I started preparing for AACN National Teaching Institute or NTI 2014 in Denver, in May of this year, while NTI 2013 was going on in Boston. This is my plan. (now I’ve also applied to be faculty, so who know’s I may not need to spend as much money as I”m budgeting)
- I set up a separate savings account and had money from every overtime shift I work place into it. This account is not attached to my ATM card, it’s not part of my overdraft protection, it’s labeled Professional Education.
- Set up a budget. I start out by ball-parking how much money I’ll need. Is start by getting on a travel site like Travelocity and figuring out a best guess how much it will cost me, and add a fudge factor. I look at hotel cost, flight cost and food cost, as well as if there is anything i would like to do while i’m there.
- I put in for the time off. I do this early and I check it every month to make sure the request doesn’t get lost.
- I check hotel cost every month. I tend to use Priceline. In New Orleans I paid $95/night for the same room that others pain almost $200. You have to check blogs and forums to see what people are paying for rooms in the same area. Sometimes, you really don’t have a choice, but when your budgeted for a higher rate and you manage to get it for a lower one, That’s a win. I really start to ramp up this search in Oct when the details of NTI are posted.
- I do the same thing for plain fair. I use fairwatch on each of the travel sites and keep an eye on it.
- Start selling NTI to co workers and the bosses. Who knows if you sell it well enough, you boss might actually pay for some of NTI.
- Last but not least, I make sure my membership in AACN is always current.
Sometimes it’s not easy. But I’ve found that one overtime shift a month,and saving that money, pretty much covers my expenses if I start planning early enough.
If you haven’t gone to NTI, you need to! It’s educational, uplifting and recharging.