Awards Cite Contributions to Critical Care Nursing
Individuals who have made significant contributions to critical care nursing or to AACN were honored at the 1999 National Teaching Institute™ in New Orleans, La., in May.
Pioneering Spirit awards, sponsored by Ross Products, Division of Abbott Laboratories, were presented to Barbara Dossey, RN, MS, HNC, FAAN, director of Holistic Nursing Consultants, Santa Fe, N.M.; Larry Dossey, MD, executive editor of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine; and Suzanne Hall Johnson, RNC, MN, CNS, publisher and founding editor of Hall Johnson Communications, Lakewood, Colo. This award recognizes individuals who have influenced the direction of acute and critical care nursing. Their contributions are far-reaching and exemplify a pioneering spirit.
Lifetime Membership awards were presented to AACN President Mary G. McKinley, RN, MSN, CCRN, and AACN Certification Corporation Board President Barbara A. Gill, RN, MN, as well as Maurene Harvey, RN, MPH, CCRN, FCCM, who is the principal in Consultants in Critical Care, Inc. This award recognizes AACN members who have rendered distinguished service to the association and demonstrated potential for continuing contributions to acute and critical care nursing through AACN.
In addition, the AACN Certification Corporation Special Contributor Award was presented to Major Elizabeth J. Bridges, RN, PhD, CCRN, CCNS.
These awards are part of the AACN Circle of Excellence recognition program. Following is information about each of these special honorees:
Barbara and Larry Dossey
The Dosseys have dedicated their lives to exploring human consciousness and the science of the mind, body and soul in an effort to reduce human suffering and enable physicians, nurses and other healthcare practitioners to provide better care for their patients.
As executive editor of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, a journal published by AACN's publishing arm, InnoVision Communications, Larry Dossey has helped thousands of healthcare providers become better informed about the efficacy of alternative medical interventions.
He is an internationally known speaker and author of several books including Meaning and Medicine; Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine; Recovering the Soul: A Scientific and Spiritual Search; Space, Time and Medicine; and Be Careful What You Pray For. His new book, The Reinvention of Medicine, is scheduled for release in the fall. He is the only American physician to have delivered the annual Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture in New Delhi, India.
Larry Dossey has served on the advisory boards for the John F. Templeton Foundation, the Society for Scientific Exploration and the Association for Transpersonal Psychology. In addition, he has been cochair of the panel on Mind Body Interventions for the Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health and as a member of Hillary Rodham Clinton's Task Force on Healthcare Reform.
He has received the Gardner Murphy Prize from the American Society for Physical Research, the Health Professional of the Year Award from the Texas Nurses Association and the Bronze Star and Soldiers Medal of Honor from the U.S. Army.
Barbara Dossey is a longtime member of AACN. Her work with the interaction of mind, body and spirit has had a profound impact on the practice of nursing. She was a pioneer in the holistic nursing movement and has received numerous awards for her efforts in this area. Among these awards are the Nurse Healers Award from the Nurse Healers-Professional Associates International; the Empathy Award from the World Cultural International Alliance; and the Holistic Nurse of the Year Award from the American Holistic Nurses Association.
A national and international speaker, Barbara Dossey is the author of Profiles of Nurse Healers; AACN Handbook of Critical Care Nursing; American Holistic Nurses Association Core Curriculum for Holistic Nursing; Ritual of Healing; Cardiovascular Nursing: Holistic Practice; Critical Care Nursing: Body Mind and Spirit; Essentials of Critical Care Nursing; Holistic Health Promotion; and Holistic Nursing: A Handbook for Practice and Self Care. She is a five-time recipient of the American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award. Her latest book, Florence Nightingale: Mystic, Visionary and Healer, is scheduled for release later this year.
Suzanne Hall Johnson
Suzanne Hall Johnson is a well-known nurse author, editor and publisher whose pioneering spirit led her to establish Hall Johnson Communications, former publisher of Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing. The journal was one of the first aimed at advanced practice nurses. It was also one of the first journals to actively incorporate pediatric and neonatal critical care topics.
As the editor in chief, Johnson pioneered a process of “authoring mentorship” to encourage new authors to tell the story of nursing and its unique contributions to patient care. As part of that effort, she founded Nurse, Author & Editor, which is dedicated to the advancement of nurses through the authorship of unique nursing stories.
Johnson began her career in a neonatal critical care unit and published one of the first nursing textbooks on neonatal critical care nursing, titled High Risk Parenting, which was twice awarded the American Journal of Nursing’s Book of the Year.
In addition, she has published numerous articles on the unique contributions of clinical nurse specialists. In all, Johnson has published more than 30 journal articles, 10 learning modules, several book chapters and a variety of audiotape, videotape and slide programs. She was recognized as the Distinguished Alumni of the Year by Duke University School of Nursing.
Gill is a clinical nurse specialist at Abilene Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Abilene, Tex. She is also an adjunct professor at Abilene Intercollegiate School of Nursing. Her term as chairperson of the AACN Certification Corporation Board ends June 30, 1999. She recently was appointed to an Institute of Medicine committee that will examine technical and policy issues related to organ procurement and transplantation.
Gill has been a member of AACN since 1974 and has been recognized by AACN for her activities in the field of transplantation. She is also a member of the International Society of Heart Transplantation.
Harvey is a well-known educator who has been a major “change agent” for the practice of critical care nursing. She is an expert resource for developing philosophy and concepts in creating caring environmentally healing critical care units. By demonstrating compassion, caring and humble, nonjudgmental observation and learning, she has become a role model for critical care nurses.
As an expert on every body system, she has the ability to teach by putting herself in the patient’s place and thus anticipating patient need. Her recent focus has been on the care of anxiety in the critical care patient and the design of critical care units. CCRN review courses are included among the many classes she teaches.
Mary G. McKinley
McKinley is a critical care clinical nurse specialist at Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling, W. Va. Her term as president of AACN ends June 30, 1999.
She served two years on the AACN Board of Directors before being chosen president-elect last year. Previously, McKinley has served as a member of the AACN Nominating Committee, Member Recognition Task Force, Membership Committee, Advanced Practice Work Group, Group of 100, Practice and Research Think Tank, Finance and Audit Committee, and Professional Development Think Tank.
She is a member of the Suspension Bridge Chapter-AACN and a former member of the Upper Ohio Valley Chapter-AACN.
Vision Partners Program Strengthens Ties
|Angela Wagner, RN, BSN||
Sonja Stephenson, RN|
|Michael Williams, RN, MSN, CCRN||
Douglas W. Kyle, GN|
|Sandra Brettler, RN, MSN, CCRN, CNRN||
Tonya Curtis, RGN|
|Patricia Campbell, RNC, MSN ||
Jan Thompson, RN, BSN|
|Anne Hawkins, RN, BSN ||
Mary Kretz, RN|
|E. Coleen Fritsche, RN, MSN, CCRN||
Carolyn Gifford, RN, BSN|
|Danielle V. Dykes, RN, BSN, CCRN ||
Cheryl Davis, RN, BSN|
Seven pairs of Vision Partners attended the 1999 National Teaching Institute™ in New Orleans, La., with a goal of building or strengthening ties on a variety of fronts.
Each year, the Vision Partners program grants educational scholarships to connect an AACN member with a prospective member in a learning and networking experience. Each pair of scholarship recipients agrees to continue to develop and strengthen the relationship following the NTI and to report on progress toward that goal.
In the process, the partner who is an AACN member introduces the nonmember to AACN's vision, and the benefits of AACN membership, while the nonmember has a chance to share a different perspective from a variety of roles or settings.
The scholarships offset the expenses of attending the NTI. Partners who are not members of AACN also receive a 1-year AACN membership and are eligible to register for the NTI at the discounted, member rate.
Following is information about each of the Vision Partners and what each hoped to achieve through the program:
Angela Wagner, RN, BSN, and Sonja Stephenson, RN, are from St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield, Wis., where Wagner is an ICU nurse and a clinical nurse for patient and family education. Stephenson, who is also a nurse in the ICU, relocated to the United States from Canada less than a year ago. She has more than 17 years experience in the ICU in Canada, and shares Wagner’s interest in patient and family education.
“As healthcare costs escalate and the population ages, we as nurses must become more involved in health promotion and disease prevention,” said Stephenson. “Angie’s active involvement in education committees at work, along with my interest in health promotion, can be utilized to increase knowledge of clients and families to promote a healthier lifestyle and help prevent rehospitalization.”
“The NTI will expand our knowledge of clinical skills, current practices and advanced practices as well as assist us in ensuring that our ICU continues to keep patients’ and their families’ needs in focus,” said Wagner.
“Sonja is a very knowledgeable and motivated nurse,” Wagner added. “I would like her to experience the great opportunities and support we have for nurses in the U.S. such as AACN and the NTI.”
Through the partnership, Wagner and Stephenson hope also to learn more from each other about the similarities and differences in the American and Canadian healthcare systems including cultural practices, medical treatment and insurance.
Michael Williams, RN, MSN, CCRN, a member of the AACN Board of Directors, is an assistant professor of nursing at Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Mich. Douglas W. Kyle, GN, a nursing technician in the surgical ICU at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Mich., is one of his students.
“This is an opportunity for a graduate nurse to experience AACN at its finest—during the NTI,” Williams said. “The NTI will offer Doug the opportunity to see the breadth of information and resources available to AACN members.
“I hope to inspire Doug to seek out critical learning experiences and the benefits of a professional organization and to assist in his ongoing leadership development, which is so desperately needed in nursing organizations today.”
In addition, Williams noted that Kyle is younger than many current critical care nursing leaders, which provides an opportunity to learn from his perspective.
Kyle said he considers the partnership an opportunity to strengthen his practice as he begins his career in critical care nursing and to meet leaders in the field as well as to improve his ability to have research-based practice information.
Sandra Brettler, RN, MSN, CCRN, CNRN, is a clinical nurse educator in the surgical ICU in the Pennsylvania State Geisinger Health System, Hershey Medical Center. Tonya Curtis, RGN, is a general ICU staff nurse at the Royal Berkshire & Battle Hospitals NHS Trust in the United Kingdom. They had not previously met, though they have been sharing ideas and projects via telephone and e-mail.
“The conference offers us the opportunity to network in a manner that is unimpeded by wiring or time zones,” Brettler said. “Together we can extract the common threads of critical care nursing practice in both of our countries.
“I believe that our current critical care nursing cultures can offer each other information, shared practice insights and an opportunity to collaborate on a joint project within our units-maybe even develop cross-cultural nursing competencies.”
“I hope that through exploring the differences that may exist in the philosophies underpinning our practice we may each gain something new to take back to our units in this constantly changing environment of critical care,” said Curtis.
Patricia Campbell, RNC, MSN, is director of Women’s & Children’s Services at Presbyterian Hospital, Charlotte, N.C., where Jan Thompson, RN, BSN, is nurse manager of the neonatal ICU.
Campbell said she hopes the partnership experience will help develop networking opportunities as well as promote the benefits of membership in the professional organization to other colleagues at the hospital.
“I have utilized a lot of the printed material produced by AACN as it relates to pediatric intensive care patients and neonatal intensive care patients,” she said. “This opportunity will allow my vision partner to benefit from all AACN has to offer the pediatric population.”
Thompson said that because Campbell is in an administrative role while she is more clinically oriented and more directly involved with patients and families, they can share their perspectives to learn new ideas that will strengthen the program for patients and families.
“With the knowledge that we gain at the NTI, my partner and I can bring to our institution the changes that need to be made to make our Children’s Hospital one that is truly oriented to the children and to their families,” Thompson said.
Both Anne Hawkins, RN, BSN, and Mary Kretz, RN, are medical-surgical nurse managers in ICUs at the Medical College of Virginia, Richmond. However, Hawkins, who is a nurse manager of a 12-bed medical respiratory ICU, is new to the medical-surgical department.
Hawkins said she believes the experience of attending the NTI as Vision Partners will further develop and strengthen their goal to promote a system that is driven by the needs of patients and their families.
“I have always found NTI to be inspirational and motivating to me personally and professionally,” she said. “I return home looking at some aspect of care or practice differently and feel energized to try new and different things. I feel this will also happen for Mary in her role as a manager of a surgical floor and step-down unit.”
Kretz said she and Hawkins share a similar perspective in patient-focused care.
“I want to help my partner to look at the transition for patients and staff in going from acute ICU to step-down area,” she said. “I also want to work on breaking down any barriers that may exist.”
Hawkins and Kretz have discussed developing a nurse externship for junior nursing students to rotate from step-down to the ICU.
E. Coleen Fritsche, RN, MS, CCRN, is assistant professor of nursing at Atlantic Union College, South Lancaster, Mass., and nursing supervisor at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Health Care-Clinton Hospital, where Carolyn Gifford, RN, BSN, is a staff nurse.
Fritsche has known Gifford since Gifford was a child. Gifford said Fritsche has always been a professional role model for her.
As vision partners, Fritsche said she hopes she and Gifford can develop a greater appreciation of each other’s roles and discover how their differences can positively impact the quality of care not only in the hospital setting, but also in the community.
“As I share NTI with Carolyn, I hope that her nursing world will be expanded and that she will be challenged to continue to grow professionally,” Fritsche said, who has attended five previous NTIs. “Through her novice eyes, I hope to experience the wonder of the newness of your first NTI. It is exciting to think of how much more rewarding the experience will become than if we each just attended on our own.”
Gifford said she and Fritsche plan to share their experience at the NTI with their coworkers and to use the information gained to develop inservice programs.
Both Danielle V. Dykesa, RN, BSN, CCRN, and Cheryl Davis, RN, BSN, are clinical instructors in critical care at Louisiana State University Medical Center, Shreveport.
Dykes said attending the NTI as vision partners will help develop a stronger sense of teamwork in their approach to education. She said she and Davis plan to combine their passion for nursing and education of staff, patients and families to develop new patient education-based programs.
“In educating the staff, our resource and foundation will partially be due to our attendance at the 1999 NTI and Critical Care Exposition,” Davis said.
Submit Abstracts to Author CE Articles
AACN is seeking nurses or other healthcare professionals who are interested in submitting articles for publication as continuing education offerings. Articles that are accepted may appear on the AACN Web site, be used as a monograph or be included in AACN News as a source of CE credit.
Specific topic needs include domestic violence issues, AIDS/HIV to meet state relicensure requirements (e.g. Florida), telemetry and progressive care issues, pain management, sedation, neuromuscular blockade, case management, invasive and noninvasive monitoring and renal patient care issues. In addition, AACN is seeking JCAHO compliance-related articles that address competency and skill validation programs, tools or best practices.
Abstracts can be sent to Marianne Martineau, Education Resource Specialist, AACN, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656. Additional information is available by calling (949) 362-2000, ext. 361.
The Luck of the Draw: California Nurse Wins Grand Prize Subaru at NTI
Patricia Balzano (left) was the grand-prize winner of a 1999 Subaru Forester at the 1999 NTI. The drawing, conducted by Subaru representative Annika Ladner (center) and outgoing AACN President Mary McKinley, took place at the NTI closing session.
Patricia A. Balzano, RN, BS, CCRN, of Redondo Beach, Calif., was the winner of a 1999 Subaru Forester, which was given away as the grand prize at AACN’s 1999 National Teaching Institute™ and Critical Care Exposition in May in New Orleans, La.
The grand prize drawing was sponsored by Subaru of America, which promoted information about vehicle safety features such as air bags, seatbelts, child safety seats and antilock brakes at its booth in the Critical Care Exposition. Subaru’s participation in the NTI and Critical Care Exposition stemmed from surveys
indicating that many Subaru buyers are healthcare professionals, according to Subaru spokesperson Annika Ladner, who was on hand for the drawing at the closing session.
Balzano is manager of the critical care department, intermediate unit and first-floor medical-surgical unit at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance, Calif. She has been a critical care nurse since 1967 and was a charter member of the Beach Cities Chapter of AACN.
Although the winner did not have to be present to receive the prize, Balzano was at the back of the hall when her name was announced.
“I felt like I was on the ‘Price is Right,’ ” she said of her race to the stage to accept the prize, which was symbolized by a giant key.
When she boarded the shuttle bus with the key after the session, she said everyone applauded.
“It was really exciting and a lot of fun,” she said.
Is Balzano just lucky? She says not, though she did win a laptop computer at the NTI four years ago. However, as “luck” sometimes goes, the computer was subsequently stolen.
McKinley Speech Available
Copies of the presidential address delivered by 1998-99 AACN President Mary G. McKinley, RN, MSN, CCRN, at the 1999 National Teaching Institute™ in May in New Orleans, La., are available by calling (800) 899-AACN (2226). Request Item #7003. McKinley’s speech was titled “The Power of Nursing: Breaking the Mold, Harmonizing Our Strength, Influencing the Future.”
New Chief Editor Named for AACN Clinical Issues
Patricia Gonce Morton, RN, PhD, ACNP, has been named to succeed Mary Lou Sole, RN, PhD, CCRN, as editor-in-chief of AACN Clinical Issues: Advanced Practice in Acute and Critical Care.
The transition took place at the journal’s editorial board meeting, held in conjunction with AACN’s 1999 National Teaching Institute™ and Critical Care Exposition in New Orleans, La.
Morton is associate professor and coordinator of the acute care nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist master’s program in trauma and critical care at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore.
She has been active with AACN for many years in a variety of capacities including as a member of the editorial boards of both AACN Clinical Issues and Critical Care Nurse. She has also served on numerous expert panels, committees and task forces. In addition, she is a popular speaker and active contributor to local chapter activities. Morton is a member of the Chesapeake Bay Chapter of AACN.
Sole, who has been editor-in-chief of AACN Clinical Issues since 1994, is stepping down to pursue increased research and administrative responsibilities. She is associate professor of nursing at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
Special Offer: Order Online for a Chance to Win Free NTI Registration
Order online from the AACN Resource Catalog during July and receive a special gift as well as a chance to win complimentary registration to the National Teaching Institute™ and Critical Care Exposition, May 20 through 25, 2000, in Orlando, Fla. This offer is good only through July 31, 1999.
The AACN Online Resource Catalog can be accessed at
http://www.aacn.org. Click on bookstore.
Market Survey Participation Wins Prizes
Claire McGowan, RN, MS, CCRN, CS, NP, of Waltham, Mass., and Michelle Cantillo, RN, DNS, of Kailua, Hawaii, were winners in prize drawings at the 1999 National Teaching Institute™ in New Orleans, La.
Both were eligible for prizes because they completed market surveys at the NTI.
McGowan will receive complimentary registration to NTI 2000, which is scheduled May 20 through 25 in Orlando, Fla. Cantillo will receive a $50 AACN gift certificate.
AACN CEO Search Process Under Way
AACN is in the process of conducting a national search for a new chief executive officer. Serving on the CEO Search Committee are Denise Thornby (chair), RN, MS, Chris Breu, RN, MN, CNAA, FAAN, Morna Conway, PhD, Ann Evans, RN, MS, CNAA, FAAN, Patricia McGaffigan, RN, MS, Nancy Munro, RN, MN, CCRN, ACNP, and Pam Rudisill, RN, MSN, CCRN.
Tryon & Heideman, L.L.C., an executive search firm located in Kansas City, Mo., has been retained to assist the committee. Any questions or information you have may be directed to Tryon & Heideman at (816) 822-1976, or to the CEO Search Committee through Thornby at (800) 394-5995, ext. 8831.
Sept. 1, 1999, Deadline to Apply for Circle of Excellence Awards
Sept. 1, 1999, is the deadline to nominate yourself or a colleague for an AACN Circle of Excellence award in 2000, The awards honor critical care nurses for exceptional practice in a number of arenas.
The Circle of Excellence awards program is cosponsored by AACN’s Partners With Industry companies. Circle of Excellence awards range from scholarships and grants to complimentary airfare, hotel accommodations and registration to AACN’s annual National Teaching Institute,™ which in 2000 is scheduled for May 20 through 25 in Orlando, Fla.
Nominees will be sent follow-up application materials. In some cases an exemplar describing how a person made a difference in a patient’s outcome will be required. These materials will be due Nov. 1, 1999.
Following are the awards for which the nomination deadline is Sept. 1, 1999:
• Ross Products-AACN Pioneering Spirit Award
• AACN Honorary Member Award
• AACN Lifetime Member Award
• Marguerite Rodgers Kinney Award for a Distinguished Career
• AACN Excellence in Caring Practices Award
• GE Marquette-AACN Excellent Preceptor Award
• 3M Health Care-AACN Excellence in Clinical Practice Award
• AACN Outstanding Advanced Practice Nurse Award
• Ecolab-AACN Mentoring Award
• AACN Excellence in Education Award
• AACN InnoVision Award
• AACN Excellence in Leadership Award
• AACN Excellence in Management Award
• Maginnis & Associates-AACN Community Service Award
• AACN Multidisciplinary Team Award
• AACN Research Abstract Award
For more information about the Circle of Excellence awards program or to obtain an awards guide, call the National Office at (800) 899-AACN (2226) or visit the AACN Web site at
Neonatal Nursing Core Curriculum Now Available
The second edition of the Core Curriculum for Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing is now available. This valuable clinical resource, which is cosponsored by AACN, the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nurses, and the National Association of Neonatal Nurses, can also be used as a study guide for neonatal critical care certification.
The user-friendly outline format makes it easy to find comprehensive information on all topics related to intensive care of the neonate. Featured are new chapters on thermoregulation and follow-up and outcomes as well as updated information on developmental care, transition to home, nutrition, respiratory distress, assisted ventilation, families in crisis and gastrointestinal disorder.
To order the Core Curriculum for Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing or for a free 30-day preview, call W. B. Saunders Company, (800) 545-2522. Ask for DM#51835. The price is $49.95.
Creative Touch Wins Mail Home Box Decorating Contest
Pictured is the shipping box decorated by Susan Veazey to win first place in the Mail Home box decorating contest at the NTI.
Susan Veazey, RN, of Panama City, Fla., was the winner for a second consecutive year of the box decorating contest sponsored by the Mail Home Service at the 1999 National Teaching Institute™ and Critical Care Exposition in May in New Orleans, La.
Veazey won complimentary registration for the 2000 NTI, which is scheduled May 20 through 25 in Orlando, Fla.
Cheryl Barrett, RN, MSN, CCRN, of Media, Pa., was the second-place winner, receiving a $50 gift certificate for the AACN Bookstore. The third-place prize, free shipping of the box, went to Jane Cleavenger, RN, BSN, of Bend, Ore.
Teleconference Highlights Benefits of Music Therapy
More than 1500 nurses, physicians and other healthcare professionals from across the United States participated in the national Music Therapy & Medicine satellite broadcast in April 1999.
Presented by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) in association with AACN and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, this teleconference was the first of its kind to specifically address the practice of music therapy in medical settings. The program was carried live on 200 satellite “downlink” locations.
The two-hour, interactive teleconference focused on the clinical impact of music therapy; its research and scientific base; and methods to develop and integrate programs in medical settings. Moderated by Mary Jo Walsh, news anchor for the ABC affiliate station in Washington, D.C., the panel of nurses, physicians and music therapists discussed the important components of music therapy and the many applications for music therapy in medical settings. On the panel were Joan Vitello-Cicciu, RN, CCRN (St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Brighton, Mass.), a past president of AACN; music therapists Alicia Clair, MT-BC (University of Kansas) and Deforia Lane, MT-BC (University Hospitals of Cleveland (Ohio) Ireland Cancer Center and Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital); and Stephen Heaton, MD (Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, N.Y.).
Viewers from across the country participated in the program by calling in or faxing questions and comments.
The education, training and qualifications of music therapists were discussed, with an emphasis on the important contributions a qualified music therapist can bring to the treatment environment.
Heaton and Vitello-Cicciu described how the music therapist functions as part of their respective treatment teams. The use of live music and music activities, they said, helps to reduce patient stress and anxiety, reduce the need for sedation, increase compliance with medical procedures,
increase family involvement and reduce stress for the healthcare staff. The panel agreed that the use of recorded music is not and cannot be a substitute for a quality music therapy program implemented by a credentialed music therapist.
Music Therapy & Medicine is available for purchase on a two-hour videotape. A companion research compendium is also available. For more information, visit the AMTA Web site at
http://www.musictherapy.org or contact Tamara Zavislan, AMTA director of development, at (301) 589-3300.
Aug. 15, 1999, Deadline to Apply for ICU Design Award
Aug. 15, 1999, is the deadline to submit applications for the 1999 ICU Design Citation award, which this year will go to an adult ICU.
Established by a joint committee representing AACN, the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), and the American Institute of Architects Committee on Architecture for Health, the citation recognizes critical care units that combine functional ICU design with the humanitarian delivery of critical care. The winner receives a total of $1500—$500 from each of the sponsoring organizations—as well as registration for one person to attend each of the organization's annual meetings and a plaque to display in the unit.
Applications for the ICU Design Citation award can be obtained by calling Kim Cantrell at SCCM, (714) 282-6047.
Planning Is Key to Financial Health
Statistics show that the standard of living for divorced women often drops significantly, and that 85% of widows living in poverty were not poor when their husbands were alive. Divorce, widowhood, job loss and illness all have the potential to unsettle financial goals and objectives and erode personal assets. The challenges faced by many women because of lower incomes, smaller pensions or more conservative investment habits can make withstanding financial crises more difficult, particularly for those just beginning to manage their own financial concerns.
Although planning ahead of time is the best way to protect your family’s well-being, financial planning after a setback can not only help you regain financial health but can even improve it.
The ‘Worst’ Case
Following is a hypothetical scenario to illustrate the types of problems that may be encountered.
After 20 years of marriage and three children, Jane Smith’s husband Bill suddenly passed away. Shortly after that, Jane became ill. When she recovered her health, Jane faced the challenge of repairing her damaged finances.
This unforeseen crisis affected Jane’s financial health because of a number of conditions:
• Insufficient insurance. Bill’s $150,000 life insurance benefit initially seemed like a large sum. However, without disability insurance, Jane was forced to deplete all but $25,000 to meet living expenses during her illness.
• Eroded retirement assets. Jane made early withdrawals from her 401(k) plan and IRA, which left $17,000 after penalties and taxes. Jane’s conservative investment choice of guaranteed investment contracts yielding only 4% annually limited her ability to replenish savings.
• Accumulated debt. Major household and car repair expenses led Jane to accumulate $6,000 in high-interest credit card debt as well as a $12,000 consumer loan.
• Limited savings. Jane’s children planned to begin college in a few years, but the only savings available was the balance of Bill’s life insurance.
While Jane’s $53,000 salary met the family’s monthly living expenses, which included a $1,250 mortgage payment, it did not allow her to eliminate debt or replenish savings. In fact, the family’s debt continued to grow.
Fixing the Problem
Facing the likelihood of ever-increasing debt and an inability to meet important financial goals, Jane sought help from a financial adviser. The adviser assured Jane that she could turn things around, but encouraged her to start with a written financial plan. The plan Jane’s adviser helped her develop summarized the family’s current situation and recommended strategies for lowering expenses, reducing debt, protecting income and meeting long-term savings goals.
Following are ways this professional advice and a written plan helped return the Smith family to financial well-being:
• Lowering expenses: With mortgage payments representing nearly 45% of Jane’s net income, her first priority was lowering expenses. Selling her home and purchasing a less-expensive one not only significantly lowered Jane’s monthly expenses, but also produced a capital gain, which could be used for other financial needs.
• Reducing debt: The plan suggested that Jane use part of the capital gain from the sale of her house to pay off her high-interest debt. Her adviser explained that doing this would be like earning a guaranteed, after-tax investment return equal to the interest rate she was paying on her debts. In the future, Jane could use a home equity line as a low-cost source of credit.
• Protecting income: Widowhood and illness made Jane acutely aware of the need for adequate insurance. Although past illness limited Jane’s ability to purchase life insurance, her adviser provided a list of carriers that guaranteed coverage regardless of health status.
• Saving for goals: The plan suggested several strategies for increasing Jane’s retirement assets while setting something aside for her children’s education.
• To accelerate the growth of retirement assets (while lowering current-year tax liability), Jane maximized 401(k) plan contributions. Reallocating assets to include more stocks provided potential growth over time and could outpace inflation and taxes as well as replenishing depleted funds. Historically, stocks have provided the best opportunity for long-term growth, though past performance does not guarantee future returns.
• Jane also increased after-tax retirement income by converting her traditional IRA to the new Roth IRA. While she had to pay taxes on the IRA assets up front, any future investment earnings would be tax-free if withdrawn at retirement. Jane could even make penalty-free early withdrawals from the Roth IRA to help meet her children’s college expenses.
• Finally, Jane could invest the $25,000 left over from Bill’s life insurance in zero-coupon bonds and mutual funds for her children’s education.
Financial planning should help Jane avoid financial crisis and give her increased control over her own future and that of her family. A Merrill Lynch financial consultant can help you develop a detailed financial plan before or after you run into significant financial challenges.
Call (888) ML-SAVES (657-2837), ext. AACN (2226), for more information on this and other financial issues or visit the Internet area set up exclusively for AACN members by Merrill Lynch on the AACN Web site at
AACN and CCRN Scrub Jackets Can Still Be Ordered
Limited quantities and sizes of scrub warm-up jackets that were featured at the National Teaching Institute™ in New Orleans, La., are still available.
Both the AACN scrub jacket, with the 30th anniversary logo embroidered on the left chest pocket, and the CCRN� jacket, with the CCRN� logo embroidered above the left chest pocket, are available only in medium, large and extra large sizes. The AACN jacket is seal blue and the CCRN jacket is lavender.
AACN Scrub Jacket
Item #402107 (medium)
Item #402208 (large)
Item #402209 (extra large)
CCRN Scrub Jacket
Item #402108 (medium)
Item #402210 (large)
Item #402211 (extra large)
Price: $30 ($35 nonmember)
plus shipping and handling
Order Books by Speakers
Copies of books by keynote speakers at the 1999 National Teaching Institute™ in New Orleans, La., can still be ordered, for a limited time, at conference prices. Available are Passion by opening session speaker Barbara De Angelis ($13.50, Item #402111) and The Music Is You by closing session speaker Rosita Perez ($10, Item #402100). To order, call (800) 899-AACN (2226).