NTI Participants Cite Value of
Experience Positive Responses Dominate Feedback From Atlanta
Positive Responses Dominate Feedback From
Julie C. Lau, RN, BSN, CCRN, expected to learn
when she attended her first National Teaching Institute and Critical Care
Exposition in Atlanta, Ga. However, she did not expect that she would be
applying the knowledge she gained so soon after the NTI.
Nevertheless, shortly after the NTI, Lau was
able to share what she had learned at a Sunrise Session on heparin-induced
thrombocytopenia to convince the physicians to discontinue heparin for a patient
whose platelet count then went from 74 to 104.
“The NTI helped me to make a difference in one
life,” Lau exclaimed.
“My first NTI was a great experience! I learned
so much that my head is still spinning. It was money well spent, and it went far
in furthering my knowledge of critical care.”
Lau, who attended the NTI with the help of a
scholarship granted by the Greater Louisville Chapter of AACN, of which she is
treasurer-elect, was just one of many NTI participants who contacted AACN to
share their feedback. According to preliminary evaluation data, participant
responses to the 2002 NTI were overwhelmingly positive.
The NTI also attracted considerable media
attention, both during and after the conference. Numerous television and radio
spots, as well as articles in the print media, including those geared to the
Following is a sampling of some of the other
comments AACN has heard from participants at NTI 2002:
This was my first NTI, but by no means my last.
I have been a nurse for 20 years and have ridden the roller coaster of nursing,
but I have not been this excited about nursing in several years. I am so pumped
up right now to be a nurse. Your first general session left me in tears. I am
happy to belong to an organization that knows and cares about what it is to be a
nurse. The warm fuzzies I received while at NTI were immeasurable. I have come
back to my unit with new enthusiasm, for both my patients and staff. I have been
revived in my passion for the profession and the professionals like you who are
shaping and directing nursing for us all. Thank you for the best attitude
adjustment in years.
Kris Ooms, RN, CCRN
Grand Rapids, Mich.
You all do such a wonderful job with all the
fine details at NTI. I am so amazed each year at how smoothly things go, the
technology, the speakers, and the sponsors and vendors. You all should be so
proud of yourselves!
Penny Vaughan, RN, MSN
College Grove, Tenn.
I just wanted to let you know what a great job
the organization did on the Atlanta NTI. I attended many quality presentations
there. The highlights for me were the keynote speakers, Dana Reeves and Susan
Gordon. I am a firm believer in the press, and these two will be big promoters
of nursing in this arena. The more nursing is seen in the press, particularly
the “popular press,” the more visible we will be to the public. I know we can
count on AACN to continue to make nursing visible! Thanks again for a wonderful
experience! Belonging to AACN has been a major factor in my continued success in
critical care nursing.
Debbie Pronitis-Ruotolo, RN, BSN, CCRN
The nursing banners in the city were a beautiful
touch. It was Nurses Week, I know, but the extra special notice was nice. The
Gospel group that started and the Johnson & Johnson nursing campaign materials
at the opening celebration were awesome. I saw so many friends, past classmates
and past friends. The whole NTI was just wonderful. Thanks for a great
Marthe Moseley, RN, Phd, CCNS, CCRN
San Antonio, Texas
AACN Announces Launch of Innovative,
Internet-Based Basic Orientation Program
AACN has been working on an Internet-based
education program designed to meet the needs for a standardized orientation
curriculum for novice critical care nurses. A year in the making, Essentials of
Critical Care Orientation began beta testing in July toward a mid-August
completion. The program will be ready for institutional implementation by Aug.
26. GE Medical Systems is the first industry sponsor for the program. For more
information about ECCO content and purchasing options, visit AACN’s Web site at
e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call us at (800)-394-5995, ext. 8870.
Be an Ambassador for AACN, AACN
Liaison Group Helps to Spread the Message
Critical care nurses in institutions and nursing
schools across the country are spreading the word about AACN and AACN
Certification Corporation as part of the AACN/CCRN Ambassadors corps.
Ambassadors, who are CCRNs, CCNSs and members of
AACN, act as liaisons between their communities, institutions, medical
facilities and other settings and the AACN National Office in an effort to
recruit new members, to introduce AACN standards and protocols and to promote
the value of certification and the value of nursing. To assist in this effort,
AACN has developed an array of resources for recruiting new members and
promoting the value of certification.
AACN/CCRN Ambassadors also serve as conduits for
receiving and relaying up-to-date information to their coworkers, managers,
administrators and units. They receive regular communication regarding AACN
resources, services, positions and goals.
In addition, these volunteers are a valuable
link in furthering AACN’s mission and vision by connecting with other critical
care nurses in their communities and promoting the value of nursing in a range
of settings, including community and school health and career fairs.
AACN/CCRN Ambassadors do not need to be AACN
members or current CCRNs. AACN/CCRN Ambassadors are entitled to 5 Category O
CERPs per year toward recertification of the CCRN credential (up to 15 CERPs per
If you are interested in being part of AACN/CCRN
Ambassadors, complete the form below and return it to: AACN, Attn: Ambassador
Program, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656; fax, (949) 448-5569. You may also
sign up online at
> Membership > Volunteer Opportunities.
Make your voice—and the voice of critical care
nursing—heard by participating in the Voice Project, an effort by AACN to
amplify the voice of nursing in public forums. This initiative is tied to the
theme of AACN President Connie Barden, RN, MSN, CCNS, CCRN, “Bold
Voices—Fearless and Essential”
Following are just a few of the responses
contributed to date:
you had the opportunity to communicate to the world why critical care nurses are
essential, what would you say?
The ICU nurse has her own radar, which is not
taught in nursing school and which develops through years of clinical practice.
We recognize and treat life-threatening changes in a patient’s condition. While
patients never remember us, families never forget.
—Sharon Quinn, RN
We bring the highest level of knowledge, the
newest ideas, and the greatest traditions together—to be a critical care nurse
is to heal, to manage, and to let go.
—Denise Gerig, RN, CCRN
New Haven, Ind.
I am the one who watches you carefully while you
sleep. I am the one who observes all the vital signs for any changes that would
indicate a problem. I am the one who does something to correct those problems
before they are life threatening. I am the one who makes your passage from this
life easier. I am not the nurse, I am your nurse.
—M. Diane Ogren, RN, BS, CCRN
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
What do you do to continually renew your passion for nursing?
I remain aware of the multitude of options
available to nurses, and I never give up. While I may not always be pleased with
the work environment, I am constantly aware that if I had to make the choice all
over again, I would still be a nurse… today, tomorrow, and always.
—Rachel Rhude, RN, MSN, MBA, CCRN, CS
To participate in the Voice Project, visit the
AACN Web site at
> Voice Project. A variety of questions will be posed throughout the coming
year, and the responses of members will be used in several ways, including as
part of AACN’s messaging to the media, legislators and other key healthcare
influencers. Some responses will appear in promotional materials or AACN
publications, including in a new monthly feature “Soundbites” in AACN News.
Critical Links Recruitment Campaign Tops
Chapters, Individuals Help Build AACN
Beverly C. Maloney, RN, AA, MSN, CNS, of Bay
Village, Ohio, took the lead in AACN’s Critical Links member-get-a-member
campaign after the recruitment numbers for June were tallied. As of July 1,
Maloney had recruited 15 new members for AACN.
Close behind at 11 new members recruited was
Lauretta M. Joseph, RN, MSN, CCRN, NP, of Brooklyn, N.Y., Diane M. Casperson,
RN, BSN, CCRN, of Beresford, S.D., and Kathleen M. Richuso, RN, MSN, of Chapel
Hill, N.C., each had recruited 10 new members.
On the chapter side, the Lake Erie Chapter had
recruited a total of 17 new members and the Greater Miami Area Chapter had
During June, 69 individuals recruited 125 new
members and 28 chapters recruited 66 new members, bringing the total since the
campaign began May 1 to 440. The campaign ends April 30.
The individual recruiting the most new members
during the campaign receives a $500 American Express gift certificate, and the
chapters reporting the largest increase in membership numbers or the largest
percentage increase receive a $250 gift certificate toward the purchase of AACN
All individual campaign participants receive an
AACN pocket reference when they recruit their first new member. After that,
individual recruiters receive $25 gift certificates toward the purchase of AACN
resources when they recruit five new members and $50 AACN gift certificates when
they recruit 10 new members. Each month, members who have recruited at least one
new member during the month are also entered into a monthly drawing for a $100
American Express gift certificate.
All the recruiters need to do is make certain
that their name and AACN member number are included on the new members’
In addition to the $500 American Express gift
certificate, the top individual recruiter is 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 $250 gift certificate,
chapters reporting the largest increase in membership numbers or the largest
percentage increase will receive special recognition at NTI 2003 in San Antonio,
Texas. Each month, chapters that recruit new members will also be entered into a
drawing for a complimentary registration for NTI 2003.
The individuals participating in the campaign
during June, as well as those who have recruited five or more total, are listed
below. Cumulative totals for chapters are also listed.
Who Recruited New Members During June?
Judy D. Antonioni, RN, BSN 3
Nicole Bailey, RN, BSN 1
Joan F. Baker, RN, MSN, CCRN, CNRN 5
Corazon B. Barbon, RNC, MSN, CCRN 2
Brenda K. Bartelheim, RN, CCRN 1
Philicia J. Bianco, RN 1
Nancy T. Blake, RN, MN, CCRN, CNAA 1
Betty Nash Blevins, RN, MSN, 1
Barbara A. Brown, RN, PhD, CCRN-R 1
Mary A. Bryant, RN, MSN, MBA, CCRN 2
Denise Buonocore, RN, MSN, CCRN, 6
CS, ACNP, APRN
Madeleine M. Burke, RN, BSN, CCRN 1
Marilyn L. Byrne, RN, BSN, CCRN 1
Yolanda W. Carilimdiliman, RN, 1
Carolyn Carter, RN, ADN, BA 2
Patricia E. Casey, RN, MSN, MS 2
Jesus M. Casida, RN, CNS, MS, CCRN 1
Diane M. Casperson, RN, BSN, CCRN 10
Michael Chalot, RN, ADN, CCRN 1
Gyl G. Corona, RN, MSN, CCRN, CCNS 1
Natalie J. Correll-Yoder, RN, CNS, 1
Laurie A. Dean, RN, CCRN 3
Luzviminda J. Del Rosario, RN, 1
Amy L. Delp, RN, MSN, CCRN 1
Aloysius C. Elamparo, RN, MSN, 1
Anthony E. Farmer, RN, MSN 1
Patricia Forsyth, RN, MSN, ARNP 1
Delita Glori-Feri, RN, BS, BSN, CCRN 1
Jerry A. Gronberg, RN, CCRN 2
Katherine L. Gundzik, RN, BSN, CCRN 1
Lois Hamill, RN, BSN 1
Carol M. Hinkle, RN, MSN, BA, CCRN 1
Jana W. Hough, RN, BSN 1
Jane E. Jobe, RN, CCRN, CEN 1
Pamela S. Johnson, RN, BSN, CCRN 1
Christy B. Johnson, RN, BSN, CCRN 1
Jacqueline J. Johnson, RN, MA 5
Lauretta M. Joseph, RN, MSN, 11
Rene C. Katial, RN, MS,ANP 1
Lori E. Kennedy, RN, BSN, CCRN 1
Nancy D. King, RN, MSN, CCRN, 6
Ruth J. Lee, RN 1
Lynn M. Loftis, RN, CCRN 1
Beverly C. Maloney, RN, CNS, 15
Michele L. Manning, RN, MSN, 1
CCRN, CCNS, CS
Lenora M. Maze, RN, BSN, CNRN 1
Pauline J. McNeece, RN, MSN, CCRN 7
Katherine A. McWhorter, RN, MSN 1
Marlene Merdes, RN 1
Jennifer L. Miller, RN 1
Rachel E. Monday, RN 2
Dorothy Muskovin, RN 1
Paulita D. Narag, RN, ADN, CCRN 7
Colleen M. O’Leary-Kelley, RN, MS 1
Jeannette Orr, RN 2
Tracey Park, RN 1
Mary Frances D. Pate, RN, DSN 1
Anita L. Peterson, RN, BSN 4
Peggy Petri, RN, ADN, CCRN 1
Cynthia A. Phelps, RN, BSN, CCRN 7
Pam Pleiter, RN, BSN, CCRN 1
Kathy Powderly, RN, BSN, CCRN 1
Kimberly Radtke, RN 1
Victoria A. Ramik, RN, MS, CCRN, 1
Kathleen M. Richuso, RN, MSN 10
Donna B. Sabash, RN, BSN, CCRN 6
Lindsey Shank, RN, BSN, CCRN 5
Theresa Stevens, RN, MS, CCRN, CCNS 1
Jacque H. Taylor, RN, BSN 1
Yvonne Thelwell, RN 7
Jennifer Ann Thiesen, RN, MS, 1
Irma G. Williams, RN, CCRN 2
April Yi Yu Zhuang, RN 1
Pam Zinnecker, RN, CCRN 7
Reward Winners for June
Congratulations to Philicia J. Bianco, RN, the
recipient of our reward drawing for June. Each month, one individual will
receive a $100 American Express gift certificate. The recipients are randomly
Adirondack Regional Chapter 1
Atlanta Area Chapter 4
Brooklyn Chapter 6
Broward County Chapter 1
Central Indiana Chapter 2
Central Pennsylvania Chapter 3
Central Savannah River Chapter 1
Coastal Chapter 1
Dallas County Chapter 1
East River Mountain Chapter 1
Gate City Chapter 1
Greater Akron Area Chapter 1
Greater Birmingham Chapter 2
Greater Flint Area Chapter 1
Greater Fredericksburg Area Chapter 1
Greater Louisville Chapter 1
Greater Miami Area Chapter 14
Greater Milwaukee Area Chapter 1
Greater New Orleans Chapter 1
Greater Richmond Area Chapter 1
Jersey Shoreline Chapter 1
Lake Erie Chapter 17
Lehigh Valley Chapter 1
Los Angeles Chapter 1
Merrimack Valley Chapter 1
Mid Cumberland Chapter 2
Mobile Bay Area Chapter 2
Montana Big Sky Chapter 7
North Central Wisconsin Chapter 3
North Valley Chapter 1
Northeast Indiana Chapter 2
Piedmont Carolinas Chapter 1
Redwood Empire Chapter 2
Rochester Chapter 5
San Diego Area Chapter 1
San Fernando Valley Chapter 1
Smoky Mountain Chapter 1
South Central Connecticut Chapter 1
South Central Wisconsin Chapter 1
Southern Arizona Chapter 2
Southern Maine Chapter 2
Southern New Hampshire Chapter 1
Spokane Chapter 2
Triangle Chapter 9
West Michigan Chapter 1
White River Chapter 1
Reward Winners for June
Congratulations to the Lake Erie Chapter, which
was the winner of the monthly reward drawing for June. Each month, one chapter
will receive one complimentary registration for NTI 2003. The recipients are
randomly selected from among chapters that recruit at least one new member
during the month.
AACN Joins AARP in Search for Veterans of
AARP, in association with the City of San Diego,
the Department of Defense and community-based veterans commemorative
organizations, plans to honor the men and women who served in the Korean War
(1950-1953) by presenting them a medal from the Republic of Korea.
In 1951, as a way to thank and honor our
veterans, the Republic of Korea offered the Republic of Korea War Services Medal
to United Nations forces serving in Korea and adjacent waters. However, U.S.
policy prohibited its military forces from wearing medals issued by foreign
governments. Although Congress changed that ruling in 1954, most U.S. service
members eligible for the medal had returned home. In 1998, to coincide with the
50th anniversary of the war, the Republic of Korea reiterated its original
offer, and in 1999, the Department of Defense approved the acceptance and
wearing of the medal. Approximately 1.8 million U.S. Korean War veterans are
eligible to receive it.
AARP and its volunteer network are attempting to
identify as many eligible Korean War veterans as possible to receive the
commemorative medal in ceremonies scheduled the evening of Sept. 11, to coincide
with the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks. AARP has obtained the
support of the Department of Defense for this ceremony, which they envision as a
candlelight medal-pinning event involving families and loved ones, as well as
the veterans. Current plans also call for a celebrity host and musical
AACN is assisting AARP in locating any members
who may be eligible for the medal. If you served in the Korean War, contact Judy
Wilkin by Aug. 25 at (949) 362-2050, ext. 353; e-mail,
and you will receive further information about the award program.
Web Site Promotes Nursing Statistics
A new Web site featuring nursing statistics is
now available. Developed by the Interagency Collaborative on Nursing Statistics,
of which AACN is a member, the site can be accessed at
The group’s focus is to encourage and promote
research and data collection efforts on nurses, nursing education and the
The members work to:
• Promote and encourage research and data
• Be involved as a group in a project
spearheaded by appropriate agency or group.
• Be leaders in the field and support research
• Identify gaps in data and encourage the
appropriate groups to collect data needed as it relates to nursing.
• Eliminate duplication of efforts.
The group is currently working with the
Department of Health and Human Services on the National Nursing Sample Survey.
Endorsement Arrangement With Nursing
Management Benefits AACN Members
AACN has endorsed Nursing Management, the
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins publication for nurse managers, as well as the
Nursing Management Congress 2002, a four-day national conference scheduled for
Oct. 13 through 16 in Dallas, Texas. At the conference, AACN will sponsor
educational sessions that address leadership challenges and the acute and
critical care perspective.
In collaboration with AACN, Nursing Management
launched a six-part progressive care series in February. These articles provide
progressive caregivers and nurses in leadership positions real-life, proven
strategies and solutions to use in this challenging work environment. The
articles encompass the following topics: an overview of the progressive care
area and the managers tool kit for leadership; cost justification for PCUs;
selection and training/competency assessment of staff; selecting technology;
ensuring compliance with safety and regulatory guidelines; and outcomes
In connection with AACN’s endorsements of
Nursing Management and the Nursing Management Congress 2002, AACN members are
entitled to the following benefits:
• A discounted subscription rate of $25.95 per
year to Nursing Management.
• The $100 “early-bird” discount off congress
registration, regardless of when they register.
On the Agenda
Following is a report by AACN board member
Rebecca Long, RN, MS, CCRN, CNS, on discussions that took place during a June 19
board conference call.
Agenda Item: NTI Report
The board received a preliminary report on NTI
2002 in Atlanta, Ga., including a summary of participant responses to a market
survey and of the internal evaluation and debriefing process. The board was
extremely pleased with the attendance, which exceeded projections, especially
considering the uncertainties that followed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Participants gave positive feedback on their NTI
experience, with 99% of those responding saying they would encourage their
colleagues to attend. The overall program was rated as “excellent” or “good” by
98% of the respondents.
As AACN’s major annual conference and vehicle to
showcase many of its educational resources and the latest research, the board
has a keen interest in making certain that the NTI is the best it can be. A
variety of measures, both qualitative and quantitative, are used each year to
assess how the NTI can best meet the needs of the critical care nurses who
Marketing Director Dana Woods also announced
future NTI site selections: 2008 and 2011 in Chicago, Ill.; 2009 in New Orleans,
La.; and 2010 in Washington, D.C. To secure the best possible contracts and
arrangements, NTI sites are decided at least five years ahead. NTI 2003 is
scheduled for May 17 through 22 in San Antonio, Texas. Other upcoming NTI
locations are Orlando, Fla. in 2004; New Orleans in 2005; Anaheim, Calif., in
2006; and Atlanta in 2007.
Agenda Item: PDA Project Report
Marianne Martineau, education resources
specialist, updated the board on AACN’s new PDA Center and plans to develop
clinically relevant software for use with this new personal digital assistant
technology. To gauge interest and gain insight into possible applications,
Martineau conducted discussion groups at the NTI. She reported that interest was
strong, with each of the 25 discussion groups filled to capacity.
As part of our accountability to monitor and
strengthen programs and services, the board uses this type of feedback to help
determine where association resources to support members should be focused. The
question we continually ask is whether AACN is spending its money for the right
things in the right way.
AACN continues to explore relationships with
outside vendors for resources that are applicable to our members’ practice. This
technology will be the future of bedside education.
Agenda Item: Updates
Michael L. Williams, RN, MSN, CCRN, 2001-02
president of AACN, reported on the American College of Chest Physicians board
meeting he attended in June. At the meeting, the participants praised AACN and
provided positive feedback on collaborative projects. Joint initiatives with the
Society of Critical Care Medicine were also discussed.
In addition, AACN CEO Wanda Johanson, RN, MN,
reported on a meeting in June of the Joint Taskforce on Workforce/Manpower
Issues, which was established following the issuance of a joint position
statement titled “The Aging of the U.S. Population and Increased Need for
Critical Care Services.” The group is exploring ways to optimize currently
scarce resources. AACN Practice and Research Director Justine Medina, RN, MS,
presented an overview of the nurse staffing blueprint. The goal is to produce a
“white paper” that will be reviewed at the joint leadership meeting with ACCP
Johanson also told the board that AACN has had
preliminary discussions with the American Organization of Nurse Executives and
the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses concerning development of a
joint leadership program for nurse managers.
Scene and Heard
AACN continues to seek visibility for our
profession and the organization. Following is an update on recent outreach
In the Media
• An article by AACN Marketing Director Dana
Woods appeared in the June issue of the Journal of Nursing Administration.
Titled “Realizing Your Marketing Influence, Part 2: Marketing From the Inside
Out,” the article addressed the importance of health systems ensuring that
nursing care is optimal and the need to retain and recruit highly qualified
nurses by making a commitment to creating a healthy and respectful environment.
The article was the second in a series of three that will appear in the journal.
The first, which was published in the April issue of JONA, addressed healthcare
marketing basics and the importance of communication and collaboration among
administrators, nurses and marketing staff. The final article, which will focus
on certification as a marketing tool, will be published in the July/August
• The June issue of RN magazine featured
excerpts from the AACN News “President’s Note” column by 2001-02 AACN President
Michael L. Williams, RN, MSN, CCRN, as well as information on how AACN is
addressing the nursing shortage through “Nursing’s Agenda for the Future,”
grants and awards.
• In an article that appeared in the May issue
of RN magazine, “Critical Care Close-Up: A priceless resource,” past AACN
President Joanne M. Krumberger, RN, MSN, FAAN, noted that “continuous learning
may include … attending professional educational meetings such as the AACN’s
National Teaching Institute.”
• The May issue of Nursing Management included
an article titled “The Synergy Match-Up,” by Barbara Pope, RN, MSN, CCRN,
president-elect of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of AACN. In the
article, Pope advised healthcare professionals to consider implementing the
Synergy Model to optimize patient outcomes in their care settings. The core
concept of the Synergy Model is that the needs or characteristics of patients
and families influence and drive the characteristics or competencies of nurses.
• The May/June issue of Healthcare Traveler
quoted AACN in an article titled “Critical Care Nursing: Defining the
Possibilities.” AACN noted that the current situation is unlike previous
shortages the specialty has endured and that there was a 45% increase in
travelers practicing within adult critical care units last year and a 50%
increase within pediatric and neonatal intensive care units.
• “Rapid Review: Synergy,” a one-page article
with three questions to help prepare candidates for the CCRN exam, appeared in
the June issue of Nursing2002.
• In its June issue, Nursing Management featured
the third in a six-part series on progressive care. “Avoid PCU Bottlenecks With
Proper Admission and Discharge Criteria, Base Your Hospital’s Criteria on the
SCCM and AACN Standards for Optimum Bed Utilization” was the title of the
article by Mary N. Meyer, RN, CCRN. The series is endorsed by AACN. A sidebar to
the article, titled “Nursing Community Meets Progressive Care Education Needs,”
noted that the Kansas City, Mo., nursing community created a consortium forum to
meet the educational needs of progressive care nurses through the I-Care Course.
The forum was organized and overseen by AACN.
• The Second Quarter 2002 issue of Reflections
on Nursing Leadership included an article titled “How to Implement
Evidence-Based Practice: Some Tried and True Pointers,” which was written by
AACN members Jane Barnsteiner, RN, PhD, FAAN, and Suzanne Prevost, RN, PhD, CNAA,
a member of the AACN Certification Corporation Board of Directors. “At the
national level, associations such as the American Association of Critical-Care
Nurses … are responding to the challenge to become active in developing clinical
practice guidelines that can be tailored to specialty populations and local
settings,” the authors stated.
• For the month of June, the StarMed Staffing
Group agency featured AACN on its Web site, directing visitors to information on
AACN’s background, mission, CCRN and CCNS certifications and membership
• In June, AACN President-elect Dorrie Fontaine,
RN, DNSc, FAAN, was a featured guest on the Minnesota Public Radio “Midmorning”
program segment on the nursing shortage. Pointing to the New England Journal of
Medicine study demonstrating that a shortage of nurses leads to increased
patient complications, Fontaine discussed solutions to the nursing shortage
nationally and AACN’s role in supporting the Nurse Reinvestment Act and the
Value of Nursing Campaign. She also discussed AACN’s partnership with Johnson &
Johnson to improve the image of nursing, the importance of bringing more men and
minorities into the profession, and changing the work environment to better
support the professional practice of nurses.
• The June 10 issue of Advance for Nurses,
Greater Philadelphia edition, noted that AACN and Philips Medical Systems had
announced the Philips Medical Systems-AACN Outcomes for Clinical Excellence
Our Voice at the Table
• AACN Clinical Practice Specialist Linda Bell,
RN, MSN, attended the ninth annual Joint Commission on Accreditation of
Healthcare Organizations liaison meeting in Oakbrook, Ill., in May. She was part
of a multidisciplinary group representing various organizations, which met for
networking opportunities and to learn about JCAHO’s current and upcoming focus.
The focus of this meeting was on staffing effectiveness and disaster
• Also in May, Justine Medina, RN, MS, AACN’s
practice and research director, participated in JCAHO’s newly established
Intensive Care Unit Core Measure Advisory Panel. This panel will guide the
selection of standardized performance measures for use in hospital ICUs as part
of the ORYX initiative. Over the next 18 months, this panel will establish an
ICU measure-set framework and identify the specific well-tested, evidence-based
performance measures to be included in the initial measure set. This ICU core
measure set will consist of performance measures pertinent to medical, surgical,
and/or medical-surgical ICUs.
• In June, AACN President Connie Barden, RN,
MSN, CCNS, CCRN, spoke on “Infective Endocarditis” and “Nursing in La Vida Loca”
at the Broward County Chapter’s annual spring seminar in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
She also attended a CCRN recognition dinner sponsored by the Orlando, Fla.,
Chapter of AACN and spoke about the value of certification.
• Medina was joined by AACN’s CEO Wanda Johanson,
RN, MN, in June at a meeting of the Joint Taskforce on Workforce/Manpower
Issues. This task force also included representatives from the American College
of Chest Physicians, the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the American
Thoracic Society. The group is exploring new and innovative strategies to
organize critical care resources and to ensure that the scarce resource of
expert critical care professionals is used effectively. The group is expected to
complete a “white paper” in November, with recommendations for change that can
be used in discussions with key influencers and the leadership of the four
• At a program of the Broward County Chapter of
AACN in June, Williams presented the keynote address titled “Celebrating
Nursing’s Greatness Today and Every Day,” a breakout session titled “Family
Crisis & Dysfunction: Drawing the Line” and the closing speech titled “Caregiver
Sensitivity: Lessons From Patients and Families.”
• Woods was appointed to the advisory committee
of the Nurses for a Healthier Tomorrow coalition. The coalition of nursing and
healthcare organizations currently has 40 members who are working together on a
communications campaign to improve the image of nursing and attract people to
the nursing profession.
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. E-mail your information to
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:
Sept. 18-22— Emergency Nurses Association, New
If you are attending this conference, stop by
the AACN exhibit to visit with your National Office team.
Public Policy Update
Background: A heavily divided Supreme Court
recently ruled that states could help patients fight their HMOs, a decision that
could increase requests for second opinions. The court voted 5-4 to endorse an
effort used in about 40 states to let patients bypass health-plan gatekeepers
that refuse to approve payment for a treatment. The ruling also lifts the
pressure on Congress, which has failed to pass a national patients’ rights plan.
The state laws are intended to allow to people
to obtain second opinions and, in some instances, to force HMOs to pay when an
independent review shows a surgery or other care is justified. The Supreme Court
said that the state effort in trying to better arm patients in their battles
with HMOs did not conflict with federal law.
The ruling comes after patients rights
legislation stalled in Congress following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks,
putting on hold plans for a nationwide system for independent evaluations. The
HMOs had argued that they were not opposed to independent review boards, but
wanted one national standard instead of the hodgepodge of state laws.
Status: In an attempt to increase organ
donations, the American Medical Association’s Council on Ethical and Judicial
Affairs is urging financial incentives for cadaver organs.
CEJA is proposing a carefully designed and
rigidly controlled study to determine the effect of financial incentives.
Release of the recommendation at the AMA’s annual House of Delegates meeting
drew protest. The opposition is concerned about using evidence from scientific
studies to define ethics and argues that, even if the study found that organ
donations increase when money changes hands, the underlying question is whether
paying for organs is ethical. Even if the AMA House approves the
recommendations, a pilot study of the practice would require a revamping of
federal laws that currently ban such financial incentives.
Status: The Joint Commission on Accreditation of
Healthcare Organizations has issued a sentinel-event alert on delays in
treatment. Although hospital emergency departments are the source of a little
more than half of all reported sentinel-event cases of patient death or
permanent injury due to delays in treatment, JCAHO data reveal that such serious
problems can occur in any hospital unit or healthcare setting.
Of the 55 reported cases of delays in treatment,
29 were ED-related, while 26 cases originated in hospital ICUs, medical-surgical
units, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, freestanding and hospital-based
ambulatory care services, the operating room and in the home care setting. Of
the 55 cases of delays in treatment, 52 resulted in patient death.
The reported reasons for the delays in treatment
are many and varied, with the most common factor being misdiagnosis (42%). Other
factors include delayed test results (15%), physician availability (13%),
delayed administration of ordered care (13%), incomplete treatment (11%),
delayed initial assessment (7%), patient left unattended (4%), paging system
malfunction (2%) and unable to locate ED entrance (2%).
Background: The Health Privacy Project has
released revised summaries of the health privacy statutes of nine states:
Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Utah,
Washington and Wyoming. These updated summaries reflect changes in state health
privacy statutes that have been made since their original report, titled the
State of Health Privacy: An Uneven Terrain, which was published in 1999.
The summaries focus predominantly on the use and
disclosure of information gathered and shared in the context of providing and
paying for healthcare. How these state laws will interact with the federal
health privacy rule issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
has not been analyzed.
Status: A panel of scientific experts has
recommended a limited vaccination plan targeting small teams of healthcare
workers who would be protected in the event of an outbreak of smallpox. Arguing
that the risk of serious side effects outweighed current fears of an outbreak,
the panel estimated 20,000 people nationwide would be inoculated as a preventive
measure. Complications could include a sore arm, low-grade fever, encephalitis
(brain inflammation) and even death. The group also endorsed traditional “ring
vaccinations” of isolated, infected patients and people in close contact with
them to contain the outbreak.
In the meantime, HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson
is expected to go far beyond the panel’s position in deciding the policy.
Federal health officials say they are finalizing a plan that would vaccinate
hundreds of thousands of emergency medical personnel against smallpox this fall
and expand to include other healthcare and rescue workers most at risk if the
deadly virus is unleashed in the United States.
Eventually, as more vaccine becomes available
and experts have a chance to study adverse reactions to the inoculation,
administration officials expect to make it widely available on a voluntary
basis. The debate over smallpox vaccination revolves around two unknowns: the
likelihood of an outbreak versus the likelihood of severe, sometimes fatal,
complications. Because routine immunization ended in 1972, most medical workers
would need training in administering the live vaccine. In addition, immunized
healthcare workers would likely be out of work for 10 days to prevent the spread
of live vaccine to patients.
What began as a small, conservative approach by
the government for protecting against the unlikely event of a smallpox attack is
rapidly developing into a broad, aggressive proposal. Demand for the vaccine,
new projections on how easily the smallpox virus could be spread in a terrorist
attack and the size and scope of the U.S. medical profession have pushed the
Bush administration to expand its view.
Health Policy Agenda
Status: Senate Health Committee Chairman Edward
Kennedy (D-Mass.) recently outlined an ambitious agenda to expand healthcare
coverage and lower costs. Kennedy, who has made the issue a priority for more
than 30 years, told the National Press Club that the nation was “moving
backward” on healthcare. At least 39 million Americans lack health insurance, a
number that Kennedy said could reach 52 million by 2009. He said drug spending
is rising, health insurance premiums are again showing double-digit inflation,
and the industry has not brought its technology up to the latest standards.
Kennedy said action is needed on three major
fronts: to reduce the plight of the uninsured, to bring health costs down and to
enact a prescription drug benefit in Medicare. Although Kennedy helps shape the
Senate agenda, it is unlikely that his legislation could pass this year,
particularly with Congress devoting much of its resources to defense and
homeland security. However, his proposals will probably find their way into the
November congressional campaigns and then help mold the 2004 presidential race.
Some of the legislation he championed is
relatively simple and has bipartisan support. For instance, a stroke prevention
bill has passed the Senate and is pending in the House. Other initiatives,
including a plan to provide healthcare for all Americans, are controversial and
similar initiatives have floundered in the past.
Congress will probably debate some of the issues
Kennedy raised. In June, two House committees were taking up a $350 billion,
10-year Medicare prescription drug plan. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats plan to
bring up a bigger Medicare drug package costing $400 billion to $500 billion
over seven years. Most observers believe the prospects of reconciling the two
versions this year are remote.
In his remarks, Kennedy urged lawmakers to put
aside past differences and renew efforts to solve lingering and, in some cases,
worsening U.S. healthcare problems. He said the fight against terrorism should
not supplant health legislation, but rather the nation’s post Sept. 11 spirit
should encourage it. Legislation he listed included bills to expand children’s
health insurance, to require big businesses to cover their employees and to give
grants to the healthcare industry to reduce administrative costs through better
He wants the Senate to act on several bills that
could restrain costs by expanding preventive care for such diseases as diabetes
and he recently unveiled legislation to give the Food and Drug Administration
expanded powers to regulate tobacco. Kennedy also advocated closing loopholes in
laws that drug companies use to dampen competition from cheaper generic drugs,
and wants to restrict advertising of drugs to consumers.
Status: The Senate Health, Education, Labor and
Pensions Committee approved the Breaux-Specter bill (SB 2184), requiring the
Department of Labor to create regulations to address ergonomics in the
workplace. The bill will now be presented to the House of Representatives and
Congress for vote.
Although he voted with the majority of the
Senate in blocking implementation of the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration ergonomics standard, the Breaux-Specter legislation calls for the
Labor Department to “address work-related musculoskeletal disorders and
workplace ergonomic hazards” and to not have a workers’ compensation payment
system that pays more than what states already offer. It also says that injuries
would have to be directly related to work to be covered.
Healthier U.S. Initiative
Background: HHS Secretary Thompson joined
President George W. Bush in announcing the President’s Council on Physical
Fitness and Sports, as part of his new Healthier U.S. Initiative. In announcing
the initiative, Bush said, “When America and Americans are healthier, our whole
society benefits. And that’s important to know. If you’re interested in
improving America, you can do so by taking care of your own body.”
The council is housed in the Department of
Health and Human Services.
“It is time to change the focus of medicine in
America,” Thompson said. “Instead of just trying to heal people when they’re
sick, we should promote healthier living and prevent illnesses before they
happen. We can prevent cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke by eating more
fruits and vegetables, cutting down on fats, being physically active and getting
screened regularly. It’s a life decision that will improve and lengthen lives.”
Public Health Risks from Pesticides
Background: Responding to a gap in health
professional education and the public health risks posed by the widespread use
of pesticides in the United States, the National Environmental Education &
Training Foundation has launched a groundbreaking plan to integrate pesticides
issues into primary healthcare education and practice. NEETF publicly released
the National Strategies for Health Care Providers: Pesticides Initiative
Implementation Plan, which was developed by interdisciplinary teams of primary
health care providers, medical and nursing school faculty, pesticide safety
educators and public health professionals.
NEETF has undertaken the initiative in
partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and in collaboration
with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Labor and a wide range of stakeholders.
During the past decade, the Institute of Medicine and the American Medical
Association have recommended improvements to primary healthcare providers’
education and training in the areas of environmental health and pesticides,
The initiative calls for all primary healthcare
providers, including physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians
assistants, nurse midwives and community health workers, to acquire a basic
knowledge of the health effects of pesticides and the treatments and preventive
public health strategies to address them. The initiative will serve as a model
for integrating other environmental health issues into medical and nursing
education and practice. The goal is to change the way primary care providers
assess and respond to potential pesticide exposure cases in their daily
The strategies for implementing the National
Strategies for Health Care Providers: Pesticides Initiative are being developed
by a wide range of experts and stakeholders. The implementation plan presents a
three-pronged approach that includes specific strategies for education and
practice settings, and creative resource links for primary care providers.
More than 150 healthcare providers and
representatives of credentialing bodies and academic institutions, government
agencies, health agencies and educational organizations will participate in the
national forum to move the initiative forward through the U.S. healthcare
AACN position: AACN has endorsed the National
Strategies for Health Care Providers: Pesticides Initiative Implementation Plan.
Status: President Bush has signed the Public
Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act (HR 3448),
providing more than $4.6 million to improve readiness for bioterror attacks,
including improving communications functions of hospitals and health agencies.
The act also includes more than $1.6 million in funding for state and local
electronic and telemedicine projects. Some of these initiatives are electronic
databases already in use that collect and analyze reports on the symptoms of
patients treated in emergency departments and then automatically alert public
health authorities to symptom clusters.
HHS Secretary Thompson also recently approved
comprehensive state plans to build stronger public health systems to better
prepare for bioterror attacks, marking the first time that federal, state and
local governments have created a unified plan to respond to public health
emergencies from terrorism. This approval by HHS authorizes the state and local
municipalities to receive the remaining 80% of their $1.1 billion in
bioterrorism grants. The federal agency will also be working with the local
agencies to implement their plans, asking for further progress reports on Oct.
AACN position: AACN supported the inclusion of
Section 106 in the bioterrorism bills, provisions that would allow the Secretary
of Health and Human Services to take action to support additional training to
alleviate workforce shortages in the event of a threat to public health.
For more information about these and other
issues, visit the AACN Web site at
Public Policy Resources Now Online
Check out the new State Net database and CapWiz
Legislative Action Center, available on the AACN Web site at
access this new public policy resource, visit the AACN Web site at
State Net allows AACN members to download or
view the status and a brief summary of pertinent nursing legislation. The
database collects information on actions related to bills in Congress, as well
as in all 50 states. Because the information is posted within 24 hours of public
availability, members can get reliable information quickly.
The CapWiz Legislative Action Center, powered by
Capitol Advantage, will allow AACN members to connect with elected officials,
agencies and organizations. Users may e-mail members of Congress, the president
and other government officials; find their legislators by a ZIP code or name
search; and find out how their legislators voted on identified issues. Members
may compose their own messages or send messages prewritten by AACN.
Searchable by ZIP code, state and name, this
tool also provides an easy way to find out who is running for federal and state
offices in a specific area. As primaries pass, the information will be updated
to reflect the general election candidates. The system also includes information
on registering to vote, election dates and more.
Liability Insurance Helps Members Protect
A malpractice claim can be costly, regardless of
whether it is legitimate. The best way for nurses to protect themselves is to
carry their own professional liability insurance, which is why AACN sponsors the
Professional Liability Insurance Program for its members.
With liability limits up to $2 million per
incident ($4 million aggregate), members can save 10% on their annual premium if
they have 1) participated in an approved risk-management seminar that provided
at least 4 credit hours or 2) current certification as a CCRN or CCNS, or as an
ANCC, AOCN, CCCN, CNOR, CWCN, CPNP, CRFNA, CRRN, LNCC, OCN or NCSN.
Following are some of the benefits of the plan:
• When you must attend a trial, hearing or
arbitration proceeding, you may lose wages. This plan offers not only
loss-of-earnings coverage up to $10,000 per incident, but also reasonable
• If you do not have your own individual policy,
you may have to pay legal expenses out of pocket when you are required to be
deposed. This plan reimburses you up to $5,000 for legal representation in
depositions related to your professional duties.
• If a suit is brought against you, legal fees
and court costs incurred by the insurer on your behalf are paid for covered
claims as well as the liability limits, even if the suit is groundless, false or
Even if you have protection through your
employer, it may not be adequate. Without your own personal professional
liability protection, you could end up paying attorney fees, court costs and
loss of wages out of your own pocket.
The Chicago Insurance Company, a member of the
Interstate National Corporation, one of the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Companies,
underwrites the AACN-sponsored Professional Liability Insurance Program. Marsh
Affinity Group Services, a service of Seabury & Smith, administers the plan.
For more information, contact Marsh Affinity
Group Services at (800) 503-9230. Additional information and application
materials are available online at
Coming in the September Issue of the
American Journal of Critical Care
• The Synergy Model and the Role of Clinical
Nurse Specialists in a Multihospital System
• Acute Care Nurse Practitioners: Creating and
Implementing a Model of Care for an Inpatient General Medical Service
• Practices and Predictors of Analgesic
Interventions for Adults Undergoing Painful Procedures
• Impact of a Prolonged Surgical Critical
Illness on Patients’ Families
Subscriptions to Critical Care Nurse and the
American Journal of Critical Care are included in AACN membership dues.
Sept. 1 Deadline to submit research and creative
solutions abstracts for NTI 2003, May 17 through 22 in San Antonio, Texas. To
obtain abstract forms, call (800) 899-AACN (2226) and request Item #6007, or
visit the AACN Web site at
Sept. 27-Oct. 4 AACN Study Tour to Europe. To
request a brochure, contact Interport, Ltd., 510 31st Street, Suite G, Newport
Beach, CA 92663; phone, (949) 673-3596; fax, (949) 673-1007;
Oct. 1 Deadline to submit applications for AACN
Clinical Practice Grant. To obtain a grants handbook, visit the AACN Web site at
or call AACN Fax-on-Demand at (800) 222-6239. Request Document #1013.
Oct. 1 Deadline to submit applications for AACN-Sigma
Theta Tau Critical Care Grant. To obtain a grants handbook, visit the AACN Web
or call AACN Fax-on-Demand at (800) 222-6239. Request Document #1013.
Oct. 1 Deadline to submit applications for
Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Grant. To obtain a grants handbook, visit the
AACN Web site at
or call AACN Fax-on-Demand at (800) 222-6239. Request Document #1013.