About One DNP

I earned my "terminal practice" degree in nursing from the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in a journey of excitement and challenge. It inspired me to advocate for an all encompassing clinical credential rather than continuing the hodgepodge of nonsensical initials. I hope these entries will provide entertainment and insight into the Doctor of Nursing Practice experience, which will soon be the entry standard for all advanced practice nurses.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Countdown to Vegas!

RIP 2006
Those of you who know me in the real world are pretty clear that I love Las Vegas. I first visited in 2001 when a friend announced "my nephew is eloping at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and I really want to go support him, but there's no way I can afford it." Being young, spontaneous, and flush with student loan money, I replied "if you want me to plan it, I will and we're going. What's you budget?" Of course, he did not believe I was serious until I was about to click the purchase button on the SWA package for 2 nights at the Stratosphere (IP and Sahara were the close runner ups) with car and flight from Albuquerque for something like $400.

We had our first beer on the flight up and I am pretty sure I stayed pleasantly inebriated for the entire trip. I remember his family felt guilty for the drama that made them want to run away and wound up coming anyway. The mentionable events that stick out:
  • Walking the strip, thinking "I hope I can afford to stay at a fancy place like Treasure Island . . . how do families afford to stay here at $200/night?" 
  • Aerialists hanging from the ceiling at Ra in Luxor (now LAX) and finding myself in the center of the dance floor with a handsome partner and an attentive audience
  • Going to the Stardust showroom to see if it was dark. Yep. To this day I often pack for my trips with Nomi Malone! 
  • The yellow brick road at MGM, a wizard sticking out of Excalibur, and general theming on the south side of the strip 
  • Carrying a cup of change with my whole $20 in gambling/drink tip money (I left with $16). 
  • Wait, the drinks are free?!? 
  • Seeing "Bottoms Up", the topless afternoon show at Flamingo where admission was only a $7 Heineken with coupon. 
  • Taking a ride on the Big Shot at Stratosphere
  • Learning that marriage in Vegas is not the place for sentimentality. These people have a schedule to keep and your 30 minutes start the second you hit the dressing room (yet I still teared up!) 
  • Taking off at twilight and while we were taxiing down the runway, I gazed longingly at the strip as the lights came on, sad to be leaving but thinking, "I will see you later, Las Vegas strip. I will see you later."
And I have.  A lot.

While the strip has changed dramatically since that first visit, the vibe of Las Vegas holds the same promise of excitement, the same respite from everyday reality, and the same unpredictable wonder that keeps me coming back.

You woke up. Celebrate.
When the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners announced they were having the 28th national conference in my favorite destination city, there was no question I would be attending. However when I started talking up the conference to colleagues, I received a lot of negative feedback on our host city. Much like tequila, folks have a visceral reaction when you mention sin city: "It's smoky," "Nothing to do there but gamble,""It's so manufactured," "Way too stimulating" "So crowded," "Everyone's drunk," "Such a hassle to get around," and my personal favorite, "Ugg, Vegas."

So for those attending the conference who have never been to Vegas and for those reluctant to revisit, I have started board on Pinterest to help make the most of the free time you have have. And maybe even entice you to spend a couple of extra days exploring the Entertainment Capital of the World!

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