AACN News—February 2003—Association News

AACN News Logo

Back to AACN News Home

Vol. 20, No. 2, FEBRUARY 2003


Dana Carvey Headlines NTI Participant/Exhibitor Event

Get up close and personal with the Church Lady-or, perhaps, even the "likes" of George Bush or Regis Philbin-as Emmy-award winner Dana Carvey brings his unique brand of comedy to AACN's 2003 National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition.

Carvey will headline the annual NTI Participant/Exhibitor Event. He will be joined by Super Diamond, a Neil Diamond tribute band whose performance is more of an experience than a concert.
The Participant/Exhibitor Event is set for Wednesday evening during the NTI, which is scheduled for May 17 through 22 in San Antonio, Texas. The event is sponsored by exposition exhibitors.
A repertory member of "Saturday Night Live" for seven seasons, Carvey won an Emmy Award in 1993 for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program and received the American Comedy Award as Television's Funniest Supporting Male in 1990 and 1991.

In addition to the Church Lady, Carvey is known for his characters as Hans the bodybuilder, as Garth the excellent cohost of "Wayne's World" and as Weekend Update's Grumpy Old Man. He has also received accolades for his comedic impersonations of political figures, including ex-President George Bush, H. Ross Perot, Jerry Brown, David Duke and Bob Dole. He also does impersonations of George Burns, Johnny Carson, Jimmy Stewart, John McLaughlin, Mickey Rooney, Casey Casem and Regis Philbin.

Carvey's film credits include "The Road to Wellville," "Clean Slate" and "Trapped in Paradise."


Learning Partners Get an Inside Look at AACN Board

AACN Board Learning Partners
were joined by their board
mentors at the November
board meeting. Pictured
(from left) are Susan Yeager,
Monica Simpson, Melissa
Hutchinson and Kathy McCauley.



Editor's note: AACN's Board Learning Partners program is designed to provide selected members the opportunity to attend a meeting of the AACN Board of Directors and learn more about AACN. Learning Partners, who may be asked to gather data prior to the meeting to strengthen discussions and strategic agendas, provide feedback and communicate to the membership regarding their experiences. In November, Melissa Hutchinson, RN, ADN, BA, CCRN, of Bothell Wash., and Monica Simpson, RN, MSN, CCRN, of Coral Springs, Fla., attended the four-day board meeting as learning partners in Costa Mesa, Calif. Following are their accounts of the experience.

Learning to Use Voice
By Melissa Hutchinson
When I was notified that I had been selected to be an AACN Board Learning Partner, my life-as a mother, student, wife and night-shift ICU nurse-suddenly felt different, maybe even a little better! I was being offered the opportunity not only to attend the fall meeting of the national AACN Board of Directors, but also to offer input as a practicing, bedside nurse.

I had applied for the position when the "Call for Volunteers" was published in AACN News. I was eager to network with the leaders of AACN and to observe the board members in action. I wanted to know how and why AACN policies and plans come about. The process of prioritizing issues and establishing organizational goals had always seemed mysterious to me.

My preceptor for the meetings was Kathleen McCauley, a third-year member of the AACN Board of Directors. As an experienced board member, she was able to provide me great insight into the board activities and participants. As a result, I always felt I was part of the group and that I was lucky to have her as my guide and mentor.

The meetings were eye opening, to say the least. A wide variety of topics were covered, including leadership, NTI planning, goal setting, marketing, motivational training and change facilitation. Brain-
storming sessions were organized to produce the top three initiatives that AACN will pursue in the near future. The discussions were not only interesting, but also contained information that I could bring back to my hospital and chapter and share with my colleagues.

In addition, I had the opportunity to meet some people who had previously only been heroes in my mind. The names that I had seen published, the "experts" in certain areas, suddenly had faces. Here I was shaking their hands and sharing dinner with them.

Seeing the camaraderie that was involved in the board processes was a positive experience. Truly positive energy was shared. No one ever said, "That will never work." No negative attitudes were expressed, a refreshing change from what we sometimes encounter at the bedside. Clearly, each person there was contributing fully, and the interactions I witnessed were invigorating. No idea was too small; no person unimportant. I was motivated and replenished. In fact, I could not wait to return to my hospital with the renewed energy and the power to use my voice to create change.

My experience with the board made me realize that my voice is important, strong and necessary. I highly recommend this volunteer experience to others. It has shown me the importance of my singular voice and the power of my voice when joined with others. Through AACN's vision and guidance, we can bring about a positive and needed change in our profession.

Sharing Viewpoints
By Monica Simpson
My experience as a Board Learning Partner was great. I was treated as one of the group and encouraged to participate in all discussions.

My mentor was Susan Yeager, a second-year member of the board. Because she had also once been a learning partner, she was well prepared to mentor me. So that I would know what to expect, we communicated prior to the meeting via e-mail and the telephone. During the meeting, Susan answered my questions and provided background information about the agenda items. When not in meetings, we networked with other board members and AACN national office staff. I felt fortunate to have the opportunity to meet and dialogue with all the attendees including Wanda Johanson, the CEO. We both felt that they were interested in our thoughts and ideas. It was an extremely supportive environment.

Although the agenda was full, the meetings went smoothly. Both Johanson and President Connie Barden kept us on task, while ensuring that everyone had a chance to have their opinions heard. Because all decisions required consensus, there was opportunity for discussion if anyone was uncomfortable with a decision.

There was also time to get to know these national AACN leaders in a more relaxed setting. At the farewell dinner, as everyone said their good-byes, it was obvious that they genuinely like and respect each other.

I felt fortunate to have been invited to this particular meeting, where the issues were chosen that AACN would stress through the use of bold voices in the following years. I was thrilled to contribute my ideas. More importantly, I am delighted that AACN is being more proactive regarding issues that affect nurses and their patients by using bold voices. This, to me, constitutes the beginning of a new AACN.


AACN Links to Smallpox Information Resources

AACN is closely following President Bush's plan to vaccinate thousands of Americans against smallpox, beginning with registered nurses and other healthcare professionals who would be called upon to respond to an outbreak.

To keep updated and to ensure that the interests of critical care nurses are represented, AACN national office representatives have participated in conference calls conducted by the Department of Health Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the logistical details and timelines for the plan are being developed, the latest and best data sources regarding the issue, including clinical practice links, have been compiled and are available on the AACN Web site at http://www.aacn.org.

For additional information, call AACN's Practice Resource Network at (800) 394-5995, ext. 217.


Use Online Resources to Become a Grassroots Activist

Get involved! You can easily track legislation and contact your elected representatives through AACN's online Legislative Action Center at http://www.aacn.org > Public Policy. This tool to enhance grassroots activism features an "action alert" regarding key legislation, such as enactment of the Nurse Reinvestment Act, as well as a database of elected officials, both nationally and by state.

Download or view the status and a brief summary of pertinent nursing legislation, with information posted within 24 hours of public availability. At the same time, you can connect with elected officials, agencies and organizations. E-mail members of Congress, the president and other government officials; find legislators by a ZIP code or name search; and find out how legislators voted on identified issues. Compose your own messages or send messages prewritten by AACN.

ECCO Seen as the Educational Wave of the Future

Hospitals around the country continue to adopt AACN's newest educational program, the Internet-based Essentials of Critical Care Orientation, for a variety of reasons. Allina Hospitals & Clinics, one of the most recent organizations to implement ECCO, considers the program the educational wave of the future.

Allina, which offers services and programs to communities in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, has a workforce of more than 22,000 employees who provide a continuum of care from disease prevention programs to technically advanced inpatient and outpatient care, medical transportation, home care and hospice services. Eight of Allina's 11 hospitals- Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Buffalo Hospital, Mercy Hospital, Owatonna Hospital, St. Francis Regional Medical Center, River Falls Hospital, Unity Hospital and United Hospital-started using ECCO in January.

According to Heather Froehlich, RN, MSN, CCRN, learning and development specialist for St. Francis Regional Medical Center, a few key factors led to the decision to implement ECCO.

"In the past, Allina has offered a course for new critical care nurses three to four times a year," she explained. "Eight hospitals in the group would come together and start with AACN's printed Orientation to the Care of the Acute and Critically Ill Patient to define the course content. While this was helpful, it still required a lot of resources to put together and present. It also meant hiring nurses to coincide with when the classes were offered."

The nursing shortage caused some changes to this educational practice, because it was becoming necessary to hire new critical care nurses at times when classes were not offered. Although the Allina educators videotaped their course presentations to offer as an independent study option, the learning experience wasn't ideal. They needed an educational option that would allow them to start critical care nurses as soon as they came through the door.

Deciding to re-think the program, the group network began searching for available cutting-edged resources that would make offering the classes easier and less resource intensive.
"All hospital sites were in agreement that practicing at a national standard was extremely important when choosing our educational solution," Froehlich said. "We didn't want our curriculum to reflect only regional practice."

While surfing the Web, several educators discovered the ECCO program. In Spring 2002, Froehlich and another educator at Abbott Northwestern Hospital decided Web-based education would give them the flexibility to present a comprehensive critical care course at the moment it was needed. When Froehlich discussed Abbott Northwestern's desire to use ECCO with Shauna Libsack, Allina's director of educational services, reviewing its application across the health system seemed a natural extension.

"This Web-based program will serve the needs of the entire system, enabling each site to present current, up-to-date information," Froehlich commented. "The content updates and revisions that are included by AACN will allow each educator to stay on top of critical care knowledge and bedside practice changes that occur every couple of months, without relearning information and reworking the course.
"With this solution, we can offer a structured orientation into critical care written to national standards that will always be on the cutting edge."

"From a business perspective, the staffing shortage does not allow us to pull a large number of nurses off the floors and units to teach like we used to," said Libsack. "This is a reality of our current situation. Using ECCO is one way that a single educator can manage a large number of students without putting additional stress on the level of staffing."

Froehlich agrees. "Even if an educator is not an expert in an area, the educator can read through the content first and can then guide students through the content without difficulty," she said.
The educators at St. Francis Regional Medical Center are creating a "cookie cutter," template approach to design a standard model for critical care nursing orientation using ECCO.

"We went through and identified those modules appropriate to our facility based on our patient population and are developing our orientation template accordingly. Once we finish designing the template, our job in providing orientation in the future will be easier," Froehlich said.

One modification she quickly made was to set aside some time to debrief with students after they complete their daily time within the program.

"This debriefing time gives me an opportunity to go over the information with them, to say it in lay terms to reinforce what they learned and to elicit information from them to make sure they understood the concepts as well as giving the students a chance to ask questions," she explained.

Initially, the reaction from students toward the ECCO program concept was less than positive, Froehlich said. However, once they began using the program, their fears quickly subsided.

"The program really is easy to navigate. I have been in critical care for 15 years and this is a much nicer way to learn. I would recommend this program to other hospitals," she said.
Libsack added, "We like this electronic method of learning so much that we are looking at implementing something similar for our emergency room nurses. We are hoping to see other areas going into this type of education."

For more information about ECCO, visit the AACN Web site at http://www.aacn.org; call (800) 394-5995, ext. 8870 or e-mail ecco@aacn.org.

Who Is Using ECCO?

California
Naval Medical Center San Diego
Regional Health Occupations Resource Center-Butte College
Stanford University Hospital

Florida
Broward Community College
Lee Memorial Health System
VA Hospital, Miami
VA Hospital, West Palm Beach

Illinois
Sherman Hospital

Kentucky
University of Kentucky

Massachusetts
Good Samaritan Medical Center

Minnesota
Allina Hospitals & Clinics

Missouri
Cox Health System

Montana
Benefis Healthcare

New Hampshire
Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital

New Jersey
Atlantic City Medical Center

Pennsylvania
Dubois Regional Medical Center (a beta test site)

Texas
Denton Regional Medical Center
Harris Methodist Ft. Worth
Presbyterian Hospital

Utah
St. Mark's Hospital

Virginia
Northern Virginia Community College

Washington
Kadlec Medical Center
Northwest MedStar
Providence St. Peter Hospital

Wyoming
Campbell County Memorial Hospital

Japan
U.S. Naval Hospital, Yokosuka, Japan

New Membership Recruitment Campaign Nears 3,000

As AACN's Critical Links membership recruitment campaign headed into the new year, the number of new members recruited since the campaign began May 1 neared 3,000. The 400 new members recruited during January brought the overall total to 2,730.

The individual recruiting the most new members in the campaign will receive a $500 American Express gift certificate.

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 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 December was Laura Boehm, RN, BSN, CCRN.

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

Continuing to lead the campaign by recruiting 50 new members is Cynthia A. Noe, RN, BSN, of Albany, Ga. Others who have recruited 20 new members or more are Julie N. Liberio, RN, MSN, CCRN (36), Caroline Axt, RN, MS (34), Kathleen M. Richuso (31), RN, MSN, Diane M. Casperson (23), RN, BSN, CCRN, Elaine B. Boseman (22), RN, CCRN, CLNC, and Lydia C. Bautista, RN, BSN, CCRN (20).
Following are the individuals who recruited new members during December.

 
James L. Askew, RN, BSN, CCRN, EMT-P
Stephanie A. Baker, RN
Sean G. Barclay, RN, BSN, CCRN
Jennifer A. Basler, RN, MSN, CCRN
Maria E. Black, RN, MSN, CCRN, APRN
Laura B. Boehm, RN, BSN, CCRN
Elaine B. Boseman, RN, CCRN, CLNC
Carole A. Boucher, RN, MSN, CCRN
Janiece Brooks, RN
Michael Shane Bryan, RN, BS, BSN
David H. Bryant, RN, BSN
Kathleen M. Burton, RN, BSN
Barbara K. Buss, RN, ADN, CCRN
Diane M. Casperson, RN, BSN, CCRN
Michael Chalot, RN, ADN, CCRN
Garrett Chan, RN, MS, CEN
Pamela J. Chapman, RN, MSN, CCRN
Leanne T. Cimato, RN, BSN
Cristiana Ortolani Clark, RN, BS, BSN
Tammy L Coffee, RN, BSN
Katherine Colbert, RN, ADN, BS, CCRN
Heather Lynnette Coleman, RN, BSN
Lesma Colquhoun, RN, ADN
Sue Ann Crisp, RN, BS, BSN
Kanika N. Cunningham, RN
Bonnie L. Curtis, RN, ADN, CCRN
Michael W. Day, RN, MSN, CCRN
J. Suzanne Deaton, RN, BSN, AA, CCRN
Josi N. Dehaven, RN, BS, BSN
Mary T. Demana, RN, CCRN
Lori L. Desmond
Amy L. Donnellan, RN, BSN
Amy Dzur, RN, BS, BSN
Bev Farmer, RN-C, MSN, CCRN
Janet M. Forrest, RN, ADN, CCRN
Wendy Karan Franzino, RN, BS, BSN
Robert Welch Galbreath, RN, ADN, BS
Cathy Mary Gallo, RN, BSN, MBA, CNA
Fidel Muncal Gonzales, RN, ADN
Dean L. Grisham, RN, BSN, AA
Janis Marie Hammond, RN, ADN
Lynette B Hartley, RN, BS, BSN
Sheryl K. Hasper, RN, BS, BSN
Katie C Hengstenberg, RN, BS, BSN
D.Scott Hennard, RN
Janice L. Hickman, RN, MSN, CS
Lucille Hicks, RN, BS, CCRN
Mary P. Hicks, RN, BSN, CCRN
Carol M. Hinkle, RN, MSN, BA, CCRN
Kathleen Holdeman, RN
Matt Holicky, RN
Lynne P. Holliman, RN, BSN, CCRN
Mari L. Hoover-McGarry, RN, CEN
Gretchen L. Hunt, RN, ADN, CCRN
Natacha Jean-Noel, RN, BSN
Lucy Ha Yon Joo-Castro, RN, BS, BSN
Louisa K. Kamatuka, RN, MSN, CCRN, CS
Kathy M. Ketchum, RN, MS
Nancy D. King, RN, MSN, CCRN, ANP, NP
Colleen M. Kipina, RN, BSN
Becky J. Koenigs, RN, ADN, CCRN
Jayne M. Korevec, RN, MSN, CCRN, ARNP
Jenneine A. Lambert, RN, MN
Doris V. Levin, RN, MS, CNA
Julie N. Liberio, RN, MSN, CCRN
Susan Lincoln, RN
Sandra Loose, RN, BSN, BA
Elizabeth Lopez, RN, BSN
Lee A. Ludwigson, RN, ADN, CCRN
Chad Jay Lueders, RN, BS, BSN
Theresa Roxanne Macfarlan, RN, BS, BSN
Teresa Maly, RN, ADN, AA
Annamarie Mandacina, RN, BS, BSN
Kimberly S. Martin, RN, MSN, CCRN
Nuria M. Martinez, RN, BSN, CCRN
Julie A. McCorkle, RN, BSN, MS, ACNP
Elizabeth L. McGarr, RN, ADN, BA, CCRN
Margaret B. McHenry, RN, ADN
Mary G. McKinley, RN, MSN, CCRN
Padab Mcwhorter, RN, BS, BSN
Eugenia I. Millender, RN, BS, BSN
Patricia Miller, RN, BS, CCRN
Wanda Joyce Murphy, RN, MN, MS
Martha L. Musielak, RN, MSN, NP
Sylvia B. Naldoza, RN, BSN, CCRN
Laurie A. Nickles Mack, RN, ADN, CCRN
Marvin C. Nufable, RN, BS, BSN
Mandy B. O'Brien, RN, BSN, AA
Glenn Patrick O'Connor, RN, BS, BSN
Mary Ellen O'Donnell, RN, BS, BSN
Patricia G. O'Leary, RN
Joanna R. Olson, RN
Marilyn Waleska O'malley, RN, ADN
Donna M. O'Neill, RN, ADN, CCRN
Akshat Patel, RN, BS, BSN
Lori Pawlow, RN, ADN
Myra K. Porthouse, RN, ADN, CCRN, TNS
Whitney A. Pratt, RN, BS, CCRN
Georgiana L. Przybylek, RN, BS, BSN, CCRN
Jennifer L. Randolph
Romeo Resurreccion, RN
Bonnie Anne Rice, RN, MSN, CCRN, CCNS, ARNP
Kathleen M. Richuso, RN, MSN
Marni D. Robbins, RN, BSN
Kelly Ann Roy, RN, BS, BSN
Kathryn Ann Ryan, RN, BS, MN, NP
Donna B. Sabash, RN, BSN, CCRN
Annette Marie Samame, RN, BS, BSN
Julia Ann Schrage, BS, BSN
Dee D. Schultz, RN, BSN, BA, CCRN
Lindsey Shank, RN, BSN, CCRN
Earlene W. Shealy, RN, ADN
Thelma Anne Smith, RN
Lynn Smith Schnautz, RN, MSN, CCRN, CCNS
Theresa Stevens, RN, MS, CCRN, CCNS
Carlette H. Stewart, RN, BSN
Doris J. Strother, RN, MSN, CRNP
Jan H. Teal, RN, BSN, CCRN
Carolyn Terrell, RN
Richard Kelly Thompson, RN, ADN, AA
Patricia J. Tompkins, RN, MN, MS, NP
Stephanie M. Vaccaro, RN, BSN, CCRN
Mary R. Vaders, RN, ADN, AA
Valerie S. Vogeler, RN, BSN, CCRN
Alina Vorobeychik, RN, ADN
Gregory B. Webb, RN, BA, CCRN
Betheen M. Weed, RN
Patricia R. Wells, RN
Paul H. Williams, RN, ADN, BA
Irma G. Williams, RN, CCRN
Robert Aaron Worden, RN, BS, BSN
Jackie S. Yon, RN, MS, CCRN, CCNS, NP
Pam Zinnecker, RN, CCRN


Member Recruiter Just Kept �Spreading the News'


Grand Prize Drawing Led to Trip to New York City

Kathy Graham found herself
on the steps of the Metropolitan
Museum of Art in New York City
after winning the grand prize drawing
in AACN's Critical Links membership
recruitment campaign for 2001-02.


By Kathy Graham, RN, BSN

Accompanied by my mother, I visited New York City in December-all because I helped share the experience of being a member of AACN with my colleagues. The trip was part of my reward as the grand prize drawing winner in AACN's Critical Links member-get-a-member campaign for 2001-02.

As a member of the Atlanta Area Chapter, which helped to support the campaign by purchasing bulk memberships, I sold those memberships to new and renewing members for $78. For that fee, local membership (a $15 value) was free.

"Selling" others on AACN membership was easy, once I recounted the benefits, such as local educational meetings, two great journals-Critical Care Nurse and the American Journal of Critical Care-discounted prices on products and services, and the opportunities to network. I wanted my peers to experience these benefits as well.

I found out at AACN's National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition in Atlanta, Ga., that I was the grand prize winner. Everyone kept asking if I had read the NTI News conference daily yet. As a member of the host chapter, I had been busy. When I finally had a chance to read the paper, I immediately thought: "New York in December."

My mother and I had a wonderful adventure. We stayed in a beautiful hotel, built in the 1920s and within five blocks of Times Square and two blocks of 5th Avenue! We shopped, attended plays and visited the museums. Simply put, we had the best vacation ever!


In the Circle: Award Recognizes Community Service

Editor's Note: The Marsh-AACN Community Service Award recognizes significant service by acute and critical care nurses who make contributions to their community, either as individuals or in groups. Recipients of this award for 2002 were provided complimentary registration to NTI 2002 in Atlanta, Ga., or chose up to $500 toward speaker fees for an educational symposium. Following are excerpts from exemplars submitted in connection with this award, which was cosponsored by Marsh Affinity Group Services, a service of Seabury and Smith, Inc.


ICU Education Team
Portsmouth, Ohio
Southern Ohio Medical Center
The Love Your Heart Program uses five interactive stations to help kindergartners learn how their hearts work. For example, at the Feel Your Heart station, the children learn how to palpate a pulse and use a Doppler. At the Exercise Your Heart station, they learn how exercise keeps their hearts healthy. At the Hear Your Heart station, they learn the rhythm of heart beats through interactive play with drums. They also have the opportunity to learn how a stethoscope is used to hear the heart beat. At the Feed Your Heart station, children learn about the food pyramid and how to make healthy choices. While at the See Your Heart station, they use bulb syringes and red colored water to visualize the heart's pumping mechanisms. They also study various heart models.

To tie the program together, we incorporated the Wizard of Oz theme, chosen because the Tin Man is in search of a heart. One of our team members dresses in the full costume of the Tin Man. Throughout the day, he joins groups and interacts with the children. At the end, we gather the children together for a closing program where the Tin Man gets a real heart. This successful Love Your Heart was completed by 600 kindergartners!


Elizabeth Hupp, RN, MA
Morgantown, W.Va.
West Virginia University Department of Surgery
While working with the university's cardiac surgeons, I became aware that families needed a place to stay while their children were undergoing heart surgery or treatment for other illnesses.

Parents who traveled long distances were asking about a Ronald McDonald House. To help get the project started, I set up a meeting with the chairman of pediatrics and a social worker. Following a community-wide meeting in August 1986, we were able to establish a nonprofit organization and obtain our federal tax-exempt status. By Spring 1987, we officially became a licensed Ronald McDonald House through the McDonald's Corporation. Through major fund-raising efforts, we broke ground for the project in Spring 1989.

As we watched the progress of our dream becoming reality, various committees prepared for the actual opening. In Summer 1990, we put the finishing touches on the 16-bedroom, 14,000-square-foot house and held one last fund-raising event so the major donors could see the finished product. The grand opening was on Oct. 9, 1990, and the first families were admitted the next day. It was truly a community and statewide effort. I have served as secretary of the board since the beginning and am still active on the board.


Mark R. Kurland, RN, BSN, CCRN
Dallas, Texas
Medical City Dallas
The day, June 5, 2001, was exceptionally hot as I prepared to ride my bicycle more than 100 miles in support of AIDS research and treatment. This was the first of seven times that I would ride 100-plus miles in 21 days that would cover 1,838 miles and touch the lives of people living in and between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Raleigh and Washington D.C., Minneapolis and Chicago, and New York and Boston.

To meet the physical challenge, I spent months training. I also carefully examined the current clinical services and research regarding HIV and AIDS-related therapies so that I could speak intelligently to people willing to listen. In the process, I raised $11,000 in private donations. The unfortunate truth is that in the cities and towns that lie between large urban centers, scores of people are unaware of the true facts about HIV and AIDS. They need health education brought to them in a comprehensive yet nonthreatening way.

When speaking along the way to church groups or at community centers and senior centers, and to elementary, middle and high school students, I identified myself as a critical care nurse. The students had many questions as well as personal experiences to share with me. The experience was amazing as I looked into the eyes of strangers and knew that they believed me about this important and meaningful information and that I made a difference. I was grateful to be able to apply outside the hospital the intelligence, compassion, communication skills, spirituality, honesty and desire that are so basic to critical care nursing. It was easy to return to my unit with a sense of satisfaction and purpose.


Apply by April 1 for Educational Advancement Scholarships


The deadline to apply for AACN Educational Advancement Scholarships for the 2003-04 academic year is April 1.

These scholarships are available to members who are completing baccalaureate or graduate degree programs in nursing. Recipients of these BSN Completion and Graduate Completion educational advancement scholarships are awarded $1,500 per academic year.

Applicants for these scholarships must be RNs, be members of AACN and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. They must be currently working in critical care or have worked in critical care for at least one of the last three years.

Applicants for the BSN Completion Scholarship must have junior or upper division status for the fall semester. Applicants for the Graduate Completion Scholarship must be currently enrolled in a planned course of graduate study that leads to a master's or doctoral degree. At least 20% of the scholarships are allocated to qualified, ethnic minority applicants.

Scholarship funds may be applied toward tuition, fees, books and supplies, as long as the recipient is continuously enrolled in a baccalaureate or graduate program accredited by the state board of nursing in the recipient's state.

For more information or to obtain an application for a BSN Completion or Graduate Completion educational advancement scholarships, call (800) 899-2226 and request Item #1017, or visit the AACN Web sitehips.


Get a PDA �Laboratory Values' Pocket Reference for Free


Through Jan. 31, AACN will include the new "Laboratory Values" electronic pocket reference for Palm OS free of charge with the purchase of any handheld device that runs the Palm OS system. AACN now offers six new electronic versions of the popular laminated clinical references for Palm OS.

For help in determining which PDA device is right for you, a tutorial titled "Handheld Devices for Healthcare Practitioners" is available in the PDA Tutorials section of the PDA Center. For details, simply visit the PDA Center online.

The Janus View

Conversations with critical care leaders

Janus (Jay . nus): The Roman god with two faces,
one looking ahead, one looking back

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, current members of the AACN Board of Directors are interviewing some of our past leaders. For this month, board member Deborah Laughon, RN, BSN, MS, CCRN, DBA, interviewed Susan F. Goran, RN, MSN, a member of the AACN board from 1993 to 1996. Goran is now the clinical nurse specialist for a 38-bed telemetry unit and a 10-bed ICU at Southern Maine Medical Center, Portland, Maine. In addition to serving as a staff educator, she is responsible for establishing and validating standards of practice.

Laughon: Tell me about your experience as an AACN board member.

Goran: Overall, the experience was a positive one that left me with lasting friendships and an awareness of the important contributions critical care nurses make every day. During my three-year term, I felt closely connected to nursing and the healthcare issues, primarily through the interactive discussions with the board members. As a result, I was able to more clearly see the "big picture" of not only the healthcare issues and trends, but also the varied solutions and strategies being implemented across the country. Many resources were available to keep us informed, which helped tremendously when making decisions.

I will never forget my AACN board experience. It helped make me who I am and showed me how I can make a difference. The lessons I learned and the experiences I had will forever be a part of me.

Laughon: What challenges did you face during your time on the board?

Goran: The transition off the board was tough. I missed the things that were so much a part of my life as a board member-the traveling and spending time with experts in critical care from across the U.S., and the time with the friends I had made.

While on the board, I had changed roles from a manager of the ICU to a position in staff development. The change actually made fulfilling my board responsibilities and managing my professional responsibilities easier. As a manager, juggling both roles was a challenge. The staff development role also made balancing my job and life easier. Of course, having a supportive husband helped. My colleagues were also very supportive and pleased when I was elected to the board. However, being gone became more stressful. Before I left and after I returned from by board responsibilities, I had to do more to make sure I was doing my part.

Laughon: How have you stayed connected to AACN?

Goran: Mainly through my friendships. We have faithfully met on a regular basis over the years. I am also very involved in my local AACN chapter, the Southern Maine Chapter. I got my initial start with AACN through my chapter and still enjoy the local connections, educational offerings and time to discuss practice issues. For a period of time after my term ended, I did little more than attend the NTI and read AACN News and the AACN journals. I always find the information in them very useful.

I also teach CCRN review courses and strongly support the certification process. The goal of my ICU is that at least half our nurses will be certified by 2004. Seeing the growth in the staff as they prepare and achieve this goal is rewarding.

Laughon: What do you see as the most critical issues facing our profession today?

Goran: The global issue is lack of resources, the prospect of not enough staff or fiscal resources within the institution to provide the care our patients need. Organizations face tough challenges in determining where they utilize their limited resources. Often, the decisions indicate significant deficits in the staff's perspective, yet they might be the right ones for the institutions long-term growth, profitability and services for the community. An example of this was a recent layoff of staff in our community, followed shortly by an announcement of plans to build a large addition to the facility. The staff had a hard time understanding the choice made by administration.

One of my roles is to listen to staff members' concerns and help them understand how decisions are made. I do this by building context to achieve understanding. I feel I have been able to develop these skills partly because of the years I spent on the AACN board.

I help the staff nurse hear the issues, and understand and appreciate the value that direct care brings to patients. This help gains trust and acceptance of change. I am fortunate because the environment I currently work in is within a small organization, where the administration is involved with the staff. It is common to see the CEO sitting with staff in the cafeteria.

Laughon: AACN's current strategy emphasizes the importance of using bold voices to support or discuss controversial or critical issues facing our profession. How do you see yourself using this concept?

Goran: I use a bold voice when I speak to critical care nurses in my role as an educator about successful strategies. For example, I emphasize the importance of the multidisciplinary team in promoting comprehensive patient care and limiting the use or tolerance of negativity in the work environment. I find that telling stories helps the audience to connect. To introduce my educational programs, I use Mr. Toad's Wild Ride as an analogy to discuss the events impacting today's healthcare world and to emphasize the importance of defining the work environment as a pleasant place to be.


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
� AACN Practice and Research Director Justine Medina, RN, MS, was interviewed for an article that appeared in the Dec. 15 issue of the Washington Times. Medina was quoted as saying: "Hospitals have become critical care units. You don't go to a hospital today unless you are critically ill� " She noted that salaries have not been rising as fast as the demand for nurses, which means that the pay for experienced nurses is not substantially higher than that of starting nurses. Saying that staffing ratios should be based on patients' needs and the education and competency of nurses, Medina said that AACN is concerned about fixed, patient-nurse ratios, such as those called for under new California legislation. She also noted that preliminary data presented in a study by University of Pennsylvania researchers show that nurses working 12 to 16 consecutive hours are subject to the same kinds of safety concerns as pilots flying long distances without sufficient rest.

� A growing number of news outlets have used information from a Dec. 11 AACN news release titled "New Data Reveals Nurse Certification Key Component of Patient Safety and Recruitment and Retention Programs," which announced AACN's White Paper on the benefits of certification. Among media using the information were PR Newswire, AP Alert Labor, CBS MarketWatch, Finance.Canada.com, NewsAlert.com, Biz.Yahoo.com, AHAnews.com, AONE eNews Update, NurseZone.com, Nurses.com and HospitalNetwork.com.

� The "AACN Update" section in the December issue of RN magazine featured excerpts from the AACN News "President's Note" column by AACN President Connie Barden, RN, MSN, CCNS, CCRN. In the column, Barden discussed the healthcare cultures that attract and retain nurses. The section also included information about "It's All About You: A Blueprint for Influencing Practice," an AACN resource that helps nurses maximize their potential, and an "Ask AACN" item on nurse-to-patient ratios.

� Randy Bauler, AACN exhibits and sponsorships director, was quoted in an article titled "Making Unconventional Deals" that appeared in the December issue of Medical Meetings magazine. Bauler discussed factors in negotiating meeting and exhibit space rental with convention centers with respect to planning for AACN's annual National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition.

� AACN Public Policy Specialist Janice Weber, RN, MSN, was interviewed about the nursing shortage for an article that appeared in the Nov. 13 issue of the Tennessean. Weber noted that the shortage is "particularly serious in the specialty areas of nursing, such as critical care, which require advanced skills." Noting that critical care nurses are specially trained to help patients whose health problems may be life threatening, Weber said the number of requests for traveling and temporary critical care nurses to fill gaps across the country has skyrocketed.

Our Voice at the Table
� CEO Wanda Johanson, RN, MN, represented AACN at a meeting of the steering committee for Nursing's Agenda for the Future in December in Pittsburgh, Pa. The committee prioritized the strategies to address nurse staffing and shortage issues, affirming the importance of innovative delivery systems, economic data to support the value of nursing and the evolution of educational structures to ensure that future nurses are highly prepared. The committee also agreed to fund and undertake a project to bring forward research data on nursing's value to the cost and quality of healthcare. This data is essential in demonstrating to key influencers that expert nursing practice positively affects the bottom line. Since the program's inception, AACN has been one of the leading organizations in Nursing's Agenda for the Future. AACN is committed to ensuring the voice of critical care nurses is prominent within the community of nursing and in finding solutions to nursing issues.

� Ram�n Lavandero, RN, MSN, MA, AACN director of development and strategic alliances, represented the association at the Clarian Health Partners rollout of a new professional advancement program for nurses, based on AACN's Synergy Model for Patient Care. The rollout was in December in Indianapolis, Ind.

� Lavandero and Johanson represented AACN at a December planning meeting in Denver for the Nurse Manager Leadership Collaborative with the American Organization of Nurse Executives and the Association of periOperative Nurses.

� Lavandero attended the fall meeting in Dallas of the American Heart Association's national Membership Marketing and Communications Committee, of which he is a member.

� "Bold Voices; Our Future; Let's Talk" was the title of a presentation by Barden at a seminar on "Critical Care for the Seasoned Professional" in December at Delray Community Hospital, Delray Beach, Fla.

� Roberta Kaplow, RN, PhD, CCNS, CCRN, a member of the AACN Certification Corporation Board of Directors, spoke in December at DeKalb Medical Center, Atlanta, Ga., on "The Synergy Model: A Model to Optimize Patient Outcomes." Her presentation was at the center's "Lunch & Learn" morning lecture series, which is provided by the faculty at nearby Emory University for nursing administrators and staff members from a variety of units at area hospitals.

� Barden was an invited guest at the American College of Chest Physicians Board of Regents meeting in November in San Diego, Calif. She was joined by Johanson and AACN President-elect Dorrie Fontaine, RN, DNSc, FAAN, at ACCP's annual scientific meeting, also in San Diego. Barden served on a panel with Maurene Harvey, RN, MPH, CCRN, FCCM, president of the Society of Critical Care Medicine, and Sid Braman, MD, president of ACCP, to discuss "Medical Innovations and Cost Containment in the ICU."

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.


Submit a Speaker Proposal for NTI 2004

Learning Connections Also Available

May 15 is the deadline to submit speaker proposal abstracts for AACN's 2004 National Teaching Institute in Orlando, Fla. In addition to clinical, advanced practice and other educational topics, proposals that address the skills critical care nurses need to influence their practice and the care of critically ill patients are encouraged.

Learning Connections Mentor Sessions
Nurses interested in presenting at NTI 2004 can get some help through Learning Connections speaker mentor opportunities that pair novice and experienced speakers.

Five special Learning Connection NTI sessions are scheduled each year. The novice and mentor must be identified in the submitted speaker proposal abstracts.

Speaker proposal packets can be obtained by calling AACN Fax on Demand at (800) 222-6329 (Request Document #6019) or by visiting the AACN Web site.


Make a Difference! Apply for National Volunteer Positions

Are you interested in becoming a national volunteer for AACN? Would you like to have a hand in shaping the way in which your colleagues and the general public understand our healthcare system and the critical care nursing profession? Would you like to contribute to ensuring excellence in education, research and practice for critical care nurses?

By contributing your time and expertise to a volunteer group, you assist the association to remain one of the boldest voices in the healthcare arena, further realizing our vision of a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.

AACN members volunteer their time and services in a number of ways, with opportunities catering to the most diverse interests and time availabilities.

To longtime members, the volunteer opportunities may look different than in previous years as AACN implements some key enhancements to the program. For example, to optimize the volunteer experience and ensure that volunteer work is in line with AACN's strategic plan and mission, we will now offer volunteer opportunities at different times throughout the year. This new model will allow AACN to expand the number of both short- and long-term volunteer opportunities available to its members. In addition, the program will be able to address the specific needs of the association in a more timely manner to ensure the most up-to-date volunteer opportunities and create volunteer experiences that are more manageable in the busy lives of our members.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for AACN, simply complete the application below or apply online. The application form is also available via Fax on Demand at (800) 222-6329. Request Document #1521. Please include a cover letter addressing the contributions you believe would enhance the work of the volunteer group to which you are applying. If you are applying for more than one group, include a cover letter for each group or address each group in the same cover letter. In addition, you will need to include a copy of either your curriculum vitae or resume.

The deadline to apply for volunteer opportunities is March 1. The volunteer terms associated with the positions listed here are effective July 1, 2003, through June 30, 2004.


Coming in the March Issue of the American Journal of Critical Care

� Advances in the Understanding of Clinical Manifestations and Therapy of Severe Sepsis: An Update for Critical Care Nurses
� Frequency and Documentation of Oral Care Interventions in Critical Care
� Critical Care Nurses' Beliefs About and Reported Management of Anxiety
� Subjective Perceptions and Physiological Variables During Weaning From Mechanical Ventilation

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

Looking Ahead

February 2003

Feb. 28 Deadline for chapters to nominate a chapter leader to participate in the Chapter Leadership Development Workshop at NTI 2003 in San Antonio, Texas.

March 2003

March 1 Deadline to apply for AACN national volunteer group positions. Apply online or obtain the application form via
Fax on Demand at (800) 222-6329. Request Document #1521.


March 1 Deadline for chapters to apply for the President's Award for Chapters, part of AACN's Circle of Excellence recognition program. The application form is available online

April 2003

April 1 Deadline to apply for BSN Completion and Graduate Completion educational advancement scholarships. To obtain an application, call (800) 899-2226 and request Item #1017, or
visit the AACN Web site.


April 8 Early-bird deadline to save on NTI 2003 registration. For more information or to register, call (800) 899-2226 or visit the NTI Web site.

April 30 AACN's Critical Links membership recruitment campaign ends.

May 2003

May 15 Deadline to submit speaker proposal abstracts for NTI 2004 Orlando, Fla. To obtain a speaker proposal packets, calling AACN Fax on Demand at (800) 222-6329 (Request
Document #6019) or visit the AACN Web site


May 17-22 National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. For more information, call (800) 899-2226 or visit the NTI Web site