|Attend Your Regional Meeting:
Industry Partners Contribute Support|
AACN fall regional meetings throughout the country offer members and prospective members a chance to network with colleagues and learn more about AACN and its chapters.
Thanks to special educational grants from AACN industry partners Siemens Medical Solutions and Stryker Medical, this year’s 20 meetings will include two speakers from AACN’s national leadership team—a member of the Board of Directors and a senior staff member from the National Office.
Although fall regional meetings are hosted by chapters, they are open to members who are not chapter members and to critical care nurses who are interested in AACN. In some regions, chapters sponsor educational programs in conjunction with the meetings.
Chapter Advisory Team members from each region join the national leadership team members at these meetings to answer questions and hear grassroots feedback.
In some regions, educational programs are offered in conjunction with the meetings.
Chapters in Region 3, serving Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, led of the series of meetings on Aug. 25 in Bethlehem, Pa. The meeting was hosted by the Lehigh Valley Chapter.
Following is a list of the other meetings that have been scheduled to date:
Region 1 (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont)—Sept. 21, Providence, R.I. Hosted by the Ocean State Chapter.
Region 2 (New York)—Sept. 22, University Hospital at Stonybrook. Hosted by the Suffolk County Chapter.
Region 4 (Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, D.C.)—Nov. 9. Hosted by the Greater Washington Area Chapter.
Region 5 (North Carolina, South Carolina)—Nov. 2-3, High Point, N.C. Hosted by the Heart of the Piedmont Chapter.
Region 6 (Alabama, Georgia)—Sept. 22, Atlanta, Ga. Hosted by Atlanta Area Chapter.
Region 7 (Florida)—Sept. 8, Orlando, Fla. Hosted by the Metro Orlando Chapter.
Region 8 (Michigan, Wisconsin)—Sept. 21, Green Bay Wis.; Oct. 26, Port Huron, Mich. Hosted by the West Michigan Chapter.
Region 9 (Indiana, Ohio)—Oct. 4, Nashville, Ind. Hosted by the Indiana Hoosier South Central Chapter.
Region 10 (Illinois)—Sept. 29, Chicago, Ill., area.
Region 11 (Kentucky, Tennessee)—Oct. 20, Memphis, Tenn. Hosted by the Greater Memphis Chapter.
Region 12 (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi)—Oct. 25, Lafayette, La.
Region 13 (Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska)—Oct. 6, Iowa City, Iowa. Hosted by the Eastern Iowa Chapter.
Region 14 (Kansas, Missouri)—Oct. 10, Kansas City, Mo. Hosted by the Greater Kansas City Chapter.
Region 15 (Oklahoma, Texas)—Oct. 27, Houston, Texas. Hosted by the Houston Gulf Coast Chapter.
Region 16 (Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming)—Oct. 20, Billings, Mont.
Region 17 (Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah)—TBA, Reno, Nev. Hosted
by the High Sierra Chapter.
Region 18 (Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho,Oregon, Washington)—Sept. 29, Ashland, Ore. Hosted by the Pacific Crest Regional Chapter.
Region 19 (California)—Nov. 10, Clovis, Calif. Hosted by the Central San Joaquin
Symposium Focus Matches New York Chapter’s Community Service Goal
Among those participating in the annual Suffolk County Chapter
symposium were (from left, seated) chapter President Mary
Maliszewski, 2000-01 national AACN Board Member Fay Wright,
Region 2 CAT representative Roberta Kaplow and chapter
President-elect Rose Cardin and (from left, standing) chapter
Secretary Perrilynn Baldelli, Program Committee member
Denise Westman, chapter Treasurer-elect Theresa Leonard,
Newsletter Committee member Denise D'ambrosia, Community
Chair Debra Grimm, chapter Treasurer Kathy Dhundale and
Symposium Chair Margaret Duffy.
Sudden cardiac death was a main topic at the annual symposium of the Suffolk County Chapter of AACN, Long Island, N.Y., in April 2001. Approximately 120 participants from hospitals in Suffolk and Nassau counties attended the event.
Returning as a speaker was Frank Mazzola, MD, who led off the daylong symposium with a lecture on atrial fibrillation.
In addition, participants heard a first-hand account from a survivor of sudden cardiac death, Julie Lycksell, a registered nurse at Saint Catherine’s of Sienna. Lycksell related that she was fortunate that a police officer who was nearby was equipped with an automated external defribrillator and was able to resuscitate her.
One of the Suffolk County Chapter’s community service goals is to provide education to the community on the use of AEDs to ensure that residents have access to the vital equipment that was available to Lycksell.
For the second year, the chapter symposium included afternoon break-out sessions on topics such as mechanical ventilation and neuromuscular blockade.
In addition, Fay M. Wright, RN, MS, CCRN, ACNP, a member of the national AACN Board of Directors at the time, delivered an inspiring and motivating talk titled “Leading from the Bedside.” Roberta Kaplow, RN, PhD, CCNS, CCRN, Chapter Advisory Team representative for Region 2, was also on hand to support the chapter’s efforts.
The Suffolk County Chapter board is already planning for the 2002 symposium, which will include a riverboat cruise featuring the topic “Humor in Health Care.”
St. Louis Symposium Focuses on Current Trends in Critical Care
Shown at the 19th annual symposium of the Greater St. Louis
Chapter are (from left, seated) Susie Davis (Symposium Committee
member and chapter newsletter committee chair), Jan Harvey
(chapter treasurer), AACN Member and Chapter Specialist
Dennis Maggi and Teresa Martin (chapter president and Symposium
Committee member) and (from left, standing) Margaret Ecklund
(immediate past secretary of the national AACN Board), Bill
Manness (Symposium Committee cochair), Judi Reeves (Symposium
Committee member and strategic planning chair), Kathy Stephens
(chapter board member), Karen Zahn (Symposium Committee member)
and Anne Vigil (Symposium Committee cochair).
By Anne Vigil, RN, MSN
Greater St. Louis Chapter
A successful symposium sponsored by the Greater St. Louis Chapter of AACN in March 2001 generated approximately $9,000 for scholarships, research and chapter expenses.
The chapter’s 19th symposium, titled “Critical Care in the Millennium,” focused on current trends within critical care. Topics covered included Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, with an emphasis on activated protein C, presented by Barb Bancroft, RN, PNP, and Anemia in the ICU, with emphasis on the use of nonblood products, presented by Lena Napolitano, MD. They were among 15 speakers who made presentations to the approximately 120 nurses who attended by symposium. The presentations were geared to the novice, as well as the expert critical care nurse. The Internet, biphasic waveform defibrillation and stem cell research in spinal cord injury patients were some of the other topics.
Margaret Ecklund, RN, MS, immediate past secretary of the national AACN Board of Directors was the keynote speaker for the first day of the symposium. Her presentation was titled “The Value of Nursing—Invest Yourself.” Ecklund was joined by AACN Member and Chapter Specialist Dennis Maggi for tours of five area hospitals, where they talked with AACN members,
as well as other critical care nurses. Their visits were received well by both nursing management and staff.
The symposium also drew support from vendors that sponsored speakers, a wine and cheese reception, and the participant binder. Products and services were displayed by 35 vendors in the Exhibitor Hall, where breaks, the wine and cheese reception and breakfast were scheduled, allowing time for the participants and vendors to network.
A team of 13 Symposium Committee members planned and hosted this educational event.
Circle of Excellence: Brevard Receives Pioneering Spirit Award
Following are excerpts from exemplars submitted in connection with the AACN Chapter Pioneering Spirit Award. This award, which is part of AACN’s Circle of Excellence recognition program, honors chapters whose contributions have influenced acute and critical care nursing in any setting. Recipients were awarded $1,000 toward participation in the 2002 NTI in Atlanta, Ga., or toward any AACN product.
Our Critical Care Nurse Mentoring Program was established to nurture and support novice critical care nurses through their initial experience in a critical care setting. Although most practice environments have preceptor programs to teach facility-specific policies and procedures, none specifically provided the nurturing, sharing and professional support often missing in the early critical care nursing experience.
Initially, we tried to find similar AACN programs to use as guides. After discovering that no such designs existed, we collaborated to develop a mission, goal and structure, as well as program guidelines to give our program direction and support. The result is a simple, practical and flexible program design that can be implemented with minimal expense and any number of participants.
To provide guidance, we schedule bi-weekly mentoring meetings, which maintained a focus on support and encouragement and on issues encountered in the growth and development of the critical care professional. Currently, we hold introduction, orientation and socialization opportunities for participants at our regular monthly chapter meetings. Problem-solving strategies are discussed and ideas and experiences are shared.
The research and development of our Critical Care Mentoring Program gave us an awareness of the great need for such programs throughout the critical care community. Our program’s mission states it well: As keepers of our profession, we nurture and support those gallant men and women who join us in this elite nursing specialty. We provide encouragement that we know is vital for the success of the nurse new to critical care. We treat others as we wanted to be treated when we began our nursing career.
Greater Kansas City Chapter
Kansas City, Mo.
Building on our chapter’s success, we had the opportunity to pioneer the development of an educational program focusing on the needs of the progressive care or “intermediate” care nurse. Progressive care nurses require advanced education in order to meet the needs of the increasingly complex patients outside the ICU. These nurses are often without formal educational programs. Medical-surgical nursing programs have not adequately addressed the educational needs of these nurses and critical care courses have focused on patient needs inside the ICU.
Donna Reeves, 1998-99 chapter president, asked the Critical Care Consortium to consider the feasibility of such a course. A sample curriculum was developed and sent to consortium hospitals for review. Interest in participating in this endeavor was strong, because most hospitals had no program in place for these nurses. In addition, hospital operating expenses were greatly affecting educational resources, making it difficult to address this need alone.
The first course was held in June 2000 and was open to the consortium hospitals. One of the hospitals volunteered its facility and resources to host the first course. The curriculum was developed and speakers from the consortium hospitals participated. The chapter provided full financial support. Since that first course, support from the local level has been outstanding.
Through our pioneering spirit in developing the Progressive Intermediate Care Course, we are creating the vision of making waves a reality. Our chapter is institution neutral, a vision we work hard to maintain. There is no personal reason to “push” an institution. Instead, in times of severe nursing shortages, we work hard to support and respect our fellow nurses. The consortium Progressive Intermediate Care Course is just one of many successful products we have pioneered. It’s innovative, timely and a huge collaborative success.
What's on Tap
The Mobile Bay Area Chapter will present “New Toys and Trends in Critical Care” on Sept. 21, 2001, in Mobile, Ala. For more information, contact Marylee Bressie at (251) 633-1694; e-mail,
The South Bay Chapter will present “Advances in Neuroscience Nursing” on Oct. 12, 2001, in San Jose, Calif. For more information, contact Yvonne McKenna at (831) 425-5665; e-mail,
The Atlanta Area Chapter will present “Infectious Disease Update” on Sept. 25, 2001. For more information, contact Mary Zellinger at (404) 712-4661; e-mail,
The Atlanta Area Chapter will sponsor a CCRN Review Oct. 29 and 30, Nov. 5 and 6 and Nov. 12 and 13, 2001, in Austell, Ga. For more information, contact Mary Zellinger at (404) 712-4661; e-mail,
The Hawaiian Islands Chapter will present “Critical Care Systems Review/CCRN Examination Review” on Sept. 22, 2001, in Hawaii. For more information, contact Sharon Chun, RN, BSN, BS, CCRN, at (808) 833-7697; e-mail,
The Northwest Chicago Area Chapter will present “Gene Therapy” on Sept. 19, 2001, in Park Ridge, Ill. For more information, contact Jodi Gunther, RN, MS, CCRN, at (847) 526-5865; e-mail,
The Northwest Chicago Area Chapter will present “Care of the Critically Ill Diabetic” on Oct. 17, 2001, in Park Ridge, Ill. For more information, contact: Jodi Gunther, RN, MS, CCRN, at (847) 526-5865; e-mail,
The White River Chapter will present a workshop titled “Vision, Values and Voice: Three Keys to Success” on Sept. 28, 2001, in Yorktown, Ind. For more information, contact Cheryl Riwitis, RN, CEN, at (765) 741-2912; fax, (765) 741-1880; e-mail,
The Central Louisiana Chapter will present a pulmonary conference on Sept. 22, 2001, in Alexandria, La. For more information, e-mail Pam Wagers, RN, BSN, CCRN, at
Region 12 chapters in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas will present “Currents 2001” on Oct. 26 and 27, 2001, in Lafayette, La. For more information, contact Elizabeth Weber at (337) 984-7649; e-mail,
The Greater Washington Area Chapter will present “Spotlight on Critical Care 2001” on Nov. 7 and 8, 2001, in Greenbelt, Md. For more information, contact Karen Kesten at (301) 340-6711; e-mail,
The Northern New Jersey Chapter will present “Trends in Critical Care Pharmacology” on Sept. 19, 2001, in Pompton Plains, N.J. For more information, call (973) 905-7205
The Piedmont Carolinas Chapter will present an adult CCRN review course on Oct. 5 and 6, 2001, in Concord, N.C. For more information, contact Beth Martin at (704) 355-0899; e-mail,
The Pacific Crest Chapter will present “The Best of Hemodynamics” on Sept. 28, 2001, in Medford, Ore. For more information, contact Judy Lang at (541) 488-1218; e-mail,
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter will present “Trends in Critical Care Nursing 2001” Oct. 23 through 26, 2001, in Philadelphia, Pa. For more information, call the SePA Chapter Office at (610) 658-7266.
The Hill City Chapter will present “Critical Care 2001” on Oct. 4, 2001, in Lynchburg, Va. For more information, contact Gloria H. Fortune at (434) 947-5875; fax, (434) 947-7061; e-mail,
The Puget Sound Chapter will present its 27th annual symposium, “Currents 2001,” on Oct. 22 and 23, 2001, in Bellevue, Wash. For more information, contact Pat Blissitt at (206) 447-9873; e-mail,
Does your chapter have a program or special event coming up? Let others know. AACN will post chapter events in the “Chapters” area of the AACN Web site at www.aacn.org and in AACN News. In addition, chapter events will be included in the Education Directories of Critical Care Nurse and the American Journal of Critical Care. Send the information to AACN News, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656; fax, (949) 362-2049; e-mail,
Meet Your Chapter Advisers
The Chapter Advisory Team (CATs) serves as a key support and communications link between local AACN chapters and the national office team. Advisers are volunteers who are familiar with chapter issues and trends of their regions of the country, as well as informed about what is happening at the national level. They can be supportive to chapters and chapter leaders in many ways. Below is a list of current CATs: To leave a message for a CAT, simply dial 800/394-5995 and enter the extension number of the voice mail box listed below.
Bertie Chuong, RN, MS, CCRN
Kathleen McCauley, RN, PhD, CS, FAAN