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Behind the Scenes of the 2017 National Student Nurses' Association Annual Convention

Woman looking through a Johnson and Johnson VR device
At the NSNA 65th Annual Conference, the Johnson & Johnson <i>Campaign for Nursing’s Future</i> hosted the “GO GLOBAL give forward” experience to highlight the important role nurses play in advancing global health.

Last week, thousands of student nurses from around the country congregated for the 65th Annual National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) Convention in Dallas, Texas to share knowledge, build professional relationships and prepare to launch their nursing careers. At the conference, the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future hosted the “GO GLOBAL give forward” experience to highlight the important role nurses play in advancing global health. Raya Culper, a nursing student and featured speaker in the room, noted that nurses are playing a growing role in advocating for global health. 

"Nurses are getting more involved with changing the world, using our collective 3.1 million nurse voices as a megaphone to leave the world a better place than when we found it," she said. 

Read on to learn more about the  wide range of global health projects highlighted in the #JNJGoGlobal room.

A small child holding a previous picture of himself with a cleft lip

Operation Smile 

Operation Smile is an international charity that provides surgery to children and young adults born with cleft lip, cleft palate, or other facial deformities in developing countries. In the #JNJGoGlobal room, students tried a 360-video virtual reality experience, bringing them to the front line of an Operation Smile mission trip offering surgical procedures to children with cleft palates. Students could also meet Angie Slagle, RNFA, CNOR, BSN, a nurse who works with Operation Smile. Slagle shared her experiences traveling overseas to perform the life-changing surgeries and encourage nursing students to consider a career in public health. 

Helping Babies Breathe

Two women working on giving CPR to a dummy baby

Helping Babies Breathe is an initiative that aims to reduce neonatal mortality with an evidence-based program that provides hands-on training to nurses and other medical staff in resource-limited environments. At the convention, Chunmei Li, Director, Global Community Impact, Johnson & Johnson, and Amy Cannon, RN from Save the Children, hosted a hands-on learning experience from the Helping Babies Breathe curriculum, which trains nurses in resuscitation skills necessary for babies with newborn asphyxia.


A group of teens smiling and taking a selfie for Donate a Photo

Donate A Photo

Attendees also joined the Donate a Photo initiative, a free app from Johnson & Johnson in which every photo uploaded unlocks a donation from Johnson & Johnson for a key cause.  One cause on the app is supporting nursing scholarships through the Foundation of the National Student Nurses Association. Student snapped selfies, uploaded their photos and helped support nursing scholarships.

Caring Crowd promo banner with quote from Derek Fetzer and image of female nurse checking woman's blood pressure


Students also had a chance to listen to Derek Fetzer, Director Global Public Health, Johnson & Johnson, share insights and opportunities to get involved with CaringCrowd®, a crowdfunding platform powered by Johnson & Johnson for public health projects around the world.

Give a Spit promo banner with information and image of smiling man swabbing his cheek

Give a Spit About Cancer

With support from Johnson & Johnson and in partnership with, students also had the opportunity to learn more about Be the Match, the bone marrow registry, and even sign up directly with the help of their spit kits!


Unseen Enemy trailer promo image

Preventing Infectious Disease

Students got to sneak a peek at the trailer for the new CNN documentary, “Unseen Enemy,” sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. The documentary explores the worldwide fight against infectious diseases like Ebola, Zika and Influenza. In case you missed the premiere, be sure to tune in again to CNN on Saturday, April 15, at 9:00 PM EDT or view on demand on CNNgo. Additionally, students were invited to listen to Donna Sabatino, RN, ACRN, a nurse and Johnson & Johnson employee, share her experiences of working in HIV/AIDS prevention in the U.S. 

Care Run promo banner with image of people running

Charity Miles

The convention wrapped up on Saturday with the Johnson & Johnson Care Run, which challenged nursing students to run a 5K to support the NSNA undergraduate scholarship program. Students in the run were encouraged to use the “Charity Miles” partner app, which supports your charity of choice with every mile you walk, run or bike. Users can choose from over thirty causes, including supporting the Foundation of the National Student Nurses’ Association scholarship program.

For more information about the 2017 NSNA Annual Convention, or to learn how to get involved with a local NSNA chapter, visit

Collage of images from the Go Global convention

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