updated 11/8/2010 1:16:55 PM ET 2010-11-08T18:16:55

HOUSTON, Nov. 8, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Officials with Houston Baptist University, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System and the United Kingdom's University of Chester announced plans to host the 2nd annual Global Nursing Conference next year in Houston. The conference, scheduled for March 14–15, 2011, will be held in the Morris Cultural Arts Center on the campus of Houston Baptist University in Houston.

Featuring some of the greatest minds at the forefront of nursing today, the two-day nursing forum will give nurses the opportunity to learn from trailblazers including Geraldine Bednash, PhD, CEO and Executive Director of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN); Leah Curtain, ScD, RN, FAAN, Executive Editor of American Nurse Today; and Tim Porter-O'Grady, DM, seven-time winner of the American Journal of Nursing Healthcare Book of the Year Award. Registered nurses will also have the opportunity to earn up to 12.5 hours of Continuing Education contact hours by participating in the conference.

The United States will continue to face an aging nursing workforce in the next decade. As the general population ages, the demand for health services will increase exponentially. "In the next 15 years, it is projected that the nursing shortage in the United States will grow to more than a quarter of a million nurses," stated Dan Wolterman, President and CEO of Memorial Hermann. "Healthcare organizations must be preparing now to find creative solutions to what could become a significant threat to our nation's health. We believe that events like the Global Nursing Conference will help nurses, health systems and nursing educators be proactive in preparing for the changes that are on the horizon. Sharing knowledge has a positive impact on improving the quality of patient care."

In addition to attracting experienced nurses, organizers have created a discounted conference fee to encourage nursing students to attend the event. "We believe in providing tools so that the next generation of nurses can be prepared for whatever they may face as the healthcare industry changes," said Dr. Robert B. Sloan, Jr., President of Houston Baptist University. "This conference will give students unparalleled opportunities to interact with leaders from many different facets of nursing. This experience will give them a perspective they could not gain by reading textbooks."

Organizers are enlisting major sponsors to underwrite conference expenses to keep registration fees as low as possible—only $175 for the two-day event—for participating nurses. "All business leaders should be on board to make sure our nurses are ready for the future," said Stewart Morris, Chairman Emeritus of Stewart Title Company. "Our company's involvement as a sponsor of the Global Nursing Conference is important to our mission. A healthy medical community is a vital part of attracting great employees and new industries to Houston. It is key to preserving the quality of life we enjoy here."

Nurses interested in participating in the Global Nursing Conference are invited to sign up for a pre-registration priority list at www.list.GlobalNursing.org. Nurses and nursing students on the priority list will be notified when registration is open for the conference. Space for the conference will be limited to the first 500 nurses, nursing educators and nursing students who register for the event. Event registration is scheduled to open in mid-November.

About Memorial Hermann:

An integrated health system, Memorial Hermann is known for world-class clinical expertise, patient-centered care, leading edge technology, and innovation. The system, with its exceptional medical staff and 19,000 employees, serves southeast Texas and the greater Houston community. Memorial Hermann's 11 hospitals include three hospitals in the Texas Medical Center and eight suburban hospitals. The system also operates comprehensive cancer centers, the LifeFlight air ambulance program, the area's only burn treatment center, numerous imaging, sports medicine and rehabilitation, surgery centers, a wellness center, a chemical dependency treatment center, a home health agency, a retirement community and a nursing home. To learn more, visit www.memorialhermann.org or call 713.222.CARE.

The Memorial Hermann logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3095

About Houston Baptist University:

Houston Baptist University is an independent, private, Christian liberal arts institution with a diverse student body. The University is dedicated to the development of the intellect, the moral character and the spiritual lives of its students. It has access to all the cultural advantages of one of the largest metropolitan centers in the country.

Regarding CE Contact Hours:

Up to 12.5 Contact Hours for Nursing will be provided at the Global Nursing Conference. Memorial Hermann Healthcare System is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Texas Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

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