President's Note: A Journey of
Rediscovery: Don�t Just Think About It, Act!
By Michael L. Williams, RN, MSN, CCRN
Little things mean a lot. How true this
sentiment is.Yesterday you helped a wandering parent find the right unit in the
maze of your hospital�s critical care pavilion. This morning you put your arm
around a patient�s relative, reminding her that �We�re all here to take good
care of your sister.� Your kindness may have seemed a small gesture to you, as
you rushed back to a bedside after a much-needed break. But it probably made the
day for the person you helped.
Most of us have been surprised at some time by
the results of our smallest efforts. Now think about what happens when seemingly
insignificant acts are magnified by the collective action of others. Think of
the impact a simple gesture can have when carried out by 65,000 people�more
specifically, by 65,000 AACN members. Think about it and then �
Take the time to explore
Web site, and
the AACN Certification Corporation�s Web site. Click on an unfamiliar link and
discover the wealth of information and resources. You will open a door to a
whole new world of opportunities and possibilities.
Are you the hemodynamic monitoring expert in
your unit? Do you want to sharpen your expertise with state-of-the-science
hemodynamic monitoring knowledge? Visit PACEP, the online pulmonary artery
catheter education project developed by a partnership of AACN, the Society of
Critical Care Medicine, the American Thoracic Society, the American Association
of Nurse Anesthetists and the American College of Chest Physicians. From
www.aacn.org click on Education > Continuing Education.
The numbers are staggering. Each member recruits
a new one and overnight AACN�s membership climbs to 130,000! These numbers bring
incalculable clout in the world of health policy, regulation and administration.
And, with more than 250,000 nurses working in America�s ICUs and thousands more
caring for critically ill patients and families in other clinical areas,
recruiting just one new member is only an invitation away. Recruit a new member
and you�ll be rewarded. Critical Links �02, our member-get-a-member campaign, is
already under way.
Just Give $1!
This is the easiest suggestion of all. If every
AACN member contributes $1, the AACN Scholarship Endowment Fund will grow by
$65,000, moving us closer to our $2 million goal of funding our scholarship
program in perpetuity. Stop reading. Drop a dollar in an envelope (more if you
like), affix a stamp and mail to AACN Scholarship Endowment Fund, 101 Columbia,
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656. Thank you for supporting this scholarship endowment! Now,
Just Get Involved!
Nominate someone (maybe yourself?) for an AACN
Circle of Excellence recognition award. The awards deadline is July 15, 2002.
(See page 16.) Or nominate yourself or a colleague to serve as a national
volunteer on the AACN Board of Directors, the AACN Certification Corporation
Board of Directors, the AACN Nominating Committee or a national work group. The
deadline for nominations is June 21, 2002.
Just Tell Us!
We need your feedback. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org
or send a fax to (949) 362-2020 and tell us what�s working, or what could work
better. Suggest one way to improve the resources and customer service we offer.
Or one way AACN can increase its impact on critically ill patients and families
and the nurses who care for them. (By the way, the topic of this �President�s
Note� column was suggested by a member.)
Tell just one school kid about the wonders of
nursing. Tell them exciting stories about the drama that is your daily life.
Even more real than TV. Make sure they know about our profession�s extraordinary
personal and professional rewards, how nurses make a difference in the lives of
others every minute of the day, and yes, that they will need to work hard and
get a well-rounded education, strong in science.
Just Keep Moving!
As we shape our journeys, they also shape us.
Whether this journey is professional or personal, it is essential that we keep
moving. And doing the seemingly insignificant can move us miles ahead. So, just
think about it and:
Just Get Involved!
Just Keep Moving!
Scrutinize Nursing Schools
With the looming nursing shortage, many articles
have been written about working conditions and loan repayments for current
nurses. However, little has been written about future nursing students or
changes within schools of nursing.
Although nursing is ever changing and new
research is introduced, basic nursing education is stuck in a traditional system
that is hard and frustrating. When I was in nursing school, I often felt that we
were being asked to do outdated tasks simply because �that�s the way it�s always
Many nursing instructors have not done real
clinical work for many years, and their clinical teaching reflects this. As a
result, the tests do not prepare you for the NCLEX nor predict who will do well
And, why do all nursing schools have the same
clinical pattern, regardless of what you want to do after graduation? You go
through the motions of med-surg, pediatrics, mental health or public health.
Some schools do not have a critical care clinical. Why not give the students an
option of clinicals to choose from?
With all the current problems in nursing, why
haven�t nursing schools been put under the microscope?
Aaron Petersen, RN