Membership Drive Tops 1,700 at Halfway Point|
Nearly 600 individuals and chapters had contributed to AACN’s Critical Links Member-Get-A-Member campaign as the annual drive reached the halfway point in September. The effort had brought 1,733 new members into AACN’s fold, with 362 new members recruited in September alone.
The Critical Links campaign offers valuable rewards to participants, including a $1,000 American Express gift check that will go to the top recruiter. However, anyone who recruits just one new member receives an AACN clinical- or practice-related gift. For every five new members recruited, participants receive a $25 gift certificate toward the purchase of AACN products or services. Recruit a total of 10 new members and receive a $50 gift certificate.
In addition, recruiters are eligible for a monthly drawing to receive a $100 American Express gift check in each month that they recruit a new member. Susan Ward, RN, BN, BS, CCRN, of Rockford, Mich., won the gift certificate for September.
At the end of the campaign, every recruiter who enrolls at least five new members will be entered into three drawings for grand prizes of $500 American Express gift certificates.
Note: To qualify for the prizes and drawings, new members must include the recruiter’s name and chapter, when applicable, on the “referred by” line of the application.
Following are other individual recruiters who have participated to date in the campaign:
Recruited 9—Betty Nash Blevins, Laura E. Dolloff, Ruth M. Norrell, Kenneth R. Thompson, Jackie S. Yon.
Recruited 8—Michelle A. Jurgensen, Maria A. Laxina.
Recruited 7—Amy L. Bandy, Jill E. Barrow, Robin E. Blauser, Erica Burket, Sandra J. Cox, Camilla Dawn Fisher, Deslin Francois, Katherine A. Green, Pamela R. Hulme, Joanne M. Kuszaj, Catherine L. Maurer, Elin Roberts, Stephanie R. Sanderson, Pam Zinnecker.
Recruited 6—Mary Beth F. Bobyarchick, Lorraine D. Boehm, Andrea K. Castilla, Romulo B. Co, Peggy Lynn Ennis, Valerie Grossman, Doris V. Levin, Elaine D. Mayo, L. Jennifer McFarlane, Norlynn M. Nelson, Judith C. Roberts, Alda Savite, Charlene Schwinne, Doris J. Strother, Laura J. Tucco.
Recruited 5—Caroline Axt, Kristina L. Cervantes, Sue Ann Crisp, Michele L. Deiterich, Janice L. Gasaway, Shelia D. La Point, Janet Lynn Moore, Margaret R. Rollins, Eulogio Romualdo Santaromana, Angela Turner Konrath, Holly L. Weber-Johnson, Cynthia L. Zaletel.
Recruited 4—Stephanie A. Baker, Zenaida D. Blanco, Lucille Hicks, Zondra Hull, Anne G. Lockhart, Krista M. Marz, Kimberly T. Rupp, Debra J. Santisteven, Teresa A. Shoultes, Eileen V. Weatherby.
Recruited 3—Carmel Bang, Corazon B. Barbon, Megan E. Brunson, Paul G. Buttes, Lydia G. Casteel, Patricia H. Fountain, Carla J. Freeman, Ma. Thelma C. Herrera, Deborah A. Iulianelli, Lauretta M. Joseph, Michael T. McEvoy, Marla A. Meaux, Estrella P. Mijares, Rachel E. Monday, Trudy M. Neiderer, Janee Poppinga, Jodie R. Porter, Yvonne L. Thelwell, Lori Dawne Waters, Crystal White, Karen R. Willard.
Recruited 2—Michael A. Adams, Christopher M. Ader, Sharon U. Alley, Nancy L. Bormet, Marylee R. Bressie, Joyce Bretz, Yolanda W. Carilimdiliman, Nyla J. Cornforth, Anne C. Dunn, Janet Gabrielson, Michelle D. Gargiulo, Joy Lynn Gaspard, Rhonda L. Grose, Marci Hageman, Karen T. Haigh, Tammy S. Hogue, Mei-Lien Hsu, Susan M. Huber, Kelly M. James, Rachel A. Joseph, Vicky K. Knapp, Kimberly K. Kort, Lynda C. Liles, Crystal L. Logsdon, Paula M. Mantia, Carolyn T. McGee, Polly R. McMullen, Inocencia G. Mendoza, Arlene N. Messina, Diana L. Mustacchio, Nguyen P. Nguyen, Editha G. Pammit, Rickey Jason Poplin, Diana M. Pryer, Victoria L. Robinson, Catherine P. Rodgers, Donna B. Sabash, Anita M. Siscoe-Hapshie, Petronella Stoltz, Linda C. Thomas, Valerie S. Vogeler, Susanne C. Wheeler, Anita J. White.
Recruited 1—Timonet Blando Abuloc, Christine E. Adams, Michael D. Aldridge, Susan Marie Allison, Kristine D. Allison-Hunt, Edna S. Amaba, Mark Alan Ambler, Natalie Ankney, Mary Ann Antonini, Diane J. Appelman, Kathleen Arnold, Susan K. Artman, Karen L. Aylor, Karen M. Baker, Perrilynn A. Baldelli, Linda I. Ball, Sheila A. Barr, Lydia C. Bautista, Claire Bautista, Rebecca L. Beals, Jodie K. Becker, Dornett L. Bell, Ofelia Biagan, Anna T. Bickert, Martha J. Biddle, Kathleen A. Bieler, Virginia Blaize, Brenda S. Blake, Linda L. Boose-Shutes, Diane M. Bosen, Janis E. Boterf, Mary Alice Boynton, Jeanne E. Braby, Vicki Bracht, Shirley A. Bratrud, Patricia Breedlove, Sandra J. Brettler, Kelly Catherine Brooks, Karen S. Brown, Anne H. Brown, Diana M. Brown, Sue Brown, Elizabeth Carol Brown, Linda Burnette, Denise M. Burns, Kelley Butler, Danielle D. Byler, Kristine M. Caldwell, Christopher M Campbell, Beverly Ann Carlson, Cindy Carlson, Amy Beth Carnall-grogan, Lucy A. Cary, Nancy M. Case, Ann Chopack, Nanette M. Clark, Sara A. Clark, Tammy S. Collins, Cathy S. Collins, Wendy Anne Cook, Bonnie J. Corcoran, Frank A. Corcoran, Laurene M. Cox, Shirley A. Cristobal, Jennifer L Crosby, Karen L. Cullinane, Bonnie L. Curtis, Jerry B. Dacoco, Cynthia Ann Damboise, Ashley P. Davenport, Kathleen David-Geisner, Diane B. Davis, Tamie R. Davis, Kathleen Day, William K. Deans, Lorella R. Deleon, Sheree J. Delgado, Connie Deloach, Connie M. DeMilo, Mary W. Dent, Mary Anne Derrico, Ruthie R. Dewitt, Davy Diongson, Kristi L. Dipzinski, Rebecca Lynn Dixon, Robert F. Domos, Mike Donovan, Marci L. Ducret, Edna A. Dukes, Nida P. Dumantay, Claire F. Eckenrode, Barbara A. Economou-Morris, Linda L. Egan, Ross H. Ehrmantraut, Rhonda K. Eisenzimmer, Katherine Y. Elliott, Margaret A. Emmons, Gerardo Villareal Emralino, Don Everly, Clyde L. Ewing, Elizabeth R. Eynouf, Kecia Fagerland, Carolyn Fascetti, Erica Michelle Feagin, Carolyn A. Fernandez, Judith Fernandez, Mariflor-Aileen T. Figueras, Hector M. Fontanez Pabellon, Gabriele Ford, Brenda I. Forrest, Tess Frankum, Marie C. Freeman, Kathleen S. Gallichio, Lisa Gantt Malek, Kathy J. Garcia, Julia K. Garrison, Barbara Garrity, Beverly E. Gay, Terra D. George, Denise Gerig, Sheryln W. Gilman, Lisa A. Gilmore, Jaye P. Gmoser, Carol B. Godfrey, Rana M. Gooden, Barbara B. Goodwin, Michele A. Gordon, Lita T. Gorman, Catherine M. Gorman, Stephanie A. Graci, Una A. Greene, Carol A. Grimes, Jerry A. Gronberg, Donna D. Guy, Joy Hansel, Cheryl Hanson, Susan E. Harpole, Marian T. Hartle, Jeanne E. Hauser, Virginia A. Hawkins, Heather C. Healy, Lillian D. Helwick, Joni S. Herman, Heather Herrera, Lynn C. Hesselbrock, Tobin E. Hill, Margaret M. Hines, Judith A. Hoaglund, Mari L. Hoover-McGarry, Colleen W. Hopkins, Colleen M. Horn, Mary Ann P. House-Fancher, Domenica Hudson, Stephanie L. Hughes, Aida A. Imperio, Robin R. Jackson, Tina L. Jackson, Tina Jacoby, Connie J. Jenkins, Fortunata D. Joaquin, Roberta M. Johnson, Susan C. Johnson, Jacqueline J. Johnson, Deanna Jones, Gary Jones, Patricia A. Jordan, Patricia M. Juarez, Carol A. Kaste, Arceli R. Katigbak, Dale A. Kelleher, Beverly J. Kelley, Stacey A. Kelly, Kathy Kelly, Tania E. Kerr, Michele Ann Kilbourne, Kara L. Kimerline, Kathleen J. King, Katherine A. King, Theresa Lynn Klein, Ruth M. Kleinpell, Stephanie A. Knabe, Michele J. Koss, Mary D. Kracun, Diane M. Krause, Amy K. Kreeger, Stanley A. Kristiansen, Lynn Kuser-Trader, Barbara S. LaChase, Mary M. Lance-Smith, Maureen A. Laughlin, Barbara E. Lawrence, Kristine M. L’Ecuyer, Karen Lee, Christopher S. Lee, Jacquelyn C. Leonard, Michael S. Loga, Lea Long, Corrine P. Lunt, Clair Lunt, Kathy Garcia Lwin, Dianne L. Mackert, Laura L. Madden, Karen E. Malik, Beverly C. Maloney, Michele L. Manning, Julie A. Marcum, Janette A. Mason, Sarah S. Masters, Ruth E. Mathews, Patricia McArdle, Debra J. McCann, Kathleen A. McCarthy, Beth R. McClure, Johanna M. McCoy, Dorothy L. McDowell, Barbara A. McLean, Diane L. McLean, Karen Y. Mealy, Carla M. Menge, Linda T. Meyer, Raul G. Meza, Terry E. Mitro, Bonita L. Moore, Vicki D. Moore, Margery L. Moore, Snow B. Morrison, Eric A. Moss, Bettina S. Moxley, Tara Murrell, Raquel P. Narvaez, Lucy M. Ndegwa, Mila G. Neumann, Richard Djamo Ngamo, Theresa Nino, Brian L. Nipper, Cynthia A. Noe, Vivian F. Norman, Vivian H. Nowazek, Linda Nylander-Housholder, Donna M. O’Neill, Magdalena L. Ongkiko, Wycliffe Mogoi Osoro, Prudence M. Osunero-Lanuza, Laura Padron, Editha R. Paggao, Mary Frances D. Pate, Alison Patterson, Cheryl C. Paul, Minerva P. Pestano, Kristine J. Peterson, Karla Y. Phelps, JoAnne K. Phillips, Amy L. Phillips, Nancy J. Phillips, Shelly R. Phillips, Patricia G. Poole, Barbara B. Pope, Donna M. Post, Nancy J. Powell, Jan C. Preston, Victoria A. Ramik, Andrea M. Ramshur, Maria Jennelyn P. Redil, Martha Reed, Patricia Reeves, Marsha Remington, Carme Ribera, Denise J. Richard, Jamie Dawn Riddles, Lisa A. Riggs, Penney M. Rinderknecht, Barbara C. Rogers, Stephanie A. Ruen, Rose A. Russell, Heather E. Russell, Andrea M. Russo, Catherine J. Ryan, Ian N. Saludares, Myra L. Sanders, Roy A. Sanderson, Albert J. Santos, Katie Schatz, Jolene Sue Schiller, David Ralph Schmidt, M. A. Schommer, Dee D. Schultz, Barbara A. Scotchlas, Orlando Scott, Barbara A. Secrest, Deborah S. Seitz, Anne M. Shakowitz, Barbara Elaine Shanahan, Julie L. Shannon, Merry B. Shepard, Mary L. Shue, Shari L. Simone, Ellen Skelton, Deborah J. Soetenga, Elaine R. Sommer, Linda F. Spears, Joan M. Spitrey, Cynthia M. Spradlin, Cheryl A. Stacy, Elaine E. Steinke, Reena N. Stephens, Carol Stephenson, Jennifer A. Sweeney, Mitchell S. Taylor, Laurie A. Taylor, Michelle Tenn-Hue, Rhonda L. Thomas, Tamekia L. Thomas, Marie T. Todd, Kimberly K. Uddo, Sally A. Urban, Robert Y. Valdez, Cindy Vardeman, Linda Ann Vaughan, Mary Lee Vitek, Kathleen M. Voss, Ruth A. Waltman, Susan Ward, Arlena F. Washington, Cheryl L. Watson, Linda L. Weston Kramer, Christine G. Westphal, Ruth A. Weyant, Stacia L. Whaley, Mary E. White, Maryse Whitsett, Jamie L. Wiggins, Angela M. Williams, Melanie K. Williamson, Margaret Winters, Janice M. Wojcik, Mary Louise Wolf, Elizabeth Wolfrom, Cho Yongae, Debra Jo Young, Eden Zabat, Kelly M. Zappolo, Gary T. Zech.
Additional information about the Critical Links campaign is available online.
Book Your Room for NTI 2005
Reserve your hotel for NTI 2005 early. Rooms can now be booked. The list of available hotels, as well as rates and descriptions of the properties are available online.
NTI 2005 is scheduled for May 7 through 12 in New Orleans, La. The Hilton New Orleans Riverside will serve as the headquarters hotel. Additional information is posted on the Web site and continually updated. The registration brochure will be available in January.
On the Agenda
Following is a report by AACN board member Nancy Blake, RN, MN, CCRN, CNAA, on discussions and actions that took place during the board’s September conference call.
Agenda Item: Chapter Awards Revision
As part of its accountability to ensure that AACN products and programs remain relevant and in alignment with the association’s Strategic Plan, the board approved changes to the Circle of Excellence recognition program for chapters. Included in the changes are three new awards—Chapter Collaboration Award, Chapter Community Education and Public Service Award (replacing the Outstanding Chapter Communication System Award) and Chapter Value of Certification Award (replacing the Chapter CCRN Certification Drive Award).
In addition, the board approved revisions to the Outstanding Chapter Educational Program Award and the Sharon J. Connor Excellence in Chapter Leadership Award. The President’s Award for Chapters remains the same. Additional information about the awards will be available by January.
Agenda Item: Visionary Leader Awards
Although most of the annual Circle of Excellence recognition awards recipients are selected by volunteers appointed to the AACN Awards Review Panel, the board is responsible for selecting recipients of the prestigious Visionary Leaders awards program. The honorees will be announced later.
Critical Care Exposition at the NTI Provides a Link to More Than 6,000 Critical Care Nurses
The NTI 2005 Exhibit Prospectus is now available to companies, hospitals and healthcare systems interested in exhibiting at the Critical Care Exposition in New Orleans, La., May 10 through 12.
Exhibit space is available in the Career Opportunities nurse recruitment section, as well as in the Technical products and Educational Resources sections of the show.
More than 400 exhibitors are expected to participate in NTI 2005, displaying their products and services in more than 100,000 square feet of exhibit space. Many exhibitors plan to offer Exhibits/CE sessions in connection with their displays. More than 6,000 critical care nurses are expected to attend NTI 2005, which runs May 7 through 12.
To reserve exhibit space, contact the AACN exhibits team at (800) 394-5995, ext. 366, 373 or 509; e-mail,
firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information about NTI 2005 and the NTI 2005 Exhibit Prospectus are also online.
Army Nurse Corps Signs on for ECCO
AACN recently welcomed the U.S. Army Medical Department Army Nurse Corps to its family of ECCO (Essentials of Critical Care Orientation) users. The five-year contract allows the Army to use ECCO with thousands of nurses at its seven regional training centers.
The Internet-based program was developed by AACN to provide novice nurses the theoretical knowledge to care for critically ill patients. Its nine modules present the standard didactic content of a basic critical care course.
To date, the program is being used by Institutions in 49 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in Canada, Japan and Puerto Rico. The complete list of ECCO users, as well as other information about the program, is available online.
Thinking About Education? AACN Scholarship Application Process to Open Jan. 1
The application process for AACN Educational Advancement Scholarships for the 2005-06 school year will open Jan. 1. To be considered, all applications must be postmarked by April 1.
The scholarships help advance the art and science of critical care nursing and promote nursing professionalism. AACN members who are registered nurses completing a baccalaureate or graduate degree program in nursing are eligible to apply. Each recipient receives $1500 per academic year.
Additional information will be available after Jan. 1.
Submit Abstracts Online for NTI 2006
June 1 is the deadline to submit speaker proposals, including chapter-related proposals, for NTI 2006, May 20 through 25 in Anaheim, Calif. Abstracts can be submitted online.
Do You Receive Critical Care Newsline?
Each week, Critical Care Newsline delivers updates on the latest news and important information via e-mail. You’ll find links to articles and Web sites on a variety of topics to keep you informed on issues that affect nurses and the nursing profession.
If you are not receiving Critical Care Newsline, simply e-mail your name, street address and e-mail address to
email@example.com. Please indicate whether the street address is for home or work and, if for work, the name of the business.
Just released! Power-Packed Tungsten T5 PDA Bundle
The newest PDA device from PalmOne, the Tungsten T5, is a major breakthrough in PDA technology. This lightweight device comes with 256mb of memory capacity, allowing you to store dozens of nursing software applications and much more! AACN is offering a special introductory bundle on this new device. For only $399, here is what you will get:
Tungsten T5 PDA device
Davis’ Drug Guide with Integrated Calculators (Ultimate Drug Guide)
AACN Lab Values e-reference
Latest Evidence on InfoPoems
The device alone retails for $399, so all the software in this bundle is FREE! Act now, this introductory offer expires Dec. 31, 2005. Visit the
AACN PDA Center to learn about the abundant features of the T5. Click on the “Specials and What’s New” link.
Presenting the Option for Family Presence, 2nd Edition
AACN offers this new resource from the Emergency Nurses Association. This program provides an objective and well-rounded perspective on the concept of family presence during invasive procedures or resuscitation. The manual (with color slides) offers a framework for developing and implementing a family presence program.
Item # 120632
Member price: $45.50
Nonmember price: $48
Critical Care Family Assistance Program: Replication Toolkit
In partnership with the Chest Foundation, AACN offers this toolkit describing a program that empowers you and your team to create a family-friendly critical care environment at your hospital. Created from the experiences and observations of seasoned critical care professionals, this innovative toolkit is a practical, step-by-step guide to developing educational and support resources that can help lead to more positive outcomes for critical care patients and their families. The toolkit features a manual and CD-ROM to guide you through the four essential development phases. Instead of offering mere advice, each step features proven tools you can use to put your own success plan into action.
Member price: $100
Nonmember price: $150
To order or for more information, visit the AACN Website or call (800) 899-2226.
Just Released: NTI 2004 CE Audio Packages!
Be sure to explore the more than 50 new CE audio programs from NTI 2004, available in both CD and audiocassette formats. Choose individual topics or any of the 10 clinical series packages. CE credit is included. To obtain the list of topics, visit the AACN online Bookstore at www.aacn.org (see Specials and What’s New) or use AACN’s FAX on Demand service (800) 222-6329 and request item #6069.
Annual Report Validates Strength of Association
AACN’s annual Financial Report to the Membership for 2003-04 is presented below. This annual report, audited by Langan Associates, PC, reflects that the association remains on sound financial footing.
As a result, AACN was able to continue to pursue its goals, which include:
• Validate and develop the highest quality education and practice resources, programs and services to fulfill the professional and affiliation needs of members and other key customer segments.
• Implement strategies to boldly promote excellence in critical care nursing practice and work environments to ensure optimal care of patients and families.
• Create comprehensive knowledge bases of critical care nursing practice using current data and generating new information to establish AACN as the knowledge source for critical care nurses.
• Ensure that organizational operating systems and infrastructure effectively support the changing business needs, mission, vision and strategic plans of the association.
• Develop and effectively manage financial resources to ensure health and progress of the organization.
Relevance and Strength
Long the largest specialty nursing organization in the world, AACN has flourished despite the turbulence in nursing and the healthcare community. Although the trends have been positive for the past several years, 2003-04 was especially good.
To respond to what its constituents have said they need, AACN refocused its Strategic Plan in areas such as advocacy and resources to improve work environments, promoting the value of contributions by nurses and targeting the specific needs of nurses who are increasingly specialized in their areas of expertise, such as cardiology, progressive care and advanced practice.
Supporting AACN’s efforts to increase its strength through relevance are:
• The largest number of participants attended the NTI since 1997, with 99.6% of the participants saying they would recommend the NTI to a colleague
• AACN’s revolutionary online Essentials of Critical Care Orientation (ECCO) program was in use in more than 200 hospitals, in 47 states and three countries outside of the US. Sales surpassed targets and recouped the investment in ECCO nearly twice as fast as planned, allowing for expansion of this invaluable resource sooner.
• New CCRN certifications were up 15%, and renewal rates were higher than ever. More nurses than projected (400) took the new PCCN exam for progressive care nurses at the NTI in Orlando, Fla.
• More than 70,000 nurses were subscribed to the Critical Care Newsline e-newsletter, with an average of approximately 100 new subscribers per month
• Visitors to the AACN Web site increased 48%.
AACN believes this strength is a result of thoughtfully relevant activities. Some of the underlying activities undertaken to ensure AACN’s current and future relevance to critical care nurses and their practice are:
• Practice alerts to ensure advancement of evidence-based nursing practice
• Issuance of $150,000 in research grants, seven to support end-of-life and palliative care research
• Ethics resources, such as the 4 A’s to Rise Above Moral Distress
• Awarding of the first AACN Beacon Awards for Critical Care Excellence awards
• Identification of future ICU workforce needs through a variety of means, including the FOCCUS paper with the American College of Chest Physicians, the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the American Thoracic Society to define shortage and future needs and the critical care survey to uncover emerging needs and trends.
• Promotion of healthy work environments, including dissemination of research on the elements of healthful environments and testimony to the Institute of Medicine and Veterans Administration on this topic
• Advocacy for zero tolerance for abusive behaviors in healthcare organizations and violence prevention programs
• Representation on the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organization’s ICU core measures task force
• Leadership in the Americans for Nursing Shortage Relief alliance that helped to secure passage of the Nurse Reinvestment Act
• Promotion of the need for hospitals to develop policies regarding family presence during resuscitation
• Leadership in the Nursing Leadership Academy for Palliative and End-of-Life Care to advance palliative and end-of-life care through the activities of more than 40 specialty nursing organizations
• Media outreach resulting in an 88% increase in media mentions of AACN
In the Circle: Award Cites Multidisciplinary Team Collaboration
Editor’s note: Part of AACN’s Circle of Excellence recognition program, the Excellence in Collaboration Award is sponsored by Datascope Corporation to honor innovative contributions to collaborative practice by nurses who care for acutely and critically ill patients and their families. Following are excerpts from the exemplars submitted in connection with the multidisciplinary team portion of this award for 2004.
Oregon Burn Center Multidisciplinary Team
Legacy Emanuel Hospital
We recognize that our team has the initial responsibility to influence not only physical survival, but also the psychological and spiritual well-being of the patient and family. Our population is inclusive of pediatric to adults, from critical care to rehabilitation. A cohesive, well-organized team approach that includes patients and their families is essential to the journey of recovery.
Our team includes nurses; physicians; a critical care clinical nurse specialist; psychiatric nurse practitioners; occupational and physical therapists; speech, child-life and art therapists; respiratory therapists; a burn care coordinator; social services; rehabilitation physiatrists; a spiritual care practitioner; pharmacists; and a dietician. We participate in community injury prevention and have an outreach coordinator. Team meetings with all disciplines are conducted each week. All consulting specialties are invited. After feedback and recommendations from each discipline, a written plan of care is developed and reevaluated each week. Our unit-based practice council is composed of staff nurses. Our CNS and nursing leadership provide support.
We improved workflow, continuity of care and autonomy by identifying and implementing solutions to improve practice at the unit level, relying on input from all disciplines. This includes a collaborative practice protocol. We identified a need to improve pediatric education and practice, developing a minimum competency level to be obtained by staff and providing training to achieve our goal. We participated in a program of international outreach with a humanitarian aid organization. We sent a team of seven to the country of Moldova in order to assess the needs of a children’s burn hospital and assist in enabling the proper allocation of aid. We demonstrated collegial relationships in a developing nation where this does not exist. We continue the exchange and are planning another trip. It is an honor to be part of this team.
Surgical ICU End-of-Life Team
Mission Viejo, Calif.
Supporting the decision of families to donate a loved one’s organs is part of our practice in the critical care environment. It helps provide closure and meaning for families and staff.
Our ICU team of nurses, physicians and ancillary staff found that we were great at saving lives but we had a hard time initiating conversations when there were poor outcomes. Instead of viewing death as a failure, our culture changed to view the importance of our participation with family at the end of life and in supporting the transition from aggressive care to comfort care. It was this change in focus that reinforced the need for options for families at the patient’s end of life and honoring the wishes of patients related to organ donation.
Early identification of potential donors became a labor of love. In 2000, we began to explore the concept of donation after cardiac death. We discussed this option with our physicians, staff and administration to determine if we were ready to participate.
A multidisciplinary team worked together to write the policy, problem solve potential pitfalls and develop a smooth process. This included coordination with the OR staff on end-of-life issues. We worked with our critical care physicians on the increased management needs of a pre-donation patient. We continued to involve our chaplain and social work services to support the family during this process.
It took time but when we had our first candidate for organ donation after cardiac death, we felt we had achieved a great milestone. All the work we had done was worthwhile when we were able to answer the family, “Yes, you have an option if he doesn’t progress to brain death.”
Sandra M. Clarke, RN, ADN, CCRN
Sacred Heart Medical Center
A man whose name I cannot recall, but whom I will never forget, changed end-of-life care for the most vulnerable at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, Ore. This DNR patient died under my care during a busy night shift. I had left to check my other patients with a promise to return. In my absence, he expired. I felt guilty and frustrated.
Over time, I conceived a plan to create an employee-based group of volunteers to provide companionship during the last hours of those who would otherwise die alone. We strove to serve the homeless, those who had outlived their families, the lone traveler who had a catastrophic event passing through Eugene and others who, for various reasons, were alone during the dying process.
Individuals from various departments joined me to make this No One Dies Alone program viable. It has proven to be a positive venture for everyone: patients, families, nurses, volunteers and the community at large. We developed an instruction manual that is available to other healthcare institutions interested in creating similar programs.
End-of-life care is a growing concern of the American public. In an era when healthcare can perform miracles in treatment and cures to extend life, we have failed as a whole to address major issues in the care of the dying. No One Dies Alone provides the most valued kind of care—simple companionship—to a small but often forgotten segment of our society and, in so doing, humanizes the healthcare experience for all.
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
Nursing2004 (September 2004)— In an article titled “Certification? Just do it,” Editor in Chief Cheryl L. Mee, RNC, MSN, reminisced about her extensive preparation for the CCRN exam 20 years ago. She wrote, “When a letter arrived from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses informing me that I’d passed, I proudly started sporting my new CCRN credentials. That day was a turning point in my life, and I want you to know the feeling.”
Excellence in Nursing Knowledge (August 2004)— Sigma Theta Tau International’s monthly online journal debuted with a series of articles about the AACN Synergy Model for Patient Care. The extensive collection of Synergy articles was compiled or written by guest editor Martha Curley, RN, PhD, FAAN, past chair of the AACN Certification Corporation Board of Directors. Demonstrating how the model has moved from theory to practice, the articles included one titled “Nurse Certification and Synergy” by Carol Hartigan, RN, BSN, MA, the corporation’s certification director. In addition, Kimmith Jones, RN, MSN, and Patricia A. Moloney-Harmon, RN, MS, CNS, CCRN, FAAN, both past chairs of the AACN Certification Corporation Board, and Sonya R. Hardin, RN, PhD, CCRN, APRN, a past board member, contributed articles.
Advance Online for Nurses (Aug. 16, 2004)—An article titled “Baystate’s Adult ICU Earns AACN’s Beacon Award, Naming It One of the Nation’s Best” stated that “AACN found the Baystate unit exceeds national standards in staff communication through its frequent collaborative meetings using feedback from physicians, allied health personnel and other critical care team members to improve patient care.” Dorrie Fontaine, RN, DNSc, MSN, FAAN, immediate past president of AACN, was quoted as saying, “While it has just been awarded for the first time, we feel that the Beacon Award will soon be recognized as the most prestigious in our field. These critical care units have set an example that should be emulated, and we are proud to recognize their excellence with the Beacon Award.”
Nursing Spectrum (Aug. 23, 2004)—An article titled “Magnet Moment: Sitting for the PCCN Exam” noted that 23 nurses from Morton Plant Mease Health Care, Clearwater, Fla., took the PCCN exam in May at AACN’s National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition in Orlando, Fla., where it was offered for the first time. “The exam was nothing less than a Magnet moment—and that’s because every nurse taking this initial exam was, in the eyes of peers and supervisors alike, a nurse leader and a professional role model. Progressive care nurses seized the opportunity with both hands,” wrote Adrienne Turner, RN, BSN, CCRN, Morton’s education specialist and Maryann C. Powell, RN, MSN, Morton’s nurse manager.
American Nurse (July/August 2004)—An article titled “Critical Initiatives: Palliative Care Services Complement, Not Contradict ICU Care” announced that AACN has developed two new resources for critical care nurses. One focusing on end-of-life and palliative care is part of AACN’s Protocols for Practice series. The other resource is a tool titled 4 A’s to Rise Above Moral Distress. “It’s a hands-on clinician tool, which is designed to help nurses determine step-by-step if they are experiencing moral distress in dealing with a patient at the end of life,” Justine Medina, RN, MS, AACN’s director of professional practice and programs, was quoted as saying. Also quoted was AACN President Kathy McCauley, RN, PhD, FAAN, who said, “This tool will help nurses first take care of themselves and, in turn, provide better care for their patients.”
Nursing Spectrum (Aug. 23, 2004)—An article titled “Walking the Certification Talk” reported that nearly every ICU RN at Parkland Medical Center in Derry, N.H., has completed AACN’s Essentials of Critical Care Orientation (ECCO)
program, made possible in part by a grant from the New Hampshire Nursing Workforce Partnership Project. “I think that one program, alone, has elevated the clinical abilities of the staff,” said Ed Travers, RN, BSN, CEN, Parkland’s ICU manager. “We believe it is better for
retention because we invest in the staff. A knowledgeable nurse certainly can provide safer and more quality patient care.”
Chicago Sun-Times (Aug. 18, 2004)—AACN Public Policy Specialist Jan Weber, RN, MSN, was quoted in an article in the Careers section. “With the onset of managed care, routine surgeries and other medical procedures that, in the past, required hospitalization are now performed outpatient or in same-day surgery units,” Weber said in the article, titled “Crucial Specialty.” “The result is that patients who are hospitalized on medical floors are usually much sicker and more unstable than in the past, when they would have been cared for in a critical care unit. Great numbers of critical care nurses are needed on every floor of every hospital to care for these high-risk patients.” The article also referenced certification requirements and provided AACN contact information.
Critical Connections (August 2004)—An article titled “Shining a Light on Workforce Issues: the Society of Critical Care Medicine Continues to Pursue Key Initiatives That Address the Critical Care Workforce Shortage” noted that AACN is a collaborative member of the Americans for Nursing Shortage Relief Alliance. The alliance produced the consensus document, “Assuring Quality Health Care for the United States: Supporting Nurse Education and Training” with SCCM, the American College of Chest Physicians and the American Thoracic Society. The issue also referred to AACN’s involvement in National Critical Care Awareness Month and SCCM’s attendance at the NTI.
WCTV-6 Eyewitness News—An article titled “Health Matters: Critical Care” was posted on the Web site (www.wctv6.com), noting that “more nurses who are interested in advancing to a position in critical care will be able to do so” with AACN’s ECCO program, which allows nurses to access the training via the Web at work or at home. Ronetta Campbell, RN, was quoted as saying, “Nursing is a very rewarding field. The ECCO program really prepared me a lot for my state boards; it’s really great.”
Nursing Spectrum (Sept. 7, 2004)—A photo with an announcement that McCauley is the new president of the AACN Board of Directors and that Judy Verger, RN, MSN, CCRN, CRNP, is chair-elect of the AACN Certification Corporation Board of Directors was published.
Advance for Nurses (Aug. 16, 2004)—The New England edition included an article about Denise Buonocore, RN, MSN, CCRN, APRN, BC. Featured were details on her career and accomplishments, highlighting her election to AACN’s Board of Directors. The Greater Philadelphia edition of the same issue announced the appointment of Verger as chair-elect of the AACN Certification Corporation Board of Directors and information on her nursing background.
Our Voice at the Table
Weber and Janie Heath, RN, MS, CS, CCRN, ANP, ACNP, attended the Americans for Nursing Shortage Relief alliance briefing, “The Other Side of the Nursing Shortage: The Faculty Crisis,” in Washington, D.C. AACN is one of 50 members of the ANSR, which is requesting at least $205 million for the Health Resources and Services Administration in FY 2005 to fund the Nursing Workforce Development Programs—Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act. Special emphasis is being placed on increasing support for the faculty loan program and the pool of faculty candidates.
Mary Holtschneider, RN, BSN, MPA, EMT, AACN board secretary, spoke to 42 accelerated, 14-month BSN students of Beth Black, RN, MSN, professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C. Holtschneider discussed professional growth and development, the benefits of becoming active in professional organizations such as AACN and the importance of certification. The students already have degrees and are pursuing a nursing career.
Medina participated in a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Learning Session Panel discussion in San Diego, Calif., to introduce an end-of-life care perspective to the organ donation dynamic. The panel’s goals were to encourage new partnerships, foster synergy of effort and focus, add value to the family care/support experience and expand donation opportunities.
McCauley presented the keynote speech at the AACN Region 6 fall meeting in Atlanta, Ga. She addressed her theme of “Live Your Contribution” and provided an update on AACN initiatives. In addition, Roberta Kaplow, RN, PhD, CCNS, CCRN, AACN board member, presented a clinical speech on “Acute Tumor Lysis Syndrome.”
AACN Certification Corporation Chair Jan Foster, RN, CNS, PhD, CCRN, presented a session titled “Appraising the Quality and Quantity of Evidence for Use in Clinical Practice” for the Texas Association of Perianesthesia Nurses.
McCauley gave a speech on her theme “Live Your Contribution” at Christiana Hospital’s Critical Care Conference in Newark, Del.
Michael W. Day, RN, MSN, CCRN, a member of the AACN Certification Corporation board, presented an update on corporation activities to attendees at the AACN Region 18 fall meeting in Seattle, Wash.
Check Out the New AACN Journals Web Sites
Are you looking for a specific topic or compilation of articles on a specific topic? Beginning Nov. 23, you can search not only current and past issues of the AACN journals—Critical Care Nurse and the American Journal of Critical Care—but also myriad other medical journals online.
Simply visit www.critical-care-nurse.org for Critical Care Nurse or www.ajcconline.org for the American Journal of Critical Care. All issues from 2001 forward are available, and users will be able to print PDFs of articles.
These enhanced Web sites are accessible to anyone for three months, until mid-January. They will then be available only to AACN members and journal subscribers. Subscriptions to both journals are included in AACN membership dues.
The Web sites are hosted by Stanford University’s HighWire Press, the largest medical journals site host in North America. In addition to AACN journals, visitors will be able to search all journals hosted by HighWire.
What's Coming in Critical Care Nurse
• Acute Decompensated Heart Failure
• ST Segment Elevation Before and After Percutaneous Coronary Intervention
• Sepsis and the Role of Activated Protein C
• Infants With Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
Subscriptions to Critical Care Nurse and the American Journal of Critical Care are included in AACN membership dues.
December 1 Deadline to apply for 2006 Distinguished Research Lecturer Award. For more information, call (800) 394-5995, ext. 377, or e-mail,
January 15 Deadline to submit applications for Clinical Inquiry Grants. Additional information is available online
January 15 Deadline to submit applications for End-of-Life/Palliative Care Small Projects Grant. Additional information is available online
February 1 Deadline to submit applications for Mentorship Grant. Additional information is available online or e-mail
February 1 Deadline to submit applications for Critical Care Grant. Additional information is available online or e-mail