The Metrolina Council of Nursing Organizations (MCONO), originally Mecklenburg Council of Nursing Organizations, was founded in 1986 by a coalition of local nursing organization’s presidents who began to plan for an annual “Celebrate Nursing” banquet for the greater Charlotte area. Eunice Paul, then NCNA District 5 president, identified and invited the presidents of local nursing specialty organizations to her home to participate in the planning. A previous Celebrate Nursing symposium at the Charlotte Civic Center in May, 1980 was the stimulus for revival of this idea.
The first CELEBRATE NURSING BANQUET was held at the Sheraton Hotel on McDowell Street in Charlotte, with over 300 nurses in attendance. Dorothy Talbot, a retired UNC nursing professor, was invited by Robyn Turton to be our first speaker. Jane Fox of AHEC assisted with a slide show of nurses working in our various facilities. At the close of the banquet, our Treasurer Norma Osborne (AACCN) announced a funding shortfall, and that donations would be received at the door. The donated money covered costs and provided enough startup money for the following year!
MCONO adopted its first bylaws in January, 1988. It is a non profit entity which exists for the sole purpose of planning and providing an annual Celebrate Nursing Banquet. The MCONO organization provides for four(4) officers and a planning board consisting of a representative from each member nursing organization. There are six (6) subcommittees which are key to our successful outcomes. They are: Banquet, Door Prize, Exhibitor, Program, Publicity and Registration committees. The chairpersons report to the MCONO Steering committee monthly. Each year at the banquet, attendees are given the opportunity to volunteer to be members of these subcommittees.
MCONO banquets have been held at various hotels and facilities over the years. They were: The Sheraton, Adams Mark, Oasis Shrine Temple, University Hilton, Marriott City Center, Lowe’s Motor Speedway Club, Renaissance Suites Hotel, and The Blake Hotel.
MCONO banquets begin with a combined exhibit and social time when nurses can view healthcare exhibits, socialize with colleagues, and enjoy cocktails and hors d‘oeuvres. This is always a very valued part of the evening’s events. Nurses then convene in the banquet room for dinner, door prizes, and a motivational nurse speaker. Over the years, our attendance has ranged from over 200-700 nurses at our annual “Celebrate Nursing” banquets.
MCONO banquet planners wish to thank each nurse who has contributed to our Celebrate Nursing Banquet over the years. It is the support of our nursing community that provides the impetus and success for this annual event.