AACN News—October 2002—Practice

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Vol. 19, No. 10, OCTOBER 2002


In the Circle: Award Recognizes Efforts to Promote CCRN Certification

Editor�s note: Part of AACN�s Circle of Excellence recognition program, the Chapter CCRN Certification Drive Award recognizes chapters that demonstrate the value of CCRN certification by increasing the number of CCRNs in their chapters during the year. Chapters with the greatest percentage increase receive five complimentary tickets to and are recognized at the Certification Luncheon during NTI. Awards are presented to one chapter from each membership category. Receiving the award for 2002 were the Atlanta Area Chapter, Atlanta, Ga., and the Greater Evansville Chapter, Evansville, Ind. Following are excerpts from the exemplars submitted in connection with the award.

Atlanta Area Chapter
Atlanta, Ga.
As part of its commitment to providing resources that facilitate learning, the Atlanta Area Chapter developed a program to assist the larger community of critical care nurses to prepare for the CCRN certification examination. For more than two years, we have provided a semi-annual CCRN review course.

At the same time, we have built on the success of the program by offering incentives to the newly certified nurses. They are given complimentary, one-year chapter memberships. This entitles them to the lowest fees to attend any programs sponsored by the Atlanta chapter, the chapter newsletter and a chance to win one of several educational scholarships that the chapter awards to members attending NTI.
Currently, we are planning the first of what we envision will become a biannual tradition of hosting a CCRN luncheon for our Atlanta membership. Our success is due in part to diligent recruiting by our board of directors. We have also benefited from programs launched by the national AACN, specifically the group membership and three-person CCRN certification exam fee discounts. We believe that we are promoting the goals of education and excellence among our members by helping nurses achieve critical care certification.

Greater Evansville Chapter
Evansville, Ind.
In the last two years, the Greater Evansville Chapter has sponsored four CCRN reviews, two of which were supported by the Deaconess Hospital Foundation. As of Jan. 1, 2002, 14 chapter members were certified. As of Dec. 31, 2001 the chapter had 37 CCRNs.


Back to School Meant Back to Basics for Chapter in Coastal California Area

Editor�s note: The impetus for establishing an AACN chapter can come from myriad sources. In the case of one organizer, a commitment to CCRN certification and a unique class project opportunity resulted in the re-activation of a chapter in a remote area along the northern California coast. Following is her story.

By Sally A. Urban, RN, BSN, CCRN
President, Redwood Empire Chapter

My interest in establishing an AACN chapter stemmed from my efforts to encourage and mentor critical care nurses at my rural community hospital to pursue CCRN certification as a means to expand and validate their knowledge base. I believe that CCRN certification is a benchmark for clinical excellence in critical care nursing practice. I also believe that the requirements to renew CCRN certification are a strong, motivational force for nurses to pursue continuing education, expand their knowledge base and enhance the clinical skills that lead to higher standards in the delivery of care.

The problem was that our educational resources were limited by distance and financial support was limited by our setting. Establishing an AACN chapter seemed a positive and creative way to address these issues. I believed that affiliating with AACN would provide us with access to multiple educational resources from nurse experts in the areas of critical care practice and education. However, personal and professional time commitments made actively pursuing chapter development an achievable goal only after I returned to school.

I was in my final semester in the RN-BSN program at Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif. Because of my years of clinical experience, the instructor for my leadership and decision making and advanced medical-surgical course allowed me to substitute an independent study project for clinical hours. The assignment was to select and conduct a change incorporating planned-change theory and implementing a clinically relevant change process. Finally, I saw the opportunity to establish a local AACN chapter.

Coincidentally, my instructor, Diane Benson, RN, MEd, MS, had been one of the founders of the former Redwood Empire Chapter of AACN almost 20 years ago. Delighted with my desire to re �activate a chapter, she became an ardent supporter.

Her communitywide contacts helped me to network with nurses who expressed support for a chapter. These included nursing students, clinical nurse specialists and educators from the community college, university and hospital-based staff development program, as well as several other critical care nurses who had been founders of the original chapter.

I discovered that, in many cases, hospital competition had created barriers to the sharing of knowledge and skills among the wealth of talented professionals in our community. We agreed up front that our chapter would be defined by our affiliation with AACN, and that quality, critical care education would be the primary objective for all nurses within our community.

I also found that, in addition to my clinical experience, having an understanding of planned-change theory added to my organizational skills in implementing a chapter in a systematic and thoughtful way. The fact that I had been able to enhance my computer literacy and research skills during my education also provided me with new and valuable skills. AACN resources were more than adequate to meet our needs as we began the process of chapter development.

I am delighted to report that, after I completed my BSN program at the beginning of August, we conducted our election of officers for the re-activated Redwood Empire Chapter at the end of August and have applied for our chapter charter.

My hope and vision for the future of our chapter is to create an organization which supports, inspires and brings together nurses who love the challenges of critical care nursing and pursue the goal of excellence in clinical practice.


Submit Chapter Speaker Proposals for NTI by Nov. 9

Nov. 9 is the deadline to submit chapter speaker proposals for NTI 2003. Presenters receive complimentary airfare, registration and two nights hotel accommodations.

The NTI is scheduled May 17 through 22 in San Antonio, Texas. The theme is �Bold Voices: Fearless and Essential.

For more information or to receive a chapter speaker proposal packet, call (800) 394-5995 for Chapter Specialist Dennis Maggi at ext. 339 or Chapter Associate Mitzi Inman at ext. 365.


What's on Tap

Arizona
The Greater Phoenix Area Chapter will present �Infectious Disease in the New Millennium� on Oct. 25 at the Ambulatory Care Building of the Veterans Administration Medical Center. For more information, contact Debbie Milillo at (480) 661-8310; e-mail, dbwiles@worldnet.att.net.

California
The Sacramento Chapter will present a program on �Sepsis� on Nov. 7 in Roseville, Calif. For more information, e-mail Lynn Loftis at lynn411@msn.com.

Connecticut
The Northern Connecticut Chapter will present the Eli Lilly and Company/AACN National Nursing Sepsis Training Program on Nov. 9 at the University of Connecticut Health Center. For more information, contact Ellen Ciccarillo-Clarke at (860) 673-0839.

Georgia
The Atlanta Area Chapter will present its �Advanced Critical Care Update and CCRN Review� on Nov. 7 and 8, Nov. 15 and 16, and Nov. 21 and 22. For more information, contact Nanda Lerchbaum-Nwokocha at (404) 605-3992.

The Central Savannah River Area Chapter will present its 3rd Annual Georgia Carolina Teaching Institute and Advanced Practice Institute on Nov. 8 in Augusta, Ga. For more information, contact Terri Raines at (706) 228-3036; e-mail, Raines.Terri@Augusta.va.gov.

Illinois
The Northwest Chicago Area Chapter will present �Cardiac Case Studies�Markers and More� on Oct. 16 at Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, Ill. For more information, contact Marilyn Arnold at (630) 833-4824; fax, (630) 993-4232; e-mail, marnold@emhc.org.

The Northwest Chicago Area Chapter will present �Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome� on Nov. 20 at Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, Ill. For more information, contact Marilyn Arnold at (630) 833-4824; fax, (630) 993-4232; e-mail, marnold@emhc.org.

Indiana
The Greater Evansville Chapter will cosponsor with Deaconess Hospital a two-day CCRN Review on Oct. 23 and 24 at Deaconess Hospital, Evansville. For additional information, contact Bev Farmer, RN, MSN, CCRN, at (812) 450-2191 or Lynn Smith Schnautz, RN, MSN, CCRN, CCNS at (812) 450-7172.

The Greater Evansville Chapter will present �Clinical Management of Intra-Aortic Balloon Pumps� on Nov. 20 at Deaconess Hospital, Evansville, Ind. For more information, contact Jean Hunt at
(812) 450-7444.


Maryland
The Greater Washington Area Chapter will present its �Spotlight on Critical Care Conference 2002� on Nov. 6 and 7 in Greenbelt, Md. For more information, contact Chapter President Karen Kesten at (301) 340-6711; fax, (301) 340-6709; e-mail, GWAC.info@aacn.org.

Minnesota
The Greater Twin Cities Area Chapter will present �Crossroads: Challenges in Critical Care Nursing� on Nov. 4 and 5 in Minneapolis, Minn. For more information, contact Deborah Mike at (952) 432-4206; e-mail, dmike224@aol.com.

New Hampshire
The Southern New Hampshire Chapter will present �Obstetric Emergencies/Case Studies" on Oct. 18 in Bedford, in conjunction with the Region 1 fall meeting on Oct. 19. For more information, call (603)
624-8836; e-mail, SNHCHAACN@aol.com.

New York
The New York City Chapter will present �Challenges 2002� on Oct. 18 and 19 at the New York Helmsley Hotel, in conjunction with the Region 2 fall meeting on Oct. 19. For more information, contact Kathleen Collins at (212) 620-1900; e-mail, info@nycaacn.org.

Oregon
The Greater Portland Chapter will present its 2002 Critical Care Symposium on Nov. 21 and 22 in Portland, Ore. For more information, contact Jamie Enders at (503) 674-3560; e-mail, GPC.info@aacn.org.

Pennsylvania
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter will present its �Trends in Critical Care Nursing Conference� on October 22 and 25 at the Adams Mark Hotel, Philadelphia. For more information, contact the SePA chapter office at (610) 528-7266; e-mail, SEPAAACN@aol.com.

The Cumberland Valley Chapter will present �A Patchwork of Critical Care Issues� on Nov. 6 and 7 in Chambersburg, Pa. For more information, contact Wendy Melius at (717) 597-7357; e-mail, jlmelius@pa.net.

The Susquehanna Valley Chapter will cosponsor with Penn State Children's Hospital a conference titled �Touching the Future of Children: Pediatric Critical Care, Ambulatory, Acute, and Neonatal Nursing� on Nov. 11 and 12 in Harrisburg, Pa. For more information, contact Yvonne Powers at (717) 531-6492; fax, (717) 531-5604; e-mail, ypowers@psu.edu.

South Dakota
The Siouxland Chapter will present �What You Really Don't Know About The Endocrine System� on Oct. 30 in Sioux Falls, S.D. For more information, contact Marcia Kummer at (605) 361-2112; e-mail, Imkum@sio.midco.net.

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; e-mail, aacnnews@aacn.org.

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