Academic journal article Nursing and Health Care Perspectives

A Kaleidoscope of Bits and Pieces

Academic journal article Nursing and Health Care Perspectives

A Kaleidoscope of Bits and Pieces

Article excerpt

Reflections from the NLN Education Summit 2000

"WELL, HOW DID IT GO?" "Did everything work out?" "Are you ready for a vacation now that it's over?" These were among the questions that greeted my colleagues and me as we returned to the NLN office after our trip to Nashville. And while I responded to questions with ease and enthusiasm at the time, it is only now, as I try to "report" on the Summit, that I realize how difficult it is to describe such a complex, multifaceted event. What I see before me are fragments of the many elements that contributed to the overwhelming success of NLN's Education Summit 2000, and the image of a kaleidoscope comes to mind. According to the Random House Dictionary of the English Language, a kaleidoscope is an optical instrument in which bits of glass, beads, and other items are held loosely at the end of a rotating tube and reflected in three mirrors, placed at 60-degree angles to one another. The bits and pieces appear to the viewer in continually changing symmetrical forms. The word derives from three Greek roots: kal (beautiful), eido (shape), and skopion (to look at), and it is an apt metaphor for reflecting on the Summit. It is beautiful when ideas take on many shapes and there is so much to look at and think about.

Like a kaleidoscope, the Summit offered many sparkling stimuli -- an outstanding overview of the broad canvas of trends taking place in higher education by our keynote speaker, Dr. Marianne Phelps, of the U.S. Department of Education ... a provocative presentation by Dr. Colleen Conway-Welch, who challenged us "to think outside the box" as we imagine the preferred future for nursing education ... an exciting panel presentation by Drs. Diane Skiba, Diane Billings, Helen Connors, and Barbara Krauth on what we must consider as we move forward with distance learning ... the highly entertaining illustrations that Dr. Ron Berk used while urging us to bring humor to the classroom ... a stimulating presentation, sponsored by the Constituent Leagues, on nurse educator competencies for the future ... the 70 exhibits ... the more than 75 poster and nearly 80 paper presenters, who engaged in dialogue with the 1,000-plus attendees about exciting initiatives in nursing education ... the moderators who facilitated the more than 60 breakout sessions . …

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