AACN News—June 1999—Chapters

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Vol. 16, No. 6, JUNE 1999

Awards Place Chapters in the Circle of Excellence

Six awards recognizing contributions by AACN chapters are among the 2000 Circle of Excellence awards.

The awards highlight pioneering spirit as well as outstanding efforts in educational programs, leadership development, communications, and promotion of the CCRN� credential.

In addition, a special President’s Award again will be presented to the chapter or chapters that best exemplify the AACN president’s theme for the year.

Following are brief descriptions of these chapter awards:

Pioneering Spirit Award
This award recognizes chapters whose contributions have influenced acute and critical care nursing in any setting. One chapter from each membership category will be awarded $1000 toward the 2000 National Teaching Institute™ or any AACN product. Applications are due November 1, 1999.

AACN Sharon Connor Excellence in Chapter Leadership Development Award
This award, named in honor of the longtime AACN national office team member who died in June 1997, is intended to promote the development of AACN chapter leaders by recognizing premier chapter leadership development plans, outcomes, and effective leadership transitions. The criteria include an assessment of the chapter’s support of the four C’s: communication, connection, consistency, and contribution. One chapter from each membership category will receive $1000. Applications are due November 1, 1999.

CCRN Certification Drive Award
This award recognizes chapters that demonstrate the value of CCRN certification by increasing the number of CCRNs in their chapters during the year. Chapters with the greatest percentage increase will receive five complimentary tickets to and be recognized at the CCRN luncheon during the NTI. Awards will be presented to one chapter from each membership category. To apply, submit the chapter roster that highlights the CCRNs, as of January 1, 1999, and a chapter roster that highlights nurses who have achieved CCRN status during the year, as of December 31, 1999.

Outstanding Chapter Communications System Award
This award recognizes chapters that exemplify effective communication and promote AACN’s messages in the chapter and/or the community. One chapter from each category will be awarded $1000. Applications including supporting materials are due November 1, 1999.

Outstanding Chapter Educational Program Award
This award recognizes chapters that exemplify team-teaching, program quality, and learning connection opportunities. Efforts by individual chapters, chapters working with other chapters, and chapters working with outside collaborators will be recognized separately. One chapter from each category will receive $1000. Applications and supporting materials are due November 1, 1999.

President’s Award
This award will go to the chapter or chapters that best exemplify the theme of 1999-2000 AACN President Anne Wojner, RN, MSN, CCRN. The theme, announced during the recent NTI in New Orleans, La., is “Pioneering in a World of Innovation.” Applications are due April 1, 2000, and should cover activities demonstrated by the chapter, beginning July 1, 1999.

For more information about the Chapter Circle of Excellence Awards program or to obtain an awards guide, call (800) 899-AACN (2226) or visit the AACN Web site at http://www.aacn.org.

Chapter Shares 25 Years of Conference Experience

The 700 nurses who attended the annual Midwest Conference in Arlington Heights, Ill., in March benefited from a lengthy history of dedication to quality educational programming. The conference was the 25th sponsored by the Northwest Chicago Area Chapter of AACN.

Since its beginnings as a two-day seminar in 1975, the conference has grown into a comprehensive learning experience that offers nurses the resources they need to make a critical difference in the delivery of quality patient care.

The 1975 seminar was cosponsored by the Fox Valley Chapter of AACN. The following year, the Northwest Chicago Chapter proceeded alone, sponsoring a two-day seminar titled “Action-Reaction, Endocrine Crisis.” A total of 249 nurses attended. In 1976, an exhibit hall was added, and the conference continued to grow to 400 participants and 70 exhibitors by 1982.

In the 1980s, the conference was expanded to a three-day format, with preconference sessions added in the 1990s.

The 25th conference this year included preconferences, general sessions, breakout sessions and exhibits. The all-day preconference sessions were titled “Law and Ethics” and “Mechanical Ventilation.” Topics covered during breakout sessions included management of multiple clinical problems, state of the art practices, leadership, the Internet, chest x-ray interpretation, weapons of mass destruction and dealing with impaired nurses.

In addition, a Professional Practice Hall featured “fireside chats” with members of the national AACN Board of Directors, poster presentations, nurse recruiters and universities.

As soon as the conference ended, the 35 members of the conference committee reviewed participant evaluations and formulated recommendations for the next year’s committee. Conference planning begins about nine months in advance each year.

Numerous subcommittees, each with a chairperson, are established. Each chairperson is responsible for mentoring future committee members. In fact, mentoring and networking are cited by the chapter as the backbone of its success.

Committee members represent all facets of nursing including teaching, management, bedside care, clinic work, home health and insurance work. All levels of education are also represented.

What's on Tap

Waves of Wisdom
“Waves of Wisdom ’99” will be presented July 30 and 31, 1999, in Daytona Beach, Fla. For more information, contact Rheta Campbell at (407) 631-3439; e-mail,

Interventional Electrophysiology
The Greater Louisville Chapter will cosponsor the 2nd International Symposium on Advances in Interventional Electrophysiology on September 22-24, 1999, in Louisville, Ky. For more information, contact Vickie Miracle, RN, (502) 587-4902; e-mail

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