5 Extravagant CME Conferences for Spring

Over the holidays, I was reminiscing as I flipped through a few photo albums in our home. I smiled as I recalled my husband and camel riding in the Canary Islands and winning $800 playing slots in Vegas. For a brief moment, I couldn't remember why we had selected either of these travel destinations, they didn't seem to be our norm. Then, it hit me - these had been continuing medical education conference trips. 

<--break-><--break->My former employer had a quite liberal continuing education allowance for nurse practitioners and physician assistants so I was able to attend some of the more extravagant CME opportunities available to NPs. Even when pitching in personal funds was required, these conferences were a great excuse to take a subsidized vacation and, of course, hear from some engaging speakers along the way. 

As you plan how to spend your 2016 CME allowance, consider these extravagant spring continuing medical education picks. 

1. Topics in Emergency Medicine, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam is often referred to as one of the most colorful cities in the world. Where else can you find so many famous museums, cozy pubs, fun shops, and flower markets? When you're not hitting up European hot spots, the conference itself won't disappoint. Whether you work in primary care or the emergency department, this course covers clinical topics for nurse practitioners of all specialties. Evaluation of low risk chest pain, aortic catastrophes, and septic arthritis are just a few of the topics covered in the five day course. 

2. Medical Spanish for the Healthcare Professional, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Costa Rica's got it all. From surf, sand, and sun to outdoor adventures like white water rafting, course attendees won't lack for activities during time away from educational content. Hosted at the beach side Secrets Papagayo Resort, white sand and tranquil blue waters are just outside hotel room doors. Course content covers basic medical Spanish from words and phrases related to performing physical exams to verbiage relating to medical test results. ¿Habla Español?

3. Wilderness and Expedition Medicine Everest Base Camp Trek, Kathmandu, Nepal

The hiking, outdoor enthusiast, and adventurer will love this conference hosted at the world's highest peak. Explore the exotic city of Kathmandu before flying into the remote mountain town of Lukla to begin a Himalayan trek to the Everest Base Camp. Follow an ancient route that will take you through tiny villages, across high mountain passes, and through remote valleys. Along the way, medical topics such as altitude illness, hypothermia, and wilderness dermatology are presented - valuable information for the adventurer. 

4. Dermatology Scandinavian Cruise

Visit England, The Netherlands, and all three Scandinavian countries on this continuing medical education conference at sea. Course content focuses on dermatology, a topic relevant to nurse practitioners practicing in many specialties. When you aren't in class, explore Norway, Sweden and Denmark with shore excursions such as a fjord sightseeing cruise or canal cruise in Copenhagen. 

5. Cardiology Update for Primary Care, Los Cabos, Mexico

For nurse practitioners on a limited CME budget, this conference is a more practical pick. The conference hotel boasts a white sand beach, pristine ocean views, pools and golf courses providing rest and relaxation between classes. Topics cover content such as anticoagulation, bradyarrhythmias and management of PVCs, to name a few. 

Where will your 2016 continuing medical education take you?