AACN News—April 2004—Association News

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Vol. 21, No. 4, APRIL 2004


Nominations Invited for National Leadership Posts
Rising Above to Lead the Call


By Stephanie Calcasola, RN, MSN, and Karen Stutzer-Treimel, RN, MS, CCRN, APN, C
AACN Nominating Committee

Long before the AACN and AACN Certification Corporation nominating committees meet to develop the slates of candidates to present to the membership, the call goes out for nominations.
Individuals can nominate themselves or be nominated by others. Later, the committee meets to develop the slates of candidates for the AACN Board of Directors and AACN Nominating Committee and to recommend appointments to the AACN Certification Corporation Board of Directors.

Once nominated, the individuals are invited to complete a written application in which they can discuss a variety of experiences that help demonstrate their intellectual and ambassador skills. All nominees� written materials are provided to the Nominating Committee for review.

Applicants who demonstrate the requisite abilities are selected for interviews, where they can clarify and expand upon the information contained in the written materials. Transcripts of the interviews are provided to all members of the Nominating Committee before they meet in January to evaluate all the materials submitted and select a slate of candidates to submit to a vote by the general membership.
AACN leaders demonstrate well-integrated ambassador and intellectual skills, including the ability to act with integrity, respectfully listen to others, take responsibility for their own words and actions and commit to working with others. The ability to collaborate with diverse populations, manage conflict, recognize others and propose creative solutions are additional talents the nominees must demonstrate. In addition, communication, ongoing self-assessment, lifelong learning and the willingness to teach, coach and mentor others are part of the required skill set.

AACN is fortunate to have multiple, talented and extraordinary critical care leaders throughout the country. The opportunity to interview these leaders is a privilege, and the committee members truly felt enriched by the process. The intense procedure used to review the applications is respectful of the individuals who have taken the time and the risk to apply for a position. All of the deliberations are confidential, and the process demonstrates the profound integrity that is expected of all of the association�s leaders.

The nomination process is relatively simple. Simply complete the nomination form online at www.aacn.org > Nomination. The AACN Leadership Framework is also available online. Peer and self-nominations are welcome. Associated travel and related expenses are reimbursed by AACN.

Nominations Invited
Nominations are now invited for positions on the AACN Board of Directors, AACN Certification Board of Directors and AACN Nominating Committee.

Do you know someone who possesses the requisite intellectual and ambassador skills for consideration for a national position? Are you that person?

AACN members are encouraged to rise to the challenge and embrace the nomination process. AACN is committed to providing and supporting strong leaders within the organization. Present and future leaders are within our membership. Are you that leader? You can make a difference. Participate in this year�s nominations for future positions and vote today in the current AACN Board and AACN Nominating Committee election. Your voice matters!

Cast Your Vote for Leadership

Selecting the future leaders of AACN has never been easier. Simply visit our website to learn about this year�s candidates for the AACN Board of Directors and AACN Nominating Committee and cast your vote by logging in with your member number and last name. If you cannot locate your member number, call (800) 899-2226.

You are eligible to vote if you are an Active, Emeritus, International or Lifetime member of AACN whose dues were current as of Jan. 6, 2004. Voting closes at midnight (EDT) on April 18.

Elected individuals will begin their terms of office on July 1, 2004. The president-elect will serve a one-year term before assuming the presidency on July 1, 2005. The three-year terms for the directors run through June 30, 2007. The Nominating Committee members serve one year, through June 30, 2005.

Following are the 2004-05 candidates for the AACN Board of Directors and the AACN Nominating Committee:

AACN Board of Directors

President-Elect
1-Year Term

Debra J. Brinker
RN, MS, MSN, CCNS, CCRN
Spokane, Wash.
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Pediatric ICU
Deaconess Medical Center

Director
3-Year Term (3 Positions Open)

Jodi E. Mullen
RN, CNS, MN, MS, CCNS, CCRN, APRN
Dayton, Ohio
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Pediatric ICU
Children�s Medical Center

Susan V. Helms
RN, MSN, MSN, CCRN
Archdale, N.C.
Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
Rowan Regional Medical Center

Denise Buonocore
RN, MN, MS, CCRN, APRN, NP, APRN-BC
Milford, Conn.
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Bridgeport Hospital

Roberta Kaplow
RN, PhD, CCNS, CCRN
Atlanta, Ga.
Professor
Emory University

When the newly elected members of the AACN Board of Directors take office July 1, 2004, they will join incoming President Kathleen McCauley, RN, PhD, CS, FAAN, and returning Directors Nancy Blake, RN, MN, CCRN, CNAA, Suzanne M. Burns, RN, MSN, RRT, ACNP, CCRN, FAAN, FCCM, John F. Dixon, RN, MSN, Caryl Goodyear-Bruch, RN, MSN, CCRN, Janie Heath, RN, MS, CS, CCRN, ANP, ACNP, Mary E. Holtschneider, RN, BSN, MPA, Deborah B. Laughon, RN, BSN, MS, PhD, CCRN, and Carol A. Puz, RN, BSN, MS, CCRN.

Completing their terms on the AACN Board of Directors are President Dorrie Fontaine, RN, DNSc, FAAN, and Treasurer M. Dave Hanson, RN, MSN, CCRN, EMT-P, Secretary Mary Fran Tracy, RN, PhD, CCNS, CCRN, and Susan Yeager, RN, MS, CCRN, ACNP, EMT.

AACN Nominating Committee
1-Year Term (3 Positions Open)

Natalie J. Correll-Yoder
RN, CNS, MN, CCRN
Napa, Calif.
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Queen of the Valley Hospital

Terry S. Richmond
RN, PhD, CRNP, FAAN
Bryn Mawr, Pa.
Associate Professor
University of Pennsylvania

Damon B. Cottrell
RN, CNS, MSN, CCNS, CCRN, CS, CEN
Denton, Texas
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas

Kathleen M. Stephens
RN, BS, BSN
Ballwin, Mo.
Nurse Educator
St. Anthony�s Medical Center

Robin L. Watson
RNC, MN, CCRN
Long Beach, Calif.
Clinical Nurse Specialist
UCLA Medical Center

Share the Knowledge; Submit an NTI Abstract!
Deadline for 2005 Conference Is June 1


By Amy Schueler, RN, MN, MSN, CCRN, APRN, NP
Chair, 2003 NTI Work Group

If you�ve ever contemplated presenting at AACN�s National Teaching Institute, now is the time to take the first step and submit a speaker proposal for NTI 2005 in New Orleans, La. The deadline is June 1.
AACN has made the submission process easier than ever! Here are some background points and guidelines to help you successfully through the process.

Varied Formats
The formats of the educational sessions at the NTI, as well as the parallel Advanced Practice Institute, are varied. Included are preconferences (half-day, full-day, two-day sessions), mastery sessions (150 minutes), sunrise and sunset sessions (90 minutes before and after the regular daily programming), concurrent sessions (75 minutes) and professional enrichment sessions (75 minutes at lunch time).

Eligibility
To be selected, educational sessions must support AACN�s vision: a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and families where critical care nurses make their optimal contributions. They must also support AACN�s mission: establishing work and care environments that are respectful, healing and humane. In addition, the sessions should incorporate research and link it to practice, reflect multidisciplinary approaches, have a high �take-home� value and promote critical thinking and decision making.

Topic Choices
If a topic is of interest to you, it will likely be of interest to others. Ideally, the topic will be one in which you are knowledgeable, that is cutting edge, and relevant to current practice. The topic can be related to critical care practice, professional development, technology or trends in healthcare.

Determine the scope of your topic. Avoid too broad a scope (e.g. a basic critical care course) or too narrow a scope (e.g. CCU pulse oximetry). You must also identify your target audience. Will your content be aimed at pediatric or adult critical care nurses, progressive care nurses, nurse managers or nurses working in non-traditional settings? Will your content be geared to a novice, intermediate or expert nurse, or will it be geared to an advanced practice nurse? Identifying the scope of your topic and its target audience will allow you to choose the appropriate educational session format. For example, a larger scope may require a mastery or preconference session, while a smaller scope can be covered in a concurrent session.

Ready to Write
Are you ready to write your abstract? AACN provides easy-to-follow, detailed guidelines, as well as a sample abstract to make this task simpler. Simply click on the online Speaker Material/Information option. You may also want to use successful abstracts or program descriptions of previous years as a template for your abstract. Organizing and outlining the content before writing the first draft is also a good idea. Ask colleagues knowledgeable on the topic to review your draft and provide input. Avoid ambiguous statements, jargon and unapproved abbreviations. By starting early, you will avoid a last-minute rush and possible omissions.

Submit Your Abstract
Submit your finalized abstract according to the directions provided on the AACN Web site. You may submit online or mail a floppy disk, though online submission is preferred. Late abstracts are generally not accepted, so be sure to make the deadline. Think positive and feel proud to be one of a select group of nurses who submit an abstract to NTI!

The Review
Volunteer members of the NTI Work Group, including API representatives, review all abstracts. The aforementioned criteria are used to rate the abstracts from 0 to 10. The reviewers also evaluate for precise and comprehensive language and that all components of the abstract application are present and in the correct format. The work group members then meet as a group to review the highest ranked abstracts. The goal is to choose sessions that will provide a conference well balanced between leadership and clinical practice issues. Clinical practice issues are further balanced among such areas as adult, pediatric, cardiovascular, neurology, cutting edge, pulmonary and renal.

In summary, the knowledge you hold may be quite helpful to others. Please consider �Rising Above� by submitting an abstract for NTI/API 2005. AACN has made the process easy. All you need to do is take that first step!


First Yale Grand Rounds to Examine Technology

Enriching the learning opportunities offered at this year�s NTI in Orlando, Fla., is the addition of the first Yale Grand Rounds, sponsored by the Yale University School of Nursing, New Haven, Conn.
Titled �Technology Assessment for the Clinician and Researcher,� this session will be led by Marjorie Funk, RN, PhD, FAAN, FAHA, professor at the Yale School of Nursing, and Denise Buonocore, RN, CCRN, APRN-BC, YSN clinical faculty and acute care nurse practitioner at Bridgeport Hospital. They will provide a framework for assessing medical technology, which is so ingrained in today�s healthcare settings, both traditional and nontraditional.

The information is targeted to advanced practice nurses, staff nurses, nurse managers and researchers interested in studying the safe and appropriate use of technology, and evaluating devices for adoption in clinical practice.

�Clinically relevant research is thriving among Yale�s faculty and students,� explains Catherine Gilliss, RN, DNSc, FAAN, the school�s dean and professor. �By presenting these first Yale Grand Rounds, we show our support of AACN�s goal of achieving evidence-based practice and contribute to the NTI�s respected educational program.�

To find out more about the NTI or to register online or call (800) 899-2226.

Free Web Session Targets Crucial Conversations for Healthy Workplaces

As part of its healthy work environment initiative, AACN has embraced the Crucial Conversations approach to managing conflict. In response, organizational development expert VitalSmarts is offering AACN members, on a first-come, first-serve basis, a free Webinar on how Crucial Conversations skills can yield dramatic improvements in a healthcare organization.

In a recent �President�s Note� column, AACN President Dorrie Fontaine, RN, DNSc, FAAN, said, �In so much of our lives�and almost universally in critical care�ineffective communication points out how inadequately we handle crucial conversations. Crucial Conversations can help us learn dialogue with genuine intention that gets positive results.�

Via the combined conference call/online slideshow format, one of the authors of the New York Times bestseller Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High will introduce the concepts and tools employed.

The one-hour session, which will include time for questions and answers, is scheduled for 1 p.m. EDT on April 20. To find out more and to register for free, visit the Crucial Conversations Web site.


Sepsis Program Available
Eli Lilly Grant Underwrites Purchase Fee for CD-ROM

Identification and Management of the Patient With Severe Sepsis, AACN�s national sepsis education program for nurses, is now available in a self-paced CD-ROM format. Funded by an unrestricted educational grant from Eli Lilly and Company, this program is sponsored by AACN and is accredited for 5.0 contact hours of CE credit for single users.

Narrated by clinical expert Barbara McLean, RN, MN, CCRN, CCNS-NP, FCCM, the new program offers clinicians a comprehensive view of the latest information on the diagnosis and care of patients with severe sepsis.

The 170-page, audio/slide CD-ROM study guide includes pathophysiology of severe sepsis; identification of acute organ system dysfunction; antibiotics, source control and monitoring in severe sepsis, including investigational and new approved therapies; hemodynamic, ventilatory, renal and other aspects of care; and nursing care of patients with severe sepsis. Case studies are also included in the presentation.

To order this cutting-edge learning program for only the $7.50 shipping and handling fee, call (800) 899-2226 and request Item #004060. Quantities are limited.

AACN Annual Meeting

You are invited to join the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses National Leadership Team at the Annual Meeting and Forum

Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Noon to 1:15 pm
Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, Florida

At this informative meeting, you will learn about AACN�s strategic plan for the future, which includes important initiatives and efforts to meet the needs of our members. AACN committee chairs will also report the accomplishments of their volunteer groups. As a valued member, we hope you will take this opportunity to ask questions, present ideas and share comments directly with AACN President Dorrie Fontaine, RN, DNSc, FAAN, and CEO Wanda Johanson, RN, MN.

By attending the Annual Meeting, your name will be entered into a drawing to win prizes, including free registration for NTI 2005
in New Orleans, La., practice resources, free membership and AACN recognition products.

Academically Based Online Courses Offered Through IU School of Nursing
Design Geared to Students and Nursing Schools


Online academic courses that specifically prepare learners to work in adult, pediatric or neonatal critical care will be offered May 15 to June 19, 2004, through Indiana University School of Nursing.

The courses, developed through the collaboration of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, Indiana University School of Nursing and Clarian Health Partners, consist of an eight-to-10 module didactic component and a clinical practicum used with an onsite preceptor. Participants may take the three-credit didactic component only or the six-credit didactic-clinical program. Online preceptor orientation with basic information about the role and the course is also available.

Ideal for Summer Electives
�These courses are perfect for schools that would like to offer summer elective credit,� said Diane Billings, RN, EdD, FAAN, coproject director and associate dean for teaching, learning and information resources at IU School of Nursing.

Any school can offer the courses using institutional pricing options. This way, a home school retains its institutional identity. Or, courses may be taken for academic credit from IUSON and transferred to another school.

�The courses are also appropriate for nurses enrolled in mobility programs and as preparation for senior year �capstone� courses,� Billings added.

The project is funded in part by a grant of nearly $1 million from the Learning Anytime Anywhere Partnership, a part of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education. AACN, IU School of Nursing and Clarian Health Partners have provided additional support for the $2.1 million project. Courses were developed by national content experts directed by IU School of Nursing.

PDA Center

Just Released! AHA/AACN ACLS Cardiac Arrest e-Reference
This Palm OS version of the Cardiac Arrest Pocket Reference Card provides algorithms for ventricular fibrillation/pulseless ventricular tachycardia, pulseless electrical activity and asystole; rapid sequence intubation protocol; and tables for drug-induced cardiovascular emergencies. This product is a joint project of AACN and the American Heart Association. The Cardiac Arrest e-Reference is an alternative way for healthcare providers to quickly access information for management of cardiac arrest.

You can purchase this latest e-Reference from the AACN PDA Center for just $12.50. Pocket PC version coming soon. Additional e-References from AHA/AACN are currently in production.

Save on the 2004 Pocket ICU Management Guide
This new publication provides comprehensive information, from coverage about unstable ICU patients with life-threatening disorders (e.g., shock, MI, cardiac arrest, thromboembolic disorders) to disorders additionally presented as a problem, not simply a diagnosis. You will find sections on evaluating fever in the ICU, recognition, managing hypoperfusion states, diagnosing and managing barotraumas, and recognizing catheter infection. Each topic area or organ system includes a summary that outlines proper evaluation and workup of pertinent body fluids and function. The pocket ICU Management Guide is a must-have resource.

Purchase this resource (for both Palm OS and Pocket PC) from AACN's PDA Center and save $10 off the retail price. Pay only $40 through April 30.

15% off Pocket ICU Management and ER/ICU Toolbox Bundle
We have bundled this new ICU Management Guide with an excellent essential program, the Medical Wizard�s ER/ICU Toolbox. This pocket ICU/ER Toolbox bundle is only $80.49, saving you over 15% off individual prices ($94.99). This offer is good through April 30.

Special Price on Ultimate Drug Guide and ER/ICU Toolbox Bundle!
AACN has packaged Medical Wizards new Ultimate Drug Guide for both Palm OS and Pocket PC with another great resource, the ER and ICU Toolbox. Based on the Davis�s Drug Guide for Nurses, the UDG offers substantial functionality that is not available in other drug guides. And, unlike similar products, the UDG contains the entire content of the Davis�s Drug Guide for Nurses, not just the drug information sections. Tools, such as unit conversion calculators, are also incorporated. By merging drug references with calculation tools, the UDG allows nurses to seamlessly access drug information and calculate drug dosages for any patient. Twelve months of free upgrades come with purchase. The ER and ICU Toolbox is a premium medical calculator and rapid reference for emergency and critical care health professionals. More than 13 modules are available, including ACLS protocols, adult drips, emergency meds and fluid wizard.
Through April 30, you can purchase this ER Toolbox/Ultimate Drug Guide Bundle for only $82.99 ($94.98 when purchased separately).

PDA Online Demonstrations
Check out the new PDA online demonstrations, which show you how to use a PDA device and guide you through an exploration of the abundant software programs available for your practice.

Monthly Super Savers on AACN Resource Catalog Products

Time to clean out and update your nursing reference library? AACN can help you with your spring cleaning with this month�s Super Savers! This month, we bring you 3 products at significant discounts. These Super Saver prices are valid through May 31, 2004. To qualify for the Super Saver discounts, orders must be received or postmarked by that date.

Hemodynamic Monitoring
(#128639)
This book is a standard for anyone who needs a resource for learning about hemodynamic monitoring. It is divided into three units. Unit I focuses on anatomy, physiology and assessment techniques, providing overviews of both the pulmonary and cardiovascular systems and discussing physical assessment techniques. Unit II discusses specific monitoring. Unit III discusses the hemodynamic care of critically ill and injured patients. Clinically relevant questions are anticipated and clear; practical answers are presented when possible.
Regular Price
Member $52.20; Nonmember $54.95
Super Saver Price
Member $46; Nonmember $49

Critical Care Nursing Secrets
(#128636)
Outline format covers common problems seen in the ICU, assessment and monitoring techniques, therapies and interventions, and critical issues in ICU care. Also includes bulleted lists and tables for quick review.
Regular Price
Member $33.25; Nonmember $34.95
Super Saver Price
Member $29; Nonmember $31

QT Interval Monitoring: The New Kid on the Block*
(#NCE3603703A or NCE3603703C)
Differentiates QT from QTc intervals, describes key causes and treatments for QTc prolongation, and discusses recognition and interpretation of QT/QTc intervals from 12-lead ECGs and bedside monitoring strips. Includes study guide and 2.0 contact hours of CE credit.
Regular Price (cassette)
Member $13; Nonmember $13
Super Saver Price
Member $10; Nonmember $10
Regular Price (CD)
Member $15; Nonmember $15
Super Saver Price
Member $10; Nonmember $10
*Product ships directly from National Nursing Network. Please allow 7-10 business days
for delivery.


Total in Member Recruitment Campaign Tops 3,500
Drive Ended March 31; Winners to be Announced in May



Beverly Ann Carlson, RN, CNS, MS, MSN, of El Cajon, Calif., more than doubled her total during February in AACN�s Critical Links membership campaign. The 12 new members Carlson recruited brought her total since the campaign began May 1 to 25.

Also bringing in 12 new members to debut in the campaign in February was Regina C. Echetebu of Tampa, Fla.

However, last year�s winner Caroline Axt, RN, MS, of Oakland, Calif., maintained a commanding lead in the campaign with 52 new members recruited. Recruiting 30 or more new members were Kathleen M. Richuso, RN, MSN, of Chapel Hill, N.C., and Delmar Imperial-Aubin, RN, BS, BSN, of Houston, Texas, both with 38 new members recruited; Ngozi I. Moneke, RN, BC, BSN, CCRN, of Freeport, N.Y., with 34; and Dinah Cooper, RN, CCRN, of Vanceburg, Ky., with 33.

Through February, a total of 3,689 new members have been recruited by individuals and chapters. (For chapter totals, see below.) The campaign ended March 31.
Rewards Await Recruiters

The top individual recruiter when the campaign ended 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 drawing for a $100 American Express gift certificate. Receiving the American Express gift certificate in the drawing for February was Linda L. Hickey, RN, of Ashland, Ohio.

In addition, all recruiters are eligible for prize drawings that offer round-trip tickets for two to anywhere in the continental United States, including a five-day, four-night hotel stay; round-trip tickets for two to anywhere in the continental United States; and four-day, three-night hotel accommodations in the continental U.S.

Note: To participate, recruiters must include their membership numbers on the referral line of the membership application. Individuals who also want their chapters to receive credit must include the chapter name.

Making Critical Links
Following are other individuals who have recruited five or more new members in this year�s campaign:

Judith A. Ascenzi, Caroline Axt, Stephanie A. Baker, Rachel Banks, Lydia C. Bautista, Angela J. Bentley, Cathy L. Blonski, Laura B. Boehm, Jeanne Ann Bolton, Cynthia L. Bond, Diane M. Bosen, Marylee R. Bressie, T. Lynn Brown, Megan E. Brunson, Barbara M. Bundage, Denise Buonocore

Ana M. Cabrera, Yolanda W. Carilimdiliman, Beverly Ann Carlson, Nancy M. Case, Diane M. Casperson, Lydia G. Casteel, Evelyn C. Coen, Deborah J. Conaway, Dinah Cooper, Sandra J. Cornish, Lori Ann Cox, Bonnie L. Curtis

Victor A. Duarte, Anne C. Dunn, Barbara M. Eachus, Regina C. Echetebu, Jean A. Endryck, Michelle A. Ernzen, Kathleen L. Finn, Dorothy J. Flowers, Barbara A. Foster, Deslin Francois, Carla J. Freeman, Kirsten F. Fritz, Becki L. Fuzi

Kevin R. George, Katherine A. Green, Tracy Gregoire, Carol A. Grube, Sharon V. Grupp, Ma. Thelma C. Herrera, Brian Hyland, Delmar Imperial-Aubin, Kathleen M. Johnson, Michelle A. Jurgensen, Rachelle M. King, Janis D. King, Betty C. King, Vivian M. Kish, Dawn Kregel

Rhonda Lanclos, Maria A. Laxina, Melanie Jane Leepers, Dawn LeQuatte, Brandi Lidikay, Julie F. Locquiao, Linda J. Lopazanski, Paula A. Lusardi, Jann M. McCann, Christina McCarter Cantey, Pauline J. McNeece, Inocencia G. Mendoza, Ann L. Mercer, Julie S. Miller, Ngozi I. Moneke

Paulita D. Narag, Joseph R. Newsome, Donna M. O'Neill, Jennifer L. Patterson, Jill Poston, Lynn M. Purcel, Kathleen Quattrocchi, Irma N. Richardson, Kathleen M. Richuso, Susan M. Roberti, Catherine P. Rodgers, Margaret R. Rollins, Marisue Rowe

Donna B. Sabash, Ian N. Saludares, Mary Karen Sands, Edna J. Schambers, Laura B. Seay, Teresa J. Seright, Eunice K. Simmons, Jacqueline D. Smith, Lynn Smith Schnautz, Doris J. Strother, Patricia M. Tanzi, Yvonne L. Thelwell, Deborah L. Truitt, Paula J. Varhol, Stephanie C. Westbrook, Barbara G. Wiles, Suzanne Williams, Sonia H. Wisdom, Maureen Wood, Jackie S. Yon, Cynthia L. Zaletel.

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
RN (February 2004)�Excerpts from the �President�s Note� column (�Why Can�t We Get Our Arms Around True Collaboration?� AACN News, January 2004) by AACN President Dorrie Fontaine, RN, DNSc, FAAN, were featured in the �AACN Update� section. Fontaine cited six examples of patient-focused collaboration, including the recent Institute of Medicine report on the work environment, the Gallup Poll reaffirming the public�s trust in nurses and the American College of Chest Physician�s patient-focused care pledge. The section also discussed the importance of advance planning for this year�s NTI in Orlando, Fla., including the option of online housing registration (www.aacn.org > NTI), as well as the many benefits of attending.

Critical Connections (February 2004)�The Society of Critical Care Medicine�s Annual Report to Members and Donors noted that SCCM continues to build bridges with other organizations in developing collaborative relationships. �Along with the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), and the American Thoracic Society (ATS), the Society continues to identify solutions related to the critical care workforce,� the report stated.

Nursing Education Perspectives (Jan. 1, 2004)�An article titled �Starting a Student-Focused Teaching Revolution� noted that AACN �has supported the ACCP pledge and called on all nurses to work with their physician colleagues to implement patient-focused care.� The additional need for student-centered teaching was also stressed.

American Journal of Nursing (February 2004)�An announcement of AACN�s Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence to recognize exceptional hospital critical care units was featured. �Units will be evaluated on recruitment and retention practices, education and training, use of evidence-based practices and resources, patient outcomes, environment, and leadership and organizational ethic,� the article noted. AACN�s Web site (www.aacn.org) was listed for further information.

SCCM News Release (Feb. 24, 2004)�Several media outlets picked up an SCCM news release announcing the next phase of its Surviving Sepsis Campaign, an international initiative to reduce the number of deaths caused by sepsis. Announced was the development of updated guidelines for treating patients with sepsis. AACN is a cosponsor of the effort. Among the outlets posting the announcement, released in conjunction with SCCM�s 33rd annual Critical Care Congress, were CBSMarketWatch.com, LosAngelesTimes.com, NewsAlert.com, Hoovers.com, PharmaLive, Biz.yahoo.com and Quote.com.

Health Management Technology (February 2004)�Atlanta-based MC Strategies, Inc., a provider of Web-based learning content, was cited as being licensed to offer AACN�s Essentials of Critical Care Orientation (ECCO) educational tool.

Advance for Health Information Professionals (Feb. 3, 2004)�An announcement that MC Strategies will offer ECCO noted that �the new courseware will be available immediately through MC Strategies� WebInService division.�

HealthStream Inc. News Release (Feb. 25, 2004)�Several media outlets picked up an announcement of HealthStream�s 2003 fourth quarter and year-end results for 2003, which noted that AACN partnered with HealthStream to deliver the Essentials of Critical Care Orientation (ECCO) courseware to hospitals. HealthStream is offering the Web-based program as part of its solution to assist hospitals in achieving their business and clinical training objectives. The announcement was featured on CBS MarketWatch.com, NewsAlert.com, Hoovers.com, HealthLeaders.com, Yahoo.com and Quote.com, among others.

Clinical Nurse Specialist (January/February 2004)�In a continuing education article, titled �Potential Reduction Exposure Products and FDA Tobacco Regulation,� lead author Janie Heath, RN, APRN, BC-ANP, ACNP, a member of the AACN Board of Directors, presented an overview of potential reduction exposure products with strategies to help clinical nurse specialists address tobacco harm reduction issues. The article included a table with examples of leadership and communication skills, many of which were based on input from AACN Director of Marketing and Strategy Integration Dana Woods, BA, MBA, at the AACN Board of Directors meeting in November 2002, as well as a reference to AACN�s Web site (www.aacn.org) for further information on grassroots activism.

Advisory Board Company�The Washington, D.C.-based company interviewed AACN Board Member John F. Dixon, RN, MSN, for a report titled �Establishing the Quality Baseline: Maximizing Capture of Errors and Near Misses,� which assessed the roles of information technology and the CIO in advancing the quality of patient safety and care, and improving the capture of accurate and timely safety data. Dixon envisioned, launched and oversaw an initiative at Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, to convert its manual error reporting procedure to a Web-based system. Citations from two of his publications were also included in the report by the Advisory Board Company, an organization that provides best practices research and analysis to the healthcare industry.

Nursing Spectrum�The online �Dear Donna� column advised readers to contact their local AACN chapter or the national office for further information regarding critical care courses (Jan. 7, 2004) and research projects (Jan. 30, 2004). Each response also included a link to AACN�s Web site (www.aacn.org).

Our Voice at the Table
AACN President-elect Kathleen McCauley, RN, PhD, CS, FAAN, spoke at a conference on �Utilizing Standards and Research to Improve Practice in ICUs,� sponsored by the New Jersey Hospital Association. Her speech was titled �The Impact of Staffing Shortages on the ICU Team.�

Heath represented AACN at the American College of Nurse Practitioners� annual summit in Washington, D.C. The focus of the summit was to empower nurse practitioners in the areas of leadership, practice and healthcare policy. During the general session, AACN�s mission, vision, and strategic initiatives were shared with other ACNP national affiliate organization representatives, including the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, the National Conference of Gerontological Nurse Practitioners and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty. A key outcome of the business session was the election of past AACN Board Member Nancy Munro, RN, MS, CCRN, ACNP, as the national affiliate representative for ACNP�s Nomination Committee.

AACN Board Member Nancy Blake, RN, MN, CCRN, CNAA, served on the planning committee for the Contemporary Forums �Leadership Excellence in Neonatal, Pediatric and Obstetric Care� conference in Las Vegas, Nev. She also spoke at a preconference on developing a pediatric residency program, and managing and retaining new staff, gave a concurrent session lecture on �Critical Care Management� and spoke at a general session on the �Liability of the Manager.�

AACN Board Member Mary Holtschneider, RN, BSN, MPA, spoke at a conference titled �Hot Topics in Acute and Critical Care Nursing,� held in Chapel Hill, N.C., and sponsored by the University of North Carolina School of Nursing Continuing Education. She presented an update on national AACN initiatives. In addition, Michelle Ernzen, RN, MSN, CCRN, president of the Triangle Chapter of AACN, discussed her chapter�s activities.

Blake, RN, MN, CCRN, CNAA, wrote a chapter for the Pediatric Disaster Response Plan that will be used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Development of the plan, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Emergency Medical Services for Children, is being headed by the Section of Pediatric Preparedness at the Center for Disaster Preparedness, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York City.

If you or your chapter has reached out to the media or other groups to promote critical care nursing, we�d like to know. E-mail your information to Judy.Wilkin@aacn.org.

Hospital Finds ECCO Adaptable to Different Unit Types

Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital is a 396-bed tertiary care hospital in Lebanon, N.H. Part of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, the hospital recently became the first facility in New Hampshire to achieve Magnet status for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. It has been using AACN�s Internet-based Essentials of Critical Care Orientation (ECCO) education program for more than a year.

The hospital�s director of nursing education, Ellen Ceppetelli, RN, MS, and two of the hospital�s educators, Ingrid Mroz, RN, MS, CCRN, clinical nurse specialist for the ICU, and Patricia DeWitt, RN, MS, clinical educator for the hospital�s Inpatient Cardiac Services Unit, liked the adaptability inherent within the ECCO program for hospitals using it in more than one type of unit.

�The order of the content can be specific to the type of patients seen in a particular unit,� said Ceppetelli.

Mroz added, �Each unit using ECCO has the flexibility to set up their orientation course based on the type of patients seen in that unit.�

DeWitt agreed, commenting that her orientees start with the cardiovascular module while Mroz shared that her orientees start with a triad comprising the pulmonary/renal/neurologic modules.

�The difference in specialties means each unit will have a different primary patient focus,� said DeWitt.

According to Ceppetelli, the nursing shortage created change in the hospital�s hiring practices and, subsequently, to the way orientation was offered.

�Four years ago, we developed an orientation course that would be offered biannually,� she said. �What we found was that in one class, we might have 25 people but only four in another.

�Hiring new nurses every couple of weeks made it very resource intensive in terms of number of hours devoted to orientation�coordinating and finding rooms, scheduling anywhere from 12 to 22 faculty�and still not having the flexibility to offer orientation more frequently to support the frequency of our hiring. Using ECCO helped us hire people right when we needed them, rather than waiting or missing the opportunity to hire a desired nurse because we can offer immediate learning for the nurse to work in the role hired for.�

Ceppetelli, Mroz and DeWitt also believe that using ECCO gives the students an advantage over traditional, classroom-based orientation, because students can revisit the learning environment by reviewing the online program.

DeWitt and Mroz said that, with ECCO, the course can be spread over a length of time that will accommodate deeper learning through hands-on activities and working with preceptors.
Ceppetelli noted that learning best occurs when it�s combined with practice.

�ECCO allows us to really develop this kind of model,� she said.

�And it�s flexible for students,� said Mroz. �They can do it for two hours one day, four hours another day, really focus on topics they don�t know or review areas they do know.�

Ceppetelli agreed, saying, �Our academic medical center is in rural New England, where geography and climate is tough. Most people have high-speed Internet access at home, where two feet of snow and subzero temperatures have no impact on accessing the program and learning.�

Both Mroz and DeWitt indicated that conscientious students often spend significantly more time completing the modules than the approximate completion times provided by AACN.

�Then, they�ll take a module exam and score 100%, whereas others who are not as committed don�t score as well,� said DeWitt.

Ceppetelli pointed out that the increased completion time might also be the result of students taking extra notes when working through content related to patients they do not see frequently in their given setting.

The hospital�s educators developed their own tool for measuring didactic knowledge, which Mroz has used to compare results for students who used ECCO to students trained in the previous, classroom-based orientation method.

�Staff that have completed the ECCO program as part of their orientation have done quite well. The comparison of new to old is as good or better,� she said.


May Is National Awareness and Recognition Month
Celebrate Critical Care!

May is Critical Care Awareness and Recognition Month, a time set aside to celebrate the contributions of nurses, doctors and other members of the healthcare team to the care of critically ill patients and their families.

The annual observance is promoted by AACN, in partnership with the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the American College of Chest Physicians.

As we applaud these individuals and their dedication to the patients and families in their care, we invite you to take part by recognizing the critical care professionals in your communities. An array of recognition products is available to augment activities planned. Additional information is available online.

Other Important Dates in May
May 6-12�National Nurses Week
May 6�National Nurses Day

What�s Coming Up in the May Issue of the American Journal of Critical Care

� Communication Ability, Method, and Content Among Nonspeaking Nonsurviving Patients Treated With Mechanical Ventilation in the Intensive Care Unit

� Visiting Preferences of Patients in the Intensive Care Unit and in a Complex Care Medical Unit

� Comparison of Traditional and Disposable Bed Baths in Critically Ill Patients

� Comparison of Signal Quality Between EASI and Mason-Likar 12-Lead Electrocardiograms During Physical Activity

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


Looking Ahead

April 2004

April 6 Early-bird deadline to register for NTI 2004 at discounted price. For more information and to register online.

April 18 Voting closes at midnight in annual AACN election to fill positions on the AACN Board of Directors and AACN Nominating Committee.


May 2004

May 15-20 National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition in Orlando, Fla.

May 17-July 9 CCRN certification examination unavailable at AMP assessment centers.

May 18 AACN Annual Meeting and Forum, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.


June 2004

June 1 Deadline to submit speaker proposals for NTI 2005 in New Orleans, La..

June 11 Deadline to nominate yourself or a colleague for leadership positions on the national AACN Board of Directors, AACN Certification Corporation Board of Directors and AACN Nominating Committee. Complete the Nomination Form inside this issue or nominate online.

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