Brittany Haskell Shares A Presenter’s Perspective on Crafting a Successful Annual Conference Abstract
APNA Member Brittany Haskell, DNP, PMHNP-BC, CNE, gave the presentation, Mental Health Virtual Escape Room, along with co-presenter Matt Schroer, DNP, PMHNP-BC, at the APNA 35th Annual Conference last fall. Part of the process to be a presenter is answering the annual Call for Abstracts with a short summary explaining your topic for presentation. Brittany explains why she wrote an annual conference abstract, and all the ways you can be inspired to choose a topic for one too!
Why did you craft an abstract for the APNA 35th Annual Conference?
I submitted an abstract to APNA’s annual conference because I had a project from my work as a nurse educator that I thought was worth sharing with other nurses and nurse practitioners working in mental health. No matter if you work in the inpatient, outpatient, community, or education setting, nurses relentlessly strive to improve their place of work, and I think it is important to disseminate experiences and knowledge that others can learn from. Rather than reinventing the wheel, we can combine our powers to create something even more amazing.
How did you go about it? Did you collaborate with others?
I enjoy collaborating with peers for projects and written work, like abstracts, presentations, or manuscripts. Not only is it less work for every member of the team, but the finished product is much more robust. I think the key is to identify peers who are also interested in a specific phenomenon with a skillset that is different and complementary to your own. For my submission to the APNA Annual Conference, I identified a peer who was interested in the same educational topic and was a strong collaborator and presenter.
Chances are, if you have an interest, question, or concern, someone else has that same thought, too.
How did you choose your topic?
We chose a topic based on a novel teaching intervention we are using that we thought others might like to learn about. Topic ideas can come from so many places – novel educational approaches, clinical questions, or research. Chances are, if you have an interest, question, or concern, someone else has that same thought, too. You do not need to have a PhD to identify a topic to disseminate.
How did you choose your presentation type?
When considering a presentation type, I think about what would be helpful to the audience. If a project is smaller or appeals to a narrower audience, then a poster presentation should be considered. If a larger audience might be interested and a project is more involved, I consider a podium presentation. I think about the amount of time it will take to comprehensively share background, methods, results, and conclusions, while also piquing the audiences’ interest. In this case, I thought it would take about 20 minutes to adequately cover our educational intervention.
Never underestimate the value of audience participation through case studies, polls, or questions to increase engagement. No presentation is helpful if you are putting your audience to sleep.
What do you think makes for a successful annual conference abstract?
I think a successful abstract is easy to follow and direct. Anyone should be able to read an abstract and understand specifically what will be included in a presentation or manuscript.
What did you find rewarding about presenting?
I find it rewarding to provide information to my nurse and nurse practitioner peers that they find helpful for their own work. I can feel my endorphins increase when an attendee says: Thank you so much for sharing this information. I also love connecting with peers from around the country on shared interests and continuing that relationship even beyond a conference.