AACN News—November 2002—Association News

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Vol. 19, No. 11, NOVEMBER 2002

Many Factors Weighed in Selecting NTI Abstracts

Members of the 2003 NTI Work Group are (from left) Amy
Schueler, Mary E. Holtschneider, Robin Watson, Deborah
Greenlaw, Cynthia Klein, Judy Lang, Dennis Cheek, Maggie
Carriker and Carol Puz.

By Mary E. Holtschneider, RN, BSN, MPA
NTI Work Group

Anyone who has attended AACN’s annual National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition knows that a variety of educational offerings on a range of different topics are offered. However, many more abstracts are submitted each year than can be accepted. For example, the field of approximately 525 abstracts submitted for NTI 2003 had to be trimmed to 100 that will actually be presented.

How are the topics chosen? The process is lengthy and intense.

As soon as one NTI ends, the selection process for the next one moves into high gear when the NTI Work Group convenes during the summer to review the abstracts submitted for oral presentations. Represented on this volunteer group are various practice roles, including staff RN, educator, manager and advanced practice. In addition, the group reflects diversity with respect to clinical expertise, as well as a mix of adult-focused and pediatric-focused members.

The other members of the 2003 NTI Work Group are Amy Schueler, RN, MS, CCRN, CNP, (chair), Maggie Carriker, RN, MSN, Dennis Cheek, RN, MSN, PhD, Deborah Greenlaw, RN, MS, CCRN, Cynthia Klein, RN, MSN, NP, Judith Lang, RN, BS, CCRN, and Robin Watson, RNC, MN, CCRN. The board liaison is Carol Ann Puz, RN, BSN, CCRN, and the staff liaison is AACN Program Development Specialist Bonnie Baker, RN, MHA.

However, even before the work group begins its review of the proposals, expert members of the NTI Abstracts Review Panel have reviewed and rated them. This rating considers such questions as whether the content, purpose of the presentation, key concepts and expected outcomes are clearly stated. The review panelists then recommend presentations for further review by the NTI Work Group, which makes the final decisions on what to include in the NTI program.

Most of the 525 abstracts submitted for NTI 2003 were excellent. However, because of the limited time and space availability, only 100 could be chosen. There are myriad reasons why an abstract would not be selected for the NTI program.

Clarity Needed
The abstract might not be written clearly and concisely enough. The review panelists and the work group might agree that, though the topic is excellent, the abstract does not explain in sufficient detail what the presentation will cover. Unfortunately, the abstract as submitted is all that the work group has to judge when selecting a topic for inclusion.

Relevance Important
The topic might be more appropriate for another conference. In order to balance the NTI offerings, the work group must have a variety of topic categories, including cardiovascular, GI, endocrine, renal, trauma, leadership development, computer usage and personal growth. Because AACN resources are focused on the critical care and progressive care environments, the group tries to pick topics that will best meet these educational needs. For example, though a trauma-focused abstract that has to do with immediate stabilization of a traumatic injury in an emergency department might be an excellent topic, it would be more relevant at a conference that focuses on emergency patient care.

Variety Essential
Having a balance and variety of topics is essential. For example, choosing all cardiovascular topics would not serve the purpose of NTI. Some years, many excellent cardiovascular abstracts are submitted; however, only a small number can be accepted.

Greater Need Weighed
Finally, because NTI attendees represent many hospitals, geographical areas, practice areas and experience levels, a greater number of abstracts that are more general and that will meet the needs of a broader audience are chosen each year. Abstracts that focus on highly specialized topics may not be selected if there will be a limited number of attendees who would be interested in that topic.

Tips for Writing a Successful Proposal

Have you wanted to submit an NTI speaker proposal, but aren’t sure how? Have you submitted an abstract that wasn’t selected? There are resources that can help you.

For tips on writing an abstract, visit the AACN Web site at http://www.aacn.org > NTI. Scroll down to the “Speaker Information” area to find a wealth of resources, including an article titled “Writing a Winning NTI Educational Session Abstract.”

In addition, the NTI Work Group will present a session titled “How to Write an NTI Abstract” at the 2003 NTI, May 17 through 22 in San Antonio, Texas. You can also e-mail questions about the process to the NTI Work Group at AskNTIWorkGroup@aacn.org. A member of the group will respond within three working days.

The deadline to submit speaker proposal abstracts for NTI 2004 is May 15, 2003.

If you have additional questions, contact AACN Program Development Specialist Bonnie Baker, RN, MHA, at (800) 394-5995, ext. 537; e-mail, Bonnie.Baker@aacn.org.

Web-Based Orientation Program Now in Place With Inaugural Users

The Essentials of Critical Care Orientation has gone mainstream, with several hospitals already implementing this newest critical care education program from AACN. Designed to teach the fundamental elements of critical care nursing, the program is entirely Internet based. Its self-paced format allows nurses new to critical care to work through each module at their own speed, while tracking features enable the educator to view their progress. Comprehensive, scored module exams provide detailed feedback to both students and educators to ensure that important concepts are understood.

Early adopters of the ECCO program include:

• Denton Regional Medical Center, Denton, Texas
• Harris Methodist Ft. Worth, Ft. Worth, Texas
• Sherman Hospital, Elgin, Ill.
• U.S. Naval Hospital, Yokosuka, Japan
• VA Hospital, West Palm Beach, Fla.

For an overview of the program, check out the online demos now available on the AACN Web site at http://www.aacn.org. Click on the Essentials of Critical Care Orientation link. You can learn how to navigate through the program, view sample slides and see the management features offered by the program.

Continuing Education Scholarships Help With NTI Expenses

Do you want to attend AACN’s National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition in San Antonio, Texas, in May, but aren’t sure how you would cover the cost? Why not apply for a continuing education scholarship to offset the expenses?

Three types of scholarships are currently available. Advanced Practice Institute participants are also eligible for these scholarships.

Vision Partners
The AACN Vision Partners program grants $1,000 each to 10 pairs of NTI participants. One partner must be an AACN member, who will share the NTI experience and benefits of AACN membership with the other partner, a nonmember who has not previously attended the NTI. The nonmember also receives a one-year AACN membership.

The nonmember partner should be able to share a different perspective with his or her partner, such as a different cultural or ethnic viewpoint or another discipline or clinical practice along the continuum.
The Vision Partners scholarship application asks the partners to describe how they expect to benefit from the learning experience and networking at NTI. They will also commit to continuing to develop the partnership after they return to their workplaces.

Dale Medical Products Scholarships

Dale Medical Products, Inc., continues to support education scholarships for AACN members who are striving to balance their professional lives with family obligations. Applicants must demonstrate that without the scholarship assistance they would be un able to attend the conference. Applicants describe how attending the NTI or API will assist them in reaching their professional goals.

AMN Healthcare Scholarships
AMN Healthcare will support a new series of continuing education scholarship for nurses from groups that are underrepresented in nursing, including ethnic minorities, and for nurses who have developed successful programs involving underrepresented groups.

Applicants must describe how attending the NTI or API will help further their professional goals and demonstrate that they would not be able to attend the conference without the assistance.
AMN Healthcare is the parent company for six travel nurse companies: American Mobile Healthcare, Medical Express, Preferred Healthcare Staffing, Nurses Rx, Healthcare Resource Management Corporation and O’Grady-Peyton International.

Apply by Feb. 1
Feb. 1 is the deadline to apply for these continuing education scholarships. The dates of the NTI and API are May 17 through 22.

To receive an application, call (800) 899-2226 or AACN Fax on Demand at (800) 222-6329. Request Item #1099. The application is also available online at http://www.aacn.org > membership > Awards, Grants, Scholarships.

Silent Auction Is a Fun Way to Grow the Scholarship Endowment

As you look ahead to San Antonio, Texas, and AACN’s 2003 National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition, you will want to also be thinking about one of the most popular and fun events—the Silent Auction.

Set to enter its third year, the Silent Auction is just one of the ways that funds are raised for the AACN Scholarship Endowment Fund.

Unless otherwise stated for a particular auction item, everyone who attends the NTI can participate in the Silent Auction bidding, including participants, speakers, exhibitors, staff, family and friends.

If you would like to donate a gift to the silent auction or have questions, contact the Development Office at (800) 394-5995, ext. 513 or 505.

AACN awards $150,000 in academic and continuing education scholarships each year. These include the BSN Completion and Graduate Educational Advancement Scholarships. AACN also supports scholarships awarded through the National Student Nurses Association to beginning nursing students.

Scholarship Appreciation

Each year, AACN awards approximately $150,000 in academic and continuing education scholarships. The recipients represent diverse needs and backgrounds. Following are excerpts from just some of the many communications AACN received from recipients of 2001-02 scholarships.

I am very excited about my new career endeavor and am looking forward to starting the educational process. In this time of high educational costs, this scholarship is very helpful and sincerely appreciated.
Joanne M. Williams, RN, BSN, CCRN
Franklin, Mass.

I am very excited about beginning my pursuit in the master’s program. Receiving the scholarship has only heightened my desire. Thank you again. The financial assistance is greatly appreciated.
Kathie Galias, RN, BSN
Cary, Ill.

Annual Audit Shows Solid Financial Position

AACN’s annual Financial Report to the Membership for 2001-02 is presented below. This annual report, audited by Deloitte & Touche, reflects that the association remains on sound financial footing, despite a loss in value in AACN’s investment portfolio due to the stock market slide during the period from July 1, 2001, through June 30, 2002. As a result, AACN was able to continue to pursue its strategic goals:

• Develop the highest quality education and practice resources.
• Contribute to the advancement of critical care nursing science.
• Address and protect the interests of members and make positive contributions to the advancement of the nursing profession.
• Provide high-quality programs and services responsive to member needs.
• Provide opportunities to volunteer and contribute to the association and the profession.
• Establish a comprehensive and dynamic resource development program to support the mission and vision of the association.
• Ensure effective organizational infrastructure and operating systems.
• Develop and effectively manage financial resources.

The Highlights
Following are some of the highlights of accomplishments during the fiscal year:
• Developed the Essentials of Critical Care Orientation, which was launched in August, to teach the basics of critical care in a standardized, efficient, computer-based manner.
• Launched phase I of the ICU Survey, a comprehensive profile of critical care units across the country. The survey will provide foundational knowledge for AACN to add weight to the Value of Nursing initiative and to efforts to secure a role in decision making.
• Developed partnerships that included serving as a member of the steering committee of A Call to the Profession: Nursing’s Agenda for the Future; participating in the American College of Chest Physicians Capitol Hill Caucus; supporting Johnson & Johnson’s Campaign for Nursing’s Future; and accepting an invitation to serve on the JCAHO Development of the Critical Care Core Measures Set.
• Began a comprehensive study of practice for critical care nursing that will assist in ensuring the relevance of the current certification examinations and future test development by AACN Certification Corporation.

Volunteer Outcomes
Following are some of the outcomes reported by AACN’s volunteer committees:
• The Advanced Practice Work Group expanded the educational resources available through the Advanced Practice Institute and made recommendations regarding the API’s marketing, content and speakers. The group also reviewed the recently released Scope of Practice and Standards of Professional Performance for the Acute and Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist and supporting documentation and made recommendations for the development of an advanced practice mentoring database.
• The Education Work Group developed a quality improvement plan for continuing education activities in accordance with accreditation standards and laid the groundwork for significantly streamlining the Program Planning Guide.
• The Ethics Work Group developed the “Family Conference” pocket reference and reviewed and updated the Ethics Committee Handbook.
• The Leadership Development Work Group presented several NTI educational sessions intended to develop the ability of critical care nurses to influence decisions at the bedside. The work group also presented the core content at the Nursing Management Congress.
• The Nominating Committee reviewed the qualifications for AACN and AACN Certification Corporation leadership positions and, following interviews, presented candidates for election to the AACN Board of Directors, the AACN Nominating Committee and the AACN Certification Board of Directors. The group also updated the AACN Nominee Handbook and Application.
• The NTI Work Group reviewed abstracts and developed the educational program for NTI 2002, for which the “Ask the NTI Work Group” question and answer forum was developed for the NTI Web site.
• The Nurse Manager Think Tank was established to articulate strategies to address the role and needs of nurse managers and the role of AACN in meeting these needs.
• The Progressive Care Task Force was established to examine the changes in critical care nursing and the continuum of care beyond the critical care unit.
• The Public Policy Work Group drafted three new fact sheets: “Nurse Advocacy,” “Prescription Drug Coverage” and “Medical Errors.” The group also outlined a tool kit for chapters and members to use to promote the value of nursing, recruitment and retention.
• The Research Work Group continued the “Myths and Realities” series in AACN News, selected the 2003 distinguished research lecturer and awarded seven research grants totaling $43,500.

On the Agenda

Following is a report by AACN board member Carol Ann Puz, RN, BSN, CCRN, on discussions and actions that took place during the AACN Board of Directors conference call on Sept. 18.

Agenda Item: Chapter Adviser Charges
The board approved formal charges for the Chapter Advisory Team, whose volunteer members lead chapter collaboration and development in AACN’s 19 regions. Following are the charges, effective for the 2002-03 advisers who began their work July 1:

• Serve as an AACN liaison and spokesperson to AACN Chapters and leaders in their regions.
• Establish an ongoing mechanism for communication with chapter presidents and other chapter leaders.
• Work in partnership with AACN national office staff to identify individual chapter strengths and needs so that new and existing chapters can be better supported and serviced.
• Develop and mentor local chapter leaders for future chapter and national leadership roles.

The charges were developed in collaboration with the Chapter Advisory Team. These annual charges add additional structure to the volunteer position and establish a basis for evaluating the annual performance of the individual and team.

This role is important to achieving and maintaining a partnership between the local and national levels of AACN and in developing future association leaders.

Agenda Item: Excellence in Collaboration Awards
The board approved a new set of Circle of Excellence awards that will focus on innovative contributions to collaborative practice. These awards will recognize nurse-physician collaboration, nurse-administration collaboration and nurse-family collaboration, as well as the multidisciplinary team collaboration that has been recognized in the past. The expanded collaboration awards replace the Innovision Award, which granted funds to partnerships that included an AACN member, a healthcare provider organization and a community group. Highlighting collaboration in this way recognizes nurses who use their voices to influences others.

Agenda Item: Visionary Leader Awards
The board approved designating several awards, including the Lifetime Membership award, Honorary Membership Award, AACN-Marguerite Rodgers Kinney Award for a Distinguished Career and Pioneering Spirit Award, as the AACN Visionary Leader Awards. The board believes that the Visionary Leader designation will enhance the prestige of these awards, which are presented to individuals who have obvious ties to AACN’s vision of a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families. In addition, the annual Distinguished Research Lecturer Award will be added to this category. Grouping this award with the other Visionary Leader honors is an opportunity to better recognize sustained contribution to AACN’s mission and vision through acute and critical care research.

Log in to Conduct Business With AACN Online

Members, Past Customers Already Have Their ID Numbers

If you are a member or have conducted business with AACN in the past, you are already set to take advantage of AACN’s new online “e-business” convenience. In fact, you already have the ID number and the password you need.

Here’s how it works:

ID number
AACN will assign each user an ID number that, along with a password, allows access to the system. For members, the ID number is the same as their membership number. Nonmembers who have purchased products or registered for conferences can use the number that appears on the materials they have received. Only new customers should be assigned an identification number and a password the first time they use the system.

Note: Please use your existing number. Logging on with a different number will result in duplicate records. If you don’t have your number, call (800) 899-2226 between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (PST) or e-mail aacninfo@aacn.org, including your name and address for verification.

Once you have your ID number, you will need a password. Initially, this will be up to the first 15 characters of your last name. Please change your password after you log on for the first time.

Give It a Try
The process is easy, so visit the AACN Web site at http://www.aacn.org and try out this new system. In addition to ordering products, registering for conferences, and ordering and renewing subscriptions online, members and customers can now update their personal demographic information and check on the status of their orders.

Influencing Practice Is ‘All About You’

Have the challenges you face in today’s patient care environment hampered your ability to influence your practice? Guided by the expertise of three national-level volunteer groups, AACN has developed a resource designed to help nurses in all types of roles maximize their potential for influencing aspects of both their professional and personal lives.

Titled It’s All About You: A Blueprint for Influencing Practice, this tool focuses on self-awareness, dialogue, conflict resolution and navigating change as the skills nurses need to exert influence. These skills were identified in a survey of 700 nurses at AACN’s National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition in 2000 in Anaheim, Calif., as essential to exert influence. The 2000, 2001 and 2002 AACN Leadership Development work groups then developed the blueprint to help acute and critical care nurses to communicate, educate and identify strategies that affect their professional growth, their collaborative skills, their ability to deal with difficult situations and their power to bring about change.

To order It’s All About You: A Blueprint for Influencing Practice, call (800) 899-2226 or visit the AACN Bookstore online at http://www.aacn.org > Bookstore. Request
Item #120635. The price is $10 ($12 for nonmembers).

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:

Jan. 30-Feb. 3 Society of Critical Care Medicine, San Antonio, Texas

April 23-27 National Student Nurses Association, Phoenix, Ariz.

If you are attending any of these conferences, stop by the AACN exhibit to visit with your National Office team.

AACN exhibits to promote the association’s presence, increase professional visibility and service our constituents through products and services.

Write a CE Article for AACN News

AACN is seeking nurses or other healthcare professionals who are interested in submitting articles to be published as continuing education offerings in AACN News and on the AACN Web site, or for use as a monograph.

Send abstracts to Marianne Martineau, Education Resource Specialist, AACN, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656. Additional information is available by calling (949) 362-2000, ext. 361.

Public Policy Update

The Issues

1. Patient Safety—Bills Clear House Committees
2. Bioterrorism Preparedness—Nurse Team to Aid Federal Response to Disaster
3. Nursing Shortage—HHS Grants Money for Shortage
4. Nurse Reinvestment Act—Appropriations in Doubt
5. Nurse Support—Loan Forgiveness Program Included in Bill
6. Disaster Response–Study Finds Urgent Need for Training
7. Staffing Ratios—California Issues Proposed Regulations

Patient Safety
Status: Patient safety legislation has been passed by both the House Energy and Commerce Panel and the House Ways and Means Committee.

The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act (HR 5478) would provide for a healthcare errors reporting system to protect information and improve patient safety and quality of care. It would ensure accountability by raising standards and expectations for continuous quality improvements in patient safety.

The bill would fund Health and Human Services grants to hospitals and other healthcare providers to invest in information technology that would promote patient safety and quality of care and reduce medical errors. For example, the funds would assist facilities in upgrading information systems to more efficiently and accurately store and share data within their own facilities and with other tiers of the healthcare system.

The 1999 Institute of Medicine report, titled “To Err Is Human,” which stated that medical errors in hospitals are the eighth leading cause of death in the U.S., was the impetus for the proposal.

The Patient Safety Improvement Act of 2002 (HR 4889) would clarify the extent to which medical information would be protected in lawsuits.

Both of these House bills are intended to enable healthcare providers to report medical errors to national databases without undue fear of reprisal. Providers would be able to voluntarily submit errors data to private-sector patient safety organizations for collection and analysis.

In addition, the Patient Safety Improvement and Medical Injury Reduction Act (SB 3029), introduced by U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), would authorize more than $250 million in grants in fiscal year 2003 for research related to reducing medical errors. The grants would be available for community partnerships to improve healthcare, for computerized physician order entry and informatics systems and for patient safety research. HHS would also establish grants to encourage patient safety research. Additional provisions include the creation of a Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and a new limited federal evidentiary privilege to promote reporting of medical errors.

The full text of these bills is available online at http://thomas.loc.gov.

AACN’s Position: AACN, which supports the development of measures that promote patient safety and reduce medical errors, is currently reviewing these bills.

Bioterrorism Preparedness
Status: The government plans to federalize thousands of nurses in the event of a major public health disaster or terrorist attack, under a new memorandum of understanding between HHS and the American Nurses Association. The memorandum calls for establishing nursing teams in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Kansas City, Denver, San Francisco and Seattle as an integral part of the federal medical response if officials deem mass vaccinations necessary.

The agreement designates nurses for the first time as an operational component of the National Disaster Medical System, a joint mobilization network of HHS and the Department of Defense. HHS has outlined goals to help the new response teams become operational, including offering support in the areas of development and organization, administrative management, training, and program development and delivery. Information about joining the National Nurse Response Team is available online at .

Nursing Shortage
Status: More than $8.4 million in agency grants to address a worsening nursing shortage and a lack of diversity in the workforce have been awarded by the Health Resources & Services Administration.

The White House has requested approximately $100 million, $7 million more than released last year, in educational grants for the Health Resources and Services Administration in FY2003. However, if Congress and the president rely on continuing resolutions to fund the government through the end of the year, agency funding would be maintained at FY02 levels, delaying the increased allocation.

Nurse Reinvestment Act
Status: Also in budgetary jeopardy is the Nurse Reinvestment Act (PL 107-205), which was signed into law by President Bush in August. The act authorizes nursing education scholarships, loan repayment programs and magnet facility support. Congressional Democrats acceded to a GOP demand to authorize “such sums as necessary” for the programs rather than a set amount, leaving in doubt how much or even if legislators will appropriate funding this year.

AACN’s Position: AACN supports an initial annual commitment of $250 million for programs in the Nurse Reinvestment Act. Along with other nursing organizations AACN is strenuously lobbying Labor and HHS appropriators to include the funding in this year’s spending bill. To contact your legislators to urge funding, visit AACN’s Legislative Action Center at http://www.aacn.org > Public Policy.

Nurse Support
Status: U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has introduced the Teacher and Nurse Support Act (SB 3008) to encourage individuals to enter the teaching and nursing professions. To address the nursing shortage, the bill would create a loan forgiveness program under the Department of Education.

Under the bill’s provisions, an individual who is employed as a full-time nurse for five consecutive years in a clinical setting or as a member of a nursing faculty at an accredited school of nursing would be eligible for loan forgiveness of up to $17,500. Eligible individuals would include graduates of a diploma, associate degree or collegiate school of nursing, both baccalaureate and graduate programs, and those who hold a valid, unrestricted nursing license. To read the text of the legislation online, visit http://thomas.loc.gov.

AACN’s Position: AACN supports this legislation and, as a member of the Americans for Nursing Shortage Relief coalition, worked with Harkin’s staff to include nursing faculty in the bill.

Disaster Response
Background: A new report by the Federation of American Scientists finds that U.S. emergency response personnel lack the training necessary to deal with a terrorist attack involving weapons of mass destruction, and that only a coordinated interagency approach using new information technology can make up for the shortfall.

The study finds that federal planners are not taking advantage of new information technologies, many developed and deployed by the Department of Defense, to train the more than 5 million emergency responders in the U.S. It also finds that physicians, nurses, emergency medical workers, police and fire officials feel unprepared for a weapons of mass destruction emergency, need to be trained quickly to respond to such events and should have continuous access to refresher courses. The full report can be found online at http://www.fas.org.

Staffing Ratios
Status: California Gov. Gray Davis has issued proposed regulations to govern minimum nurse-to-patient ratios for hospitals. The regulations, establishing the nation’s first nurse-to-patient ratios, are due to take effect by Jan. 1, 2004.

The proposed ratios are based on a number of factors grounded in information collected by state regulators during unannounced visits in May to 80 acute care hospitals and 10 state-operated hospitals.
Only intensive and critical care, acute respiratory care, coronary care, well-baby nursery, neonatal care unit and operating rooms currently have minimum ratios. The proposed ratios cover all other areas of a hospital, including medical-surgical wards. The proposed ratios vary from 1-to-1 in a trauma unit to 1-to-6, which would be reduced in a year to 1-to-5, in medical-surgical units.

“While the regulations contain sufficient flexibility in the type of nurse to be used, we believe that the staffing mix will continue to be determined by nursing scope of practice and patient acuity,” said California Department of Health Services Director Diana Bonta. California hospitals are currently staffed with approximately 18% licensed vocational nurses and 82% registered nurses.

Although many hospitals already meet or exceed the proposed standard, an additional 5,000 nurses are projected to be needed to fully meet the new standard.

Following hearings, the DHS plans to establish an advisory group of major stakeholders to discuss issues that arise as the regulations are implemented and to guide it in the development of criteria to measure the effectiveness of the regulations. Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Dec. 6. Additional information on the proposed nurse-to-patient ratios can be found on the DHS Web site at .

At Your Fingertips: Four AACN Clinical Pocket References Are Now Available for Use on Your PDA Devices

Two additional AACN pocket references are now available for use on Palm OS PDA devises. In addition to the two pocket references released last month, “Cardiac Medications” and “Laboratory Values,” “Infectious Diseases” and “Pediatric Critical Care” pocket references have been added.

The “Infectious Diseases” pocket reference provides diagnosis and treatment of various infectious diseases in the ICU, as well as commonly used intravenous antimicrobials, cerebrospinal fluid analysis and CDC references.

The “Pediatric Critical Care” pocket reference includes information on normal vital signs, development, isolation precautions, equipment information, fluid replacement and calculation, assessment of dehydration in infants and children, and medications.

To order these two new references, visit the AACN PDA Center at http://www.aacn.org > Bookstore > AACN PDA Center > Specials > What’s New. The price is $7. Additional electronic pocket references are being developed.

Try the Tutorials
While visiting the AACN PDA Center, be sure to explore the tutorials that are designed to help nurses understand the utility and convenience of the PDA in nursing practice. Each tutorial contains actual screen images from PDA software applications and depicts detailed information on numerous clinical nursing software programs that will complement and enhance nurses’ efficiency in caring for patients at the bedside.

The first lesson, titled “Choosing a PDA for Nursing Practice,” presents helpful information on selecting the PDA that is right for you. “PDA Software for Clinical Nursing Practice” explores the abundance of nursing software programs specific to critical care and advanced nursing practice. “Griffith’s 5-Minute Clinical Consult and Davis’ Drug Guide for Nurses” takes you through a clinical scenario and demonstrates the comprehensive content contained in these two PDA applications.

CCRN Practice Exams
You can also purchase the CCRN adult, neonatal and pediatric CCRN Practice Exam Questions for the PDA. Designed for devices using Palm OS operating systems, these programs allow you to tailor your learning in a variety of ways. You may customize your test by selecting a specific category, such as cardiovascular, renal, pulmonary and synergy, or take the entire exam in either sequential or random order. Results are depicted as both percentage and number of correct answers, and sorted by clinical category, which gives you immediate feedback on your performance and areas for further study.

Each practice exam PDA software program is $22, and is immediately downloadable from the AACN PDA Center.

Exhibit Prospectus and Sponsorship Opportunities for NTI Now Available

The Exhibit Prospectus and Sponsorships Opportunities brochure for the 2003 National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition is now available from the AACN Exhibits Department.

Exhibitors will include technical products (healthcare equipment, devices, supplies and pharmaceuticals), educational resources (publications and training materials), nonprofit healthcare organizations, market research firms and career opportunity exhibitors (hospitals, healthcare facilities, colleges and universities, and travel nurse companies). Exhibit space applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

NTI 2003 exhibitors may also sponsor educational programs, satellite symposia, events, conference area and official giveaway items and offer continuing education at their display. Print advertising opportunities are available in the official Program and Proceedings book and in the daily newspaper. Online opportunities, including a “featured exhibitor” option, are available on the NTI Web site at http://www.aacn.org > NTI.

To request an exhibit prospectus, sponsorship brochure and exhibits-related information, contact the AACN Exhibits Department (800) 394-5995. Ask for Colin Riegle (ext. 509), Heidi Boydstun (ext. 373) or Randy Bauler (ext. 366).

Critical Links Membership Campaign Tops 1,000

AACN’s Critical Links membership recruitment campaign has topped the 1,000 mark, with a total of 1,230 new members recruited as of the end of September. The number includes 308 new members who joined AACN as part of the campaign during September.

The 120 individuals who participated in the campaign in September introduced 220 of their friends and colleagues to the benefits of AACN membership.

Continuing to lead in the individual recruitment effort were Kathleen M. Richuso, RN, MSN, of Chapel Hill, N.C., with 20 new members recruited; Caroline Axt, RN, MS, of Oakland, Calif., with 16; and Beverly C. Maloney, RN, CNS, MSN, AA, of Bay Village, Ohio, with 15. However, adding substantially to their numbers during September were Sharon McSorley, RN, BSN, of Westfield, N.J., who added six new members to bring her total to 14; Mary A. Bryant, RN, MSN, MBA, CCRN, of Sparks, Nev., who recruited nine new members to bring her total to 11; and Doris J. Strother, RN, MSN, CRNP, of Birmingham, Ala., who added seven new members to bring her total to 11.

Others who jumped into the campaign with substantial numbers during September were Cynthia A. Noe, RN, BSN, of Albany, Ga., with 12; Julie N. Liberio, RN, MSN, CCRN, of Naperville, Ill., with 11; Sylvia B. Naldoza, RN, BSN, CCRN, of McAllen, Texas, with 10; Teresa T. Solberg, RN, MS, MN, CCRN, of Vermillion, S.D.; Maria Molar Haque, RN, BS, BSN, CCRN, of Plano, Texas, with six; Holly L. Weber-Johnson, RN, BSN, of Pflugerville, Texas, with six; and Marcia J. Stahovich, RN, ADN, CCRN, of Solana Beach, Calif., with five.

The Rewards
The individual recruiting the most new members by the time the campaign ends April 30 will receive a $500 American Express gift certificate.

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.

The individual winner in the monthly drawing for September was Anthony Farmer, RN, MSN.

In addition to the $500 American Express gift certificate, the top individual recruiter is eligible for the first-, second- and third-place prize drawings for (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.; and (3rd prize) four-day, three-night hotel accommodations at a Marriott Hotel.

All the recruiters need to do is make certain that their name and AACN member number are included on the new members’ application forms.

Below are the individual recruitment results as of Sept. 30.

Who Recruited New Members During September?
Julianna W. Abatiell, RN, MS, CCRN
Janet Marie Adams , RN, MSN, CCRN
Judy D. Antonioni, RN, BSN
K. David Bailey, RN, MSN, CCRN, CNAA
Linda I. Ball, RN, BSN, CCRN, CEN
Christine M. Banta, RN, BSN, CCRN
Robert Bassalin, RN, BSN
Betty Bauguess, RN, ADN
Lydia C. Bautista, RN, BSN, CCRN
Michael F. Beshel, RN, BSN, CCRN, CEN
Philicia J. Bianco, RN
Amy Elizabeth Bibson, RN
Katherine O. Blee, RN, BS, MSN, CCRN
Colleen Bonnet-Wyllie, RN, ADN, CCRN
Marylee R. Bressie, RN, CNS, MSN,
Mary A. Bryant, RN, MSN, MBA, CCRN
Giovanna R. Buford, RN
Patricia E. Casey, RN, MSN, MS
Maria Sheila B. Casilao, RN
Annamma M. Chacko, RN
Kimberly A. Clark, RN, BSN, CCRN
Gordon W. Collins, RN, BA, CCRN
Marcia Darner, RN, ADN
Terri D. Davari, RN, BSN, CCRN
Therisa B. Davis, RN
Erica C DeBoer, RN, BSN
Judy A. Derozier, RN, BS, CNA
Marie A. Eidam, RN, MS
Doreen M. Elitharp, RN, BSN, AA, CCRN
Jewell D. Ellis, RN, BSN, AA, CCRN-R
Joung Sun Evans, RN, BS, CCRN
Anthony E. Farmer, RN, MSN
Carolyn A. Fernandez, RN, MSN, CCRN,
Elaine R. Fetzer, RN, BSN, CCRN
Valerie G. Finney, RN, BS, BSN, CCRN
Dorrie K. Fontaine, RN, DNSc, FAAN
Diane E. Fritsch, RN, MSN, CCRN, CS
Cleotilde Joy Gatti, RN, BSN, CCRN
Ronald D. Gerlach, RN
Faith Diane Giersdorf, RN, BSN, MBA, CCRN
Carol Guyette, RN, BSN, CCRN
Maria Molar Haque, RN, BS, BSN, CCRN
Monica C. Harper, RN, BSN
Jane L. Hartman, RN, MS, CCRN
Eileen Hellwig Stoll, RN, MSN, CCRN
Lori D. Hendrickx, RN, EdD, CCRN
Melissa C Hicks, RN, ADN
Carol M. Hinkle, RN, MSN, BA, CCRN
Mary E. Holtschneider, RN, BSN, MPA
Theresa Hudak, RN
Louisa K. Kamatuka, RN, MSN, CCRN, CS
Lori E. Kennedy, RN, BSN, CCRN
Anne M. Klahre, RN, BS, BSN
Victoria L. Knapp
Debra L. Knight, RN, BSN
Marcia Ann Kummer, RN, AA, CCRN
Eunice F. Lasala, RN, MS, MSN, CCRN
Mary A. Lawson, RN, BSN, CCRN
Nanda Lerchbaum-Nwokocha, RN, ADN,
Faith S. Lewis, RN, ADN
Julie N. Liberio, RN, MSN, CCRN
Laura L. Lipp, RN
Michael S. Loga, RN, BSN, CCRN
Jeanne M. Long, RN, CCRN
Debra L Lovell, RN, BSN
Naomi L. Lungstrom, RN, MN, BS
Renee McHugh, RN, BSN, BS
Sharon McSorley, RN, BSN
Ruth G. Melvin, RN, BSN, CCRN
Inocencia G. Mendoza, RN, BSN
Rachel E. Monday, RN
Eufemia O. Mora, RN, BSN, CCRN
Debra Moroney, RN, MSN
Janet F. Mulroy, RN, MSN, CCNS, CCRN
Dorothy Muskovin, RN, BSN
Sylvia B. Naldoza, RN, BSN, CCRN
Maureen E. Newton, RN, BSN
Cynthia A. Noe, RN, BSN
Jeannette Orr, RN
Nida Tan Paz, RN, BSN
Kathleen Klein Peavy, RN, MS, CCRN
Kristine J. Peterson, RN, MS, CCRN,
Myra K. Porthouse, RN, ADN, CCRN, TNS
Michele Quinlan, RN, BSN
Jennifer L. Randolph
Lovelia Irvena Reese, RN, MSN, CCRN
Margaret Riley, RN, BSN, CCRN
Susan M. Roberti, RN
Elin Roberts, RN, MSN, CCRN
Victoria L. Robinson, RN, BSN, CCRN
Catherine P. Rodgers, RN, ADN, CCRN
Barbara C. Rogers, RN, BSN
Susan K. Rossetti, RN, BSN, CCRN
Orlando Scott, RN, ADN, CCRN
Lindsey Shank, RN, BSN, CCRN
Rikki D. Simpson, RN
Cara E. Sirgo, RN, BSN
Sharnel A. Smith, RN
Barbara A. Smith, RN, ADN, AA
Teresa T. Solberg, RN, MS, MSN, CCRN
Barbara T. Sommer, RN, MA, CEN, CNA
Martha A. Sorensen, RN, BSN, BS
Marcia J. Stahovich, RN, ADN, CCRN
Carolyn E. Steed, RN, MN, CCRN
Theresa Stevens, RN, MS, CCRN, CCNS
Doris J. Strother, RN, MSN, CRNP
Elizabeth I. Talley, RN, BSN
Rebecca K. Tantama, RN, MA, CCRN
Linda C. Thomas, RN, MSN, CCRN
Angela Deniese Thompson, RN, ADN
Teresa L. Turton, RN, ADN, CCRN
Pam Wagers, RN, BSN, CCRN
Elissa Marie Walsh, RN, BS, BSN, CCRN
Sonja Warren, RN, MSN
Holly L. Weber-Johnson, RN, BSN
Linda L. Weston Kramer, RN, BSN,
Angela M. Williams, RN, CCRN
Helene D. Winstanley, RN, MS
Carolyn M. Womack, RN, BSN, CCRN

Who Is Leading the Campaign?

15-20 New Members
Kathleen M. Richuso, RN, MSN 20
Caroline Axt, RN, MS 16
Beverly C. Maloney, RN, CNS, MSN, AA 15

10-15 New Members
Victoria L. Robinson, RN, BSN, CCRN 14
Sharon McSorley, RN, BSN 14
Cynthia A. Phelps, RN, BSN, CCRN 13
Kathryn A. Steinke, RNC, MS 13
Michael F. Beshel, RN, BSN, CCRN, CEN 12
Elaine B. Boseman, RNC, CCRN, CLNC 12
Paulita D. Narag, RN, ADN, CCRN 12
Diane M. Casperson, RN, BSN, CCRN 12
Cynthia A. Noe, RN, BSN 12
Mary A. Bryant, RN, MSN, MBA, CCRN 11
Pam Zinnecker, RN, CCRN 11
Lauretta M. Joseph, RN, MSN, CCRN, NP 11
Donna B. Sabash, RN, BSN, CCRN 11
Doris J. Strother, RN, MSN, CRNP 11
Yvonne Thelwell, RN 11
Julie N. Liberio, RN, MSN, CCRN 11
Teresa T. Solberg, RN, MS, MSN, CCRN 10
Sylvia B. Naldoza, RN, BSN, CCRN 10
Anne M. Klahre, RN, BS, BSN 10

5-10 New Members
Susan M. Roberti, RN 9
Theresa Stevens, RN, MS, CCRN,CCNS 8
Nancy D. King, RN, MSN, CCRN, ANP, NP 8
Carol M. Hinkle, RN, MSN, BA, CCRN 7
Pauline J. McNeece, RN, MSN, CCRN 7
Joni S. Herman, RN 7
Lindsey Shank, RN, BSN, CCRN 7
Erin Irene Hutchison, RN 7
Patricia E. Casey, RN, MSN, MS 6
Maria Molar Haque, RN, BS, BSN, CCRN 6
Denise Guaglianone-Buonocore, RN, MSN, 6

Dorothea S. M urphy, RN, CCRN, CNRN 6
Holly L. Weber-Johnson, RN, BSN 6
Therisa B. Davis, RN 6
Marcia J. Stahovich, RN, ADN, CCRN 5
Geneva D. Llewellyn, RN, CNS, MSN, CCRN 5
Jacqueline J. Johnson, RN, MA 5
Joan F. Baker, RN, MSN, CCRN, CNRN 5
Lynn Smith Schnautz, RN, MSN, CCRN, CCNS 5
Sandra Mejia, RN 5
Inocencia G. Mendoza, RN, BSN 5
Philicia J. Bianco, RN 5
Wendi Nopper, RN 5

Scene and Heard

AACN continues to seek visibility for our profession and the organization. Following is an update on recent outreach efforts:

Our Voice in the Media
• The September issue of RN magazine featured excerpts from the August AACN News “President’s Note” column by AACN President Connie Barden, RN, MSN, CCNS, CCRN. She addressed the importance of nurses using their “voice” to inform others about the essential role nurses play in providing care for their patients.

• The National Alliance for the Primary Prevention of Sharps Injuries has petitioned the FDA to post and disseminate its Needlestick Safety Device List, a compilation of technologies that reduce or eliminate healthcare workers’ exposure to needlestick injuries and avoid the risk of acquiring a life-threatening disease. Many state health departments and clinical organizations, including AACN, are already distributing the advisory and list. AACN is an organizational member of NAPPSI. The full list is available online at www.nappsi.org/safety.shtml. Business Wire posted the NAPPSI announcement on Sept. 19.

• NTI was featured in the July/August issue of Premier Inc.’s Tech Horizons, which includes “technology briefings for healthcare professionals.” The issue highlighted many products that were introduced at AACN’s National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition in May in Atlanta, Ga.

• On Oct. 2, Business Wire published an AACN news release announcing the launch of the Essentials of Critical Care Orientation, a Web-based educational tool for novice nurses. GE Medical Systems, the first corporate sponsor of the resource, also featured ECCO on its company’s Web stock page.

Our Voice at the Table
• On Sept. 4, Suzanne Burns, RN, MSN, RRT, ACNP, CCRN, FAAN, a member of the AACN Board of Directors, attended a National Coalition on Healthcare conference in Washington, D.C. Titled “Improving Quality of Care in Intensive Care Units Through Best Practices,” the conference highlighted examples of best-practice quality initiatives to demonstrate dramatic improvements in the quality of care. Topics included the use of integrated data systems, end-of-life care, protocol development/use and telemedicine.

• On Sept. 7, AACN President Connie Barden, RN, MSN, CCNS, CCRN, spoke at the “Bridging the Gap” conference, cosponsored by the Three Rivers Chapter of AACN, Pittsburgh, Pa., and the Suspension Bridge Chapter, Wheeling, W.Va. Barden delivered the keynote address, titled “Nursing in La Vida Loca.”

• Sept. 12 through 14, Suzanne Prevost, RN, PhD, chair-elect of the AACN Certification Corporation Board of Directors, and Certification Director Carol Hartigan, RN, represented AACN at the American Board of Nursing Specialties assembly in Denver, Colo. Prevost was appointed to serve as cochair of the ABNS Research Committee. Bonnie Niebuhr, a former AACN national office employee, was appointed as the new executive director for ABNS. ABNS advocates for consumer protection by setting standards for nursing certification programs and establishing policies and procedures for their review and approval. In addition to AACN Certification Corporation, 20 other nursing certification organizations are members of ABNS, representing nearly 500,000 nurses certified in various specialties.

• On Sept. 16 and 17, Carol Puz, RN, BSN, CCRN, a member of the AACN Board of Directors, attended the Nurse Fest Conference hosted by the Lehigh Valley (Pa.) Chapter of AACN. Speaking on the “Value of Certification: Trends for the Future” at the group’s CCRN luncheon on Sept. 16, Puz emphasized the importance of knowledge validation and elevating the awareness of certification to patients, families and consumers. On Sept. 17, she delivered the keynote address, titled “Becoming a Star Performer … the Right Ingredients.”

• On Sept. 19, Puz and fellow AACN board member Susan Yeager, RN, MS, CCRN, EMT, spoke at the AACN Region 9 meeting in Cleveland, Ohio. Puz’s presentation, titled “Who We Are,” emphasized AACN’s “voice” initiative. Yeager spoke about the importance of regional collaboration in recruiting and retaining AACN members.

• On Sept. 20, AACN Board Treasurer Dave Hanson, RN, BSN, CCRN, EMT-P, spoke at the Emergency Nurses Association Scientific Assembly in New Orleans, La. He was a co-presenter of a session titled “Emergency & Critical Care Nursing Practices: Creating a Synergistic Foundation” with Damon Cottrell, president-elect of the Dallas County Chapter of AACN. They addressed the differences between emergency and critical care nursing and identified ways in which emergency and critical care nurses can collaborate to build a synergistic practice foundation.

• On Sept. 26, Barden spoke at the “Reflections on Critical Care” conference, sponsored by the Peninsula Chapter of AACN, Williamsburg, Va. Her keynote address was titled “Bold Voices, Our Future, Let’s Talk.” She also spoke on “Families—Just Who Do They Think They Are?” On Sept. 27, she attended AACN’s Region 4 meeting that was sponsored by the chapter.

• On Sept. 26, Hanson spoke at the “New Directions Critical Care 2002” conference at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He gave the keynote address, titled “The Unique Contributions of Critical Care Nurses: Weaving Our Stories in the Tapestry of Life.” His speech celebrated the courageous acts and unique contributions that critical care nurses make to the health and well-being of critically ill patients and their families. In addition, at a breakout session titled “Critical Care Nursing: Then, Now and Always,” Hanson discussed the historical perspective and future direction of critical care nursing. He also spoke at the final breakout session, titled “Care of the Cardiac Patient in the ED: No Time for Shoulda’s, Woulda’s, Coulda’s.” This session gave participants valuable clinical information for safely and effectively treating the cardiac patient in the emergency department setting.

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 aacnnews@aacn.org.


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.”

Q. If you had the opportunity to communicate to the world why critical care nurses are essential, what would you say?

Critical care nurses are essential in creating a caring environment for the patient and the family in an arena that is often overwhelmed by numerous technological innovations. Machines, monitors, etc., are only tools used to keep nurses abreast of changes in the patient. The relationship the critical care nurse establishes with the patient and the family is often the turning point in the outcome of the patient.
Mary Walker, RN, MSN, CCRN
Converse, Texas

Q. What do you do to continually renew your passion for nursing?

I continually read and learn, and challenge myself to be the best that I can be in my profession. I also talk about what I do with others and because, I love what I do, I think the positive message about the nursing profession comes through. I find that I can educate others outside of the field about what nurses really do.
Mary Ernst, RN, MSN
Miami, Fla.

Make Your Voice Heard

To participate in the Voice Project, visit the AACN Web site at www.aacn.org > 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.

Myth Versus Fact: Setting the Record Straight About Professional Liability Insurance

Myth: The coverage my employer provides is sufficient. I don’t need additional insurance.
Fact: Your employer-provided coverage may be limited.

You can’t rely solely on the liability protection provided by your employer. In fact, purchasing your own professional liability insurance is recommended, even if you have limited coverage through your employer. Otherwise, you could find yourself paying attorney fees, court costs and loss of wages out of your own pocket. Following are some of the reasons you should not rely solely on employer-provided coverage:

• Your employer’s policy may have gaps.
• A suit may be filed after you have terminated employment.
• You may not be covered for actions that take place outside the workplace or outside of your job description, or when established procedure was not followed.
• Employer-provided coverage is shared with your coworkers, employer and the entity.
• A consolidated defense usually represents the interest of the employer, not you.

To make obtaining individual coverage easier, AACN sponsors a professional liability insurance plan for its members. For additional information, contact Marsh Affinity Group Services, a service of Seabury & Smith, 1440 Renaissance Dr., Park Ridge, Ill. 60068-1400; phone, (800) 503-9230. Or, visit the AACN Web site at http://www.aacn.org > Membership > Benefits > Personal Resources.

In the Circle: Award Recognizes Multidisciplinary Team Collaboration

The following are excerpts from exemplars submitted in connection with the Multidisciplinary Team Award for 2002. Part of the AACN Circle of Excellence recognition program, this award recognizes multidisciplinary teams that clearly practice key principles of collaboration and multidisciplinary practice. In addition to the team receiving $2,500 earmarked to fund projects, individual recipients were given public recognition and a personalized plaque.

Acute Coronary Syndrome Team
New York, N.Y.
New York-Presbyterian Hospital
Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center
The Acute Coronary Syndrome Team at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, was formed to decrease length of stay and increase quality of care.

The departments of cardiology and emergency medicine collaborated in writing a diagnosis and treatment protocol, which classifies patients who present to the emergency department with chest pain into one of four levels. Based on the level of the patient, goals and tests are recommended.

Implementing a hospitalwide protocol was a huge undertaking for our large urban institution. Nurse practitioners were hired to coordinate the project and to evaluate the chest pain patients in the ED. Representatives from the departments of nursing, medicine, case management, administration and the laboratory were brought in to implement the protocol and evaluate progress.

We have reduced the length of stay for patients who present to the ED with chest pain by more than one-and-a-half days. We have shown an increase in the number of appropriate patients who undergo cardiac catheterization and have shown an increase in the number of patients with more atypical chest pain who receive stress tests.

All members of the team met weekly before and for several months after the protocol started. We continue to meet every two weeks to review outstanding cases. We also look for solutions to problems we encounter. It is a continuing effort to look for areas within the hospital that need improvement and ways for our team to collaborate to find answers.

Because of the success of the Acute Coronary Syndrome Team, two other multidisciplinary teams are currently being formed.

MICU Hantavirus Care Team
Albuquerque, N.M.
University of New Mexico Hospital
Hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome is a rare, deadly disease that was first recognized in 1993 during an outbreak in the Four Corners Region of the Southwest.

The complexity of this disease process, high mortality rate and an increasing number of cases led to the formation of a multidisciplinary team at the University of New Mexico Hospital. This team of nurses, physicians and ancillary staff provides a collaborative approach to patient care resulting in a positive impact on patient outcomes.

When the medical ICU attending physician notifies the charge nurse about a patient who possibly has Hantavirus, an immediate activation of resources is initiated. If it appears that the patient is ill enough to be placed on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, the attending physician also notifies the ECMO attending physician, who advises the coordinator and the perfusionist to standby. The cardiothoracic attending surgeon and his surgical heart team are put on alert to insert the ECMO cannulas, and the blood bank and the pharmacy are notified to provide all necessary products.

After ECMO is initiated, the ECMO nurse and the MICU nurse implement clinical inquiry and judgment to guide them in their care plan. The goals, which change based on physiological needs, always focus on maintaining a state of equilibrium. When the patient improves and is weaned off ECMO, the MICU team takes over care and provides monitoring to assess for signs of acute decompensation or detrimental effects of the early course of the illness. During convalescence, the team works with dieticians, physical therapists and social workers to optimize recovery of these patients.

We hope to continue our multidisciplinary approach in the care of these patients, and we are proud of our efforts in improving the outcomes of patients with Hantavirus.

5LM Cardiovascular Surgical Telemetry Unit
Milwaukee, Wis.
St. Luke’s Medical Center
Have you ever worked with a nursing staff that consistently rises to new challenges and moves beyond hospital walls? This is the staff of 5LM. Caring for patients with an implanted ventricular assist device resulted in the staff taking on challenges that stretched their practice.

Initially, VAD patients were required to stay in the ICU until heart transplantation. With advances in technology, patients could return home to wait for the transplant. This change required patients to become responsible for VAD management.

It was determined that a telemetry unit could best prepare patients for home. To prepare for this population, the staff received education and developed standards of care and care plans. The staff realized that they would have to anticipate patients’ discharge needs sooner.

Before a patient could be discharged, demonstration of VAD management was required. Part of this requirement included a hospital pass with nurse accompaniment. Because of this, nurses attempted to simulate the home setting in the hospital. It became apparent that ancillary therapists were needed.

Therapists became VAD trained, allowing patients to leave 5LM for therapies and exercise. When it was time for the pass, the nurse partnered with the patient and family to decide what to do. Although most patients chose to go home, others went to a restaurant, movie, ballpark or even a casino. In addition to patients going out on pass, the staff arranged for celebrations of special occasions, such as a 21st birthday, a wedding ceremony and a “boys’ night only” poker party. The bond between patients deepens, and patient care moves beyond the confines of the hospital.

AACN and CCRN Items on Sale

Are you looking for a special gift for your favorite critical care nurse? Check out the special items on sale from AACN. For example, while supplies last, you can save more than 20% on scrub and polo shirts that bear either the AACN or CCRN logo.

Scrub Shirts: $15-$18 (nonmembers $17-$20)
AACN Polo Shirts: Women, $17.75 (nonmembers $19.75); Men, $20-$25 (nonmembers $23-$27)
CCRN Polo Shirts: Women, $17.95 (nonmembers $19.75); Men, $22-$26 (nonmembers $25-$28)

Or, how about a CCRN pen or pen and pencil set?

CCRN pen: $7
CCRN pen and pencil set: $10

To order, call (800) 899-2226 or visit the AACN online Bookstore at http://www.aacn.org > Bookstore > AACN Product Catalog > Specials & What’s New. The sale prices are good through Nov. 30.

December Critical Care Nurse Focuses on Families

• Families of the Critically Ill (theme)

• Family-Centered Critical Care

• Family Presence During Resuscitation

• Obstetric Critical Care

• Why Families Say “No” to Organ Donation

• The SF-36 Quality of Life Instrument

Subscriptions to Critical Care Nurse and the American Journal of Critical Care are included in AACN membership dues.

Looking Ahead

December 2002

Dec. 1 Deadline to apply for the AACN Distinguished Research Lecture Award for 2004. For more information, contact Clinical Practice Associate Dolores Curry at (800) 394-5995,
ext. 377; e-mail,

January 2003

Jan. 15 Deadline to apply for the Philips Medical Systems-AACN Outcomes for Clinical Excellence Research Grant. To obtain a grants handbook, visit the AACN Web site at
http://www.aacn.org > Clinical Practice > Research or call AACN Fax on Demand at (800) 222-6329. Request Document #1013.

Jan. 15 Deadline to apply for the AACN Clinical Inquiry Grant. To obtain a grants handbook, visit the AACN Web site at http://www.aacn.org > Clinical Practice > Research or call AACN Fax
on Demand at (800) 222-6329. Request Document #1013.

February 2003

Feb. 1 Deadline to apply for the Datex-Ohmeda-AACN Research Grant. To obtain a grants handbook, visit the AACN Web site at http://www.aacn.org> Clinical Practice > Research or call
AACN Fax on Demand at (800) 222-6329. Request Document #1013.

Feb. 1 Deadline to apply for the AACN Critical Care Grant. To obtain a grants handbook, visit the AACN Web site at http://www.aacn.org > Clinical Practice > Research or call
AACN Fax on Demand at (800) 222-6329. Request Document #1013.

Feb. 1 Deadline to apply for the AACN Mentorship Grant. To obtain a grants handbook, visit the AACN Web site at http://www.aacn.org> Clinical Practice > Research or call AACN Fax on
Demand at (800) 222-6329. Request Document #1013.

Feb. 1 Deadline to apply for the AACN Certification Corporation Research Grant. To obtain a grants handbook, visit the AACN Web site at http://www.aacn.org > Clinical Practice >
Research or call AACN Fax on Demand at (800) 222-6329. Request Document #1013.
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