AACN News—March 2000—Association News

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Vol. 17, No. 3, MARCH 2000


New Process in Place to Select Board Secretary and Treasurer
 

Members of the 1999-2000 AACN Nominating Committee are (from left, seated) Susan C. Yeager, RN, MS, CCRN, Immediate Past AACN President Mary G. McKinley, RN, MSN, CCRN (chair), Phyllis A. Gordon, RN, MSN, CS, and Joan F. O’Sullivan (AACN Certification Corporation consumer representative), and (from left, standing) AACN Executive Associate Roma Regner (staff), Bonnie R. Sakallaris, RN, MSN, CCRN, Fay M. Wright, RN, MS, CCRN, ACNP (AACN board liaison), Barbara A. Gill, RN, MN (immediate past AACN Certification Corporation chair), Aimee C. Lyons, RN, MSN, CCRN, NP (AACN Certification Corporation board member), Dorrie K. Fontaine, RN, DNSc, FAAN (AACN board liaison), AACN Director of Professional Development Barbara Mayer, RN, MS (staff), and Jessica P. Palmer, RN, MSN (AACN board liaison). Yeager, Gordon and Sakallaris were elected to the committee by the AACN membership at large.

The national AACN board offices of secretary and treasurer will no longer be elected positions. Instead, the board secretary and treasurer will be elected by the board as a whole from among the current board members, who are elected by the membership at large.

The decision to change the process follows several years of discussion, which culminated in a recommendation by the 1998-99 Nominating Committee to the AACN Board of Directors. Among the issues discussed was the appropriateness of including the positions on the slate of candidates chosen by the Nominating Committee, as well as what was expected of the roles.

The Nominating Committee expressed concern that, by separately listing the secretary and treasurer positions on the ballot, the candidates possibly enjoy better chances of being elected than do the candidates for the director positions. In addition, the secretary position carried no different role expectations than the directors, though the treasurer role also required an understanding of the AACN budgeting processes. With this change, all candidates seeking an elected position will be considered for a director position.

Taking into account the need to ensure maximum volunteer opportunities for all members and provide the fairest possible method for nominating candidates, the AACN board carefully reviewed and accepted the committee's recommendation. As a result, the 1999-2000 Nominating Committee has interviewed and prepared a slate of candidates for president-elect and four available director positions for 2000-01.

The treasurer will be a current board member, who will be elected by the board. The treasurer’s term will be one year, with the opportunity to apply for a second consecutive year.

The appointee’s service as treasurer must coincide with his or her service as director, which means the treasurer will be appointed during the second year of his or her three-year term. The board believes that this arrangement will help ease the transition for the new treasurer, because the appointment would take place before the current treasurer’s role ends. The timing allows for mentoring on AACN’s budget processes.

The secretary appointment will follow the same process. However, the board plans further discussions about the need to tie specific role competencies to this position before a director is appointed to be secretary. The current AACN secretary’s term ends June 30, 2001.

The board believes that these changes are in the best interests of the association and its members. If you have comments, questions or concerns about this change, contact Roma Regner, executive associate, at (800) 394-5995, ext. 331, or e-mail aacninfo@aacn.org.

Exposition Spotlights Critical Care

The Critical Care Exposition, which is scheduled each year in conjunction with AACN’s National Teaching Institute,™ is widely acknowledged as the largest and most comprehensive trade show for acute care, critical care and advanced practice nurses.

However, the exposition is more than a time to view the latest in healthcare technology and pharamaceuticals and to find out about career opportunities, as well as educational materials and publications. It also offers NTI participants a chance to earn additional CEs and visit one-on-one with representatives of more than 400 exhibiting companies.

The Critical Care Exposition is scheduled for May 23 through 25 during the NTI, which will run from May 20 through 25.

Again this year, NTI participants will be able to preview the exposition through materials provided by exhibitors at a kiosk outside the exhibit hall. This literature carousel is a good place to obtain company contacts for future reference.

These exhibitors are an integral part of the success of the NTI program. Many sponsor or help sponsor NTI programs, equipment or materials. Several sponsor popular breakfast sessions. Although breakfast sessions are free to participants, they are ticketed events for which preregistration is recommended.

Collectively, exhibitors contribute toward the annual Exhibitor/Participant event, which in Orlando will be at the Universal Studios Islands of Adventure.
Half-hour exhibit CE sessions are scheduled by the exhibitors at periodic intervals throughout the three-day exposition. Participants can earn 0.5 contact hours per session attended, up to a maximum of 6.0 CEs.

Although NTI participants earn, on the average, 25 contact hours, they can obtain up to 50 contact hours during the NTI by taking advantage of these and other opportunities.

A special Exhibits CE guide will be distributed with the first issue of the convention daily, NTI News. Listings of exhibitors, as well as a map of the exhibit hall, are included in both the NTI Program and Proceedings book and as a daily supplement to NTI News.

Patient Safety Concerns Draw Support

As a participating member of the Nursing Organization Liaison Forum (NOLF), AACN has signed on in support of two issues vital to nursing.

The first is an open letter to Congress in response to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on medical errors. The second addresses a whistleblower and patient advocacy provision in a legislative amendment designed to protect consumers in managed care plans and other health coverage.

The release of the IOM report provides nursing with an opportunity to articulate concerns about the present environment of care and how it directly affects the safety and quality of nursing care. AACN joined the American Nurses Association and other NOLF organizations in signing the following statement to send a message that nursing is united in addressing this significant issue.

Open Statement to Congress and the Administration
The Institute of Medicine report, “To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System,” shines a bright light on a significant problem within the U.S. health system. The patient-care environment—across all health settings—is not conducive to the delivery of safe, quality nursing care despite the best efforts of dedicated nursing professionals. It is time to shine that same bright light on those qualities which create an environment that promotes the highest standard in patient care and excellence in nursing services. Qualities like sufficient nurse staffing, adequate support services; an appropriate skill mix of qualified providers that reflects patient acuity and needs; and dedicated nursing leadership in administration. Enhancing these qualities will result in better patient outcomes, fewer errors, and a stronger nursing profession emboldened to speak out on behalf of our patients. The undersigned nursing organizations call on you to join the nursing profession in working toward a patient care environment, which supports quality patient care. The complete IOM report can be obtained online at
http://books.nap.edu/catalog/9728.html.

Patient Advocacy
The whistleblower and patient advocacy provision is included in the Bipartisan Consensus Managed Care Improvement Act of 1999, passed by the House. H.R. 2723 would amend Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, Title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The provision would prohibit retaliation against healthcare professionals who advocate for their patients in institutional settings.

Because this provision was not part of the Senate-passed bill, it is important that the nursing profession be on record in support of its inclusion in the final bill, which will be drafted by a joint conference committee. Following is the text of the letter sent to all members of Congress.

As a conference committee begins consideration of HR 2990, which includes the provisions of the Norwood-Dingell Bipartisan Consensus Managed Care Improvement Act, we are writing to urge the inclusion of a provision which protects registered nurses and other healthcare professionals from retaliation when they advocate for their patients’ health and safety.

For registered nurses, patient advocacy is at the heart of their professional commitment. It is a priority of nursing organizations representing the full spectrum of nursing specialties, including advanced practice and staff nurses, whether or not its members engage in collective bargaining, because patients depend on nurses to ensure that they receive proper care. Section 135 of the Norwood-Dingell bill assures patients that nurses and other healthcare professionals, acting within the scope of their expertise, will be able to speak for them, through appropriate channels, without fear of retaliation. Unlike traditional whistleblower laws, this language does not protect those who speak to the press or the public.

The undersigned nursing organizations, which represent registered nurses throughout the nation who practice in every healthcare setting, appreciate your consideration of our views on this important issue, and we strongly urge your support for the whistleblower/patient advocacy provision of the Norwood-Dingell measure. We are attaching a fact sheet explaining this provision for your consideration.

The fact sheet on the patient advocacy provision is available in the “Public Policy” area of the AACN Web site at http://www.aacn.org. The full text of HR 2723 is available at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/C?c106:./temp/~c106b7EKYf.

Public Policy Update

Federal Budget Highlights Healthcare
The federal budget proposal unveiled by the White House in February 2000 includes more than $50 million in new funding for government programs to reduce the rate of medical errors. The 2001 budget proposes the biggest increase in government spending on healthcare since the 1960s.

Under President Clinton’s proposal, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will receive substantial new outlays to attack the problem of medical errors through research and monitoring. The FDA would receive $12.8 million in new funding to hire full-time employees for its “adverse event” reporting system. The system monitors problems with drugs and medical devices and analyzes the harm that they may cause.

Sen. Arlen Spector (R-Pa.) planned to introduce a bill that may lead doctors and hospitals to disclose medical mistakes at the risk of stiff penalties. Spector said that the core of the legislation is, ultimately, to require hospitals and doctors to report their medical errors. Separately, a bipartisan group of senators sent letters to four key federal agencies asking that they explain the steps that they will take to reduce errors by 50% over the next 5 years.

The $1.84 trillion budget also includes initiatives to expand Medicare and healthcare for the elderly. Clinton asked Congress for $195 billion over the next decade for new Medicare prescription benefits. For younger Americans without health insurance, he requested another $110 billion to spend on existing state and federal programs, as well as tax credits to defray the cost of private coverage.

Legislatures Cite Top Issues
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Health Policy Tracking Service (HPTS) annual survey of state legislatures, many states have identified nursing issues in their legislative priorities.

Issues identified among the states were mandated nurse staffing ratios for hospitals, prescriptive authority and scope of practice for advanced practice nurses, whistleblower issues, needle safety and nurse licensure compacts.

Many states already mandate nurse-staffing ratios for nursing homes and mental health facilities, but not for hospitals. Although California, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey and New York considered staffing bills in 1999, only California enacted legislation. This year, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming will consider bills that mandate nurse staffing ratios for hospitals.

In addition, many states will consider legislation that addresses prescriptive authority for nurse practitioners (NPs), along with the scope of practice for NPs and certified nurse midwives. States identifying these issues as a priority include California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington and Wisconsin.

Clinton Bans Genetic Discrimination
President Clinton has signed an executive order that prohibits federal departments and agencies from using genetic information in hiring or promotion action. The order will ensure that critical health information from genetic tests is not used against federal employees.

The president also endorsed the Genetic Nondiscrimination in Health Insurance and Employment Act of 1999, which would extend these protections to the private sector and to individuals purchasing health insurance. In a fact sheet released by the White House, the president stated his strong belief that efforts to find genetic cures for disease must not undermine vital protections. He also asked the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to expedite FDA and National Institutes of Health reviews of gene therapy guidelines and regulations. T

Congress Again Considers Patients’ Rights
A joint House-Senate conference committee will work its way through the vastly different versions of the “Patients’ Bill of Rights” approved by the two chambers in 1999. The issue of protecting patient rights under managed care is expected to be an important issue for voters this presidential election year. Seventy-two percent of registered voters participating in a poll, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, on healthcare issues said they favor a law that would give them the right to sue HMOs and afford other protections.

The House bill, approved by a substantial, bipartisan majority, would give people the right to sue HMOs and other health plans in state courts, and cover privately insured Americans. The Senate bill, approved by a slim Republican margin, does not give people the right to sue, and its generally weaker patient-protection provisions applied to only about 48 million Americans in specific forms of federally regulated health plans. Conference Chairman Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.) stated he wants to draft a compromise bill by the end of March 2000 and pass it by early spring 2000.


HHS Unveils Health Indicator Goals
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched the nation’s public health strategy for the next decade. The program, announced by HHS Secretary Donna Shalala at the recent Healthy People 2010 meeting, will begin tracking and report on the 10 leading health indicators that are part of the Healthy People 2010 goals.

The 2010 goals include 467 other objectives, which are designed to reduce illness disability and premature death. The 10 health indicators include physical activity; obesity; tobacco use; substance abuse; responsible sexual behavior; mental health; injury and violence; environmental quality; immunization; and access to healthcare. The new initiative follows the Healthy People 2000 program, which currently reports success in meeting 15% of its goals. However, trends indicate that, when final data are in next spring, 60% of the goals will have been met.

Healthy People 2010 is the third generation of a national initiative to prevent disease and promote the health of the American people. It is, in effect, the prevention agenda for the nation. It is a statement of national opportunities, a tool that identifies the most significant and preventable threats to health and focuses public and private sector efforts to address these threats.

Additional information about Healthy People 2010 is available online at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople.

Meet the Board

The elected members of the AACN Board of Directors make valuable contributions to the association and to critical care nursing practice. They represent diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Throughout this fiscal year, members will have a chance to get to know these national leaders better through this “Meet the Board” feature. Each has responded to a set of questions about their practice and volunteer experiences.

Connie Barden
RN, MSN, CCNS, CCRN
Director

Connie Barden is a clinical nurse specialist and coordinator of cardiovascular services at Mercy Hospital in Miami, Fla.

QWhat attracted you to the practice of critical care nursing?

AActually, I landed in critical care thanks to good luck and good timing. After finishing my undergraduate nursing program, I knew a lot about what areas of nursing I didn’t want, but only a little about what I did want. Surgical ICU and labor and delivery were the preferences I listed when I applied for my first job in 1975. I was hired as a new graduate into the cardiac care unit at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C., and I have not left critical care since. It was indeed beginner’s luck. Being a nurse in cardiovascular intensive care clicked for me immediately, and I knew that I had found my niche in nursing.

QWhat is the most rewarding aspect of your practice?

ASingling out only one aspect is difficult. I love being a “detective” in the ICU. Putting together the pieces and figuring out what’s going on with a patient is part of our job and is a rewarding challenge.

I also love helping families deal with crisis and the whole environment of critical care, sudden, severe illness and loss. Sitting with family members and truly listening to their ideas, their fears and their hopes is a privilege. To then help these family members become clear about a situation and make realistic, well-informed decisions is rewarding to me.

In addition, I am rewarded when newer nurses that I have taught, either at the bedside or in a classroom, become truly stellar critical care nurses. I not only know that these nurses will make things better for their patients and families, but I also know that by reaching this level, they will love what they are doing. By being a mentor and a coach, I feel I have helped to give them the gift of being in a career that they love.

QWhat motivated you to commit your time to volunteer service at the national level?

AI began my volunteer work with AACN at the chapter level, where I have served in various offices in the chapters to which I have belonged. I recognized the caliber of AACN as an organization, not merely as a premier nursing association. I believe AACN has set a standard among nonprofit organizations in general and as a business and a values-driven entity. An organization driven by a vision, in which every action is guided by a rigorous standard of excellence , appeals to my personal ideals and is certainly where I want to spend my time.

QWhat personal rewards do you receive because of your volunteer service?

AA huge reward is the incredible opportunity to grow as a leader, as a team member, as a nurse and as a human being. At the national level, volunteers meet and work with some of the best and brightest people in the business, which in turn challenges you and provides the opportunity to step up to the next level of growth. I am also aware that, at the end of my three years on the AACN Board of Directors, I will have made incredible contacts and friendships all across this country. Serving at the national level provides an opportunity to meet and work with people, with whom you might not otherwise have had contact, on the challenges of steering the course of the world’s largest, specialty nursing organization.

 

Dorrie Fontaine
RN, DNSc, FAAN
Director
Dorrie Fontaine is associate dean of student and academic affairs and coordinator of the acute care nurse practitioner program at Georgetown University School of Nursing, Washington, D.C.

QWhat attracted you to the practice of critical care nursing?

AAlthough I was exposed to psychiatric nursing, pediatrics, and labor and delivery in my undergraduate nursing program, my favorite clinical instructor was in the intensive care rotation. She not only brought excitement and passion to the practice of caring for very sick patients, but she also provided me with positive feedback. As a result, I decided critical care was a specialty worth my serious attention and, after spending the requisite year in “med-surg,” I took the first opportunity to move into a critical care unit. I was forever hooked on the intellectual science base, combined with the emotional highs of seeing patients get better and the collaborative spirit of the critical care team. I could not read or learn enough about this specialty. In my first critical care nursing position, I worked full time at night, while attending ECG class during the day. I was privileged to be mentored by a clinical nurse specialist, who “knew everything” and I wanted to be just like her. Some very special nurses set me on my career path in critical care.

QWhat is the most rewarding aspect of your practice?

AIn my practice, I help prepare the next generation to enter the profession of nursing and teach advanced practice nurses, specifically acute care nurse practitioners. Watching individuals grow and develop to challenge the status quo and to make a significant contribution to patient and family care, and then learning of their success is the reason I never tire of my practice. The most rewarding part of the work is seeing the minds and hearts of students change over time as they discover their gifts and talents. Working with faculty and clinicians to educate the future healthcare workforce is an awesome responsibility, which I treasure.

QWhat motivated you to commit your time to volunteer service at the national level?

AI have been encouraged to volunteer by my AACN colleagues, who have suggested specific roles in which I could best contribute my service and expertise. I have been fortunate that my work settings have been supportive of my desire to give back something to a profession that has so enriched my life, which has guided my decision to be involved at the national level.

QWhat personal rewards do you receive because of your volunteer service?

AMy AACN activities enrich my life at work. In turn, my AACN role is stronger because of my work at the university. Through AACN, I have established lifelong friendships, and look forward to every meeting as an opportunity not only to do significant work, but also to laugh and engage others fully. The colleagues I have met through AACN have become personal as well as professional resources.

 

Lori Hendrickx
RN, EdD, CCRN
Director
Lori Hendrickx is associate professor in the College of Nursing at South Dakota State University, Brookings, S.D.

QWhat attracted you to the practice of critical care nursing?

AAs a senior nursing student at the University of North Dakota, I completed a rotation through an emergency department and discovered I loved the fast pace and variety of patients I cared for. The experience challenged me to apply the critical-thinking skills and physiologic concepts I had learned. I also enjoyed the intrigue of figuring out what was wrong with each patient and then being able to help them through what were often very difficult times.

In working at several rural hospitals, I was fascinated by the complexity of the patients in critical care. Although I have worked in a variety of urban and rural settings, I continue to love critical care nursing, where I can get to know patients well and can provide individualized care to patients and families.

QWhat is the most rewarding aspect of your practice?

AFor the past 10 years, I have taught nursing, while continuing to work as a staff nurse in critical care. The most rewarding part of my job is when I am able to take students into the critical care areas and share with them what I have learned. I love seeing the excitement and enthusiasm for nursing that my students exhibit.

However, my greatest reward has been to see the accomplishments of former students who have gone on to excel in their own careers.

QWhat motivated you to commit your time to volunteer service at the national level?

AI joined AACN when I was a staff nurse at Luther Hospital, Eau Claire, Wis., after Sue Fowler, a clinical nurse specialist in my unit, invited me to a local chapter meeting. I was impressed by the chapter’s educational opportunities and activities and enjoyed the opportunity to network with other critical care nurses.

I was aware of other local nurses who felt the experience of volunteering at the national level was wonderful, so I answered the annual Call for Volunteers by applying for the AACN Education Committee Because I was beginning to teach at the time, I felt this committee was a good fit for my area of interest and level of expertise.

I continued to volunteer in subsequent years, because I found that I benefited tremendously from each experience. Eventually, I was encouraged to apply to be a member of the AACN Board of Directors.

QWhat personal rewards do you receive because of your volunteer service?

AThrough my activities with AACN, I have met wonderful people and formed strong friendships throughout the United States. I have learned a great deal from their experiences and their willingness to share ideas. I strongly believe in the work that AACN does on behalf of its members and have always been impressed that volunteer input is valued so highly by the National Office. I personally believe that all nurses should be involved in a professional organization to help advance the profession of nursing. My experience with AACN has shown me that individual member’s contributions are valued by the association as a whole and can make a difference.

Jessica Palmer
RN, MSN
Director
Jessica Palmer is nurse manager of the Medical-Surgical and Critical Care Business Unit at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.

QWhat attracted you to the practice of critical care nursing?

AInitially, I was attracted to critical care, because it offered me increased autonomy; the opportunity to develop expert skills; a fast pace; and the opportunity to work with new technologies and techniques. I started my career 24 years ago as a staff nurse, rotating between a medical-surgical ICU and a cardiac care unit at a community hospital. We cared for a wide variety of patients including trauma, but not burn or open heart surgery patients.

I have since moved from the cardiothoracic ICU, to the surgical oncology ICU and into managerial roles in critical care units. These positions were with the National Institutes of Health and the Veterans Affairs Administration. My managerial roles have also been in a variety of medical, surgical, cardiothoracic and oncology ICUs. I am currently managing two acute care intermediate areas at Duke.

QWhat is the most rewarding aspect of your practice?

AIn my role as a manager, I am committed to developing and managing resources to assist my staff in providing the highest quality of care for our patients. I am particularly rewarded when I see staff members develop from novice practitioners to expert professionals who use criteria-based decision making and highly developed critical-thinking skills. I was lucky to have worked with exceptional managers and mentors, who provided me with support and growth opportunities throughout my career. I try to provide some of the same supports to members of my staff.

QWhat motivated you to commit your time to volunteer service at the national level?

AThe same, special individuals who have mentored me also exposed me to many opportunities and encouraged my involvement with AACN. Part of my philosophy is to offer the same kinds of opportunities to others. My professional development has been enhanced by my contacts with these special people and my association with AACN. Committing my time was the least I could do.

QWhat personal rewards do you receive because of your volunteer service?

AI have received valuable professional growth and development opportunities because of my association with AACN, its members and its staff. I have made presentations regionally and nationally; organized a preconference for the National Teaching Institute;™ and been privileged to help develop the Research Strategic Agenda for AACN’s future. I have met people from all over the country, who I might not have known under other circumstances. At the same time, I am meeting some personal goals to help in the development of critical care nurses and, as a result, improve the care of patients.

Annual Meeting

Please join the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses National Leadership Team at the Annual Meeting

Tuesday, May 23, 2000
Noon-1 pm
Room 109
Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, Fla.

• Learn about AACN’s strategic plan for the future.
• Hear reports by AACN committee chairs.
• Ask questions from the floor and share comments with AACN President Anne W. Wojner and members of the Board of Directors.

(Or, if you choose, deposit written questions in advance at “Ask AACN” boxes in the AACN Resource Center. Please do so by 6 pm May 22.)

Join or Renew Your Membership With 5 or More Others and Save
AACN now offers a discounted group membership rate. A minimum of five memberships are required to receive the discount.

Under the program, both new and renewing members or affiliate members can pay $69 per year instead of the regular $78 annual fee.

The group discount also applies to international, student and emeritus memberships. Groups of international members pay $92 per year instead of $104, and groups of student members or of emeritus members pay $46 instead of $52. The group rate applies only to one-year memberships.

Full payment for all members in the group must accompany orders. Membership certificates will be mailed to the individual placing the order for distribution to all members of the group.

For more information about this new program or to obtain a group membership application form, call (800) 899-AACN (2226), or visit the AACN Web site at http://www.aacn.org.

Member-Get-A-Member Recruitment Program to End on March 31, 2000

AACN’s current Member-Get-A-Member program, which offers members awards for recruiting new members, will be discontinued March 31, 2000. A new member recruitment campaign will be announced at AACN’s National Teaching Institute™ and Critical Care Exposition, May 20 through 25, 2000, in Orlando, Fla.

Under the program, members choose from a menu of awards for every five members recruited. Members who recruit 50 or more new members receive complimentary registration to the NTI.

Results of the Member-Get-A-Member program, which began in spring 1998, will be reported in the May 2000 issue of AACN News.

For more information about the program, call (800) 394-5995, ext. 415, or visit the AACN Web site at http://www.aacn.org.

May 15, 2000, Deadline to Apply for Educational Advancement Scholarships

May 15, 2000, is the deadline to apply for an Educational Advancement Scholarship, available from AACN for both undergraduate and graduate study in critical care nursing.

Up to 100 Educational Advancement Scholarships of $1,500 each will be awarded for the fall 2000 academic term.

The scholarships are designed to encourage nurses to make their optimal contribution in promoting AACN’s vision of a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and families.

The scholarship money may be used for tuition, fees, books and supplies, as long as the recipient is continuously enrolled in a baccalaureate program accredited by the National League for Nursing or in a master’s or doctoral program.

Eligibility requirements include membership in AACN, a current RN license, a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better, and either current employment in critical care or work in critical care for at least 1 of the past 3 years. BSN students must be entering at least their junior year.

Application materials are available by calling (800) 899-AACN (2226).

Vision Partners to Share NTI Experiences

April 1, 2000, is the deadline to apply for AACN Vision Partners continuing education scholarships to attend the National Teaching Institute™ and Critical Care Exposition in Orlando, Fla., May 20 through 25, 2000.

Through the Vision Partners program, an AACN member chooses a prospective member to form a learning and networking partnership.

Each Vision Partners participant is awarded a scholarship to offset the expenses of attending the NTI. Partners who are not members of AACN also receive a one-year AACN membership, and are eligible to register for the NTI at the discounted member rate.

The purpose of the Vision Partners scholarship program is multifold. The partner who is an AACN member introduces the nonmember to AACN’s vision, as well as to the benefits of AACN membership. The nonmember has a chance to share a different perspective in a range of areas that may include a cultural or ethnic viewpoint, the use of alternative medicine and therapies, another discipline altogether, or clinical practice in another country.

Each pair of scholarship recipients agrees to continue to develop and strengthen the relationship following the NTI and to complete a survey at the end of six months on progress toward further developing the partnership.

For more information, or to obtain a Vision Partners scholarship application, call (800) 899-AACN (2226).

Write a CE Article for AACN News

AACN is seeking nurses or other healthcare professionals who are interested in submitting articles to be published as continuing education offerings in AACN News and on the AACN Web site, or for use as a monograph.

Suggested topics include domestic violence, 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, as well as JCAHO compliance-related articles that address competency and skill validation programs, tools or best practices.

Send abstracts to Marianne Martineau, Education Resource Specialist, AACN, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656. Additional information is available by calling (949) 362-2000, ext. 361.

Celebrate Your Contribution to Critical Care During May, 2000

You and your critical care colleagues deserve recognition for the excellent patient care that you provide every day. Each year, the month of May is designated to emphasize and celebrate just that. Sponsored by the Foundation for Critical Care, National Critical Care Awareness & Recognition Month is a time to recognize nurses, physicians and other healthcare providers who contribute to the care of critically ill patients.

The theme for 2000, “Knowledge, Experience, Compassion: The Power of Critical Care,” has been integrated into an array of awareness and recognition products, which are designed to enhance the visibility of critical care and highlight the profession. Many of the products featured not only are imprinted with the “Power of Critical Care” logo, but also can be imprinted with your institution’s logo. From balloons to buttons, posters to pens, or t-shirts to travel mugs, these products are priced to fit almost any budget.

If you are looking for ideas on how to celebrate National Critical Care Awareness & Recognition Month at your facility, here are some suggestions:

• Give a small gift to each member of the team—maybe a stadium cup that you fill with the treats of your choice. Generate extra excitement by raffling off a few larger prizes, such as AACN memberships, t-shirts or tote bags.
• Give each member of the team a “Power of Critical Care” stress ball or raffle off a massage, facial and
manicure at a spa in your area.
• Add “Power of Critical Care” posters, balloons and pins to your hospital’s Nurse Week or Hospital Week celebration.

To request the 2000 product guide, or for more information about Critical Care Awareness & Recognition Month, call the Foundation for Critical Care at (800) 906-3366.

Looking Ahead


March 2000

March 31 Member-Get-A-Member program ends. For more information, call (800) 394-5995, ext. 415, or visit the AACN Web site at www.aacn.org.

April 2000

April 1 Deadline to apply for a Vision Partners scholarship to attend the NTI. To obtain an application, call (800) 899-AACN (2226).

April 1 Deadline to submit applications for President’s Award for chapters. To request an award application or for more information, call (800) 899-AACN (2226); e-mail, aacninfo@aacn.org, or visit the AACN Web site at http://www.aacn.org.

April 6-9 8th Annual Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Conference, Chicago, Ill. Conference information is available online at

.

April 11 Discounted early-bird deadline to register for the AACN National Teaching Institute™ and Critical Care Exposition, May 20 through 25, 2000, in Orlando,

Fla. For more information, call (800) 899-AACN (2226), or visit the NTI Web site.

April 21 Ballots to vote for FY2001 AACN Board directors and AACN Nominating Committee candidates must be received by noon. Votes may also be cast

online at http://www.aacn.org.


May 2000

May 1 Applications must be received for the American Nurses Foundation-AACN Research Grant. Application materials and instructions are available from

ANF, (202) 651-7298.

May 15 Postmark deadline to submit applications for AACN Educational Advancement Scholarships for fall 2000. Application materials are available by calling

(800) 899-AACN (2226).

May 20-25 National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition, Orlando, Fla. Call (800) 899-AACN (2226) for more information, or visit the NTI Web site.

May 21 Chapter Leadership Development Workshop. For more information, contact Chapter Specialist Darval Bonelli at (800) 394-5995, ext. 234; e-mail

chapters@aacn.org.

May 23 AACN Annual Meeting, noon, Room 109, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.

Vox Populi: AACN Online Quick Poll

What do you think is the fairest way to allocate donor organs intended for transplant?

Geographically—patients in closest proximity to the donated organ 11%
On a need basis—patients with the greatest need 41%
On a survival basis—patients with greatest need and the best chances for long-term survival 44%
Other 2%
Don’t know 2%

Number of Responses: 663

The AACN Online Quick Poll surveys a variety of topics. Participate by visiting the AACN Web site at http://www.aacn.org.

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