AACN News—July 2005—Association News

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Vol. 22, No. 6, JUNE 2005

The Vision Is Passed: ‘Engage and Transform’ Is President’s Theme
Brinker Accepts Reins of Leadership From McCauley

2004-05 AACN President Kathy McCauley (left)
presents the AACN Vision crystal to 2005-06
President Debbie Brinker.

Embracing a theme of “Engage and Transform,” Debbie Brinker, RN, MS, MSN, CCNS, CCRN, became the 36th president of AACN on July 1. She accepted the reins of leadership from outgoing President Kathy McCauley, RN, PhD, BC, FAAN, FAHA.

In a speech on the final day of AACN’s National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition in New Orleans, La., Brinker outlined her vision for the year. She asked the NTI participants to dream about how their practice environments would look if they could design them themselves.

“We do have the power to change our workplaces so that they meet our needs as healthcare team members and individuals who care for the most vulnerable patients,” she asserted.

“My wish for us over the year ahead is that each one of us commits to engaging ourselves in the transformation of our workplace cultures.” (See President’s Note, page 2)

On the Team
Earlier in the week, newly elected board members were announced at the AACN Annual Meeting and Forum. They are President-elect Mary Fran Tracy, RN, PhD, CCNS, CCRN, FAAN, and Directors Beth Hammer, RN, MSN, APRN-BC, Paula Lusardi, RN, PhD, CCRN, CCNS, Patricia Gonce Morton, RN, PhD, ACNP, FAAN, and Janice Wojcik, RN, MS, CCRN, APRN, BC.
They join returning board members Nancy Blake, RN, MN, CCRN, CNAA, Denise Buonocore, RN, APRN-BC, CCRN, John F. Dixon, RN, MSN, CNA, BC, Caryl Goodyear-Bruch, RN, PhD, Mary E. Holtschneider, RN, BSN, MPA, NREMT-P, Roberta Kaplow, RN, PhD, CCNS, CCRN, AOCNS, and Jodi Mullen, RNC, MS, CCNS, CCRN.

Completing their terms on the board were Suzanne M. Burns, RN, MSN, RRT, ACNP, CCRN FAAN, FCCM, Janie Heath, RN, PhD, APRN-BC, ANP, ACNP, Deborah B. Laughon, RN, BSN, MS, PhD, CCRN, and Carol A. Puz, RN, BSN, MS, CCRN.

Following is information about the new members of the AACN leadership team:

Debbie Brinker
A pediatric nurse who is a clinical instructor on the Child Health Faculty at Washington State University’s Intercollegiate College of Nursing, Spokane, Brinker served three years on the AACN Board of Directors, from 2000 to 2003, before returning to the board last year as president-elect.

She joined AACN in 1988 and is a member and past president of the Spokane Chapter. She is also a past member of the AACN Certification Corporation Board of Directors.

In addition to her current faculty position, Brinker has been a staff nurse, a supervisor and a nurse manager. She also served as a nurse in the U.S. Air Force.

Mary Fran Tracy
Tracy is a critical care clinical nurse specialist at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Minneapolis, and an adjunct assistant professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota.

A member of AACN since 1990, she was a member of the AACN Board of Directors, from 2001 to 2004, serving as secretary from 2002 to 2004. She is also a past member of the AACN Certification Corporation Board of Directors.

Tracy is a member and past president of the Greater Twin Cities Chapter.

Beth Hammer
Hammer is a nurse practitioner in cardiology at the Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wis.

A member of AACN since 1990, she served as a Chapter Advisory Team representative in Region 8 from 2002 to 2004. She is a member and past president of the Greater Milwaukee Area Chapter.

Paula Lusardi
Lusardi is a critical care clinical nurse specialist in the Level I Trauma ICU at Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Mass.

She has been a member of AACN since 1989 and has served on the national NTI Work Group, Advanced Practice Work Group and Research Work Group, which she chaired. Lusardi is a member and serves on the board of the Pioneer Valley Chapter.

Patricia Gonce Morton
Morton is a professor and assistant dean for Master’s Studies at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore. In addition, she is program director of the Clinical Nurse Specialist and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Master’s Program in Trauma, Critical Care and Emergency Nursing. She is an acute care nurse practitioner at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Morton has been a member of AACN since 1978 and has been a member and chair of the national Advanced Practice Work Group. She is a member of the Chesapeake Bay Chapter.

Janice Wojcik
Wojcik is an advanced practice nurse in Critical Care at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, Paterson, N.J.

A member of AACN since 1987, she served as the Region 3 Chapter Advisory Team representative from 2002 to 2004. She was chapter advisory team leader the past year. She has also served on a number of panels and advisory teams at the national level. Wojcik is a member and past president of the Northern New Jersey Chapter.

Nominating Committee
Elected to the AACN Nominating Committee for 2005-06 were Traci Hoiting, RN, MS, ACNP-BC, JoAnne Phillips, RN, MSN, CCRN, CCNS, and Kathryn E. Roberts, RN, MSN, CRNP, CCRN.

Physician Groups Back Healthy Work Environments Initiative; Importance Discussed During NTI

Representatives of three physician organizations gave their support to AACN’s Healthy Work Environments initiative during AACN’s National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition in New Orleans, La.

They were convened at a session titled Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments, led by 2004-05 AACN President Kathy McCauley, RN, PhD, BC, FAAN, FAHA. Attending were Peter Angood, president of the Society of Critical Care Medicine; Paul A. Kvale, president of the American College of Chest Physicians; and John Heffner, vice president of the American Thoracic Society.

“We would want to help and contribute to your agenda in any way possible,” Heffner said.

Six Standards
McCauley explained that the six essential standards for establishing and sustaining a healthy work environment are skilled communication, true collaboration, effective decision making, appropriate staffing, meaningful recognition and authentic leadership. The standards were announced in January.

“This has become one of our top advocacy priorities, because we believe that it’s critical to show our commitment to optimal patient outcomes,” McCauley said. “We recognize that the nursing shortage cannot be reversed without healthy work environments.”

McCauley asked the physician organization representatives for their input and urged the session attendees to embrace the standards, raise awareness and make them nonnegotiable.

Praise and Collaboration Commitments
Kvale said the most important standard is true collaboration. In 2004, ACCP, with support from AACN, formed the Critical Care Institute to improve the care for critically ill patients, regardless of where they are in the healthcare system.

“[You] need to be encouraged,” he told the session attendees. “We as physicians need to allow nursing personnel to speak up and tell us what they know and contribute to an integrative approach to care,” he said.

Peter Angood, president of the SCCM, said that he admired AACN’s use of such words as “powerful” and statements like “we are committed to acting boldly” in outlining its mission.

Much of what is in the standards is about communication and respect, Angood noted, admitting that it will take “a while to change” the work environment. He suggested that the standards should not only be implemented in the workplace but also incorporated into healthcare education to establish it early in a professional’s career.

We’re in This Together
All three physicians recognized a need to curb inappropriate workplace behavior and committed their groups to helping AACN in its endeavors. Heffner suggested that AACN promote the six standards under the banner of improving patient care, because he gleaned that commitment from the organization when reading the full document on healthy work environments online ( www.aacn.org ).

“Healthy work environments are essential to ensure patient safety, enhance staff recruitment and retention, and maintain an organization’s financial viability,” the call to action states.

The leadership of major critical care associations came together at the NTI.
Pictured (from left) are past AACN President Dorrie Fontaine, ACCP President
Paul A. Kvale, 2004-05 AACN President Kathy McCauley, incoming AACN
President Debbie Brinker and ATS Vice President John Heffner.

Couldn’t Attend the NTI? Here’s a Sampling of What Went On

Nearly 8,000 participants and more than 400 companies converged on New Orleans, La., in May for AACN’s National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition.

The weeklong conference provided a range of opportunities for participants to learn, network and celebrate their profession.

If you weren’t able to attend the NTI, you can still sample some of the rich knowledge sharing that took place.

Posters Online
The Research and Creative Solutions Posters that were on display at the NTI are now online at www.aacn.org > Research > General Information. The posters are organized by category.
And, remember, if you are interested in submitting a poster abstract for NTI 2006, the submission deadline is Sept. 1.

‘Taste of NTI’
Again this year, GE Healthcare is sponsoring a “Taste of NTI,” making videos of two sessions available online at www.aacn.org > NTI > Past NTI Websites > New Orleans . The sessions that were videotaped for this unique offering were the “Live Your Contribution” opening session address by 2004-05 AACN President Kathy McCauley, RN, PhD, BC, FAAN, FAHA, and a concurrent session GE Healthcare sponsored, titled “PULSE-less? Practical Use of the Latest Standards for ECG.”

Leadership Addresses
Print copies of McCauley’s address and of the President-elect’s Address delivered by then incoming President Debbie Brinker, RN, MS, MSN, CCNS, CCRN, are also available online at www.aacn.org > NTI > Past NTI Web Sites > New Orleans, La.

Support for Scholarships
An increasingly popular NTI event, now in its fifth year, the Silent Auction raised more than $30,000 for the AACN Scholarship Endowment. The endowment was established three years ago by the AACN Board of Directors, with the goal to become a self-sustaining funding source and ensure the perpetuity of AACN’s scholarship program. AACN currently provides scholarships to members completing a college degree, a graduate degree or obtaining continuing education credits available at the NTI. Included are Vision Partners scholarships that pair first-time NTI attendees with experienced NTI participants.

Outside the association, AACN supports entry into the nursing profession by funding 10 scholarships administered by the National Student Nurses Association Foundation.
Additional pledges for the Scholarship Endowment were announced at the Chapter Presidents Luncheon at the NTI. (See Chapters)

What NTI 2005 Participants Said

Following each NTI, AACN receives much-appreciated feedback from participants. In addition to a number of other evaluation tools, the comments received are an important part of planning to keep the NTI current and meaningful to participants.

Following is a sampling of the types of feedback we received this year:

I can’t remember an NTI that was much fun as this. Networking Night was fabulous. The DJ and emcee were the best. The positive energy flow all week was remarkable. It always makes me proud that I’m a nurse when I come to NTI, but I felt especially moved this year.

Kathy McCauley was an outstanding president. She represented what nursing should be all about.

NTI was stellar this year. The program was incredible. I really appreciate the richness of the pediatric topics; there was so much to choose from!

As always, you did a great job putting this massive undertaking together. The speakers were great, and there was a variety of topics. Thank you for a wonderful experience.

I attended the NTI in New Orleans. I have to tell you, it was a most enjoyable time.

The NTI was and is as in past years a very rewarding experience and something that all critical care nurses need to attend at least once in their careers. We heard great speakers, visited a wonderful city, networked with other critical care nurses from around the country, saw some great entertainment Wednesday night, had a great meal at the Certification Dinner and, all in all, had a wonderful time.

Scholarships Connect Vision Partners
10 Pairs Share Experiences at NTI

Some participants at NTI 2005 in New Orleans, La., last month were part of a unique scholarship program that pairs an AACN member with a nonmember to share the NTI experience and the benefits of AACN membership.

The continuing education Vision Partners Scholarships went to 10 pairs of participants, including five pairs whose scholarships were funded for the first time this year by a $5,000 grant from the Gannett Foundation/Nursing Spectrum. AACN is one of three nursing organizations to receive the grants as part of Nursing Spectrum’s goal of supporting and celebrating the advancement of the nursing profession.

“We are very pleased to be able to support these important nursing organizations and their efforts toward our mutual goal of promoting the advancement of a dynamic nursing profession,” said Patti Rager, RN, MSN, MBA, Nursing Spectrum president and publisher. “These grants indicate the Gannett Foundation’s continued commitment to nurses and the communities they serve.”

The AACN Vision Partners program grants $1,000 each to 10 pairs of NTI participants. One partner must be an AACN member, who will share the NTI experience and benefits of AACN membership with the other partner, a nonmember who has not previously attended the NTI. The nonmember also receives a one-year AACN membership.

The 2005 NTI Vision Partners Scholarship recipients were:

Nursing Spectrum/Gannett Foundation Recipients
Western Edition
Member: Kupiri Barger, RN, BSN, CCRN
Nonmember: Lori O’Shaughnessey, RN
Mad River Community Hospital

Southeastern Edition
Member: Lisa Guy, RN, BSN, CCRN
Nonmember: Judy Smith, RN, BSN
Randolph Hospital, Incorporated

Southern Edition
Member: Courtney Payne, RN, CCRN
Nonmember: Anne Gillean, RN, MSN
Brackenridge Hospital, SETON Healthcare Network

New England Edition
Member: Jacqueline A. Turcotte, RN, CCRN, EMT
Nonmember: Lyse B. Roy, RN, BSN
Central Maine Medical Center

Midwestern Edition
Member: Susan Yeager, RN, MS, CCRN, APRN-BC
Nonmember: Kimberly Thomas
Riverside Methodist Hospitals

AACN Recipients
Member: Sara Turpel, RN, BSN, CCRN
Nonmember: Madelyn Ogle, RN, BSN
Miami Children’s Hospital

Member: Darra Jung, RN, BSN, CCRN
Nonmember: Deborah Self, RNC, EMT-P
Union General Hospital

Member: John Pozar, RN, BA, BS, CEN, CCRN, CFRN
Nonmember: Mike Laidlaw, NREMT-P
Guardian Air Transport

Member: Joanne Smith, RN, CCRN, ACLS
Nonmember: Ann Norwich, RN, ACLS, PALS
Gettysburg Hospital

Member: Jacqueline A. Keuth, RN, BSN, MS, CCRN, CCNS
Nonmember: Elena Barriga, RN, BSN
Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center

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 (May 2005)—In the guest editorial, then incoming AACN President Debbie Brinker, RN, MS, MSN, CCNS, CCRN, discussed the AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments and asked nurses to consider their contribution to creating a healthy work environment. Brinker concluded, “We all have a responsibility in this. But it starts with communication. If we communicate about our challenges and our solutions, we can make healthy work environments a reality—not just a goal.”

American Journal of Nursing (May 2005)—“Rising Above: New Jersey ICU RNs Work Together to Create Art” was the title of an article about the medical ICU at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, Paterson, N.J., re-creating AACN’s NTI 2004 theme as a mosaic. The project, which was suggested by Belkis Ramirez, RN, is now displayed at the unit’s entrance. Staff worked on the project for two months. Advanced practice nurse Janice Wojcik, RN, MS, CCRN, APRN, BC, now a member of the AACN Board of Directors, said, “Now, when you go on to the unit, you’ll often see two of the RNs in the room together working with a patient. It’s not so much my patients as it is our patients. They want to deliver excellent care, and they’ve come to realize they work much better together than they do individually.”

Nursing Management (May 2005)—The lead page of an article titled “Specialty Certification: More Than a Title” showed the CCRN certification displayed on a nurse’s badge. The article noted that “many consider certification a significant indicator of the knowledge and experience a registered nurse offers.” AACN Certification Corporation was listed as a member of the American Board of Nursing Specialties.

Dermatology Nursing (April 2005)—Karlene Kerfoot, RN, PhD, CNAA, FAAN, senior vice president for nursing and patient care services at Clarian Health Partners, Indianapolis, Ind., was the author of an article titled “Building Confident Organizations by Filling Buckets, Building Infrastructures, and Shining the Flashlight.” Kerfoot explained, “Models such as the Synergy Model described by the think tank commissioned by AACN are an excellent example of a guide for a lifetime of building confidence around the eight patient characteristics and the eight nursing characteristics.” She added, “The Beacon Award that is given to individual critical care units from AACN is another example of building an infrastructure from a set of standards that creates confidence in the staff and a road map to drive toward and achieve excellence.”

OKCBusiness (April 13, 2005)—“Oklahoma Heart Hospital Gets Recognition” was the headline announcing that the hospital’s critical care unit was the first in the state to receive the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence from AACN. “We are excited to be among the top units in the nation,” said Debbie Kearns, RN, the hospital’s chief nursing executive. “All of our nurses have an opportunity to provide compassionate, quality care every day, and that is reflected in the fact that we have a 98% nurse retention rate. We continue to lead the nation in our nursing care and our patient satisfaction.”

Nursing Spectrum (May 1, 2005)—An article titled “AACN Introduces New Progressive Care Certification” announced that AACN Certification Corporation is offering the first certification (PCCN) for progressive care nurses. AACN CEO Wanda Johanson, RN, MN, was quoted as saying that the credential mirrors a hospital landscape where higher acuity patients continue to migrate outside the traditional walls of ICUs. In addition, the article noted that two new nursing subspecialties, cardiac medicine certification (CMC) and cardiac surgery certification (CSC), are being offered.

Union County Voice (April 2005)—An article titled “Excellence in Critical Care” announced that the ICU at Overlook Hospital had won the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence. The article noted that Overlook Hospital was the first New Jersey hospital to obtain this national award recognizing the nation’s top hospital critical care units.

Our Voice at the Table

Carol Hartigan, RN, MA, certification programs strategist, represented AACN Certification Corporation at the Alliance for Nursing Accreditation meeting in Washington, D.C. The meeting was co-hosted by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the American College of Nurse Midwives. This group meets twice annually to bring together faculty groups and certification organizations to discuss national issues related to advanced practice education and regulation.

Hartigan participated in the APN Consensus Task Force meeting in Washington, D.C. This advanced practice group representing education, regulation, accreditation and certification is working toward building consensus, particularly in regard to the issues of APN specialization and subspecialization, as well as models of certification and regulation for the future.

Past AACN board member Janie Heath, RN, PhD, APRN-BC, ANP, ACNP, was the keynote speaker at the Lessons From the Heart Conference for the Geisinger Healthcare System in Lake Harmony, Pa. More than 200 nurses attended. In her address, titled “Build a Professional Practice of Critical Care Nursing,” Heath promoted ways to integrate AACN’s Healthy Work Environment Standards.

AACN board member Denise Buonocore, RN, APRN-BC, CCRN, gave a presentation at a CDC Partnership Conference with her Bridgeport Hospital colleague Jean Zimkus, RN. Their program was titled “Partnerships for Development of a Diabetes Mellitus Awareness and Treatment Program Across the Bridgeport Hospital System and the Surrounding Community.”

Brinker gave the keynote, “Creating a Positive Culture Through Mentoring,” at the Contemporary Forums conference on Nursing Care of the Hospitalized Child in Seattle, Wash. She also participated in a speaker panel and answered questions regarding her talk. Discussions included how educators can prepare students who are beginning their careers. Another question concerned the issue of working in a unit where three-fourths of the nurses will retire in three to five years. Successful mentoring strategies to help prepare nurses for open positions were also discussed.

Past AACN board member Deborah Laughon, RN, BSN, MS, DBA, CCRN, attended a regional ECCO support meeting hosted by Lakeland Regional Medical Center in Lakeland, Fla. The meeting began last year as a means of sharing successful approaches to how ECCO has resulted in positive educational outcomes. The meetings are open to organizations that already have ECCO and those who are researching the possibility. This year, the group composed a list of issues and suggestions that were forwarded to AACN for consideration. Laughon also gave an AACN update.

Hartigan attended the National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s annual Advanced Practice Roundtable in Chicago, Ill. The theme for the meeting was regulatory issues, and the main topics included licensure of APRNs; education and accreditation; and compact and discipline.

AACN Certification Corporation Chair-elect Rebecca Long, RN, MS, MSN, CCRN, spoke at the Certification Celebration luncheon at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, Calif. Attendees included staff nurses, nurse managers and nursing executives, as well as current and future certificants.

Brinker gave the keynote, titled “Live Your Contribution,” at the Trends in Trauma conference in Philadelphia, Pa. She also spoke at a concurrent session on “Pediatric Trauma Case Studies.”

Laughon attended a Volusia Flagler Chapter seminar in Daytona Beach, Fla. This “Brunch on the Beach” program hosted physician speakers and clinical experts. Of particular interest was a session on “Nurse-Physician Communication,” which focused on AACN’s Healthy Work Environments research and publications. Laughon’s presentation, titled “Making a Difference by Being Your Best,” focused on the skills of mentoring, coaching, precepting and education across the profession.

Past AACN Certification Corporation Chair Jan Foster, RN, CNS, CCRN, PhD, gave a presentation at the Broward County Chapter Spring Seminar in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on the “Value of Certification and Certified Practice” and another on “Preparing for the PCCN Exam.”

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

Honoring a Hero

Past AACN President Connie Barden (second from right),
a cardiovascular clinical specialist at Mercy Hospital,
Miami, Fla., was the recipient of the Greater Miami Chamber
of Commerce Healthcare Hero Award in the nurse category
for her work in co-founding an institute to prevent suicide
among gay youths. The awards were covered in the Miami
Herald on May 12, 2005. With Barden are (from left) John
Messer, chairman of the GMCC Healthcare and Bioscience
Committee; Linda Quick, president of the South Florida
Hospital & Healthcare Association; and John Brant, co-chair
of the GMCC Healthcare Heroes Task Force.

ECCO Community of Practice Seeks to Enhance Communication
Group Developing Charter and Norms During Pilot Period

The ECCO Online Community of Practice pilot, which was launched on Yahoo newsgroups in June, will continue through July 2005. The pilot group is composed of representatives from community hospitals, military and government hospitals, health systems, consortiums, university facilities and rural facilities from across the United States.

The pilot consists of starting a community newsgroup to enhance communication among nurse educators, preceptors, hospital administrators, nurse practitioners and others who are interested in e-learning and using the ECCO program. Discussion is focused exclusively on issues of concern, which include blended learning, case studies, research utilization, role issues, return on investment, effective collaboration, upcoming educational programs and career opportunities.

The participants will develop group norms and a charter for the community. Once the pilot is completed, online access will be open to AACN site administrators and managers.

For more information about ECCO, go to www.aacn.org/ECCO .

Annual Membership Campaign Tops 300 in First Month

AACN’s Critical Links membership campaign got off to a good start as individuals and chapters recruited a total of 304 new members during May. The campaign, which started May 1, ends March 31.

In the first month, a total of 79 individuals participated in the campaign. These individuals recruited 124 new members. (See page 10 for chapter results.)

The top recruiter for the month was Faith Y. Young-Gouda, RN, BSN, CCRN, of Colorado Springs, Colo., who brought in eight new members. Ariana G. Gross, RN, BSN, AA, CCRN, of Palm Coast, Fla., and Linda S. Thomas, RN, MS, MSN, CCRN, of Fayetteville, N.C., each recruited six new members. And, Deborah H. Brown, RN, BSN, BA, CCRN, of Dallas, Texas; Maria A. Laxina, RN, MA, MS, CCRN, of Nutley, N.J.; and Iveline J. Pennie, RN, MSN, CCRN, of Brooklyn, N.Y., each recruited five new members.

The Rewards
Every member you recruit increases your chances of receiving rewards. The rewards are automatic when you recruit your first five new members ($25 AACN gift certificate) and 10 total new members ($50 gift certificate).

You will also be eligible for a monthly drawing to receive a $100 American Express gift check in any month you recruited even one new member. The gift check in May’s drawing went to Rosemarie D. Rosales, RN, BSN, CCRN, of Linden, N.J.

The top recruiter at the end of the campaign receives a $1,000 American Express gift check. He or she is also eligible for the Grand Prize drawing for a $500 American Express gift check. A total of three will be drawn, with anyone recruiting five or more new members during the campaign entered into all three drawings.

Note: For the recruiter to qualify for prizes and drawings, new members must include either the recruiter’s name or chapter name on the “referred by” line of the application.

Other Recruiters
Others who recruited new members during the first month are:
Alma S. Alina, Shirley Ambutas, Betty L. Anderson, Donna Lee Attar, Arlene Bernardino, Zenaida D. Blanco, Tanja E. Boyd, Kim Brady, Marylee R. Bressie, Megan E. Brunson, Kelly I. Carter, Cristina L. Chan, Annette E. Cole, Sue Ann Crisp, Melody K. Davidson, Rosanna De Las Alas, Frances Dennis, William M. Donnelly, Barbara A. Economou-Morris, Arturo A. Eijansantos, Anthony E. Farmer, Kathleen P. Fava, Kawaniee R. Flowe, Dorothy J. Flowers, Deslin Francois

Susan F. Garner, Peggy A. Gawenda, Patrick D. Givens, Emily Kathryn Goerke, Patricia E. Goetz, Diane D. Gorman, Lita T. Gorman, Kristi McNeal Harrison, Carol M. Hinkle, Susan M. Huber, Robert J. Kelly, Tarcela A. Koban, Christine M. Kutcher, Brenda G. Lewis, Lorrie A. Lewis, Gayle A. Lucas, Beverly C. Maloney, Lily May V. Marifosque, Diane L. McLean, Pauline J. McNeece, Carla M. Menge, Donna A. Mirenda, Debra A. Moroney, Theresa Nino, Florabel E. Ocampo, Editha R. Ong, Cathleen J. Paton

Daniel R. Rioux, Cindy L. Robertson, Donna Jane Robinson, Marlyn Deborah Rodriguez, Rosemarie D. Rosales, Linda M. Ross, Julie A. Rossie, Lynn S. Schnautz, Catherine A. Schneider, Doris J. Strother, Leslie A. Swadener-Culpepper, Merle G. Swoope, Yvonne L. Thelwell, Charlene T. Trimeloni, Wendy J. Vaughn, Regina Villalobos, June A. Watson, Sharman L. Weaver, Sonia H. Wisdom, Cynthia L. Zaletel, Diane Marie Zuelke.

To obtain Critical Links Member-Get-A-Member Program forms, call (800) 899-2226 or visit the AACN Web site .

AACN Annual Meeting Celebrates Accomplishments

Acknowledging projects of the last year and elaborating on what the organization has in store for the upcoming year, the AACN Annual Meeting on May10 in New Orleans gave attendees the opportunity to ask questions, make comments and have their voices heard.

“One of our most valuable assets is our great diversity of experiences, education, expertise and perspectives, which makes AACN absolutely better and better every single year,” said then President Kathy McCauley, RN, PhD, BC, FAAN, FAHA, as she acknowledged the AACN Board of Directors, AACN Certification Corporation Board of Directors, volunteers, staff and constituents.

“We really value our volunteers, the time that you give, the commitment, the energy, the brilliance, the enthusiasm,” she continued. “It really helps us to stay relevant and meet the changing needs of our members and patients and families we serve.”

Past Accomplishments
AACN volunteer groups have remained committed to implementing and continuing to strive toward the organization’s ever-reaching goals. As a result of the determination and focus, AACN has become a powerful force in healthcare, with more than 100,000 members and customers.

However, it isn’t just quantity, it’s quality. Not only was NTI 2004 in Orlando, Fla., the highest attended since 1994, McCauley noted, but also 100% of participants said they would recommend NTI to a colleague.

In addition, AACN Certification Corporation programs have grown significantly. The CCRN certification renewal rate rose 10% from the previous year, and more than 300 nurses have the new PCCN credential in progressive care. Two subspecialty certifications in cardiac surgery and cardiac medicine have been achieved by more than 100 nurses since their January launch, with hundreds more scheduled to take the exam.

At the same time, the Beacon Awards for Critical Care Excellence have had an impact on quality of healthcare, and AACN has become an influential voice in key healthcare decisions, sending liaisons to more than 50 forums the past year.

Resources committed to furthering evidence-based practice have also shown great growth. More than 199,000 hits to the online Practice Alerts—directives from AACN that are supported by authoritative evidence to ensure excellence in practice and a safe and humane work environment—have been recorded. AACN published practice protocols for noninvasive monitoring and palliative and end-of-life care issues and awarded more than $60,000 in research grants in support of nursing research and the increased need for
evidence-based practice.

On the Horizon
AACN plans to continue its work on the Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments, released in January. Building on strong, positive feedback, AACN will develop strategies for assisting in implementing and promoting the standards. The standards were published in the American Journal of Critical Care in May, and AACN will encourage healthcare organizations to publicly endorse them.

Other programs and resources planned by AACN in the upcoming year include a basic ECG module to augment the Essentials of Critical Care Orientation program; the development of additional certification exam study materials; a certification program for acute care nurse practitioners; and participation in the Critical Care Collaborative to establish consistent systems in all areas of critical care.

On the Agenda

Following is a report by AACN board member Jodi Mullen, RNC, MS, CCNS, CCRN, on discussions and actions that took place during the board’s April meeting in Boston, Mass.

Agenda Item: Strategic Plan and Operating Plan
The board reviewed and approved both the Strategic Plan and the 2006 Operating Plan for AACN.

By incorporating data about trends in the profession, healthcare and society, the Strategic Plan positions the association for the future and provides an overall vision and direction for the association in meeting the needs of members and customers over the next three to five years. The plan is then translated into the operational plan to help the association focus on priorities and measurable outcomes.

In reviewing the association’s Operating Plan, the board considered whether tactics are appropriately focused to facilitate progress toward achieving the Strategic Plan. The plan is reviewed and adjusted throughout the year according to changes in the environment.

Agenda Item: FY06 Budget
As one of its key responsibilities in ensuring the association has sufficient and appropriately allocated resources to achieve desired outcomes, the board reviewed and unanimously approved the FY06 budget. The budget, based on the detailed Operating Plan, is developed so that the initiatives are pursued in a financially efficient and responsible manner while maintaining the quality of resources and services expected from AACN.

Agenda Item: Operations Report
The board reviewed and approved the Operations Report detailing the status of various AACN initiatives.

Included was discussion of AACN’s Healthy Work Environments initiative and the standards released early this year. The board learned that there had been more than 40,000 downloads of the standards from the AACN Web site ( www.aacn.org > Healthy Work Environments ) in the first two months, indicating a readiness by nurses and hospitals to address improvements in the work environment.

Agenda Item: Election of Board Secretary and Treasurer
The board reelected Mary E. Holtschneider, RN, BSN, MPA, EMT, as secretary and Nancy Blake, RN, MN, CCRN, CNNA, as treasurer for 2005-06. The treasurer position was previously filled by Deborah Laughon, RN, BSN, MS, DBA, CCRN, who completed her term on the board June 30.

Agenda Item: Finance Report
As stewards of the association money, the board reviewed and approved the Finance Report for the six-month period ending Dec. 31. The report showed AACN is in a sound financial position.

The board also approved three policies related to the new Nonprofit Integrity Act in California, where the association is headquartered. As required by law, the board appointed an audit committee to monitor the independent financial audit process, which will enhance the board’s already careful oversight of the audit results. Members of the committee are the AACN president-elect, the AACN board treasurer, the AACN Certification Corporation chair-elect Rebecca Long and the secretary-treasurer of the AACN Certification Corporation Board.

Agenda Item: AACN Certification Corporation Membership Meeting
AACN Certification Corporation Chair Jan Foster, RN, PhD, CNS, CCRN, reported to the AACN Board of Directors on the activities, strategic direction and financial position of the corporation. Among the highlights of the report were the successes of the new subspecialty certifications: CSC (cardiac surgery certification) and CMC (cardiac medicine certification) and development of a certification exam for acute care nurse practitioners.

PDA Center

AACN’s Medicopeia for PDA: Save up to $258! New Palm Devices Now Available

Medicopeia: The PDA That Does It All!
The newest, most advanced PDA solution is now available! Designed exclusively for AACN and bedside nurse clinicians in many areas of practice, the AACN Medicopeia, Critical Care Nurse Edition, makes installing, registering, unlocking and managing your PDA and applications a thing of the past! Say goodbye to unlock codes and serial numbers with this exciting program!

With the all-inclusive AACN Medicopeia package, you’ll receive a Palm PDA (choose from the Tungsten T5, the new Tungsten E2 or the powerful, just-released LifeDrive Mobile Manager) pre-loaded with drug monographs on thousands of medications (including integrated weight-based dosing calculators), clinical references, tools, and calculators, all updated and unlocked automatically every time you synchronize your device.

And, as an exclusive for AACN Medicopeia users, you’ll have access to the weekly AACN Critical Care Newsline, providing you up-to-the-minute press releases, alerts and information, simply by synchronizing your device.

If you already have a PDA device, you can still subscribe to AACN Medicopeia. Here is what you will get for only $129 (annual renewal only $109). AACN’s Medicopeia package includes:

Davis’ Drug Guide with Integrated Calculators
ER ICU Toolbox
Pocket ICU Management
Cardiac Medications E-reference
Critical Care Assessment E-reference
Hemodynamic Management E-reference
Adobe Acrobat Reader for Palm OS
Special AACN resources for Adobe Reader
AACN Critical Care Newsline
Lifetime Technical Support

The Palm Tungsten T5 device, complete with the above software, is only $439, a savings of $248 (if individually purchased; annual renewal fee is $109).
Medicopeia with the Tungsten E2 is just $309, a savings of $228 (if individually purchased; annual renewal fee is $109) and Medicopeia with the LifeDrive Mobile Manager is just $528, a savings of $258 (if individually purchased; annual renewal fee is $109).

Find out more by visiting the AACN PDA Center at www.aacn.pdaorder.com and choosing “What’s New!” Note: Medicopeia package is not currently recommended for Mac computers.

New Tungsten E2 and LifeDrive Mobile Manager PDA Devices
Tungsten E2
The new, brighter color display of the E2 makes it easy to see your schedule, contacts and nursing software programs, indoor or out. And, with better color saturation, your photos and video clips come to life in rich, dazzling color. 32MB of memory is included, and the new “flash” memory helps protect the information on your handheld—even if you don’t have time to recharge. Also included are Bluetooth Wireless technology and Documents to Go, allowing you to create and edit Word and Excel documents on the fly.

Device alone is $249. Best value when purchased with AACN Medicopeia, Critical Care Nurse Edition.

LifeDrive Mobile Manager PDA
AACN is proud to introduce the LifeDrive Mobile Manager. Experience the future of handheld computing! Take five years worth of appointments, your entire contact database, your to-do list and hundreds of memos with you everywhere, thanks to a 4GB hard drive and built-in personal organization software. And, load all your clinical nursing software or Medicopeia too! The LifeDrive comes equipped with both BlueTooth and WiFi Wireless programs so you can check e-mail or surf the web. Device alone is $499. Best value when purchased with AACN Medicopeia, Critical Care Nurse Edition.

For detailed information about these two new Palm products, visit the AACN PDA Center at www.aacn.pdaorder.com > What’s New , or call (800) 462-0388.

Monthly Super Savers From AACN’s Catalog Products!

This month, celebrate your independence with the following titles. And, you’ll want to buy the handy red, white and blue tote bag to carry them in!

These Super Saver prices are valid through Aug. 31, 2005. To qualify, orders must be received or postmarked by Aug. 31.

Health Policy & Politics—A Nurse’s Guide
Product #120903
This research-based text contains detailed information on health policy and politics as they relate to the field of nursing and, more specifically, to the advanced practice nurse. It covers the process of making public policy, including agenda setting, government response, program response, implementation and evaluation, and teaches nurses in advanced practice how to deliver quality healthcare in a cost-effective manner. This book can be used to initiate conversations about issues of policy and nurses’ opportunities and responsibilities throughout the process.

Regular Price
Member: $56.95
Nonmember: $59.95
Super Saver Price
Member: $49.50
Nonmember: $51.95

AHFS Drug Information: Essentials 2004-2005
Product #120611
This is the new first-choice resource for the frontlines! AHFS Drug Information: Essentials is a unique, mid-sized drug reference that gives you the most effective and flexible clinical guide available. It distills the essential information into an easy-to-use guide, providing quick answers at the point of care.

Regular Price
Member: $94
Nonmember: $99
Super Saver Price
Member: $73.50
Nonmember: $78.50

Red, White and Blue Tote Bag
Product #RWBTOTE
This red-, white- and blue-striped canvas tote includes a zippered enclosure, as well as the name American Association of Critical-Care Nurses embroidered on the outside. Measures 14 1/2 inches high by 18 inches wide.

Regular Price
Member: $15
Nonmember: $20
Super Saver Price
Member: $9.95
Nonmember: $11.95


(800) 899-2226

Online Access to the American Journal of Critical Care Now Restricted

Beginning July 7, only AACN members and subscribers to the American Journal of Critical Care will have online access to the full text of articles and to the CiteTrack alerting feature. The same already applies to Critical Care Nurse. Tables of contents and abstracts will remain available and free to all users.

AACN members are already activated and only need to log in to view full text. For AACN members, the login is your eight-digit membership number (if your membership number is fewer than eight digits, simply add the correct number of zeros to the beginning of your membership number to reach the eight-digit requirement) and password. AACN member passwords are the first 15 characters of their last names (all lower case) or the passwords created at AACN.org.

Nonmember subscribers need their customer numbers, which were printed on the mailing label for the July 2005 issue of the American Journal of Critical Care (issues prior to July 2005 do not have the correct subscriber number). You will be prompted to enter your contact information (e-mail address and phone number) and to select a user name and password. If you cannot locate this number, call (800) 345-8112 (nonmember subscribers only).

Additional information is listed on the Subscriber Help & Services page at ajcc.aacnjournals.org/subscriptions .

What’s Coming in August in Critical Care Nurse

• Monitoring Ventilation and Defibrillation

• Mechanical Ventilation of Patients With ARDS

• Pathophysiology of Cystic Fibrosis

• In-Hospital Defibrillation: Using AEDs

• Pediatric Ingestions: What We Don’t Know Can Hurt

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

Looking Ahead

August 2005

Aug. 1 Deadline to apply for volunteer positions on the national Awards and Scholarships review panels. For more information and to complete your volunteer profile, go to www.aacn.org > About AACN > Volunteer Opportunities .

Aug. 15 Deadline to apply for ICU Design Citation Award, cosponsored by AACN, the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the American Institute of Architects. For more information, contact Carol Prendergast at cprendergast@sccm.org or (847) 827-6826.

September 2005

Sept. 1 Deadline to submit Research and Creative Solutions Abstracts for NTI 2006 in Anaheim, Calif. The application as well as guidelines and resources are available at www.aacn.org > Research > NTI Abstracts .

December 2005

Dec. 1 Deadline to apply for the 2007 AACN Distinguished Research Lecturer Award. The recipient will present the Distinguished Research Lecture at the NTI 2007 in Atlanta, Ga.
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