About Us

Our meeting schedule is now our events calendar.


Our organization began as the Emergency Department Nurses Association (EDNA) in February 1974. The original petition for charter was signed by 15 individuals. The first East Tennessee Emergency Medical Symposium (ETEMS), a forum for education and networking, was held in 1975. We are proud to say that 2012 will mark the 37th Annual ETEMS, an event that routinely attracts over 200 participants from pre-hospital & in-hospital care settings. We continue this education focus by offering the Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course (ENPC) and the Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC) several times a year to individuals who wish to improve their emergency nursing skills. We also offer triage classes and Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) review classes, as well as educational dinners, throughout the year. We are active in the ENA state council and offer regional recognition of ED nurses every October during Emergency Nurses Week.


The Smoky Mountain Chapter of the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) received the 2008 Team Award from the National Emergency Nurses Association at their annual conference. The 2008 conference was held in late September in Minneapolis. The local chapter’s officers and team members who were recognized include:

Angie Bowen, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, President Elect & Treasurer
Beth King, Team Health, State Council Representative
Kay Kirkland, UT Lifestar, President
Gigi Taylor, UT Medical Center, Past President & State Council Representative
Kenny Trent, Claiborne County Hospital, Secretary

One of the main reasons the Smoky Mountain Chapter of ENA received the team award was their dedication to providing affordable and fun education to emergency care providers in the region. Thirty-three years ago, under the leadership and vision of Mary Bently (now deceased), the Smoky Mountain Chapter began the East Tennessee Emergency Medical Symposium. The Symposium has grown and has been sustained over the years by the commitment, leadership and teamwork of many Smoky Mountain Chapter members. In the last several years, the Symposium has had more than 200 actively involved participants and presenters, including community physicians, prehospital providers and many emergency nurses.

This team and the Symposium not only provide an educational opportunity, they provide a networking and collaboration opportunity. In speaking with attendees from previous conferences, one of the common themes apparent is that the networking helps build communication and a sense of teamwork among all disciplines in the region. Some of the comments include:

“I have been able to meet and get to know many nurses that work in some of the hospitals that routinely refer patients to us. It is nice to have sometimes met the nurse that is giving me report on the phone. I now understand some of the challenges that our smaller hospitals face when caring for a critically ill or injured patient. We have all the resources here and sometimes we forget that not everyone has the resources that we have.”

“I can’t travel for conferences and so I attend this conference annually. This conference always has speakers and topics that give me real time information that I can immediately apply to my practice.”

All the profits from the conferences are given back to the chapter to offset expenses of other educational programs and to support members’ attendance at ENA conferences, certification scholarships and charitable work in the region.

Emergency Nurses Week is celebrated across the U.S. every October. The Smoky Mountain Chapter and the Emergency Medical Symposium work to embody many of the mission statements of ENA, including:

* Promoting the specialty of emergency nursing
* Promoting the interests of ENA’s members and improving the professional environment of the emergency nurse through education and public awareness.
* Collaboration with other local and regional health care organizations and agencies to improve emergency care.
* The symposium provides a forum for interaction and mentorship among emergency nurses resulting in improved teamwork and ultimately improved patient outcomes.
* Being a leading resource for the dissemination of information on key trends affecting and pertinent to emergency nursing and emergency care.