In the Circle: Award Cites Outstanding Educational Programs|
Following are excerpts from exemplars submitted in connection with the AACN Chapter Outstanding Educational Program Award. This award, which is part of AACN’s Circle of Excellence recognition program, honors exemplary team-teaching, program quality and learning connection opportunities. One chapter recipient from each membership category was awarded $1,000.
Central Savannah River Area Chapter
During 2000, the Central Savannah River Area Chapter created nursing partnerships to strengthen nursing’s voice and promote a positive image of nursing. These partnerships, established to create educational programs, resulted
in the ultimate exemplification of team teaching, the highest quality of educational programming and excellent learning opportunities.
For three years, the chapter had participated in the Spirit of Nursing Showcase of the Georgia Nurses Association (GNA), 10th District. Wanting to “strengthen” our bonds with GNA, we were set to venture into cosponsoring the largest nursing educational program in the chapter’s history.
Using AACN’s National Teaching Institute™ and Critical Care Exposition as a model, our program featured creative teaching methods that included concurrent sessions, mastery sessions, informal roundtables and poster sessions. Topics were selected to be relevant to acute and critical care nurses, as well as to advanced practice nurses.
Our teaching team consisted of a variety of healthcare professionals. Program evaluations were positive and reflected a high level of satisfaction. This program offered opportunities for each participant to make a contribution!
Through continuing education, networking opportunities and chapter leadership, we inspire critical care nurses to maximize their contributions to healthcare by establishing work and care environments that are respectful, healing and humane.
Sacramento Area Chapter
In 1975, a highly motivated group of critical care nurses in the Sacramento area came together to establish our local chapter of AACN. Its mission was, and still is, an extension of the national AACN mission. Following is a review of how this past year’s educational programs supported the Four C’s.
Each year, we survey our membership to identify their educational needs and get feedback on the previous year’s programs. The results are used to plan our monthly education meetings. Our meetings employ a variety of teaching methods, including traditional instruction, membership discussions, publications, a game show format, seminars and instruction offered in a dinner setting.
Issues in healthcare delivery and the constant influx of new technology at the bedside provide many topics of interest for monthly presentations. Some of the topics presented in 1999-2000 were “End Points of Fluid Resuscitation in Critical Care,” “Family Presence in the ICU,” and “Catching the PAC Wave: Accuracy, Attributes and Application.”
Our chapter supports the national AACN mission and vision by offering programs that will prepare and guide nurses to be compassionate and highly qualified professionals in meeting the needs of the patient and the family in the critical care environment. Because of excellent speakers, our monthly educational meetings have an average member attendance of 50.
Each year, chapter members participate in a Merit Scholarship Program. This program encourages them to earn points towards receiving a scholarship for NTI registration fees. We also sponsor board members’ attendance to the NTI.
With determination and coordination with national AACN, we were able to host a successful Region 19 Fall Meeting independent of any national funding in 1999. Representatives from five other chapters and the national AACN chapter adviser were able to attend.
Consistencies in program quality and meeting time and place have been the largest contributing factors to our successful educational programs. By sponsoring chapter members to attend NTI, we receive the latest information about healthcare issues and nursing needs, and get ideas for our educational programs.
Suspension Bridge Chapter
and Three Rivers Chapter
Our chapters of different sizes and from separate regions proved that a conference can be planned to meet the needs of both.
The Suspension Bridge Chapter, which has 24 members, and the Three Rivers Chapter of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which has 214 members, joined to sponsor the conference, “Bridging the Gap: a Critical Care Update.” The purpose was to promote visibility of each chapter and to provide a quality collaborative education program.
Because both chapters face geographic challenges, the conference planners were faced with a formidable task. The Suspension Bridge Chapter is located hours away from its Region 4 affiliates and the Three Rivers Chapter has members who live farther than a 50-mile radius of Pittsburgh.
A small committee was formed to select the date, location, time and topics for the conference. Once these details were outlined, the planning continued by telephone and e-mail. We offered the members a discount in chapter dues and a reduced registration fee. In addition, we obtained the support of three corporations. One provided a speaker and the other two provided educational grant money.
“A Legacy of Meaning” was the title of the keynote address by 2000-01 AACN president Denise Thornby, RN, MSN, who encouraged everyone attending about the profession of nursing. The highlight of the program was a presentation by chapter members on “What has AACN done for me lately?” The mission, vision, and values of AACN were presented, along with a discussion of the benefits gained from membership in a professional organization. Information was also shared about the Circle of Excellence Awards and volunteering at the national level. The talk ended with a commentary about the value of nursing.
Does Your Chapter Exemplify the President’s Theme?
Has your chapter “looked in and reached out” during the past year through its programs or community service events? Then it could be a recipient of the AACN Circle of Excellence President’s Award for Chapters for 2002.
The chapter or chapters that best exemplify the “A Journey of Rediscovery: Looking In and Reaching Out” theme of AACN President Michael L. Williams, RN, MSN, CCRN, will be selected to receive a monetary award.
Recognition of these exemplary efforts will also be provided in the annual Circle of Excellence awards publication and at AACN’s National Teaching Institute™ and Critical Care Exposition, May 4 through 9, 2002, in Atlanta, Ga.
Applications for the 2002 award are due March 1, 2002.
For more information about the Chapter Circle of Excellence President’s Award for Chapters or to obtain an award application, call (800) 899-2226. Request Item #1011. Or visit the AACN Web site at
Share Your Successes as an NTI Chapter Speaker
Success is richest when it is shared. If your chapter has found an innovative or effective way to enhance its programs, member involvement or community service visibility, consider sharing the information with other chapters at AACN’s National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition in May 2002 in Atlanta, Ga.
The deadline to submit speaker abstracts for chapter education sessions at NTI 2002 is Dec. 1, 2001.
Presenters at NTI receive complimentary registration, airfare and one night’s hotel accommodation.
To obtain the NTI 2002 Chapter Session Speaker Handbook or for more information, call Chapter Specialist Dennis Maggi at (800) 394-5995, ext. 339; e-mail,
What's on Tap
The Greater Phoenix Area Chapter will present a program on bioterrorism on Dec. 6, 2001, in Phoenix, Ariz. For more information, contact Bobbie Wiles at (480) 988-3526; fax, (240) 359-7211; e-mail, email@example.com.
The Atlanta Area Chapter will present “12-Lead EKG Interpretation” on Dec. 4, 2001. For more information, contact Mary Zellinger at (770) 381-7972; e-mail,
The Northern New Jersey Chapter will present “Critical Care Skills for Non-ICU Nurses” on Dec. 2, 2001, in Paterson, N.J. For more information, contact Janice Wojcik via the chapter voice mail at (973) 905-7205; e-mail,
The Vermont Green Mountain Chapter will present “Enhancing Your Critical Care Skills” on Nov. 29, 2001, in Winooski, Vt. For more information, e-mail Carol Guyette, RN, CCRN, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dorothy Flowers, RN, at
Does your chapter have a program or special event coming up? Send the information to AACN News, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656; fax, (949) 362-2049; e-mail,