AACN News—November 2000—Association News

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Vol. 17, No. 11, NOVEMBER 2000

Scholarships Offset Costs of Attending the NTI

AACN members who are planning to attend AACN’s National Teaching Institute in May 2001 may be eligible to receive scholarships to offset the expenses.

In addition to AACN Vision Partners continuing education scholarships, two other special NTI scholarship programs are available. The deadline to apply for these scholarships is

Feb. 1, 2001. Recipients will be notified by April 1, 2001.

NTI 2001 is scheduled for May 19 through 24 in Anaheim, Calif. Following is information about the scholarship programs for the NTI: Vision Partners

Ten pairs of NTI participants will be awarded $1,000 each to share toward NTI expenses. One partner will be an AACN member, who will share the NTI experience and benefits of AACN membership with the other partner, a nonmember who has not previously attended the NTI. The nonmember also receives a one-year membership to AACN.

The nonmember partner should be able to share a different perspective with his or her partner, such as a different cultural or ethnic viewpoint or another discipline or clinical practice somewhere else along the continuum.

In their applications, the partners will be asked to express how they will benefit from the learning experience and networking at the NTI. They will also commit to continuing to develop the partnership after they return to their workplaces.

Dale Medical Products Scholarships

Dale Medical Products, Inc., has contributed funding for three $1,500 continuing education scholarships for AACN members who are pursuing graduate education to further their careers in critical care nursing to attend the NTI or Advanced Practice Institute (API). The scholarships are to be used to offset the expenses of registration, travel and accommodations.

The Dale scholarship is directed specifically at assisting nurses who are striving to balance their professional life with family obligations. To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate that they need the scholarship assistance to attend the conference. Applicants will be asked to describe how attending the NTI or API will assist them in reaching their professional goals.

Aventis Pharmaceuticals Scholarships

Again for 2001, Aventis Pharmaceuticals is contributing funds for 30 $1,000 scholarships for members nominated by their chapters to attend the NTI. To be eligible, recipients must have been in critical care for less than two years and have never attended the NTI.

For more information about these NTI scholarships or to receive an application, call (800) 899-AACN (2226) or visit the AACN Web site at www.aacn.org.

Bill Would Ban Mandatory Overtime

A bill to limit the hours that RNs and other licensed healthcare workers would be required to work has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.).

Lantos’ bill would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to prohibit requiring all licensed healthcare workers except medical doctors to work more than eight hours in a work day or 80 hours in a 14-day work period. Employers would be prohibited from taking action against or otherwise discriminating against an employee who declines to work overtime hours, but would not prohibit employees from voluntarily working over eight hours in a work day. However, the bill includes exceptions for conditions of natural disasters or declared states of emergency.

AACN believes that mandatory overtime is not an acceptable means of staffing a hospital, because it may place nurses and their patients at increased risk of being involved in medical errors. Instead, nurses should be able to decide whether working overtime will affect their ability to care safely and effectively for patients. They should have the option of refusing overtime assignments and not be forced into working beyond their capacity to provide optimal care. AACN supports this legislation and will continue to work to educate the public on the negative impact that mandatory overtime has on patient safety.

The full text of Lantos’ bill can be found online at thomas.loc.gov.

April 1, 2001, Is Deadline to Apply for Educational Advancement Scholarships

Applications for the BSN Completion and Graduate Completion Educational Advancement Scholarships for 2001-02 must be postmarked by April 1, 2001.

These scholarships support AACN members who are registered nurses completing a baccalaureate or graduate degree program in nursing. Recipients receive $1,500 per academic year. At least 20% of the awards are allocated to qualified ethnic minority applicants.

The funds can be applied toward tuition, fees, books and supplies, as long as the recipient is continuously enrolled in a baccalaureate or graduate program accredited by National League for Nursing (NLN) or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Applicants for these scholarships must be RNs and members of AACN,

Manufacturers and Employers Update Nurses during NTI Critical Care Exposition

Is your workplace looking for ways to get the word out about employment opportunities? Are you in contact with a critical care technology or pharmaceutical company that you believe would benefit from increased exposure to an audience of more than 5,000 high-profile critical care nurses?

More than 450 technical product companies and critical care employers have identified the Critical Care Exposition at AACN's National Teaching Institute as the ideal forum for promoting their products and services. Manufacturers of healthcare equipment, products, supplies and pharmaceuticals; publications and nurse education materials; and hospitals, schools and nurse recruiters return year after year to meet with nurses seeking to expand their knowledge and investigate new career options.

The exhibit prospectus for the upcoming NTI in May 2001 in Anaheim, Calif., contains exhibits information and application materials, as well as information about popular Exhibits CE opportunities. The prospectus also includes a brochure describing dozens of sponsorship opportunities offered at NTI 2001.

Each year, dozens of companies and healthcare organizations sponsor educational programs, activities and giveaway items at the NTI. Their support not only helps AACN offer lower registration fees, but also enhances the conference experience for their customers and participants. Only exhibitors qualify as NTI sponsors. Although some sponsorships have been renewed by previous sponsors, who receive first right of renewal, many more are still available.

Still available are the Network Night kick-off event, Tuesday morning General Session keynote speaker and Thursday afternoon Closing General Session speaker. New sponsorship opportunities include the Certification Lounge and refreshments, the Internet Cafe and the “Send-a-Postcard-from-NTI-to-a-Friend” feature on the NTI 2001 Web site. Also available for sponsorship are the NTI Pocket Guide, shuttle buses and poster session reproductions.

To request an exhibit prospectus, call (800) 899-AACN (2226). For more information or to have materials sent to your employer or other contact, call the AACN Exhibits Office at (800) 394-5995. Select Randy Bauler, ext. 366; Heidi Boydstun, ext. 373; or Beverly Peterson, ext. 509.

NTI 2001 is scheduled for May 19 through 24. The Critical Care Exposition runs three days, May 22 through 24 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Circle of Excellence: Media Award Goes to Oakwood

The Circle of Excellence Media Award recognizes print and broadcast media excellence in the portrayal of healthcare providers, especially acute and critical care nurses contributing to a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and families. The recipient for 2000 was “Ask Oakwood,” a presentation by Oakwood Healthcare Systems, Dearborn, Mich.

Following are excerpts from the exemplar submitted in connection with the award.

“Ask Oakwood” is a live, bilingual, call-in television program dedicated to health promotion and education. Sponsored by the Oakwood Healthcare System, the program is broadcast weekly to more than 25,000 homes, where there are a significant number of Arabic-speaking residents. Programs are designed to address the healthcare concerns of the community served by Oakwood.

Heart disease, a number one cause of mortality and morbidity, has been a programming priority. One program focused on explaining heart disease and prevention. A roll-in segment featured Christine Westphal, RN, MSN, CCRN, demonstrating CPR and emphasizing the importance of early intervention. A subsequent program addressed prevention and detection of heart disease. In another segment, Westphal demonstrated to the community what to expect if a person came to the hospital complaining of chest pain. The need for prevention, early recognition of symptoms, and timely access to care were emphasized again.

The producer and hosts of “Ask Oakwood,” in collaboration with the Oakwood Transcultural Team, have demonstrated a commitment to addressing the priority health education needs of a culturally diverse community and portraying critical care nurses as key contributors to meeting the needs of patients and families.

Eli Lilly Grant Funds Scholarships

As a member of AACN's Partners with Industry corporate giving circle, Eli Lilly and Company has contributed $5,000 to fund and administer three Educational Advancement Scholarships for critical care nurses to obtain bachelor of science in nursing degrees.

The scholarships will be awarded for the 2001-02 academic year. Applications for BSN Advancement Scholarships must be postmarked by April 1, 2001.

Leadership Lessons Learned

Fay Wright

Following is the second in a series of articles by members of the AACN Board of Directors on leadership lessons they have learned from their experiences.

By Fay Wright, RN, MS, CCRN, ACNP

The greatest lesson I have learned as a member of the AACN Board of Directors is the effectiveness of one voice in questioning, raising issues and moving discussions forward. When spoken from the heart, one voice can bring other voices together to work toward common goals.

I have learned this lesson gradually, and sometimes painfully, as I have sought ways to express myself as a leader. When I was first elected to the board, I suffered from the “imposter syndrome.” I asked myself, “What am I doing on the AACN board?” and “What do I have to contribute?” Although friends and colleagues said they saw me as a leader, I was not confident in my abilities.

When I sought election to the board, my ballot statement said that I wanted to represent chapters and grassroots members at the board table. However, after I was elected I wondered how to do this.

Before I could speak and act, I needed to familiarize myself with the issues and understand the governance role of board members. How could I make my tremendous passion for AACN, chapters and critical care nursing practice work for the good of the organization and its members?

Learning the role and preparing for discussions was not difficult, because I had been through enough nursing courses to learn how to read reports and develop plans. My concern was how to present my thoughts at the board table, seated among so many nationally known leaders. My nervousness and excitement was akin to my feelings on my first day of orientation in the ICU.

Shortly before my first board meeting, I was watching Sesame Street with my son Alexander. A song by Big Bird reached out to me in a meaningful way. “No tune is too simple, no voice can be wrong. Music can come from any heart and anyone’s voice can lead the song. If you feel the music and if you believe the words, sing and you’ll be heard.” (One Small Voice. 1989 Festival Attractions, Inc.; words and music by Jeff Moss)

I feel the music of critical care nursing. I believe in AACN’s vision for critical care nursing. So, following the advice of a big yellow bird, I spoke from my heart. I was no longer worried about finding the right professional words or sounding like what I presumed an AACN board member was supposed to sound like. I spoke as I always do, conveying my thoughts with simplicity, clarity and integrity. People listened and my comments moved the discussion forward.

I have followed this approach throughout my tenure on the board, allowing my passion to show and lead me. Sometimes my peers have agreed with my thoughts and style; at other times they have not. Sometimes my comments were initially overlooked because of their simplicity or because I was not afraid to feel the music. However, I have always been respected for my integrity and have had confidence in being true to who I am and my responsibility to the members of AACN.

I also use this approach in my practice. I communicate patient information to nursing and physician colleagues, as well as to patients and their families with simplicity and caring. I am not afraid to question or lead the discussion about care concerns or professional practice.

Leading from my heart and believing in my words have served me well to help advance AACN’s vision. I have learned that if you maintain your integrity and believe in yourself and your ideals, people listen. And, when people listen, they often join in the conversation and begin to care about what you believe in. At the same time, I have been able to teach many of my colleagues that it is OK to speak up about what you believe in. Others may be thinking similar thoughts, and one voice starting the “song” enables others to find their voices and join in.

My volunteer roles at AACN have taught me the power of one voice to combine with others to become a chorus. While working with committees, at regional meetings, at chapter meetings and at board meetings, I have witnessed the power of many voices joining together to sing a song of caring, professionalism and dedication to quality, even in the most difficult times.

Thus, my greatest lesson has been to find my voice, and not be afraid to use it. Critical care nurses are faced with demanding times. I cannot remember when I have worked as hard to provide safe care in such a challenging environment. Yet, I am tremendously optimistic. I believe in critical care nursing. We know how to care for patients and families. We want to make our optimal contribution.

My travel and work as a board member have provided me with the opportunity to interact with AACN members and volunteers from throughout the country. This experience has helped reinforce what I already knew: We have an important song to sing about our profession and the care we provide. We must now find our voice and use it. We must learn to sing the song of our vision together. My involvement with AACN has helped me do that. Just remember the words Big Bird sang.

Fay M. Wright is a nurse consultant from Somers, N.Y.

NTI Tops Prize Drawing List: Member-Get-A-Member Campaign Ends Dec. 31, 2000

Don’t miss out on a chance to win rewards in AACN’s Member-Get-A-Member recruitment campaign. Less than two months remain. The campaign ends Dec. 31, 2000.

All you need to do is recruit one new member, though your chances of winning increase the more members you recruit. Member recruiters in both individual and chapter categories are entered into a prize drawing pool each time a new member lists them on the “referred by” line of his or her membership application. However, the rewards start up front, because recruiters receive a free gift the first time a qualified new-member application is received.

The grand prize is complimentary registration, airfare and hotel accommodations for AACN’s National Teaching Institute, May 19 through 24, 2001, in Anaheim, Calif. There is both an individual and a chapter recruitment category. One grand prize will be awarded per category. Other prizes are:

• 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 www.aacn.org.

BSN, Graduate Scholarship Recipients Announced

AACN has awarded Educational Advancement Scholarships both to critical care nurses who are completing their bachelor of science degree in nursings and to critical care nurses who are completing graduate degrees related to nursing practice. Following are the recipients of these scholarships for 2000-01:

AACN BSN Completion Scholarships

Deborah Allen

Michelle Bond-Spandiary

Judie Bringhurst

Beverly Burns Ingram

Sherri L. Demeter

Sharon Dougan

Shaun Evans

Karen J. George

Mary J. Goebel

Debra Jadick

Sandra Mae Jones

Valerie Jons

Michele L. Lanza

Pamela S. Polly

Matthew J. Sickmiller

Melissa Siders

Sabra Dawn Sorbo

Karen Ann Stanton

Mitzi K. Stewart

Glenn P. Thomasson

Sally A. Urban

Carol J. Van Ham

Karen Cleo Vollmer

Highland Park, Ill.

Schaumburg, Ill.

Lenoir, N.C.

Omaha, Ark.

Trinidad, Colo.

El Paso, Texas

Salem, Utah

Dongola, Ill.

Taylor Mill, Ky.

Tunkhannock, Pa.

Phoenix, Ariz.

Petoskey, Mich.

Parma, Ohio

Nixa, Mo.

Caledonia, Ohio

Yellville, Ark.

Valley Springs, Ark.

Rocky River, Ohio

Lexington, S.C.

Greenville, N.C.

Freshwater, Calif.

Bow, N.H.

Puyallup, Wash.

Loyola University Chicago

Lewis University

University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Regents College

Regents College

University of Texas, El Paso

Weber State University

St. Louis University

Northern Kentucky University

College Misericordia

University of Phoenix

University of Michigan

Ashland University

Southwest Baptist University

Ashland University

Regents College

Regents College

Ashland University

University of South Carolina

Barton College

Humboldt State University

Colby-Sawyer College

University of Phoenix

AACN Graduate Scholarships

Kara Adams

Shelley Ahrens

Allison Amend

Tracey Anderson

Melinda Benner

Ronda Brammer

Christina Brinch

Eleanor Brown

Brian Buenaventura

Lacey Calhoun

Elaine Chanecka

Robyn Ciurca

Wendy Clark

Judy Criner

Jean Crivell

Boston Ngocha Dang

Marlo DiDonna

Tracy Drish

Anne Drolet

Melanie Duckworth

Michelle Fails

Tracy Fasolino

Monique Fay

Deidra Fontana

Karen Ghaffari

Karen Giuliano

JoAnn Green

Randall Hamilton

Joan Harvey

Mary Ann Heiser

Erin Hoey

Amy Hung

Pamela Isaacs

Helen Jackson-Ruiz

Jennifer Jobe

Tammy Johnsen

Kimberly Jonis

Kimberly Langford

Peter Lapointe

Roberta Ann Leinweber

Sabrenda Littles

Christina Luczkiw

Michelle Marshall

Lois Massucci

Diana McPherson Canady

Jude Melendez

Kathleen Mitchell

Sharon Narducci

Lee Nelson

Ainslie Nibert

Cheryl Osmond

Christopher Parris

Billee Payne

M. Elaine Perez

Bridget Raleigh

Karen Rammel

Susan Reed

Donna Reesman

Alice Richmond

Anne Rightler

Skye Rykerson

Melinda Sande

Natalie Schiffer

Connie Sensor

Jennifer Shink

Debra Tastad

Margot Thomas

Theresa Till

Debra Todd

Allison Tuppeny

Norma VanTol

Cathy Verkaaik

Jo Voss

Lori Wright-Dreater

Martha Wuest

Erica Zima

Grace Zite

Baltimore, Mo.

Rochester, Minn.

New Haven, Conn.

North Aurora, Ill.

Telford, Pa.

Wichita, Kan.

Seattle Wash.

Glendale, Ariz.

Savoy, Ill.

Spring Hill, Tenn.

Tucson, Ariz.

Baltimore, Md.

Fort Wayne, Ind.

San Antonio, Texas

Canton, Mass.

Pittsburgh, Pa.

Wenonah, N.J.

Iowa City, Iowa

Plainfield, Ill.

Arlington Heights, Ill.

Pittsburgh, Pa.

Houston, Texas

Goffstown, N.H.

Elmwood Park, Ill.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Westfield, Mass.

Painesville, Ohio

Mesa, Ariz.

Barnegat, N.J.

Portsmouth, R.I.

Ann Arbor, Mich.

San Gabriel, Calif.

Louisville, Ky.

Bellevue, Neb.

Chicago, Ill.

Bolingbrook, Ill.

Rocky Hill, Conn.

Vestavia Hills, Ala.

Havre De Grace, Md.

Atlanta, Ga.

Houston, Texas

Alexandria, Va.

Cabot, Ark.

New York, N.Y.

Fairmont, N.C.

Schenectady, N.J.

Baltimore, Md.

El Cajon, Calif.

Calimesa, Calif.

Houston, Texas

Sioux Falls, S.D.

Kings Mountain, N.C.

Moyock, N.C.

Glendale, Ariz.

Spokane, Wash.

Spanish Fort, Ala.

Seattle, Wash.

Clinton Township, Mich.

Atlanta, Ga.

Brighton, Mich.

Watertown, Mass.

Philadelphia, Pa.

Albion, N.Y.

Scotch Plains, N.J.

Madison, Wis.

Nisswa, Minn.
Kanata, Ontario, Canada

Springfield, Ill.

Sanford, Mich.

Oviedo, Fla.

Grand Rapids, Mich.

Solana Beach, Calif.

Sturgis, S.D.

Biloxi, Miss.

Round Rock, Tex.

Denver, Colo.

Cincinnati, Ohio

University of Maryland, Baltimore

University of Minnesota

Yale University School of Nursing

DePaul University

Thomas Jefferson University

Newman University

University of Washington

University of Pennslyvania

Bradley University

Vanderbilt University, Graduate School of Nursing

University of Arizona, College of Nursing

Georgetown University

University of Saint Francis

University of Texas-Austin

University of Massachusetts,

University of Pittsburgh

Temple University, College of Allied Health Professions

University of Iowa

DePaul University

University of Illinois Chicago

University of Pittsburgh

University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center

University of New England

Rush University

University of Cincinnati

Boston College, Doctoral Program in Nursing

Case Western Reserve University, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing

University of Phoenix

Kean University

Northeastern University, Graduate School of Nursing

University of Michigan

California State University, Los Angeles

Spalding University

Creighton University

Rush Presbyterian University

DePaul University

Yale University School of Nursing

University of Alabama

University of Maryland, Baltimore

Georgia State University

University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center

University of Maryland

Texas Wesleyan University

New York University, School of Education

Duke University Medical Center, School of Nursing

Russell Sage College

University of Maryland

California State University, Dominguez Hills

California State University, Dominguez Hills

Texas Woman's University, Houston Campus

South Dakota State University

University of South Carolina

East Carolina University

Arizona State University

Gonzaga University

University of South Alabama

University of Washington

Madonna University

Kennesaw State University

University of Michigan

Northeastern University, Bouve College

Villanova University

University at Buffalo, State University of New York

Kean University

University of Wisconsin, Madison

College of St. Scholastica

University of Ottawa, School of Nursing

Illinois State University

Saginaw Valley State University

University of Phoenix

Michigan State University

University of San Diego

University of Nebraska Medical Center

University of

University of Texas at Austin South Alabama

University of Southern California

University of Cincinnati College of Nursing


Numbers Add Up to Savings

Nurses who join AACN or renew their membership as a group of five or more receive a discount on the membership fee. The group discount program applies to members or affiliate members, as well as to international, student and emeritus memberships. This group rate applies only to one-year memberships,

For more information about this program or to obtain a group membership application form, call (800)

899-AACN (2226), or visit the AACN Web site at www.aacn.org.

Public Policy Update

Needlestick Protection Bill Has Bipartisan Support

The Needlestick Prevention Act has been introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate with strong bipartisan support. The bills, H.R. 5178 and S. 3067, would provide for needlestick protections under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Introduced in the House by Rep. Cass Ballenger (R-N.C.), the bill would amend the existing Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, which is administered by OSHA to require the use of safer devices to protect workers from needlestick injuries.

It would require employers to solicit input from direct patient care providers in the identification, evaluation, and selection of effective engineering and work practice controls. In addition, it would require employers to maintain a sharps injury log documenting the type and brand of device involved in the incident, the department or work area where the incident occurred and an explanation of how the incident occurred. Although the log would be an important source of data for researchers to determine the relative effectiveness and safety of current and future devices, the bill requires that information be recorded and the log maintained so that the injured employee’s confidentiality would be protected.

AACN advocates for the use of safer needle devices in healthcare settings and believes that including “front-line” healthcare professionals such as registered nurses in the evaluation of devices to determine which work best and are most effective in preventing injuries to patients and caregivers is important. AACN joins the American Nurses Association, the American Hospital Association and others in supporting this legislation.

The full text of the bill can be found online at thomas.loc.gov.

Medicare Spending Bill Clears House Panel

The House Ways and Means Subcommittee voted unanimously to pass a bill that rolls back Medicare spending cuts made under the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Under the plan, hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare providers would receive billions of dollars in additional Medicare funding over the next five years.

The proposal would, among other things, extend Medicare coverage to a number of additional health screenings and treatments; restore funding cuts to hospitals and nursing homes; and increase payments to health plans in the managed care component of Medicare, the Medicare Plus Choice Program.

Although efforts to add a prescription drug benefit to Medicare and pass a Patients’ Bill of Rights have stalled in Congress, the Medicare funding adjustments have been embraced by both Republicans and Democrats and appear to be headed for enactment.

Organ Transplantation Advisory Committee Created

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced the creation of the Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation to strengthen scientific, medical and public involvement in the department’s oversight of transplantation policy. The new committee will provide independent review and advice to HHS concerning revised organ allocation policies that are being developed by the nation’s transplantation network.

The committee, which will be formed in Fall 2000, was recommended by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in a report mandated by Congress in 1998. In the report to Congress, the IOM endorsed the roll of HHS in ensuring the fairness and effectiveness of the nation’s organ transplantation system. The advisory committee will provide the department with expert, science-based counsel on transplantation policy.

According to a release from the HHS Press Office:“National transplantation policies are developed by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) for approval by HHS. Under regulations that took effect this year, the OPTN policies must be designed to meet performance standards to ensure that the system operates in the best interest of patients. The performance standards are included in the HHS regulation and are consistent with the IOM recommendations. The final regulation clarified that organ transplantation policies will continue to be developed by the OPTN for public comment. The new advisory committee is to be in place in time to review OPTN proposals when they are submitted to HHS.”

In addition to its review of OPTN-developed policies the advisory committee will examine transplantation data needs, as well as other transplantation issues, including scientific,

public health, ethics, coverage and financing issues.

The committee will include up to 20 members. Nominations for prospective members must be made within 30 days of publication of the Federal Register notice announcing the committee.

For more information about this HHS announcement, visit the “Press Release and Fact Sheet” area online at www.hhs.gov.

Skills Needed to Manage Careers in New Millennium

Editor’s note: Following is the second in a series of articles by Career Development Services on ways AACN members can maximize their career strategies and build their portfolios.

Every transition begins with an ending. We have to let go of the old things before we can pick up the new – not only outwardly, but also inwardly, where we keep our connections

to the people and places that act as definitions of who we are.

W. Bridges, Transitions

By Franklin A. Shaffer, RN, EdD

Vice President and Chief Educational Officer

Cross Country TravCorps

and Executive Director

Cross Country University

Having turned the corner into a new century, healthcare service delivery is no more stable today than it was in the 1980s or 1990s. In fact, many of the overriding trends in healthcare during the previous decades—restructuring; downsizing; mergers and acquisitions; changing technology; and a dwindling supply of workers—continue to affect how organizations recruit and retain adequate numbers of qualified nurses.

Perhaps the greatest impact of the unsettled nature of the healthcare services industry is reflected in what has been termed the “new deal.” Unlike the old paradigm in which reliant paternalistic organizations valued loyalty and fostered long-term employment, today’s productivity-driven companies reward individuals only for know-how and effectiveness.

As a result, workers must become more concerned with managing their own careers and developing the skills they need.

To be prepared for the new world of critical care nursing and remain marketable, nurses must invest highly in the “self” and have a well-balanced career portfolio. Following are some tips to help you start developing your personal career self-management strategies and the mindset to make the shift to the new world of work.

Top 10 Tips for New Millennium Workers

1. Develop a mission statement to guide your career.

• Engage in self-assessment.

• Review your values and goals.

• Do what you love; follow your heart.

• Include family and community in your planning.

• Develop a personal strategic plan.

2. Focus on work, not jobs.

• Look for work that needs to be done.

• Stay open to work alternatives.

• Develop business skills for self-employment.

• Develop “skills security,” not job security,

• Maintain your clinical competency.

3. Keep on learning, because life is a continual journey of learning.

• Create a long-term personal and professional development plan and stick to it.

• Seek the assistance of an educational mentor to strengthen your educational learning plan.

• Stay current in your own specialty and develop skills beyond it.

• Read newspapers, professional journals and magazines related to your specialty, as well as business magazines

• Participate in professional associations.

• Enroll in both academic and nonacademic courses.

• Fine-tune your research skills

• Move outside your comfort zones of experience and ability.

4. Keep yourself marketable.

• Ensure that your career portfolio is up to date.

• Nurture and expand your network of contacts.

• Continue to develop your career portfolio.

• Maintain your clinical competency and search for new opportunities to learn new skills. Volunteer for cross training and projects.

• Know the value of your skills and how to market them.

• Publish in professional journals.

5. Develop economic literacy.

• Become a “trend spotter” in nursing.

• Understand business trends and issues and how they relate to critical care nursing.

• Understand how local, state, national and global economic issues affect nursing.

• Read business newspapers and magazines.

6. Develop your communication and teamwork skills.

• Learn to listen and speak effectively.

• Learn to give persuasive presentations.

• Constantly improve your writing skills.

• Learn to negotiate, resolve conflicts and reach consensus.

• Participate in continuing education courses that are taught by multidisciplinary faculty.

7. Keep up with technology.

• Use the Internet as a research and communication tool.

• Learn new hardware and software as it is introduced

• Read about trends and issues around technology

8. Create financial independence.

• Plan for your retirement.

• Save something every month.

• Get out of debt.

• Reassess personal values and goals.

• Practice self-reliance.

• Evaluate your spending habits.

• Take a course on financial planning and investing.

• Consider “voluntary simplicity” (i.e., creating a simpler life).

9. Develop financial security.

• Build a cash flow into your household.

• Turn resources and assets into cash flow.

• Develop a sound financial portfolio.

• Project the impact of time over your savings and seek the services of a financial planner, who will work with you to maximize gaining more income for your retirement.

10. Create personal balance to develop well being.

• Build loving relationships.

• Maintain wellness through diet and exercise.

• Know how to manage stress, know how to manage change.

• Learn effective time management

• Value and nurture your community of friends

• Learn to love and adapt to change

CDS welcomes your questions about career development. E-mail your questions to westra@travcorps.com. Selected questions will be answered in future columns.

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.

Looking Ahead

December 2000

Dec. 1 Deadline to submit nominations for the Distinguished Research Lecturer award for 2001. For more information, call (800) 899-AACN (2226), or visit the “Awards” area of the AACN Web site at www.aacn.org.

Dec. 31 AACN’s Member-Get-A-Member campaign ends. For more information, call (800) 899-AACN (2226) or visit the AACN Web site at www.aacn.org.

Dec. 31 Deadline for chapters to submit nominations for Chapter Leadership Development Workshop in May 2001 in Anaheim, Calif. For more information, contact Mitzi Inman at (800) 394-5995, ext. 365.

Dec. 31 Deadline to take advantage of three-person discount on fees to take the CCRN certification exam. For more information about this special offer, call (800) 899-2226 or e-mail certcorp@aacn.org.

January 2001

Jan. 1 Deadline to apply for AACN Clinical Inquiry Grants. To obtain application materials and instructions, call (800) 899-AACN (2226), or visit the “Research” section of the AACN Web site at

February 2001

Feb. 1 Deadline to apply for Datex-Ohmeda-AACN Research Grant. For more information, or to obtain application materials and instructions, call (800) 899-AACN (2226), or visit the “Research” section
of the AACN Web site at

Feb. 1 Deadline to apply for AACN Mentorship Grant. For more information, or to obtain application materials and instructions, call (800) 899-AACN (2226), or visit the “Research” section of the AACN
Web site at

Feb. 1 Deadline to apply for AACN Certification Corporation Grant. For more information, or to obtain application materials and instructions, call (800) 899-AACN (2226), or visit the “Research” section of
the AACN Web site at

Feb. 1 Deadline to apply for Non-RN Educational Advancement Scholarship through the National Students Nurses Association. To receive one of these scholarship applications, contact the National Students Nurses Association, 555 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019, or call (212) 581-2211.

May 2001

May 19-24 National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition, Anaheim, Calif.


World Congress

The 8th World Congress of Intensive and Critical-Care Medicine Convention will be presented by the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses and the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society in Sydney, Australia. The dates are Oct. 28 through Nov. 1, 2001. Additional information is available online at www.iccm.aust.com, or contact the conference secretariat at iccm@icmsaust.com.au.

Stroke Conference

The 26th International Stroke Conference is scheduled for Feb. 14 through 16, 2001, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. For more information, contact the American Heart Association, 7272 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX 75248; Web site, www.strokeconference.org.

Critical Care Institute

The National Critical Care Institute of Education is scheduled for April 17 through 19, 2001, in Las Vegas, Nev. For more information, call (800) 573-5575.

ACNP Conference

The ninth annual Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Conference is scheduled for March 30 to April 1, 2001, in Huntsville Ala. For more information, contact Marsha Dowell at dowellm@email.uah.edu.

Information printed in “Currents” is provided as a service to interested readers and does not imply endorsement by AACN or AACN Certification Corporation.

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