AACN News—December 2003—People

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Vol. 20, No. 12, DECEMBER 2003

Janus View

Editor's note: All that we do is rooted in our past, and we have much to learn from the leaders who have gone before us, paved the way and laid the foundation. To strengthen this connection, members of the AACN Board of Directors have interviewed some of our past leaders. For this month, AACN President-elect Kathleen McCauley, RN, PhD, CS, FAAN, interviewed Therese S. Richmond, RN, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, a member of the AACN Board of Directors from 1988 to 1991. Richmond is currently associate professor of Trauma and Critical Care Nursing and director of the Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia. She is a senior fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Care Economics and research director of the Firearm Injury Center at Penn.

McCauley: What you are doing now, particularly as it relates to critical care nursing?
Richmond: In my current position, I direct world-class, adult acute care masters programs that encompass the acute care nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist roles. I"m committed to preparing the next generation of advanced practice nurses who will care for our most vulnerable patients. Given the shortage of nurses and escalating patient acuity, this is a critical time to prepare nurses who not only have a clear nursing focus, but also can take on tasks and roles that are new to their scopes of practice.

In addition to teaching and research, my full faculty role as a clinician educator requires a practice component. My clinical practice is in the Division of Traumatology and Surgical Critical Care. It"s a place where I have meaningful clinical involvement that directly relates to my academic role, drives my research agenda and informs my teaching. It is all integrated and just fabulous.

McCauley: What is your research focus?
Richmond: An area of research that I have been committed to for decades focuses on how we can best help patients recover after serious injury. My interest stemmed from listening to my critically injured patients when they said, �You cured me and sent me home, but I"m not healed.� I am the principal investigator on an interdisciplinary team conducting a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health to examine depression and other psychological disorders that follow injury and their effects on disability and quality of life. I am interested in the recovery piece where nurses make a difference.

The other part of my research, after 25 years of caring for the traumatically injured, is to determine how we can stop these injuries from happening. As critical care nurses, we have a responsibility to do that. I work in partnership with a trauma surgeon, C. William Schwab, to codirect the Firearm Injury Center at Penn. We have effectively pulled together a highly interdisciplinary group of researchers and clinicians to tackle how we can prevent firearm injuries.

McCauley: Have you continued your involvement in AACN?
Richmond: Absolutely! Once you are a member of the board, you are always involved. I"ve served on the national Research Committee and, at the 2002 NTI, I was the CCRN luncheon speaker. That was fun! I"m also a member of the Speakers Bureau, part of AACN"s Voice initiative to speak out on issues important to our organization and our practice.

McCauley: How has your AACN leadership role influenced you?
Richmond: From AACN, I learned that if you have a vision, you can garner resources, and if you are willing to work with others, you can change the world. I absolutely believe that. While a member of the board, I learned what leadership really is. Now I am willing to take thoughtful risks, to go to places that are new to me.
Part of being a leader is saying, �I can make a difference. I"m willing to make a difference.� I realize that, at times, there is a risk in making a difference, but I am now willing to take that risk. People aren"t born leaders. They learn to be leaders by having opportunities to work with other leaders, to grow that skill set, by practicing. I was a very different person when I left the board than when I joined it.

McCauley: What was the most challenging and rewarding aspect of your role on the board?
Richmond: Defending my PhD proposal and dissertation could not touch my experience in being the board liaison when AACN established the Ethics Committee. I worked with a fabulous group of nurse experts, and it was my role to bring and to defend why the board should accept newly developed position statements. At the time, these were really hot ethical issues, and AACN was new at taking such positions in such controversial areas.

McCauley: What is the most lasting aspect of your experience in this role?
Richmond: I now know critical care nurses all over the country. I can call people and pick their brains about issues I am struggling with in my own practice. It is a wonderful network. I"ve been exposed to wonderful critical care nurses who are so passionate about patient care. It absolutely makes me believe in the value and the power of nursing.

Members on the Move

Kathleen A. Dracup, RN, DNSc, professor and dean of the University of California, San Francisco, School of Nursing, recently received the Eugene Braunwald Academic Mentorship Award, one of the highest honors presented by the American Heart Association. The award is presented annually to honor an individual whose academic career includes a long-term record of successful mentoring of promising young academicians. The award included a $1,000 honorarium and a citation, which lauded Dracup as �a source of incomparable personal and professional enrichment� for the many students who have benefited from her attentive counseling. �And vast numbers of patients become, in turn, the all-important additional beneficiaries of these graduates" dedication to providing optimal care.� Dracup, who formerly was on the faculty of the University of California at Los Angeles School of Nursing for 25 years, is co-editor of the American Journal of Critical Care.

Elaine Austin, RN, MSN, CNS, was chosen as Nurse of the Year for the southeastern section of the United States by Nursing Spectrum magazine. She is with the Peri-Operative Services at Methodist Lebonheur Healthcare, Memphis, Tenn.

Beth Hammer, RN, MSN, APNP, was chosen by Nurseweek to receive a Nursing Excellence Award for Midwest/Great Lakes and Midwest/Heartland. Hammer, who is the AACN Chapter Advisory Team representative for Region 8, is a nurse practitioner at Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wis.


Gladys M. Campbell, RN, MSN, has assumed the position of the chief nursing officer and assistant administrator for Patient Care Services at Providence Saint Vincent"s Medical Center in Portland, Ore. A past president of AACN, she was previously employed by the Saint Thomas Health Services in Nashville, Tenn., where she was the executive director of the Research Institute.

Randy Bauler, AACN exhibits and sponsorship director, has been elected to a three-year term on the board of directors of the International Association for Exhibition Management. Bauler was also selected to receive the IAEM Merit Award for 2003, in recognition of his outstanding achievement, dedication and contribution to the association and the exhibition industry.
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