by Martha B. Baird PhD, APRN/CNS-BC, CTN-A, Transcultural Nursing Society Board of Trustees, First Vice-President and Chair of Conference Planning
The 46th Annual Conference of the Transcultural Nursing Society International will be held virtually, October 21-24, 2020. Due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was decided that a virtual format would be in the best interest of our members and participants.
The Board of Trustees considers this a great opportunity for the Society considering the scope of our membership. There were 250 participants from 35 countries at the 2019 TNCS Annual conference. In these uncertain times an online format enhances our ability to increase member participation. In addition, we are able to present the conference at a substantial discount since we will not have the costs associated with a face-to-face format.
In the virtual conference we will have synchronous (in real time) podium presentations where participants can attend and interact with the presenters as they would at an in-person conference. In addition, these podium sessions will be recorded so that participants can view them (asynchronous) at a later time, at their convenience. We will have a special room set up so that the poster presentations can also be viewed online. A benefit of this virtual format is the ability to view more of the presentations and thus obtain more continuing education (CE) credits.
This year we have had a surprisingly large number of submissions, with abstracts from many different countries representing multiple cultural groups. Some of the conference highlights include: the keynote address by Dr. Rumay Alexander, past president of the National League for Nursing (NLN); the scholars presentation by Dr. Joyceen Boyle about Migrants at Risk: Medical Repatriation and Transcultural Nursing for the Scholars presentation; and a panel about Providing Culturally Congruent Health Care of COVID-19 in Diverse Populations in the U.S.
In this Year of the Nurse and Midwife, transcultural nurses are needed more than ever to collaborate, share knowledge, and strategies to address the global challenges we are currently facing. It is hoped that this year’s virtual conference will inspire us to take a leadership role in healthcare, racial inequality, and environmental affairs.