AACN News—January 2002—Chapters

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Vol. 19, No. 1, JANUARY 2002


Critical Care Nurses Gather to Learn and to Network

Approximately 400 critical care nurses from across the United States participated in AACN Fall Regional Meetings, where they had the opportunity to network with colleagues in their areas as well as local and national leaders of AACN. Special educational grants from AACN industry partners Siemens Medical Solutions and Stryker Medical allowed for representatives of AACN�s national leadership team to attend almost all the regional meetings.

Although the events of Sept. 11 temporarily suspended travel and forced a shift in the overall plans for meetings in some regions, all proceeded, with present and past AACN leaders from the immediate areas stepping in to meet with the local nurses.

In most of the 19 regions, the Chapter Advisory Team representative gave a presentation on the local issues and resources available to chapters. In addition, a national office staff member provided an update on Value of Nursing initiative, and a member of the national AACN Board of Directors shared information about AACN�s strategic goals and what the association has been doing for its members.

Many of the organizers adopted President Michael L. William�s theme of a �Journey of Rediscovery: Looking In and Reaching Out� as the theme for their regional meetings. Members who attended regional meetings said they appreciated discovering more about AACN and left with a sense that they are a valuable part of AACN and its success.

Here�s what some of the critical care nurses who attended a regional meeting had to say:

�I learned good ways to promote AACN and recruit members.�

�I enjoyed hearing from the board liaison about what National is doing to promote AACN.�
�It was not only an informative day but also lots of fun.�

�It opened my eyes to the many facets of AACN.�

�It was a wonderful opportunity to visit with the president.�

�It was an excellent way to network, exchange ideas and meet other chapter members.�

�It helped to remotivate me as a chapter leader.�

�The speakers were very enthusiastic.�

�I thought the diversity of participants added to the overall meeting.�

�It was a great way to learn more about what AACN has to offer and the support that is available.�

�It spoke well to how local chapters can contribute to National�s goals.�

Exploration Theme Chosen for Leadership Development Workshop

Journey of Rediscovery: Exploring the Landscape of Leadership� is the theme chosen for the Chapter Leadership Development Workshop at NTI 2002 in Atlanta, Ga. The daylong workshop is scheduled for Sunday, May 5.

The theme is in keeping with that of AACN President Michael L. Williams, RN, MSN, CCRN, which is �Journey of Rediscovery: Looking In and Reaching Out.�

Participating in the workshop will be the president-elect or another leader nominated by AACN chapters.

In addition, past leaders who are attending the NTI will be invited to participate and share their experiences.

The NTI is scheduled for May 4 through 9.

What's on Tap
Arizona

The Greater Phoenix Area Chapter will present �Different Strokes for Different Folks� on Feb. 7, 2002, at the VA Medical Center, ACA Building. For more information, contact Debbie Milillo, RN, BSN, MSc, at (480) 661-8310.

The Greater Phoenix Area Chapter will present a CCRN review on April 18 and 19, 2002, at the YWCA of the USA in Phoenix. For more information, contact Debbie Milillo, RN, BSN, MSc, at (480) 661-8310 or Faye Dodd, RN, at dogimomi@earthlink.net.

Illinois
The Greater Chicago Area Chapter will present �CHF Update� on Feb. 5, 2002, in Chicago, Ill. For more information, contact Lori Marcantonio at (847) 854-8358; e-mail, gcac_aacn@yahoo.com.

The Greater Chicago Area Chapter will present �End of Life Nursing Care in the ICU: Symptom Management to Legal Issues� on March 5, 2002, at Our Lady of the Resurrection Hospital, Chicago. For more information, contact Lori Marcantonio at (847) 854-8358; e-mail, gcac_aacn@yahoo.com.

The Northwest Chicago Area Chapter will present its 28th annual Midwest Conference on March 11 through 13, 2002, in Arlington Heights, Ill. A preconference will be offered on March 10. For more information, contact Joy Speciale at (630) 766-1596; e-mail, nwcac@juno.com

Indiana
The Greater Evansville Chapter will present a CCRN Review Course at St. Mary�s Crescent Rooms on Jan. 17, 21, 24, 28 and 31 and Feb. 4 and 7. For more information, contact Lynn Schnautz at (812) 450-7172 or Kathy Burton at (800) 852-7279, ext. 0329.

The Northeastern Indiana Chapter will present a dinner recognizing critical care nurses and honoring CCRNs on Feb. 25, 2001. For more information, e-mail Marie Hamrick at nursemdh@aol.com or Mary Lou Snouffer at INRNICU@aol.com.

The Greater Evansville Chapter will join Deaconess Hospital and the University of Southern Indiana in presenting the �Heart of Cardiovascular Nursing 2002 Seminar� on March 7, 2002. For more information, contact Lynn Schnautz at (812) 450-7172 or Ellen Wathen at (812) 450-7249.

The Greater Evansville Chapter will present its 10th annual �Critical Care Challenge� on April 11, 2002, at St. Mary�s Manor. For more information, contact Lynn Schnautz at (812) 450-7172, Kathy Burton at (800) 852-7279, ext. 0329, or Marlena Thweatt at (270) 521-6033.

Missouri
The Greater St. Louis Chapter will present its 20th annual symposium, �Critical Care Trends for the New Millennium,� on March 7 and 8, 2002, at the America�s Center, St. Louis, Mo. For more information, contact Anne Vigil at (314) 353-6064 or Karen Zahn at (314) 843-5045.

The Southeast Missouri Chapter will present �CCRN Cram Review� on March 19 and 20, 2002, at Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, Mo. For more information, call (573) 339-0551; e-mail, moxleys4@midwest.net.

New Jersey
The Jersey Shoreline Chapter will present �Pediatric Respiratory Care� on Jan 23, 2002, in Tinton Falls, N.J. For more information, contact Ryn Fernandez at (732) 462-6976; fax, (732) 462-0132; e-mail, rynfern@aol.com.

The Northern New Jersey Chapter will present �Critical Care Skills for Non-ICU Nurses� on Feb. 2, 2001, in Paterson, N.J. For more information, contact: Janice Wojcik via the chapter voice mail at (973) 905-7205; e-mail, janice.wojcik@gte.net.

The Jersey Shoreline Chapter will present �Critical Care Systems/CCRN Review� on March 14 and 15, 2002, at the Greystone Manor in Freehold, N.J. For more information, contact Ryn Fernandez at (732) 462-6976; fax, (732) 462-0132; e-mail, rynfern@aol.com.

The Northern New Jersey Chapter will present �Options in Critical Care Nursing 2002� on April 11 and 12, 2002, in Fairfield, N.J. For more information, contact Janice Wojcik at (973) 905-7205; e-mail, janice.wojcik@gte.net.

North Carolina
The Heart of the Piedmont Chapter will present a CCRN preparation course on Jan. 24 and 25, 2002, in High Point, N.C. For more information, contact John H. Jeffries at (336) 878-6000, ext. 2543; e-mail, jjeffries@hprhs.com, or Karen Caviness at (336) 878-6066.


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;

March 1 Deadline to Apply for the President�s Award for Chapters

Remember: Applications for the 2002 Circle of Excellence President�s Award for Chapters are due March 1, 2002.

This annual award will go to the chapter or chapters that best exemplify the theme of �A Journey of Rediscovery: Looking In and Reaching Out,� chosen for the year by AACN President Michael L. Williams, RN, MSN, CCRN.

Chapters chosen for this recognition will 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.

For more information about the Circle of Excellence President�s Award for Chapters or to obtain an award application, call (800) 899-2226. Request Item #1011.


Advisory Role Offers Many Challenges and Rewards

By Roberta A. Kaplow, RN, PhD, CCNS, CCRN
Chapter Adviser, Region 2

Have you ever wondered what members of the Chapter Advisory Team in each of AACN�s 19 regions do? As a CAT representative serving Region 2 (New York) for more than two years, I can attest to the challenges and rewards this role offers. As the annual Call for Volunteers goes out (see page 3), I would like to share some insight into the CAT experience.

AACN delineates the following accountabilities for chapter advisers:
� Acting as ambassadors for the association in supporting and advocating for AACN�s mission, values and vision.
� Articulating AACN positions to chapters and providing feedback on chapter operations and regional issues.
� Annually assessing and evaluating the changing environments of chapters and their structure.
� Fostering the development of new chapter leaders.
� Assisting chapters with their day-to-day chapter operations.

The commitments of the chapter advisers are:
� Attending annual CAT meetings.
� Traveling within their assigned regions, as needed.
� Participating in conference calls.
� Regularly communicating with the National Office and the CAT board liaison.
� Routinely listening to assigned voicemail boxes at the National Office.
� Routinely communicating with chapter leaders within the assigned region.
� Responding to requests for information from chapter members, chapter leaders and the AACN national office staff.

Serving as a CAT representative has been gratifying. Meeting and networking with the chapter boards and members and experiencing their collective and individual enthusiasm is impressive. The ideas generated by members to serve their nurse colleagues and their communities are astounding. Working with them to help make these ideas realities is a rewarding experience.

In meeting with chapter boards, I find that a central theme emerges. In their quest for excellence, they are hard on themselves and seem to find it difficult to celebrate their successes. For example, the leadership of one chapter expressed disappointment that �only 145� people attended a chapter educational program that was sponsored by a pharmaceutical company. I am certain that many of you are astounded, as I was, that this attendance was a disappointment. One of my quests as a CAT member is to help chapters recognize the wonderful contributions they make and to pat themselves on the back when they do a good job.

Similar thinking has been evident at the Chapter Leadership Development Workshop at the NTI the past two years. At one point, participants were asked to create a poster recognizing a chapter achievement during the past year. As facilitator at my table, I witnessed the difficulty participants had with this activity. However, with prompting, all participants eventually came to appreciate and share several of their success stories.

Coordinating the annual Fall Meeting in their regions has been another responsibility of the CAT representatives. According to program evaluations in several regions, these meetings have been successful in promoting networking among chapter members; expanding knowledge of AACN and the responsibilities of chapters; providing opportunities to meet with members of the national AACN Board of Directors and national office staff; enhancing the ability to see chapters in a different light; sharing information on how chapters are successful; helping chapters learn how to improve and how the National Office can help; and discussing issues.

The CAT role has been personally rewarding, partly because of the opportunity to work and network with the national board, staff and other CAT members. Receiving up-to-date information on AACN�s initiatives and issues helps me to disseminate important information to chapters.

The board liaisons�Debra Byram, Connie Barden, Kathy McCauley and Bertie Chuong�who have served during my tenure as a CAT representative, are an inspiring group of role models, and my CAT colleagues are a great group of nurses. Our work is not only inspiring but also fun. We share clinical information and problem solve as work situations arise. Having them as colleagues is like having a nationwide clinical resource available.

In addition, my knowledge of public policy has increased dramatically as a CAT member and my leadership competencies (i.e., ambassador and intellectual skills) have developed. The latter has been helpful in both my personal and professional activities. The lessons I have learned will last a lifetime. The CAT role is pivotal for chapters, and I hope my contributions to AACN parallel the benefits I have received while serving in this role.

Chapter Advisers Needed in 10 Regions

The Chapter Advisory Team plays a vital role in supporting and linking local AACN chapters and the national leadership team. AACN is currently inviting past chapter presidents to apply for the CAT position in 10 of its 19 regions. Positions are open in Region 1 (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont), Region 2 (New York), Region 3 (Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania), Region 7 (Florida), Region 8 (Michigan, Wisconsin), Region 9 (Indiana, Ohio), Region 13 (Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska), Region 14 (Kansas, Missouri), Region 16 (Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming) and Region 18 (Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington).

CAT representatives serve staggered terms of between one and three years. In addition to face-to-face meetings, CAT members participate in conference calls, communicate with chapter leaders in their regions and the National Office, and utilize electronic media and online communication tools and databases.

If you think you may be interested in the CAT position in your region, but have questions, contact Dennis Maggi at (800) 394-5995, ext. 339. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2002.

A Community Concern

Members of the Central Ohio Chapter of
AACN, Columbus, Ohio, participated in
the American Diabetes Association Walk
in October 2001 to promote the visibility
of critical care nursing in their community.
In addition to walking, chapter members
provided blood pressure screening and
follow-up recommendations based on
American Heart Association guidelines.
Shown here are chapter President-elect
Shirlien Metersky (left) and chapter
Secretary Diane Sanders.