AACN News—November 2001—Association News
Vol. 18, No. 11, NOVEMBER 2001
|Membership Campaign at Half-Way Point
AACN’s Critical Links Member-Get-A-Member campaign has reached the half-way mark, with more than 405 new members recruited by AACN members and chapters through September.
These member recruiters have committed themselves to helping build membership to strengthen the voice and influence of AACN in addressing the needs of critical care nurses in today’s healthcare environment.
The Critical Links campaign, which was launched in May 2001, ends April 1, 2002. Throughout the campaign, recruiters can enhance their chances of receiving valuable rewards. In fact, for recruiting just one new member, participants receive an AACN pocket reference. And the rewards build from there.
Each month, the names of recruiters, both individuals and chapters, are added to a monthly drawing for each member recruited. In addition to being eligible for rewards in the monthly drawings, the top recruiters will be recognized at NTI 2002 in Atlanta, Ga.
To earn rewards, all recruiters need to do is make certain that their names and AACN member numbers are included on the new members’ application forms.
Following is additional information about the rewards that await member recruiters, as well as the list of all members who have recruited new members during the campaign to date.
The reward for the top individual recruiter overall is $500 or an American Express gift certificate. The top recruiter is also eligible for the first-, second- and third-place prize drawings:
1st Prize—Round-trip tickets for two to anywhere in the continental U.S., including a five-day, four-night hotel stay.
2nd Prize—Round-trip tickets for two to anywhere in the continental U.S.
3rd Prize—Four-day, three-night hotel accommodations at a Marriott Hotel.
In addition to the pocket reference members receive for recruiting their first new member, recruiting five new members earns them a $25 gift certificate toward the purchase of AACN resources. They receive a $50 AACN gift certificate for recruiting 10 new members.
Each month, members who have recruited at least one new member in the month are also entered into a monthly drawing for a $100 American Express gift certificate.
In addition to a $250 gift certificate toward the purchase of AACN resources, chapters reporting the largest increase in membership numbers or the largest percentage increase will receive special recognition
at NTI 2002 in Atlanta, Ga. Each month, chapters that recruit new members are also entered into a drawing for one complimentary registration for NTI 2002.
Following are the cumulative totals for individuals and chapters recruiting new members since AACN’s Critical Links Member-Get-A-Member campaign began in May 2001:
|Recruiter # Recruited|
Lillian Aguirre 1
Wanda Allman 2
Tiffany Andrews 1
Mamoona Arif 2
Judith Ascenzi 6
Mary Aust 1
Linda Ball 2
Connie Barbour 4
Lori Beauregard 3
Dean Benner 1
Michele Benoit 10
Molly Berkowitz 1
Evelyn Bertram 2
Michael Beshel 9
Virginia Blaize 1
Nancy Blake 3
Michael C. Blanchard 6
Lisa M. Boldrighini 5
Connie T. Bolton 1
Janis E. Boterf 1
Elizabeth J. Brady-Avis 3
Theresa Brasler 1
Deborah K. Braxton 1
Jeannine Brennan 1
Marylee Bressie 1
Donna Bright 1
Anne Brock 1
Anne Brown 2
Joyce Brown 1
Patti Bumgartner 1
Kathleen Burton 2
Sue Button 1
Wanda Caldwell Urban 1
Cathy Campbell 1
Alisa R. Caple 1
Sara Carnes 1
Carolyn Carter 1
Bonnie Cerrato 1
Kristene Chaisson 1
Susan Chamness 1
Sasipa Charnchaichujit 8
Wendy Clark 1
Karen Clary 1
Claire Collins 2
Mary Conner 1
Linda K. Cook 1
Kathleen Corban 5
Cynthia G. Cox 7
Beverly Czerniak 1
Therisa Davis 3
Marla De Jong 1
Anesia Deal 1
Alice Dean 1
Claudette J. Dion 1
Melissa L. Drain 17
Janice Dudley 1
Anna Easter 1
Linda Egan 1
Cynthia Egly 1
Marie A. Eidam 2
Danielle Enes 1
Peggy Lynn Ennis 16
Anne Ewers 1
Anthony Farmer 2
Carolyn Fernandez 4
Deborah A. Fisher 1
Myrna Fontillas-Boehm 6
Carol Fountain 2
Heather M. Frame 1
Eva Mae Francis 1
Carla J. Freeman 5
Diane E Fritsch 1
Eileen Fry-Bowers 1
Lisa Gerbic 1
Tammy L. Gillham 1
Evelyn Goldberg 2
Lita T. Gorman 6
Mary Kathryn Graham 3
Lisa Gregory 1
Tracy Grogan 1
Carol Guyette 13
Recruiter # Recruited|
Liana Hain 1
Charlene A. Haley-Moyer 5
Donna Hall 1
Drenda J. Hall 1
Lois Hamill 1
Mary Lee Hanemann 1
Katherine Hardin 1
P. JoAnn Harmon 1
Deedra Harrington 1
Kathy Hay 1
Mary Hendrick 1
Mary E. Hillberg 1
Carol M. Hinkle 1
Kimberly S. Hodge 1
Sharon Holcombe 4
Mary Holtschneider 5
Zondra Hull 6
Lindsay Hyland 4
Luisa Michelle Janosik 1
Rosa Jaranilla 3
John Jeffries 1
Patricia Jennings 5
Pameula Johnson 2
Patricia M Juarez 1
Kathy M. Kabobel 1
Louisa K. Kamatuka 3
Lori E. Kennedy 7
Nancy King 3
Rachelle M. King 1
Lavon Klahr 1
Kathleen Klein Peavy 1
Kelly Knickerbocker 4
Colleen Kowalchuk 2
Dawn Kregel 1
Julie B. Kruithof 1
Ruth Anne Kuiper 1
Jenneine Lambert 1
Monique Lambert 1
Kathleen Lane 1
Melissa Lane 1
Jeraldine P. Laope 1
Dianna Lape 1
Georgia Lawrence 1
Marsha Lee-Anderson 1
Mary Leffard 1
Pamela Li 1
Laura L. Madden 1
Michele L. Manning 4
Michael Marsh 1
Barbara J. Martindale 1
Elizabeth Masters 1
Martie C. Mattson 7
Courtney Maxie 1
Patricia Maynor 1
Elizabeth McDaniel 4
Michael McEvoy 1
L. Jennifer McFarlane 1
Elizabeth McGarr 2
Barbara McGurgan 1
Maryanne E. McMahon 1
James Mears 6
Marlene Merdes 1
Arlene Messina 5
Julie S. Miller 2
Annette M. Montoya 1
Christine C. Morrison 1
Sharon Murff 1
Hector Murillo 1
Paulita Narag 3
Cheryl Nava 1
Maribel Nieva 1
Recruiter # Recruited|
Donna O’Neill 1
Maren Ortmeier 2
Kelly Pallazza 1
Mary Frances Pate 1
Eileen M. Patterson 1
Kristine Peterson 1
Hurd Pittman 2
Suzanne Price 1
Saralynn Prickett Austin 1
Michele Quinlan 6
Patricia Quynn 1
Victoria A Ramik 2
Jeff Reece 7
Carol Reitz-Barlow 5
Rosalinda Rienstra 1
Cindy Ripka 1
Kathryn E. Roberts 1
Stephanie R. Sanderson 1
Gina Santucci 1
Ralph Schmidt 1
Barbara Schnakenberg 5
Robin K. Selbach 3
Lindsey Shank 4
Rachel Shelby 1
Amy Shields 1
Marcia Lorraine Simmonds 1
Rena Sivills 2
Lisa Smith 1
Cynthia Steinbach 5
Janice Stevens 5
Mary Stewart 2
Eileen Hellwig Stoll 1
Grace Talic 1
Marcia Talluto 1
Jan Teal 1
Linda Thomas 1
Kenneth Thompson 1
Paula Marie Tost 1
Elizabeth A. Voelker 1
Valerie Vogeler 1
Heidi A. Wagner 1
Janis L. Watts 4
Holly L. Weber-Johnson 11
Marjorie Wheeler 1
Colbert White 1
Barbara Wiles 5
Donna Williams 2
Irma Williams 1
Michael L. Williams 1
Karon Wold 1
Debra Wolfgram 1
Cherie L. Wright 4
Jennifer Yun-Doung Do 3
Jan-Erik R. Zeller 1
Atlanta Area Chapter 27
Lake Erie Chapter 1
Greater Birmingham Chapter 4
Greater Milwaukee Area Chapter 1
Greater Phoenix Area Chapter 5
Greater Twin Cities Area Chapter 1
Puget Sound Chapter 2
Southeast Pennsylvania Chapter 10
Greater Miami Area Chapter 1
Northeast Indiana Chapter 7
Smoky Hill Chapter 5
Greater Evansville Chapter 2
Southern Arizona Chapter 1
Heart of the Piedmont Chapter 3
Heart of Acadiana Chapter 8
Vermont Green Mountain Chapter 13
Minot Roughrider Chapter 3
Greater Chicago Area Chapter 1
Head of the Lakes Chapter 5
Greater Tulsa Area Chapter 15
Pacific Crest Regional Chapter 22
Siouxland Chapter 5
South Central Connecticut Chapter 1
Greater Memphis Area Chapter 1
Greater Austin Area Chapter 12
Greater East Texas Chapter 13
Heart of the Blue Ridge Chapter 4
White River Chapter 1
Greater Akron Area Chapter 1
Congratulations to the reward recipients in our monthly membership campaign drawings for September. Each month, one chapter will receive a complimentary registration to NTI 2002, and one individual will receive a $100 American Express gift certificate. The recipients are randomly selected from those who recruited at least one new member during the month.
The recipients in September were:
• Chapter—Head of the Lakes Chapter
• Individual—Danielle Enes
To obtain Critical Links Member-Get-A-Member recruitment campaign forms, call (800) 899-2226. Request Item #1316. Or visit the AACN Web site at
http://www.aacn.org > Membership.
Nursing Shortage Ranked High: Survey Rates Importance of Public Policy to Members
Preliminary results of a Public Policy Issues Survey conducted by AACN indicate that respondents agree with the issues currently identified as priorities for the association’s public policy agenda.
Conducted from April 30 through June 15, 2001, the purpose of the survey was to evaluate the relative importance of current health policy issues to AACN members. The survey was mailed to approximately 62,000 members, who were given the option to complete the survey online via the AACN Web site at
http://www.aacn.org Data from approximately 6,606 respondents (approximately 10% of the membership) were used to validate and analyze the results.
Respondents were asked to rate the following issues in order of importance: nursing shortage, medical error prevention, patient’s rights, end-of-life care and pain management, health records privacy protection and workplace environment (including mandatory overtime, staffing ratios, whistleblower protection and workplace violence).
Although the preliminary findings indicated that members generally rate all of the issues on AACN’s public policy agenda as “very important” or “fairly important,” the issues were ranked in order of importance, according to the percent of respondents who ranked them highest. Following is how each issue ranked:
1. Nursing Shortage 63%
2. Medical Records Privacy 59%
3. Patient’s Rights 32%
4. Medical Error Prevention 30%
5. Workplace Issues 30%
6. End-of-Life Care 25%
Demographic information collected from the respondents indicated that job category did not influence the rankings. According to the survey, 61.6% of those responding to the survey were staff nurses, 5.5% were managers or supervisors, 3.1% were advanced practice nurses, 2.6% were educators or faculty, and 0.3% were students. Another 0.9% did not identify the job category.
Recurring themes or topics identified were varied. Included were managed care, opposition to the use of unlicensed personnel, recruitment and hiring of foreign nurses, healthcare costs, nursing education and funding.
AACN members reported that they also track other issues, such as abortion and right-to-life, breast cancer prevention, environmental issues, labor laws, domestic violence, tobacco prevention, needle safety, gun control and safety, healthcare reform, consumer protections, collective bargaining, ergonomics and health policy issues in general.
The full survey report is now available online at
Grants to Address Nursing Shortage
The federal government took significant steps toward addressing concerns related to the emerging nursing shortage when Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson addressed the media, representatives from the nursing profession and nursing students at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 28.
Thompson discussed the current nurse shortage and HHS’s plans to coordinate with the Department of Labor and Labor Secretary the establishment of programs that encourage young students to become nurses.
“Nurses combine professionalism with compassion to provide good, quality patient care,” Thompson said. “As the demand for healthcare grows, it’s absolutely critical that we encourage more of our nation’s top students to choose careers in nursing.”
Dorrie Fontaine, RN, DNSc, FAAN, a member of the AACN Board of Directors, represented the association at the meeting.
In a television interview following the meeting, Fontaine said: “The work has really changed with technology, in terms of the kind of care that we give every day,” Fontaine said. “It’s a harder job; it’s very intellectual. Nurses have to assess patients with very, very complex illnesses.”
Fontaine is associate dean for student and academic affairs and coordinator of the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program at the Georgetown University School of Nursing.
During his appearance, Thompson announced more than $27 million in grants and contracts to increase the number of qualified nurses and the quality of nursing services across the country.
According to the announcement, the HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration will award 94 grants totaling more than $20.1 million to 82 colleges, universities and other organizations to increase the number of nurses with bachelor’s and advanced degrees, help diversify the nurse workforce and prepare more nurses to serve in public health leadership roles. Included are:
• 53 Advanced Education Nursing grants, totaling more than $13 million, which fund education for students who graduate as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse-midwives, nurse anesthetists, nurse educators, nurse administrators and public health nurses.
• 29 Basic Nurse Education and Practice grants, totaling $4.9 million, which strengthen the basic nurse workforce by increasing the enrollment of students in bachelor’s-degree programs. The grants also are used to operate nurse-managed centers that improve access to primary care and serve as clinical training sites in medically underserved areas.
• 10 Nursing Workforce Diversity grants, totaling $1.8 million, which support activities that help nursing candidates and students from disadvantaged backgrounds complete their nursing education.
• Two Public Health Nursing Leadership grants, totaling nearly $400,000, which help schools of nursing and schools of public health develop master’s-degree programs that prepare nurses to serve in leadership roles in state and local public health agencies.
Another $7.3 million will go to repay educational loans of clinical care nurses who agree to work for two years in designated public or nonprofit health facilities facing a critical shortage of nurses.
The nursing shortage was a focus of activity on other fronts as well.
A bill (S. 1259) aimed at alleviating the shortage of nurses in this country by relaxing immigration policy to allow more foreign nurses to work temporarily in areas most affected has been introduced by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.). A recent American Hospital Association study shows that hospitals nationwide face a shortage of as many as 126,000 nurses, attributed in part to the decline of enrollment in nursing programs over the past five years. A letter from AHA Executive Vice President Rick Pollack expresses AHA’s endorsement of the bill, the Rural and Urban Health Care Act of 2001, “because it is a vital step toward addressing an issue that potentially threatens access to healthcare services in communities across America.
House Panel Hearing
As a result of bipartisan concerns, the House Education and Workforce committees held a hearing on Sept. 25 regarding the nationwide nurse shortage. The hearing, featuring testimony from Reps. Sue W. Kelly (R-N.Y.) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), as well as nurses and other healthcare professionals, examined the national impact of the nursing shortage and its short- and long-term implications for America. The hearing was intended to draw attention to the shortage and provide an opportunity for committee members to hear ideas on possible solutions from leading experts.
There is renewed hope that legislation to address the nursing shortage could pass Congress this year. Americans for Nursing Shortage Relief, an alliance of nursing organizations of which AACN is a member, has sent a letter to each member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee urging support of the nursing education initiatives contained in the Nurse Reinvestment Act.
According to Reuters Health, Rep. William Tauzin (R-La.), chair of the committee, has moved up the bill in priority, an indication that the events of Sept. 11 have “given more attention to the importance of the role of skilled nursing in medical facilities.” At a recent news conference on Capitol Hill, Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) and Sens Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) honored nurses and other emergency workers who aided victims of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. They also called for passage of the legislation, which would provide a package of incentives designed to recruit more new nurses to the field.
Healthy People 2010
A companion document to Healthy People 2010 has been released by the National Center for Health Workforce Information and Analysis, a part of the Human Resources Services Administration. Titled “The Key Ingredient of the National Prevention Agenda: Workforce Development,” the document is intended to assist states in addressing the national workforce development objectives for the health professions and for employees of public health agencies.
The Healthy People companion document seeks to equip the workforce with relevant, practical tools, proven strategies and useful resources that address three objectives: increase the number of underrepresented minorities entering health profession programs, increase the number of agencies offering continuing education courses and increase the number
of agencies building personnel and training systems around competencies in the essential public health services.
Public Policy Update
Efforts to support relief work in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have generated a flurry of activity on a variety of fronts.
HHS Allocation—Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced an immediate $126 million allocation to support relief services. The funds are part of $5.1 billion in disaster-related relief funds announced by President Bush. The HHS funds will be used primarily to help New York healthcare facilities cover the extra costs of responding to healthcare needs; to provide social services, including emergency shelter and support for populations with special needs; to help provide longer-term mental health and trauma services; and to fund needed services through community health centers. The relief funds are in addition to $2.5 million released Sept. 13 to support social services and mental health services in New York City.
Medical Personnel—In addition to funds and medical supplies, HHS has deployed more than 700 personnel to New York City, Washington, D.C., and Somerset County, Pa. Among these are medical personnel, teams
of physicians and emergency health experts, mortuary personnel and veterinarians provided through the HHS-led National Disaster Medical System. Visit www.hhs.gov online for more information.
State Assistance—All state governors joined with New York Gov. George Pataki Monday to create a relief fund for victims of the attack on the World Trade Center and provide equipment and supplies for the recovery effort. The National Governors’ Association is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on a nationwide inventory of equipment, supplies and other emergency relief assets that could aid in the recovery effort in New York and Virginia.
Disaster Readiness—The American Hospital Association has issued two disaster readiness advisories to the nation’s hospitals. Titled “Disaster Readiness” and “Readiness for Potential Attack Using Chemical or Biological Agents,” these advisories provide information on hospital preparedness for bioterrorism. Included is a list of chemical and biological agents that are most likely to be used in an attack and a self-assessment checklist to help organizations gauge their readiness to respond to such attacks. The information should be shared with risk managers, safety officers, public relations staff and any others who may be involved in an organization’s disaster response planning. The advisories can be found online at
Defibrillators on Airlines
Issue: Citing studies showing the value of automatic external defibrillators, the Federal Aviation Administration recently issued an order that all U.S. aircraft with at least one flight attendant should have a defibrillator on board by 2004.
Background: Reliable statistics are not maintained on how many airline passengers have cardiac arrests in the air. However, a new study published in the Sept. 26, 2001, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, estimates the number at about 200 per year. The study’s author, Peter Groeneveld, a fellow at the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research at Stanford University, and his colleagues predict the survival rate would be about 17%, meaning that 35 people each year would be saved if defibrillators were installed on all passenger planes.
The researchers examined the costs involved in equipping passenger airlines with defibrillators, including equipment and maintenance; medical training for the flight attendants; and follow-up care for cardiac arrest patients. They found that the costs most likely could be justified, at least for planes carrying more than 200 passengers. However, the devices become less cost-effective for smaller planes.
The cost would be slightly more than $35,000 for each quality-adjusted life-year gained to install defibrillators on planes that carry more than 200 passengers, say the researchers. For aircraft carrying 100 to 200 passengers, the cost would be almost $41,000 per quality-adjusted life-year. However, if the airline industry were to put defibrillators on all passenger airplanes, the cost would jump to $94,700 per quality-adjusted life-year. A quality-adjusted life-year means a year of perfect health for a survivor whose quality of life would remain the same. In comparison, the authors say a driver’s-side air bag in a car costs $30,000 per quality-adjusted life-year, and adding a passenger-side air bag boosts the cost to $76,500.
Although looking at the issue from a mostly monetary perspective may seem somewhat callous, Groeneveld says these types of studies can help policymakers delineate how to spend a limited amount of dollars, especially when we don’t have the resources to eliminate all the threats to our safety every day.
Although Groeneveld says he believes putting defibrillators on large aircraft is “the right thing to do,” putting extra money into new security measures might make more sense considering the recent terrorist attacks.
Dr. Steven Bailin, an electrophysiologist at the Iowa Heart Center in Des Moines, says defibrillators probably should be installed on planes that carry more than 50 passengers, even though airlines are facing such hard times. These planes are more likely to travel long distances and have crewmembers that could operate the machines, he says. “As part of ‘getting back to normal,’ we do need to sustain the momentum that is already in place to put [defibrillators] on commercial aircraft,” says Bailin.
However, the point may be moot for many airlines. “We already have defibrillators on all our planes,” says Beth Harbin, a spokeswoman for Southwest Airlines. “We saw the advantage in it and wanted to be able to help our customers if needed.”
Issue: California lawmakers ended their 2001 legislative session without passing a bill that would have prohibited mandatory overtime for the state’s registered nurses and other health professionals.
Background: The measure, S.B.1027, passed both chambers of the Legislature but was then placed by the sponsor in the Senate’s inactive file because it did not have the support of Gov. Gray Davis.
AACN position: AACN believes that mandatory overtime is neither an acceptable practice in the nursing community nor a standard of the industry, and that nurses should have the right to refuse an overtime assignment if it is beyond their capacity to provide optimal care.
Apply for NTI Vision Partner Scholarship
Are you hoping to attend AACN’s National Teaching Institute™ and Critical Care Exposition in Atlanta, Ga.? If you could use some financial help to offset the expenses, consider applying for an NTI continuing education scholarship. The deadline to apply is Feb. 1, 2002.
One of the most unique scholarship opportunities is the AACN Vision Partners program, where 10 pairs of NTI participants are awarded $1,000 each to share toward NTI expenses. One partner must 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.
The Vision Partners scholarship application asks the partners to describe how they expect to benefit from the learning experience and networking at NTI. They will also commit to continuing to develop the partnership after they return to their workplaces.
NTI 2002 is scheduled for May 4 through 9.
To receive an NTI continuing education scholarship application, call (800) 899-2226. Request Item #1099. Or call AACN Fax on Demand at (800) 222-6329 and request Document #1099.
Leadership Lessons Learned: Remember to Salute Our Veterans, Present and Future
Editor’s note: Following is another in a series of articles by members of the AACN Board of Directors on leadership lessons they have learned from their experiences.
By Rebecca Long, RN, MS, CCRN, CNS
As I write this column on leadership, I am still troubled by the events of Sept. 11, a date that certainly forever changed all our lives. Many of our members are among those most directly impacted. We have witnessed the rescue efforts and heard the heart-wrenching stories of men and women who, in their final moments, strove to rise and conquer. They are true heroes, whether they were passengers on airliners, fire or police personnel, or “ordinary” individuals striving to make the best of a terrible situation.
In the aftermath, a great deal of attention has been focused on the leadership qualities of our elected leaders. Virtues of calmness and strength, despite being surrounded by calamity, are revered. Although we once viewed leadership as perhaps an esoteric subject, the recent tragic events bring it to the forefront of our everyday conversation. We are now painfully aware of how essential strong and effective leadership is.
Of course, there are leaders among us every day who are not as visible. I want to tell you about one I met 15 years ago, when I moved into my neighborhood. His name is David.
A bachelor, David had lived in the same house for 50 years, taking care of his mother until her death at age 105. He is the type of person who takes out his neighbors’ trash on collection day, sweeps the sidewalks and keeps everyone informed about recent crime activity. Years ago, David rescued some family members from a burning house in our neighborhood. He still grieves for the young boys who perished. In short, the entire neighborhood has depended on David.
A 31-year Army veteran, David was a POW in Germany during World War II. He was involved in many tense and dangerous situations. He was a medic who helped care for and rescue the wounded, risking his life under heavy enemy fire. David says it was “all part of the job.” I was not surprised to learn that he had been awarded the Purple Heart, the Silver Star and the Bronze Star.
Now, Parkinson’s disease has consumed David’s fine and gross motor movements. His 79-year-old body is nearly incapacitated, and he is almost completely confined to a recliner chair. He walks by standing on crippled feet. Even the simplest activities of daily living are difficult, sometimes requiring hours instead of minutes. He has significant peripheral vascular disease as a result of shrapnel injuries he sustained during the war that require application of anti-embolic stockings and compulsive skin care. Despite his body being tormented, his mind and view of the world remain sharp and prospective.
In preparation for writing this article, I asked David about his views on leadership. I wanted a nontraditional approach to describing some of the leadership lessons I’ve learned. Robert Fulghum’s book, titled “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” was apropos to my experience with David, because all I really needed to know about leadership, I learned from David.
He describes leadership as having “common sense under duress.” Certainly, nurses can relate to this quality. He believes that fairness, balanced with occasional aggressiveness, are important and sometimes necessary elements of leadership.
More important than the medals on his wall that extol his leadership or the public accolades he has received is the quiet servitude he has exhibited throughout his life. David has taught me that the legacy of true leaders is the impact they have on the lives of those around them.
Like many veterans, David receives his healthcare from the Veteran Affairs Healthcare System, which is where I practice as a clinical nurse specialist. He is visited once a week by a home care nurse from the VA, where the entire department is amazed that David is able to remain in his home despite the complex care he requires. Because of David’s sacrifice and leadership—to our neighborhood and to our country—it is his turn to be the recipient of the type of care he has shown toward so many others.
I recently found David in his front room, where he was watching the news regarding our country’s plans for military operations. He had tears in his eyes. “War is a terrible thing, you know,” he said. David was crying for the future veterans, because he knows the impact that fighting a war has on
a country and a family. He showed me the telegram his mother received when the Germans had captured him. It simply states, “missing in action.” His mother did not know if he was dead or alive for months.
Your patient may also be a veteran who has sacrificed greatly. I challenge you to honor and salute the veterans around you, both now and in the future. Nov. 11 is Veteran’s Day. However, I believe that Sept. 11 has starkly reminded us all of the importance of honor and gratitude to those in service to our country. One of the VA’s missions is to “serve those who have served.” Because nursing is a profession whose very existence is based on altruism and servitude, as well as intellect, why would we do any differently? We know we are working in tough times. In carrying out our daily roles, we are physically, mentally and ethically challenged.
When you care for that veteran with yet another bout of pneumonia, look beyond the antibiotics and endotracheal tube. He was once a young man with the same fears and hopes that we all have. He may have experienced pain and loneliness that few of us can relate to. Perhaps you are caring for an active duty soldier with a new spinal cord injury, who feels scared and alone. They may wear you down with their frequent requests. Be patient and kind.
You may directly know the sacrifice of service to our country. You may be on active duty or a nurse reservist, or the close friend or family of someone who has been called to serve. Now, more than ever, we think of friends and colleagues who are, or soon will be, serving our country in the military during these unsettling times. We hold them close in our thoughts. We honor the sacrifice they are making.
We’ll be prepared to care for them if needed. Support them and their loved ones. They will all be veterans someday. Hopefully.
David’s lessons on leadership have had an impact on me and my own leadership style. I hope they inspire you as well: Reach out. Be calm. Be strong. Be dutiful. Be patient. Be fair. Impact someone’s life, and lead.
Submit a Speaker Proposal for NTI 2003: Deadline March 14, 2002
March 14, 2002, is the deadline to submit speaker proposal abstracts for AACN’s National Teaching Institute in 2003 in San Antonio, Texas.
In addition to clinical and other educational topics, proposals that address the skills critical care nurses need to influence their practice and the care of critically ill patients are encouraged.
NTI 2003 is scheduled for May 17 through 22, 2003.
Speaker proposal packets can be obtained by calling Education Associate Edie Carpenter at (800) 394-5995, ext. 364; or by calling AACN Fax on Demand at (800) 222-6329 (Request Document #6019); or by visiting the AACN Web site at
Get Ready for Silent Auction at NTI 2002
AACN is planning its second annual Silent Auction in conjunction with NTI 2002, May 4 through 9 in Atlanta, Ga. This popular event is a fund-raiser for the AACN Scholarship Fund.
You can help support the auction by donating a product, service or special item—and, of course, joining in the lively bidding during the NTI. If you are not sure what to donate, you can make a financial contribution and AACN will purchase a gift on your behalf.
All gifts are recognized in the Silent Auction Catalogue, which is distributed to every NTI participant.
For more information, contact Darval Bonelli at (800) 394-5995, ext. 531, or e-mail
Timeshare: A Place for Volunteers
Have you ever wanted to volunteer to serve on an AACN national committee but hesitated because you weren’t sure what would be required? The fact is that hundreds of volunteer opportunities are available with varied degrees of commitments that can be tailored to your special circumstances.
For example, advisory teams provide feedback on specific issues and related strategies regarding AACN initiatives and participate in online discussion databases or communicate via e-mail. Review panels review, evaluate and take part in the selection process for AACN awards, grants and scholarship recipients; critique articles; develop questions for continuing education tests; and review appeals related to certification and re-certification regulatory processes. Work groups accomplish an ongoing body of work on designated subject areas. such as developing the program for AACN’s annual National Teaching Institute.™ Their work directly supports strategic initiatives of the association and requires face-to-face meetings once or twice a year.
The number of available opportunities fluctuates from year to year, depending on the work to be completed. However, positions are usually available on 25 to 35 volunteer committees each year.
For more information about national AACN volunteer opportunities, call Volunteer Associate Stephanie Demiris at (800) 394-5995, ext. 367; e-mail,
email@example.com, or visit the AACN Web site at
For additional insight into the world of volunteering, watch this column for stories from volunteers about what the experience has meant to them.
If you have volunteered on committees, think tanks or any AACN volunteer group and would like to share your experience with other members, send your stories and comments to AACN, Attn: Volunteer Services, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656-4109; fax, (949) 448-5541; e-mail,
Working for Education
Members of the Education Work Group for 2001-02 are
(from left, seated) AACN Education Director Barbara Mayer
(staff liaison), Mary Dent and Lori Hendrickx (AACN board
liaison) and (from left, standing) Patricia Hoppman, Caryl
Goodyear-Bruch (chair), Glenn Carlson, Mary Martin and
Scene and Heard
AACN continues to seek visibility for our profession and the organization. Following is an update on recent outreach efforts:
• AACN was mentioned prominently during the month of August in the Virginian-Pilot, Miami Herald, News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.), Post & Courier (Charleston, S.C.) and PR Newswire.
• In addition, the critical care nursing shortage was covered in the New York Times, Beaufort Gazette, Rocky Mountain News, Baton Rouge Advocate, Bangor Daily News, AORN Journal of Nursing, Nursing, RN and at two Capitol Hill hearings.
• MaryAnn McNamara, president of the Merrimack Valley Chapter of AACN, contributed a letter to the editor in the Lowell Sun newspaper. The letter detailed the disaster relief efforts made by the Merrimack Valley Chapter and the neighboring Southern New Hampshire Chapter following the Sept. 11 attacks.
• The Sept. 17 issue of Advance for Nurses featured an article about the Lehigh Valley Chapter’s conference in August. AACN president Michael Williams, RN, MSN, CCRN, delivered the opening address, and past president Denise Thornby, RN, MS, closed the meeting.
• AACN board member Jessica Palmer, RN, MSN, was interviewed by Nursing Spectrum’s Web site “Hospital Hub” in connection with an article about preventing medical errors.
• Randy Bauler, AACN exhibits and sponsorships director, addressed the impact of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the tradeshow industry at a recent meeting of the Southwest Chapter of the International Association for Exhibition Management. The meeting and Bauler’s comments were featured in the Sept. 24 issue of Tradeshow Week. In an interview for the Oct. 1 issue, Bauler addressed the most substantial changes in the tradeshow/convention industry over the past 30 years.
Our Voice at the Table
• AACN was invited to participate in a Sept. 28 media event held by the Department of Health and Human Services at Georgetown University. AACN was represented by board member Dorrie Fontaine, RN, DNSc, FAAN, an associate dean at the Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Services. (See related story, page 3.) Following the event, Fontaine was interviewed by Washington, D.C.’s NBC affiliate.
• Three AACN members presented topics at the Nursing Management Congress in September. President Williams discussed the use of dialogue as a leadership tool; past President Thornby spoke about self-awareness; and Bonnie Sakallaris, RN, MSN, CCRN, cochair of the AACN Leadership Development Work Group, discussed navigating change and conflict resolution.
• AACN CEO Wanda Johanson, RN, MN, AACN Certification Corporation Chair Elsie Nolan, RN, MS, CS, and AACN President-elect Connie Barden, RN, MSN, CCNS, CCRN, participated in the American Nurses Association Call to the Profession Summit in Washington, D.C.
If you or your chapter is planning to reach out to the media or other groups to promote critical care nursing, we’d like to know so that we can highlight your efforts in future columns. Send information to AACN News, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656; fax, (949) 362-2049; e-mail,
On the Road
AACN frequently takes its show on the road, as representatives of the AACN National Office exhibit at conferences throughout the country. Following is the schedule of upcoming exhibits:
Jan. 26-30, 2002—Society of Critical Care Medicine, San Diego, Calif.
April 3-7, 2002—National Student Nurses Association 50th Anniversary Convention, Philadelphia, Pa.
April 7-10, 2002—Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter Trends Conference, Philadelphia, Pa.
If you are attending these conferences, stop by the AACN exhibit to visit with your National Office team.
CDC and DHHS Updates Online at www.aacn.org
Working in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control, AACN is helping to distribute timely and accurate information to our membership about the threat of bioterrorism.
The DHHS and CDC have asked for your assistance in remaining calm and in calming patients at this critical time.
To access the latest information, visit the AACN Web site at
Coming in the December Issue of Critical Care Nurse
• Using Jugular Venous Catheters in Brain-Injured Patients (CE article)
• Treating Carbamazepine Overdose With Charcoal Hemoperfusion
• Managing Severe or Traumatic Head Injury
• Understanding the Neonatal Immune System
• Use of Internet for Research on Clinical Issues
Subscriptions to Critical Care Nurse and the American Journal of Critical Care are included in AACN membership dues.
Dec. 1 Deadline to submit chapter speaker proposals for NTI 2002 in Atlanta, Ga. To obtain the NTI 2002 Chapter Session Speaker Handbook or for more information, contact Chapter Specialist Dennis
Maggi at (800) 394-5995, ext. 339; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dec. 31 CCRN 3-Person Discount offer ends. To obtain the discount flyer, call (800) 899-2226 or e-mailing
email@example.com. The flyer can also be printed from the AACN Certification Corporation Web
Jan. 15 Deadline to submit proposals for AACN Clinical Inquiry Grant. To obtain an application, call (800) 899-2226 and request Item #1013, or visit the “Clinical Practice” area of the AACN Web site at
Feb. 1 Deadline to submit applications for NTI Vision Partners Scholarship. To obtain an application, call (800) 899-2226 and request Item #1099, or call AACN Fax on Demand at (800) 222-6329 and request
Feb. 1 Deadline to submit proposals for AACN Datex-Ohmeda Grant. To obtain an application, call (800) 899-2226 and request Item #1013, or visit the “Clinical Practice” area of the AACN Web site at
Feb. 1 Deadline to submit proposals for AACN Certification Corporation Research Grant. To obtain an application, call (800) 899-2226 and request Item #1013, or visit the “Clinical Practice” area of the AACN Web site at
Feb. 1 Deadline to submit proposals for AACN Critical Care Grant. To obtain an application, call (800) 899-2226 and request Item #1013, or visit the “Clinical Practice” area of the AACN Web site at
Feb. 1 Deadline to submit proposals for AACN Mentorship Grant. To obtain an application, call (800) 899-2226 and request Item #1013, or visit the “Clinical Practice” area of the AACN Web site at