Set your course at the Day of NP LIFE

Day of NP LIFE By Morgan Payne, PharmD, BCACP

Financial planning. Hormone therapy. Burnout. Opioids. Leadership. Boat rides. Socks. Who knew you could pair all of these things together for a weekend of networking, knowledge, and fun?

The first year I attended the APhA Day of NP LIFE, I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I had heard great things from my network of friends about the previous year’s fun, but I had no idea that their words did not do the weekend justice.

Education and entertainment

Friday night started the festivities with a hospitable welcome from APhA staff. Dinner and dialogue were hosted on the balcony of APhA Headquarters, which overlooks Washington, DC, and its majestic landscape of monuments. It was an amazing experience to be in the nation’s capital, networking with other New Practitioners from around the country, while soaking in the rich history of the pharmacy leaders who paved the way before me.

Saturday was focused on education and entertainment. The morning was filled with continuing education sessions addressing the opioid epidemic, women’s health, financial planning, LGBTQ inclusive health care, and difficult conversations in the workplace. It was an inspiring time to hear from leaders in the profession who were once in my shoes: a New Practitioner trying to find her way, establishing herself in the profession, working through student loan debt, and creating work–life balance to avoid burnout.

One of my favorite sessions of the afternoon was the roundtable discussion, including professional pearls and everyday life hacks, where New Practitioners learned from other recent graduates with similar stories. To round out the day of programming, the highlight of the weekend was without a doubt the networking boat ride along the Potomac River. It was a spectacular sight to see so many new and familiar faces together building one another up and exchanging experiences about being in the “same boat” (pun intended).

Not only was the weekend beneficial for attendees, collectively the APhA New Practitioner Network was able to round up 233 pairs of socks to donate to a local community-based organization, S.O.C.K.S. (So Others Can Keep Striding). If you are interested in learning more or contributing to this movement, visit http://www.socksmovement.org.

Batteries recharged

Day of NP LIFE was a great opportunity for me to reflect upon my journey in pharmacy and remind myself of the growth that has accrued during my education and training. Additionally, it was an opportunity to look forward with dozens of my other colleagues (and now friends) at the possibilities of my career within my reach.

As a New Practitioner, it is easy to get overwhelmed in the excitement, joys, heartbreaks, and challenges that come with any new change. Coming back home after the weekend in DC and returning to work on Monday, I felt refreshed and reminded of my potential to affect others’ lives. Whether your current position as a pharmacist is the first time you have worked or pharmacy is a second career path for you, there is a little something for everyone at the Day of NP LIFE.

We hope you will join us next year for another incredible event!