Call for Volunteers
Are you interested in helping to shape and direct AACN initiatives at the national level? A range of opportunities to be involved are available through AACN’s annual call for volunteers.
Applications for these volunteer positions are due March 12, 1999. Terms begin July 1, 1999.
These opportunities can be tailored to accommodate individual interests and time, from “5-minute” commitments for sharing insight and expertise to work groups, task forces, and advisory teams, which may require travel, conference calls, and work at home. All volunteer expenses are paid by AACN, according to AACN policy guidelines.
For more information, call (800) 809-2273, ext. 228.
3 AACN Members Inducted Into American Academy of Nursing
New American Academy of Nursing inductees (from left) Marilyn K. Douglas, Martha A. Q. Curley, and Joanne A. Krumberger were joined by Mary Lou Sole and Melissa Fitzpatrick, AACN members who are also fellows, during an induction ceremony in Acalpulco, Mexico.
Three AACN members were among the 1998 fellows inducted into the American Academy of Nursing.
Martha A. Q. Curley, RN, PhD, CCRN, FAAN; Marilyn K. Douglas, RN, DNSc, CCRN, FAAN; and Joanne M. Krumberger, RN, MSN, FAAN, were inducted during ceremonies in conjunction with the Academy's 25th anniversary annual meeting and conference in November in Acapulco, Mexico.
They join a select group of nursing leaders and scholars who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to the nursing profession over and above the requirements of their positions through publications, research, awards, and honors, professional activities, and community service. The 50 inductees for 1998 join previously inducted fellows in helping to guide the future of nursing by identifying emerging nursing and healthcare issues and by proposing creative solutions.
Curley is a clinical nurse specialist at Children’s Hospital, Boston, Mass. She is a past chairperson of the AACN Certification Corporation Board. Douglas is a clinical nurse specialist at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Palo Alto, Calif. Krumberger is a clinical nurse specialist at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wis. She is a past president of AACN.
Academy nominees are sponsored by other fellows. Inductees are elected by the entire Academy, based on their contributions to nursing and healthcare. After induction, they are entitled to use FAAN as a professional credential.
The Academy was established in 1972 under the auspices of the American Nurses Association.
Ethics Integration Both Clinical and Organizational
Gathered for the meeting of the Ethics Integration Work Group were (from left) Elizabeth Smith, Beth Glassford, Donna Groh, Sarah Zacharias, Karen Stutzer-Treimel, Megan Whalen, Cindy Rushton, and Denise Thornby.
Critical care nurses have a significant role in integrating ethics into healthcare, not just from a clinical standpoint but also from an organizational one.
It is this 2-pronged approach that the AACN Ethics Integration Work Group is addressing as it examines ways to implement ethically grounded standards of practice and outcomes for end-of-life care, as well as how nurses can facilitate communication, dialogue, and deliberation about end-of-life care among disciplines, family, and patients.
The work group, which is chaired by Denise Thornby, RN, MS, met last fall in Chicago, Ill., to continue its work. It selected standards and outcomes as the basis for changing behaviors and assisting bedside nurses and communication as the priority areas to address.
Work group member Beth Glassford, RN, MS, a nurse executive at Williamsburg Community Hospital, Williamsburg, Va., noted that the historical view has focused only on clinical ethics. The broader picture encompasses the organizational side.
“Critical care nurses can play a huge role in organizational ethics at their facilities,” Glassford said. “They must take an active role in working as mediators and facilitators of sound ethical care for their patients and families.
“They need to ask the hard questions and feel comfortable doing that.”
Another member of the work group, M. C. Sullivan, RN, JD, pointed out that decisions at the bedside influence decisions in the board room, and vice versa. Sullivan, a nurse ethicist attorney, is vice president and chief operating officer of the Midwest Bioethics Center, Kansas City, Mo. She said AACN is in a good position to take a leadership role in end-of-life and organizational ethics.
“For AACN to proactively step forward and say it not only wants to be a part of the implications but wants a lead role in the discussions will revitalize critical care nurses everywhere,” Sullivan said.
In the past, there has been a tendency to view highly specialized critical care nurses as being separate from the ebb and flow of healthcare organizations.
“The time has come to change that,” Sullivan said.
There has been a perception that care at the end of life takes place on the medical/surgical floor, but many patients die in ICUs, she noted.
“Good end-of-life care and mentality is absolutely essential for critical care practice,” Sullivan added.
In addition to the Ethics Integration Work Group, Glassford serves on the AACN Certification Corporation Practice Standards Task Force.
“We need to weave an ethical framework into rewriting standards,” Glassford said. “Ethics must be an understood part of the critical care nurse’s daily life.
“We should be proactively thinking about this now instead of at the point of end-of-life care. We continue to see sicker and sicker patients, who are farther down the path to end of life.
“Proactive does not mean waiting until they are in the ICU in an end-of-life care situation.”
Part of the Ethics Integration Work Group’s challenge is to devise ways to overcome identified barriers.
For example, Sullivan asks: “How can nurses address these issues when they are dealing with such a pluralistic and diverse group today? How can they find the allocation of time and resources in the changing healthcare scene?”
Getting organizations and individuals to commit to ethics integration is another barrier, Sullivan said. Even AACN must decide where to place this issue on its agenda, in terms of time commitment and resource allocation.
Glassford said the ethics agenda must be clearly defined.
“It is often difficult for the bedside critical care nurse to articulate what ethics is; even I struggle at times,” she said.
“Historically, we tried to develop our own agenda, but need to launch off work that is already under way. We need to solidify the focus with other entities, so that we do not confuse our membership and so that the linkages are clear.”
Also at the meeting, Donna Groh, RN, MSN, executive director of operations for AACN, discussed a translation and application plan for ethics integration throughout the organization.
Other members of the Ethics Integration Work Group are Elizabeth Nolan, RN, MS, CS, (board liaison); Myra Christopher, head of Midwest Bioethics Center; Lee Ann Haygood, RN, BSN, CCRN, CEN, CNA; Cindy Rushton, RN, DNSc, FAAN; Elizabeth Smith, RN, BSN, BS, CCRN; Karen Stutzer-Treimel, RN, MS, CCRN; Alyson P. Williams-Cheung, RN, MN, CCRN; and Sarah H. Zacharias, RN, MSN, BA, CCRN. Megan Whalen, RN, MS, is AACN staff liaison.
Learn About ‘Music Therapy and Medicine’
Music Therapy & Medicine, A National Satellite Broadcast” will air from 1 to 3 pm (EST) on April 27, 1999, at more than 100 locations throughout the United States and Canada.Cosponsored by AACN, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), this educational teleconference is designed to provide in-depth, comprehensive information about the clinical impact of music therapy; its research and scientific base; and ways to develop and integrate music programs into medical settings.
The registration fee is $35. Up to 2 continuing education credits will be available to nurses for an additional fee of $12 per credit hour.
If you are interested in hosting this program in your community or for more information about the program, contact Tamara Zavislan, AMTA director of development, at (301) 589-3300; e-mail,
Out ’n’ About: Networking Opportunities Abound
By Mary G. McKinley, RN, MSN, CCRN
Since my last “Out ’N’ About” column in November, I have been busy, logging more frequent flyer miles than I thought possible! In October, I was in Gatlinburg, Tenn., where Anita Stiles and her group provided a lively, interesting, and well-attended Regional Teaching Institute preceding the Fall Regional Meeting in Region 11.
There was a lot of orange and white, blue and white, and blue and gold to be seen that weekend, as one of the first points of discussion were the Tennessee and Kentucky football teams. Of course, I threw in comments about my own West Virginia team, just for good measure.
While we were at the meeting, Darval Bonelli, chapter specialist at the AACN National, and I visited the 47-bed Fort Sevier Medical Center in Sevierville, Tenn. I found it interesting that there were 7 ICU beds and 12 telemetry beds in this small institution, another example of the fact that the need for critical care beds affects hospitals of all sizes.
From Gatlinburg, I traveled to Philadelphia, Pa., to attend the annual “Trends” program, sponsored by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of AACN. I was privileged to deliver the keynote address at this conference. In addition, I had the opportunity to meet with SEPA chapter members, first at a “fireside chat” and later at dinner with some of the chapter officers and members of the program committee, which is chaired by Ellen Boyda. We dined at the City Tavern, which
is like a step back in time. After dinner, chapter President Sara DiCenzo gave me a tour of the cardiovascular ICU at Haneman University Hospitals. Although we didn’t arrive until about 9:30 pm, the unit was extremely busy.
My next stop was AACN’s 1999 Leadership Connections conference in Arlington, Va. This year’s meeting included excellent lectures and discussion groups. One of the sessions was a successful Town Hall meeting, where participants were invited to ask questions of the AACN Board, representatives of various AACN committees, and National Office staff. Another highlight for me was the interactive computer classes sponsored by Hewlett Packard. These sessions provided hands-on experience with programs such as Power Point and Excel.
Next, it was on to the annual program of the New York City Chapter of AACN at the Marriott World Trade Center. I was able to schedule an extra day there, when Mia Lofland, chapter president, and I toured the ICU at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, and Ann Marie Ward graciously showed me around the new critical care tower at New York Cornell. Later, I joined former AACN President Gladys Campbell and current AACN board member Fay Wright for a quick tour of the city.
At the meeting, a longtime friend, Maureen Iacona, president of ASPAN, and I had a chance to network in between our speaking commitments. We attended a reception and wonderful dinner that night, and I tasted the best ribs in New York at J.P. Lofland’s.
I was able to squeeze in a weekend at home with my family before taking off for a combined meeting of the Nursing Organization Liaison Forum (NOLF) and the National Federation of Specialty Nursing Organizations (NFSNO) in Washington, D.C. The decision by the 2 groups to meet together this year reduced the travel time that had been required in the past. NOLF provides a forum for nursing specialty groups to meet within the auspices of the American Nurses Association. NFSNO is working hard to redefine itself. The meeting provided for some input into some of the ways that NFSNO might assist the organizations that are members. Carrie Lenburg, one of the speakers at the meeting, addressed what the future might look like for organizations that are seeking to focus more on competency.
Spotlight, the annual educational meeting of the Greater Washington Area Chapter of AACN, was next on my agenda. It was well attended and provided a wonderful educational format, planned by a committee that was chaired by Karen Kesten. The staff at INOVA Hospital in Fairfax was gracious enough to open their hospital to me for a grand tour. Becky Fusey arranged the tour, and Susan Rogers was my guide. I got to see the best of this hospital including the CVICU, MSICU, and trauma ICU. The tour was in-depth and it was wonderful to see so many of our members in their work environment!
My last stop was the Fall Board Meeting of AACN. This year’s meeting was at the Greenbrier, a historic resort hotel in my home state of West Virginia. The board members and national office staff who attended found the hotel to be a beautiful site at which to complete some very difficult work.
The board’s initial task was focused on planning, which this year accomplished the difficult task of facing the challenges of a tumultuous environment for our association. The board examined the current reality and anticipated some of the changes that AACN will face in the future. First, we reviewed the commitment to our vision. The discussion resulted in a continued commitment to the current vision statement, with a focus on helping nurses to make their optimal contribution. Next, we weighed all AACN’s current initiatives against their relevance and continued need. The board was assisted in this difficult process by information that was accumulated from myriad sources and well organized for presentation by the national office staff. Included were customer service response rates, member satisfaction, environmental scanning, marketing surveys, and financial data. This information helped the board in considering the future direction of some of the activities that need to be refocused or reconsidered. The form al business meeting on the final day represented the culmination of the work in the previous 2 days. Additional information about the results of this meeting will be highlighted in future issues of AACN News.
I can’t believe that this year is flying by so quickly. If I haven’t seen you yet, I hope I will when I am out and about.
Financial Planning a Necessity for Women
By Julianne Parker
Vice President, Merrill Lynch
You may think that saving and investing is a different process for women than for men, but it’s not. The fact is that sound investment principles are the same regardless of gender.
Women today must be particularly diligent about financial planning, because of the demographic, economic, and social realities that require them to pursue their own financial security.
Needs and Lower Earnings
Based on research related to women’s needs and earnings, Merrill Lynch estimates that 85% of women take full responsibility for their own finances at some point in their life. Following are some of the other findings:
• According to the 1990 U.S. Census, 63% of all women in their early 20s were unmarried, compared with only 36% in 1970.
• A woman’s life expectancy is 79 years, as opposed to 72 years for men.
• The Labor Department reports that a woman on average earns just 76.4 cents for every dollar a man earns.
• A study this year by the Families and Work Institute, a nonprofit New York research group, showed that 55 percent of employed women contribute half or more of their household’s income.
• Lifestyle choices or necessity continue to take women out of the job force, which interrupts their careers and earning potential.
Fewer Pensions and Less Social Security
Because women may have lower lifetime earnings than men, they are less likely to enjoy a retirement pension. Those who do receive far less.
Lower pay and time spent away from the workforce to care for children and older relatives mean reduced Social Security benefits for women. Social Security benefits are often the only source of income for older women. One in 4 women older than 65 relies on Social Security for at least 90% of her income, twice the rate of men, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Suggested Financial Planning Action Steps
Following are some essential steps to help women address financial planning needs:
• Learn how to manage your personal finances and address your financial issues.
• Acquire skills such as knowing how to save and invest assets in ways most appropriate for your goal.
• Consider the growth potential that equities can add to a portfolio of investments to help build your retirement nest egg over the long-term.
• Start now.
AACN members are eligible to receive enhanced personal and retirement savings plan assistance through Merrill Lynch. For more information about the accounts and services associated with this new member benefit, call (888) MLSAVES (657-2837) and ask for ext. AACN (2226).
MNRS Research Grants
Funding totaling $16,000 will be available in 1999 from the Midwest Nursing Research Society (MNRS). Following is information about the grants:
• New Investigator Research Grant—$5000 toward research on any topic relevant to the nursing professions that advances nursing science and practice.
• Dissertation Research Grant—$5000 for dissertation research in nursing.
• Glaxo Wellcome/MNRS Research Grant—$4000 toward research on nursing issues related to medications and their administration.
• Women’s Health Dissertation Research Grant—$2000 for doctoral research that furthers the understanding of abuse aimed at women.
Grant applications and additional information are available at the MRNS Office, 4700 W. Lake Ave., Glenview, IL 60025; phone, (847) 375-4711; fax, (847) 375-4777;
FDA Alert on Pacemaker Interaction With Monitors
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that precautions be taken with patients who have minute ventilation rate-adaptive implantable pacemakers. According to the FDA, these pacemakers have been found to occasionally interact with certain cardiac monitoring and diagnostic equipment, causing the pacemakers to pace at their maximum programmed rate. When treating patients with these pacemakers, the FDA recommends deactivating the minute ventilation sensor, selecting appropriate maximum pacing rate, and informing pacemaker patients or their families of the potential for interaction. Additional information about this and other FDA medical device postmarket safety notifications can be found online at www.fda.gov/cdrh/safety.html or by contacting Lily Ng, Office of Surveillance and Biometrics, CDRH, FDA, 1350 Piccard Drive, Mail Stop HFZ-510, Rockville, MD 20850; fax, (301) 594-2968; e-mail,
Automated External Defibrillator Training
The National Safety Council and the American Heart Association have combined efforts to develop a program for training people on how to use an automated external defibrillator along with the traditional first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training. The program, which is known as Heartsaver FACTS, will be available to industry, healthcare providers, and the general public in February 1999. To contact the National Safety Council, call (800) 621-7615 or visit its Web page at www.nsc.org. To contact the American Heart Association, call (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721) or visit its Web site at
Alternative Therapies Symposium
“Creating Integrative Healthcare,” the fourth annual Alternative Therapies Symposium and Exhibition is scheduled for March 25 through 28, 1999, at the New York Marriott World Trade Center. Preconference training sessions will be offered March 25 and 26. In addition to sessions that explore the state of the art of alternative and complementary healing therapies and their integration into conventional medicine, research poster sessions will be offered. Products and services that are geared to alternative therapies will be on display at the Exposition. The symposium program is approved for up to 28.5 contact hours of continuing education units for nurses. The symposium is sponsored by the Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine journal and the SUNY at Stony Brook Center for Complementary/Alternative Medicine, in cooperation with the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences at Eisenhower. To register, call (800) 899-0573 or visit the Alternative Therapies home page at
http://www.alternative-therapies.com, where a conference schedule and Virtual Exposition Hall is now available.
Information printed in “Currents” is provided as a service to interested readers and does not imply endorsement by AACN or the AACN Certification Corporation.
BSN Scholarships Available
February 1, 1999, is the postmark deadline to apply for Generic BSN Educational Advancement Scholarships, which are awarded through the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA).
The scholarships of $1500 each are available to students who do not hold an RN license, though licensed vocational and licensed practical nurses are eligible. In addition, nursing students with degrees in other fields are eligible. At least 20% of these awards will be allocated to ethnic minorities.
Scholarship awards are based on academic achievement and demonstrated commitment to nursing through involvement in student organizations or school and community activities related to healthcare. Applicants must be a member of either AACN or NSNA, have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or better, be currently enrolled in a bachelor of science in nursing program accredited by the National League of Nursing, and have junior or senior status for the academic year in which the scholarship will be used.
Application materials and instructions are available from NSNA, 555 W. 57th St. New York, NY 10019; phone, (212) 581-2211.