AACN News—February 2007—Practice

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Vol. 24, No. 2, FEBRUARY 2007


Practice Resource Network


Come to the Advanced Practice Institute in Atlanta


The Advanced Practice Work Group (APWG) for 2007 has worked very hard to develop an API program featuring unique sessions. We have asked our physician colleagues to be speakers for such sessions as “Is That REALLY Evidence-based Practice?” by Dr. Charles Natanson from the NIH. Two pharmacology sessions will be presented by pharmacists: “Sedation 2007” by Joseph Dasta, and a preconference, “Microbial Resistance in the ICU: What Do We Do When the Bugs Fight Back?” presented by two clinical pharmacists, Jaclyn LeBlanc and Marilee Obritsch. And if you have ever thought about publishing a case report, come to the session on “Writing a Case Report” by Michael Muscat, managing editor of the American Journal of Critical Care.

Nursing colleagues from other professional organizations will address important issues for critical care such as “Assessment of Pain in the Nonverbal Patient,” presented by members of the American Society of Pain Management Nurses and “Tumor Lysis Syndromes” presented by Oncology Nursing Society members. We are pleased to have them join us for API 2007.
Three preconference sessions will focus on hands-on techniques: percutaneous tracheostomy, CVC insertion and airway management. Be sure to sign up for these sessions early because space is limited. You may also consider honing your skills in differential diagnosis, mechanical ventilation and weaning, and reading chest X-rays and CT imaging scans.

Sessions focusing on role-related issues are planned for clinical nurse specialists and acute care nurse practitioners. Measuring outcomes is always a key role component in advanced practice, as are expanding roles and billing issues. Attend the session on “Micro Labs and Antimicrobials: The Perfect Pair” to brush up on basic microbiology. And don’t forget that as an API registered attendee you will receive a ticket to the API reception, sponsored again this year by Stryker Medical.

See you in Atlanta!

Practice Resource Network


Q: How are AACN Practice Alerts developed? Is this information published anywhere that can be used by an institution to support evidence-based practice?

A: Practice Alerts were established in 2003, thanks to a concept developed by then president Dorrie Fontaine, RN, DNSc, FAAN. Her goal was to create practical tools to introduce evidence-based practice at the bedside and to help close the research/practice gap. The format and structure were developed by members of the 2003-04 AACN Research Work Group, who established the following essential criteria for Practice Alerts.
• Impacts patient and/or environment of care
• Improves patient care
• Closes the gap in practice that exists for this nursing activity
• Relevant to the acutely and critically ill patient and environment
• Some evidence is available in the research literature
Authors of the Practice Alerts are selected based on their expertise in the topic being addressed. A rigorous review of current research evidence is conducted to identify best practices. The Practice Alert draft is reviewed by content experts for scientific completeness and clarity. Finally, the Research Work Group reviews the document, ensuring that it conforms to editorial standards prior to publication.

Recent Practice Alerts include levels of evidence (LOE) which support the recommended practice; LOEs will be added to previous Practice Alerts when they are reviewed and updated. The levels of evidence assigned in the Practice Alerts are the standards used by AACN; the same standard is applied to the AACN Protocols for Practice and the AACN Procedure Manual for Critical Care, 5th Ed. LOEs help the clinician determine whether the recommendation being made is supported by strong or weak scientific evidence. Recommendations with strong evidence can be applied to most patients while those with weak evidence may require thought and discussion before application to a wide range of patients.

60-Minute Contact Hour Implementation Plan for AACN Approved Programs


As of Jan. 1, 2007, contact hours for all NEWLY approved educational activities will be calculated based on every 60 minutes of learning time provided. (1 contact hour = 60 minutes of learning time.) There will be no change in activities already approved by AACN.

For more information, visit the Program Approval Web site at http://www.aacn.org/AACN/conteduc.nsf/vwdoc/ProgAppIntroPage.

Free CE for Members



AACN members can now receive CE contact hour credit FREE. There are a variety of topics, including audiovisual reproductions of popular NTI sessions. To take advantage of this great member benefit, visit www.aacn.org > Continuing Education.
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