend a SUNA conference, and the knowledge I gained through the presentations has helped me immensely in my day-to-day work. Being informed of new treatments, the latest research and guidelines, and changes in recommended practices allows me to de-liver the very best care to our patients. I recently became the lead in training new employees at our clinic, so this is especially helpful to me, as I am able to share this knowledge while training. This helps me to feel more confident while educating others and improves our clinic’s nursing standards.

One of the things I enjoyed the most about the SUNA conference was being able to learn about practices and techniques people in other clinics are using. Sharing ideas with others in the field is one of the best ways to improve our own knowledge and skills. This helps keep us up-to-date and provides an invaluable experience that you cannot get from reading about new research, procedures, and treatments. It’s also a great opportunity to be able to ask questions of knowledgeable people who specialize in different areas.

At this year’s conference, I had the honor of being invited to sit on the Test Writing Task Force for the CBUNA associates exam. This was not only a wonderful learning opportunity for me, but greatly rewarding. The entire process was very interesting, and I truly enjoyed getting to know the others on the task force with me. I am very grateful to have been asked to help out with this wonderful group.

I have been very fortunate this year to have been honored with the Macfarlane Award, the invitation to sit with the Test Writing Task Force, and to receive this scholarship. This has helped to expand my personal knowledge, give better patient care, and improve my ability to train new staff. I work for the Wisconsin Institute of Urology. Our practice moved into a new free-standing clinic with its own lab, imaging, and ambulatory surgery center this past summer. The recognition and respect I gained at work as a result of these honors has helped me to be a stronger leader during a time of great change for our practice. I am confident these experiences will continue to help me in the future to im-prove patient care and take on new challenges.

Nicole Boesch, CUA
Wisconsin Institute of Urology
Neenah, WI

2017 uroLogic Conference Scholarship Recipient

I want to thank you so much for the scholarship and affording me the opportunity to attend the SUNA uroLogic Conference in Chicago. It allowed me to keep up to date with the latest changes in various topics and to stay relevant when caring for my urologic patients.

I was able to attend two preconference workshops, which expanded my confidence in utilization of pessaries and opened a door to integrative medicine that was fascinating to learn about. I find myself considering asking each patient to stick out their tongue, so I can practice diagnosing it.

The venue was exceptional, and the city of Chicago is beautiful. I was able to see a little bit of the city that I might not otherwise have been able to experience. The rest of the conference as usual was packed with outstanding speakers. The keynote was incredible and, as always, everything was perfectly organized and well planned. I greatly appreciate and personally understand how much work was put into this conference, and as I visited and reconnected with long-time friends along with making many new ones, I heard nothing but positive comments.

As always after returning home from SUNA’s conference, I am recharged and energized to return to work and put into practice the things I learned. I also am able to share the information with the office staff who were not able to attend.

With much appreciation,

Linda Adams, LVN, CUA
Pacific Urology
Walnut Creek, CA

2017 uroLogic Conference Scholarship Recipient

I would like to thank you for choosing me as a uroLogic Conference scholarship recipient! As many others have in the past, I never took advantage of the scholarships, thinking someone else needs them more than I do. Kathy Marchese emailed those of us who volunteered for APRN activities, strongly encouraging us to apply. I am ever so thankful she did as this gave me the “push” to apply.

I have been a SUNA member for over 10 years and have attended many conferences. It is a great way to learn and ask questions on presented topics. During question/answer time, I always enjoy hearing others’ questions/perspectives on the presentation topic. The conference agenda is also varied enough to meet everyone’s needs. Although I am a NP, I don’t limit my course selections to advanced practice topics instead choosing what will meet my educational needs.

At every uroLogic Conference, I am able to learn so many new things and update my knowledge base. Every session was informative, but the one that hit home was the research presentation, “Work Incivility.”  The presentation gave me an entirely different perspective to bring to our next chapter board meeting. Why? Our chapter will be meeting to discuss the “future” of our chapter as it relates to lack of member responsiveness to meetings. Our chapter members do not express any incivility; however, we NEED to band together as specialists to prevent the turnover and decline in members who enjoy urology. Maintaining our network as specialist benefits our practice and patients with the common goal being evidence-based, hig- quality patient care. Only our specialty understands our populations and the inherent issues we encounter. Losing members affects patient care, but also our ability to grow and support each other. If I can convince other Board members that our uniqueness alone is reason enough to continue our chapter as well as our ability to support each other, then my goal will be accomplished. I am hoping to brainstorm with our board members to consider changing how we run our chapter so we can meet our members’ needs via a different support model. I plan on referencing this research presentation when we meet as an impetus for change.

The uroLogic Conference scholarship could not have come at a better time! I always leave with so many new pearls, which I greatly appreciate. I am also in awe of the presenters, how much they do, and their knowledge base.

Thank you again.

Linda Davis, FNP-C, CUNP
Schenectady Urological Associates
Schenectady, NY

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