Nominating Committee Members Announced
Also announced were newly elected members of the AACN Nominating Committee—Mary Bryant, RN, MSN, CCRN, of Sparks, Nev.; Marla J. DeJong, RN, MS, CCRN, CFN, of Ocean Springs, Miss.; and Janet F. Mulroy, RN, MSN, CCRN, of Memphis, Tenn.
Honorees Exemplify Pioneering Spirit
Individuals who have made significant contributions to critical care nursing or to AACN were honored at the opening session of AACN’s National Teaching Institute in May 2000 in Orlando, Fla.
Pioneering Spirit awards, cosponsored by Ross Products Division of Abbott Laboratories, were presented to Louis Lemberg, MD, Karlene Kerfoot, RN, PhD, CNAA, FAAN, and Diana Mertrude, RN. Lifetime Member Awards were presented to outgoing AACN President Anne W. Wojner, RN, MSN, CCRN, and outgoing AACN Certification Corporation Chairperson Kimmith M. Jones, RN, MS.
Both awards are part of the AACN Circle of Excellence recognition program.
Following is information about the recipients of the Pioneering Spirit Awards:
Lemberg is professor of clinical cardiology in the Division of Cardiology at the University of Miami School of Medicine. He was recognized for not only his numerous practice contributions, but also his dedication to nursing education, which began in 1965 when he opened the first coronary care unit west of the Mississippi River. His belief that nurses working in the unit should be specialized led to the Nursing Training Program in Coronary Care, which he directed.
He is a member of the editorial boards of both Heart and Lung and of the American Journal of Critical Care, for which he writes the “Cardiology Casebook.” He is former editor-in-chief of ACCEL for Nurses, and was program director of Cardiology Update for Intensive Care Unit Nurses at Heart House of the American College of Cardiology.
Diana B. Mertrude
Mertrude is a staff nurse in a medical and CCU/ICU in California, who initiated a campaign that resulted in changes to the California Health and Safety code allowing HIV testing, when warranted, of a patient who either cannot or will not grant permission for the test.
Mertrude launched the effort after she sustained a dirty needle stick from a patient who was considered high risk for HIV. Because the patient was unconscious and no family members could be located, Mertrude had to endure six weeks of precautionary drug therapy, from which she suffered adverse toxic effects. Court efforts to grant permission for the testing were rejected, because of the way the law at the time was written.
After the legislation was introduced on Mertrude’s behalf, she gathered hundreds of support signatures from healthcare personnel and testified several times before the California Senate and Assembly to urge passage of the bill. Under the new law, healthcare personnel in situations similar to Mertrude’s can avoid the drug therapy if a patient tests HIV negative.
Kerfoot is vice president for patient care development and organizational development at Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Houston, Tex. She is described as a change master, risk-taker and advocate for nursing care professionals.
Throughout her career, Kerfoot has demonstrated the ability to “tell the truth” about current reality and the talent to positively influence patient care through programs and systems that empower nurses to make their optimal contributions to the healthcare team. She has written more than 200 journal articles and book chapters, most of which have focused on ways that nurses can proactively improve their practice.
Kerfoot also is the author of a regular column in Nursing Economics, titled “On Leadership.” Kerfoot was the speaker for the special certification session that followed the Certification Luncheon at the NTI.
Following is information about the recipients Lifetime Member Awards:
Kimmith M. Jones
Jones is an advanced practice nurse for critical care and the Emergency Center at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Baltimore, Md. He is the immediate past Chair of AACN Certification Corporation.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont in 1985, Jones moved to Dallas to participate in a nine-month critical care and trauma nurse internship program. He later earned a master’s degree in trauma and critical care nursing from the University of Maryland.
He is a member and past president of the Chesapeake Bay Chapter of AACN. At the conclusion of his term as chapter president, he continued his volunteer service at the national level, and was selected to serve on the Board of Directors of AACN Certification Corporation in 1996.
Anne W. Wojner
Wojner entered nursing in 1978, following graduation from Mountainside Hospital School of Nursing in Montclair, N.J. She entered practice in the neurosurgery and cardiovascular/shock-trauma ICU at Washington Hospital Center, Washington, D.C.
She later earned both her bachelor of science in nursing degree and her master of science in nursing degree, with a focus on the clinical nurse specialist role, from the University of Texas-Houston Health Sciences Center, School of Nursing. She is working toward a doctorate in nursing, with a research focus in augmentation of intracranial hemodynamics, at Texas Woman’s University.
In addition to serving as an assistant professor of neurology in the School of Medicine and assistant professor of clinical nursing at the University of Texas, Wojner is president of her own business, the Health Outcomes Institute, The Woodlands, Texas.
She is recognized as a clinical expert in the areas of emergency and critical care, with concentrations in neuroscience and trauma resuscitation. She is also an internationally recognized speaker and author. Wojner publishes extensively on these topics and serves as a reviewer for Critical Care Nurse and the American Journal of Nursing, and is an editorial board member for the Internet Journal of Advanced Practice Nursing.
Wojner has been a member of AACN since 1981, and has held a number of local and regional roles, including president of the Houston Gulf Coast Chapter of AACN and CNS Special Interest Consultant for her region.
She was elected to the AACN Board of Directors in 1995, and has served as a director of the AACN Certification Corporation Board, a Best Practices Initiative Board representative and board liaison to a variety of national volunteer works groups.
Mail Home Box Decoration Winner at NTI a Three-Peat
For the third consecutive year, Susan Veazey, RN, BSN, of Biloxi, Miss., won the Mail Home Service Box Art Contest at AACN’s National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition.
Veazey was awarded the first prize for the best-decorated box at the NTI in May 2000 in Orlando, Fla. She will receive complimentary registration for the NTI, May 19 through 24, 2001, in Anaheim, Calif.
Other prizes went to:
Second place—Lisa Brundage, RN, BSN, MPA, CCRN, of Woodbridge, Va., and Donna Beebe, RN, BSN, BA, CCRN, of Haymarket, Va.; $50 gift certificate for the AACN Resource Catalog
Third place—Jannie M. B. White, RN, of Adelpha, Miss.; free shipping
Honorable mention—Denise D’Avella, RN, BS, of Albany N.Y., and Alice Morelli, RN, BSN, CCRN, of Cortland, Ohio
Join the AACN Circle of Excellence
Don’t forget! Sept. 1, 2000, is the deadline to nominate yourself or a colleague for a Circle of Excellence award for 2001. This recognition program honors individuals who have made a difference in healthcare, and in the lives of patients and their families. Deadlines are different for some other awards.
Following are the awards for which the deadline is Sept. 1:
Ross Products-AACN Pioneering Spirit Award
Cosponsored by the Ross Products Division of Abbott Laboratories, this award recognizes an individual or group involved in influencing the direction of acute and critical care nursing. The contributions must be far-reaching and exemplify a pioneering spirit. Recipients will be presented a plaque and $500 honorarium, as well as complimentary registration, airfare and hotel accommodations for the NTI in May 2001 in Anaheim, Calif.
AACN Honorary Member Award
This award is granted to individuals who are not eligible for active membership in AACN but who have contributed to the advancement of care for acute and critically ill patients and their families. The award honors those who have achieved national recognition for contributions in clinical practice, administration, education, research or legislation, and who have fostered and promoted a positive image for nursing. In addition to honorary AACN membership, recipients are presented a personalized plaque as well as complimentary registration, airfare and hotel accommodations for the NTI in 2001.
AACN Lifetime Member Award
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 to lifetime AACN membership, recipients are presented a personalized plaque as well as complimentary registration, airfare and hotel accommodations for the NTI in 2001.
AACN Mentoring Award
This award recognizes individuals or groups who develop and enhance another’s intellectual and technical skills, acculturating them to the professional community, and modeling a way of life and professional achievement. Recipients are presented a personalized plaque.
AACN Excellence in Caring Practices Award
Presented in honor of John Wilson Rodgers, this award recognizes nurses whose caring practices are paramount in empowering acute or critically ill patients and/or their families. Recipients will receive complimentary registration, airfare, and hotel accommodations for the NTI in 2001.
AACN Excellent Preceptor Award
This award recognizes preceptors who demonstrate the key components of the preceptor role including teacher, clinical role model, consultant and friend/advocate. Recipients will receive complimentary registration, airfare and hotel accommodations for the NTI in 2001.
3M Health Care-AACN Excellence in Clinical Practice Award
Sponsored by 3M Health Care, this award recognizes acute and critical care nurses who embody and exemplify the principles of acute and critical care nursing practice. Recipients will receive complimentary registration, airfare and hotel accommodations for the NTI in 2001.
AACN Outstanding Advanced Practice Nurse Award
This award recognizes acute and critical care advanced practice nurses who function as advanced practitioners. Recipients will receive complimentary registration, airfare and hotel accommodations for the NTI in 2001.
AACN Excellence in Education Award
This award recognizes nurse educators who facilitate the acquisition and advancement of the knowledge and skills required for competent practice and positive patient outcomes in the care of acute and critically ill patients and their families. Recipients will receive complimentary registration, airfare and hotel accommodations for the NTI in 2001.
AACN InnoVision Award
This award recognizes initiatives and programs that innovatively and collaboratively meet the needs of families of the acute and critically ill. Up to three awards, with $2,500 earmarked to fund projects, are granted to partnerships that include an AACN member, a healthcare provider organization and a community group. In addition, individual recipients will receive public recognition and a personalized plaque.
AACN Multidisciplinary Team Award
This award recognizes a multidisciplinary team that clearly practices key principles of collaboration and multidisciplinary practice. Up to three awards are given to multidisciplinary teams, with $2,500 earmarked to fund projects. In addition, individual recipients will be given public recognition and a personalized plaque.
Maginnis/Seabury & Smith-AACN Community Service Award
Cosponsored by Maginnis/Seabury & Smith, this award recognizes significant service by acute and critical care nurses, as individuals or in groups, who make a contribution to their community. Individuals or groups selected will receive a complimentary registration to the NTI, or they may choose up to $500 toward speaker fees for an educational symposium.
AACN Excellence in Management Award
This award recognizes managers who demonstrate excellence in coordination of available resources to efficiently and effectively care for acute or critically ill patients and their families. Recipients will receive complimentary registration, airfare and hotel accommodations for the NTI in 2001.
For more information about the Circle of Excellence awards program or to obtain an awards guide, call (800) 899-AACN (2226) or visit the AACN Web site at
Public Policy Update
Increased Funding Approved for NIH
The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a $2.7 billion funding increase to $20.5 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), $1.7 billion more than proposed by the Clinton Administration.
The increase, approved by the House Labor–Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee, includes an additional $68 million for health professions programs, $50 million for activities of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for a medical error reduction initiative, an additional $70 million for community health centers and an additional $321 million for disease prevention programs at the Centers for Disease and Prevention.
Funding for Nurse Education Act (NEA) programs was increased by 10%, from $67.8 million in FY2000 to $74 million in FY2001. The committee included language that encourages the Council on Graduate Medical Education and the National Advisory Council on Nursing Education to develop educational programs to address concerns regarding medical errors and to develop initiatives to improve patient safety. All NEA programs received funding increases, except the Nurse Loan Repayment program, which remained at $2.2 million.
House Passes Health Bills
The House of Representatives passed the following three healthcare bills in May:
H.R. 4040—The Long-Term Care Security Act, introduced by Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.), would allow federal employees, members of the uniformed services, civilian and military retirees, and their qualified dependents to buy private long-term care coverage at group rates. Although the federal government would not pay any part of the coverage premiums, the pooling mechanism afforded by the bill would save buyers an estimated 20% on premiums.
H.R. 4365 – The Children’s Health Act of 2000, introduced by Rep. Michael Bilirakis (R-Fla.), would amend the Public Health Service Act with respect to children’s health. The bill would establish regional centers of excellence to study and collect data on autism and expand NIH research on autism and fragile X syndrome, which delays speech and language development. It would also establish systems to better assess the prevalence of juvenile diabetes, and fund research and education to reduce pediatric asthma, infant hearing loss, epilepsy, safe motherhood and infant health, pediatric research, skeletal malignancies, traumatic brain injury, and injury prevention and control.
H.R. 4386 – The Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act of 2000, introduced by Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC), amends Title XIX of the Social Security Act to provide Medicaid benefits to low-income women identified as having breast or cervical cancer by federal screening programs.
Pennsylvania Nurses Create Bargaining Unit
Approximately 6,000 RNs in Pennsylvania have voted to establish a new independent organization that will represent nurses and other healthcare professionals in contract negotiations at many of Pennsylvania’s largest hospitals. The new Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP) was formerly affiliated with the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA). PASNAP is the successor to PSEA’s Health Care Employees Division.
The Board of Directors of the 31,000-member California Nurses Association (CNA) have voted unanimously to endorse the formation of a national organization to support independent nurses and other allied healthcare labor groups, as a way to extend the campaign for nurse and patient advocacy from coast to coast. At present, there is no single national organization led by staff nurses acting on their own behalf, CNA board members noted.
PASNAP will model the new association after the CNA, said Pearl Kolbosky, RN, vice president of PASNAP. PASNAP said the CNA has agreed to help the Pennsylvania nurses as a first step toward building an independent national nurses movement for direct-care RNs.
Kolbosky said the new association, which represents some 6,000 RNs and other employees at hospitals across Pennsylvania, was created independent of the PSEA, because it would allow nurses to better address issues. Leaders of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, CNA and the United Nurses and Allied Professionals of Rhode Island attended the PASNAP convention, where the new group was established. The Maine Nurses Association also sent greetings and support.
Patient’s Rights Bills Stalled in Congress
Hopes for passing a Patient’s Bill of Rights have diminished, because congressional negotiations regarding how to regulate HMOs have stalled action by Congress. According to Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), reconciling bills passed by the Senate in July 1999 and the House in October 1999 will be difficult. Part of the problem is that House and Senate Republicans have not reached complete agreement on several major issues. Among these is the number of people that should be protected by new federal standards for health insurance and whether patients should have new rights to sue health insurance plans for injuries caused by denial of care.
Negotiators have been trying to work out a compromise between two very different pieces of legislation aimed at protecting patient’s rights in a cost-conscious era dominated by managed health plans. A bipartisan House bill, opposed by most of the insurance industry, would cover all Americans and give people the right to sue their health plans. But the Senate Republican-backed bill would only apply to people in a specific type of federally regulated plan, and would not extend their right to sue.
Quality Health-Care Coalition Act Pulled
H. R. 1304, the Quality Health-Care Coalition Act of 1999, the collective bargaining legislation sponsored by Rep.Tom Campbell (R-Calif.), was pulled from the House floor amid strong opposition by members of the House of Representatives. The bill would create a broad antitrust exemption to permit doctors and other healthcare professionals to bargain collectively with health plans.
Those opposing the bill, including advanced practice nurses, say it would undermine efforts to control healthcare costs for consumers and undermine efforts to provide consumers with a broad range of choices among health plans, in addition to creating an unfair playing field for nonphysician providers, such as advanced practice nurses, by giving physicians an unprecedented exemption from antitrust law. Under existing antitrust laws, physicians can advocate for contract terms even if they disadvantage nonphysician providers or are not in the interest of consumers. However, the current antitrust laws do not permit them to engage in collective bargaining that would allow them to force their views on health plans.
The House Judiciary Committee adopted an amendment that would prohibit physicians from reaching agreements to limit the coverage or reimbursement of services provided by non-physician providers. However, the amendment would not protect nurses against more subtle practices, such as contract terms that require a physician to be present for certain procedures, or practices that mandate specific educational or experience requirements or that impose quality standards that discourage referrals to non-physician providers.
According to Rep. Campbell, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) promised a vote on the bill in July 2000. A similar bill is expected to be introduced in the Senate, though it is not considered likely that it would be considered this year.
HCFA Issues Restraint and Seclusion Guidelines
The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) has issued “interpretive guidelines” for surveyors regarding the new Medicare Hospital Conditions of Participation for Patient’s Rights. The guidelines offer no additional flexibility regarding the requirement that a physician or other licensed independent practitioner “see and assess” the patient within one hour of the emergency interventions of patient seclusion or restraint for behavior management.
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) board is expected to consider an addition to recently approved restraint standards by the end of July 2000. Under current standards, restrained and secluded patients must get a face-to-face evaluation by a physician or other licensed, independent practitioner within an hour. JCAHO’s new standards require only telephone consultation with licensed, independent practitioners within one hour. A JCAHO spokeswoman said the addition follows HCFA’s insistence on compliance with the “one-hour rule.” However, a letter dated May 9, 2000, to JCAHO from HCFA Deputy Director Robert Streimer rejects JCAHO’s argument that its requirement, in combination with other restraint and seclusion standards, provides a level of safety equal or better than the government requirements. The American Hospital Association is challenging the one-hour rule in court.
The HCFA Interpretive guidelines can be found at
NASA to Develop Medical Error Reporting System for VA Hospitals
NASA/Ames Research Center in Mountain View has announced that it is developing a no-names mishap reporting system for doctors and nurses at the country’s 172 VA hospitals. Medical workers would be encouraged to voluntarily and anonymously report to NASA any errors or close calls that they or their colleagues make, in an effort to learn from their mistakes. The new system, which is in the beginning stages of development, is meant to complement the internal reporting systems, which health workers sometimes resist, already in place at most hospitals. Patient advocates hope that if there is a place to report medical errors and close calls without the stigma of blame attached, the people on the front lines of medicine will be more willing to come forward to expose mistakes and close calls so that they’ll be fixed before patients are hurt or killed.
Experts say the system holds promise as a national prototype for reducing the number of patients who die or are injured from medical errors in every hospital by helping medical professionals learn from previous mishaps. The project will be modeled after the confidential Aviation Safety Reporting System, which has been operated out of NASA/Ames for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for 24 years. The aviation reporting system is a voluntary, anonymous system available to pilots, air traffic controllers and others in aviation. They use it to report the errors and near-mishaps that people often don’t want to bring to the attention of the FAA.
Those reports, which come in by letter, phone and computer, are then analyzed in an effort to spot trends and weaknesses in systems and procedures. The results of those reports are made available to the aviation community in newsletters, bulletins and other reports.
A version of the aviation-reporting system database is available for viewing on the FAA’s Office of System Safety Web site at
Jim Bajian, MD, director of the VA’s two-year-old Center for Patient Safety in Washington, D.C. will work closely with Linda Connell, a former nurse who is now director of the aviation-reporting system at NASA/Ames, to developing the Patient Safety Reporting System. Bajian is in a strong position to help NASA adapt the aviation reporting system to medical purposes. As a physician, engineer, pilot and former NASA shuttle astronaut, he is intimately familiar with the aviation-reporting system and its ability to capitalize on human strengths and minimize the chance of human error within complex systems. Proponents of the system say that, because doctors and pilots share many characteristics—particularly the ability to think creatively in high-stress, life-or-death situations—there is no reason to think the medical community won’t embrace a confidential reporting system, as aviators did.
The project will be a partnership between NASA and the Center for Patient Safety, an arm of the Veterans Health Administration. If the pilot program succeeds, backers hope it can be expanded to all hospitals in the United States. Organizers say they should know within three years whether the VA reporting system would work for other hospitals.
Submit Your Manuscript for Publication in AJCC
The American Journal of Critical Care is seeking submissions of original manuscripts that describe investigations, advances or observations from all specialties related to the care of critically ill patients. Clinical studies, research studies or case reports that emphasize and promote collaborative practice and research are of most interest. To be considered, manuscripts cannot have been previously published.
Authors who are located west of the Mississippi River should send submissions, including an original and three copies, to Kathleen Dracup, RN, DNSc, School of Nursing, University of California, Los Angeles, Factor Building, Box 956918, Los Angeles, CA 90095-6918; phone, (310) 206-2644; fax, (310) 794-7482; e-mail, AJCC@sonnet.ucla.edu. Authors who are located east of the Mississippi River should send manuscripts to Christopher W Bryan-Brown, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Montefiore Medical Center, 111 E 210th Street, Bronx, NY 10467-2490; phone, (718) 920-4175; fax, (718) 881-2245; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
To obtain author guidelines or for suggested topics, call (800) 899-1712, ext. 515, or visit the AACN Web site at
Share the Benefits: Join AACN’s New Member-Get-A-Member Campaign
Share the benefits of membership in AACN with your nonmember colleagues and become eligible to receive valuable prizes. AACN has launched a new Member-Get-A-Member program that offers recruiters in both individual and chapter categories cumulative chances to win prizes, including paid registration, airfare and hotel for AACN’s National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition in May 2001 in Anaheim, Calif.
The campaign, which began May 1, 2000, ends Dec. 31, 2000. During this period, participating members will be entered into the prize drawing each time they are listed on the “referred by” line of a new-member application. Thus, the more new members they recruit, the better their chances of winning. Plus, recruiters will receive a free gift the first time a qualified new-member application is received.
Following are the prizes that will be awarded:
Grand Prize—(one per category)
Registration, airfare and hotel for NTI 2001, May 19 through 24
First Prize—(one per category)
Three-year membership to AACN (a $211 value) or an AACN gift certificate of equal value
Second Prize—(two per category)
Two-year membership to AACN (a $148 value) or an AACN gift certificate of equal value
Third Prize—(three per category)
One year membership to AACN (a $78 value) or an AACN gift certificate of equal value.
For more information about this new Member-Get-A-Member campaign or to receive member recruitment materials, call (800) 899-AACN (2226), or visit the AACN Web site at
Take a Look at the NTI Online
You can still get the flavor of AACN’s recent National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition in Orlando, Fla., by visiting NTI News Online, sponsored by Cape Fear Valley Health System. At this site, you will find selected stories and photos from NTI News, the conference daily. Access the site at
. Click on NTI New Online.
Aug. 15, 2000, Is the Deadline to Apply for ICU Design Citation
Aug. 15, 2000, is the deadline to submit applications for the ICU Design Citation. An award of $500 is offered for the 2001 ICU Design Citation. This award is jointly sponsored by AACN, the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the American Institute of Architects Committee on Architecture for Health.
In addition to the cash award, the winner will receive complimentary registration for one person to each of the organization’s annual meetings and a plaque to display in the unit. To obtain an application, contact Dolores Curry at (800) 394-5995, ext. 377.
Don’t Let Market Turbulence Knock You Off Your Course
Whether “Old Economy” or “New Economy,” certain basic rules still apply. One is that market volatility cuts both ways.
Investors have recently been reminded of this fact as the NASDAQ Composite Index, the technology-dominated standard bearer of the New Economy, has declined sharply from the highs it reached as recently as March 2000. Meanwhile, the so-called Old Economy—exemplified by the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Index—has been buffeted by the turbulence in the NASDAQ Index.
Time for Discipline
As many investors bet on the short-term direction of speculative securities, this is a good time to put the current turmoil in perspective and apply the lessons learned from many years of studying the financial markets. The historical record shows that, over time, returns on stocks have not only far outpaced other types of financial investment, but also remained well ahead of inflation.
However, investors should not ignore the need for diversification, which can cushion the effects of volatility and enhance total returns.
First, evaluate the investment backdrop. Merrill Lynch’s chief economist, Bruce Steinberg, believes fundamentals for the U.S. economy remain strong.
Second, the market’s technical prospects suggest that investors should exercise caution. Nevertheless, Chief Market Analyst Richard McCabe believes this is a good time to watch for opportunities and to take advantage of a broad new phase of advances, which could get under way once the crosscurrents sort themselves out.
Third, David Bowers, chief investment strategist, believes the market’s setback contains some messages about the global financial and economic backdrop that point to further volatility and, perhaps, a change in sector emphasis on the part of global market participants.
Fourth, further volatility is likely, according to Chief Quantitative Strategist Richard Bernstein, who says that selectivity will become even more important to successful investing. He believes the “Not So Nifty 450,” the stocks that didn’t lead the S&P 500 to record highs in recent months, could outperform the “Nifty 50” large-cap issues that did.
In the wake of market gyrations, each investor should review their investment goals, timeframe and tolerance for risk. Merrill Lynch’s five asset allocation models address individual needs and suggest a mix of asset classes that might be suitable for achieving specific goals.
How can you translate these general suggestions into specific investment ideas? Merrill Lynch’s research team agrees that the basic industry, energy and utility sectors stand to do well in the period ahead. The team also thinks that selected technology issues have attractive potential. The economists point out that the technology sector of the economy is quite strong, with the research suggesting that technology-related spending is likely to increase by roughly 25% in inflation-adjusted terms this year. Consequently, the researchers believe that the earnings of the technology stocks in the S&P 500 could increase by 36%, triple the pace expected for the index as a whole.
At the same time, Merrill Lynch’s market technicians question whether the excesses that have built up during the bull market in the technology sector can be fully corrected by just a few weeks of decline. They believe that a potential further period of weakness may be in store for the higher-quality, largest cap technology issues that held up comparatively well in the recent setback.
The analysts think that a high degree of selectivity is in order for the technology sector. For example, they agree that the cyclical characteristics of the semiconductor, semiconductor equipment manufacturing and component manufacturing industries tie in well with the global economic expansion. They also believe that many highly speculative technology stocks face significant risks on a number of fronts, including valuation, accounting and finance, particularly if turbulent market conditions make it more difficult for companies to raise cash.
From the viewpoint of the investment strategists, the major thrusts of technology-sector growth seem to be in the transmission of data and in the expansion of Internet applications. As a result, they favor stocks in the wireless services, networking and broadband areas, with emphasis on companies that have, or are well on the way to having, good operating results. In the fixed-income portion of their portfolios, investors might want to use the stock market’s recent volatility to rebalance holdings that may have become too heavily skewed toward equities in recent years.
Take the Long-Term View
There is never a simple answer to the question of what’s best for your financial well being, especially in times of market volatility. In the weeks and months ahead, don’t lose sight of your long-term financial objectives. Set and stay on a well-thought-out course that offers a good chance to achieve reasonable goals.
For more information about Merrill Lynch accounts and services to benefit AACN members, call (888) MLSAVES (657-2837) and ask for ext. AACN (2226). Merrill Lynch has also established a Web site for AACN members. The site can be accessed through the “Members Services” area of the AACN Web site at
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Deadline to submit applications for the ICU Design Citation, jointly sponsored by AACN, the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the American Institute of Architects Committee on Architecture for Health. To obtain an application, contact Dolores Curry at (800) 394-5995, ext. 377.
Deadline to submit research and research abstracts, or creative solutions abstracts for AACN’s National Teaching Institute™ and Critical Care Exposition, May 19 through 24, 2001, in Anaheim, Calif. To obtain abstract forms, call (800) 899-AACN (2226), or visit the AACN Web site at
Deadline for applications to be received for Agilent Technologies-AACN Critical Care Nursing Research Grant. To obtain application materials and instructions, call (800) 899-AACN (2226), or visit the “Research” section of the AACN Web site at
South America Study Tour. To request a brochure, call (949) 673-3596.
Proposals are due for AACN Data-Driven Clinical Practice Grant. To obtain application materials and instructions, call (800) 899-AACN (2226), or visit the “Research” section of the AACN Web site at
Proposals are due for AACN Clinical Practice Grant. To obtain application materials and instructions, call (800) 899-AACN (2226), or visit the “Research” section of the AACN Web site at
Proposals are due for AACN-Sigma Theta Tau Critical Care Grant. To obtain application materials and instructions, call (800) 899-AACN (2226), or visit the “Research” section of the AACN Web site at