6/2/09 - Facing New Challenges, Nurses Meet to Learn Latest at American Nephrology Nurses' Association Symposium

Contact: Linda Alexander
856-256-2300, ext. 2411 • linda@ajj.com

Facing New Challenges, Nurses Meet to Learn Latest at American Nephrology Nurses’ Association Symposium 

PITMAN, NJ – Recognizing that a key weapon in the war against kidney disease is ongoing education, over 1,100 nephrology nurses and health care professionals convened April 26-29 at the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA) 40th National Symposium to learn the latest treatments and practice innovations.

The symposium, held at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel and San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA, updated practitioners on such topics as hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, transplantation, infection control and pharmacology. The courses were presented by the country’s leading nephrology health care experts. In addition to the education sessions, attendees met with exhibitors and industry representatives in the exhibit hall and enjoyed networking, mentoring and entertainment events.

With kidney disease rates marching steadily upward and baby boomers aging, nephrology nursing has become one of the largest nursing specialties in the United States. This in turn has intensified the demand for quality education, according to ANNA officials.

“With the number of patients growing and talk of big changes in the U.S. health care system, nurses know how important it is for them to stay informed,” said ANNA’s new President, Donna Bednarski, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, CNN, CNP. “Nephrology nursing calls for such a high level of expertise to begin with, so education events like the ANNA symposium are crucial in preparing nurses for what is ahead.”

A full recap of symposium highlights is available on the National Symposium page of the ANNA Web site, www.annanurse.org. The site also features a complete listing of ANNA award, scholarship, and grant recipients, as well as a photo gallery.


Outgoing ANNA President Sue Cary, MN, APRN, NP, CNN, hosted the symposium’s Opening Ceremonies on Sunday, April 26. The first general session followed, with author Michele Deck exploring the values and motivations of each generation in her presentation, “Building Bridges Between Generations.”

On Monday, April 27, Captain Gerald Coffee, U.S. Navy (Ret.) and Vietnam POW, delivered the Janel Parker Memorial Keynote Address. Focusing on leadership and teamwork, Captain Coffee wove his own incredible experiences of hope and survival with ways to lead others effectively.

Attendees also enjoyed networking events as well as a dance party featuring the San Diego dance band, the Fabulous Ultratones.

New Officers

ANNA’s new officers were inducted during the Nephrology Nurse Recognition Luncheon on Tuesday, April 28. Cary continued ANNA’s tradition of transitioning to a new president by passing ANNA’s “Vision Crystal” to 2009-10 President Bednarski, who is a nurse practitioner at Harper University Hospital in Detroit, MI.

Also inducted were Donna Painter, MS, RN, CNN (president-elect); Molly Cahill, MSN, NP-C, APRN, BC, RN, CNN (treasurer); Kim Alleman, MS, APRN, FNP-BC, CNN-NP (Northeast vice president); and Sylvia Moe, BSN, RN, CNN (North Central vice president). The rest of the board includes Cary (immediate past president); Rowena Elliott, PhD, RN, CNN, BC, LNC (secretary); Loretta Jackson Brown, MSN, RN, CNN (Southeast vice president); and Nancy Pierce, BSN, RN, CNN (Western vice president). View complete list of ANNA’s Board of Directors with photos.

Awards and Honors

At the symposium, ANNA distributed over $108,000 in scholarships, grants and awards and honored both individuals and ANNA chapters for service.

Caroline Counts, MSN, RN, CNN, of Charleston, SC, received the association’s highest honor, the “Outstanding Contribution to ANNA Award.” Marilyn Eilert, RN, CNN, of Wallington, NJ, accepted the Ron Brady Memorial Award for Excellence in Volunteer Leadership. Barbara Prowant, MSN, RN, CNN, of Sturgeon, MO, was posthumously awarded the Nephrology Nurse Educator Award, which recognizes an ANNA member for outstanding contributions to professional and/or patient education. And Angela Taylor-Smith, ASD, RN, BSN, CDN, received the ANNA Board of Directors Award, which recognizes a grassroots member for advancing the goals and objectives of ANNA. View a complete list of the award, scholarship, and grant winners.

2010 Symposium

ANNA’s 41st National Symposium will be held May 2-5, 2010, at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio and Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX. For more information about the symposium and ANNA, contact the ANNA National Office at East Holly Avenue Box 56, Pitman, NJ, 08071-0056; phone 888-600-ANNA (2662) or 856-256-2320; fax 856-589-7463; e-mail anna@ajj.com; Web site www.annanurse.org.


 ANNA is a professional nursing association with over 12,000 members. Its mission is to advance nephrology nursing practice and positively influence outcomes for individuals with kidney disease through advocacy, scholarship, and excellence.