AACN News—December 2008—Association News

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Vol. 25, No. 12, DECEMBER 2008

Get Jazzed in New Orleans at NTI 2009

Plan now to join us in New Orleans May 16-21, 2009 for the 36th annual National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI). NTI is the world’s largest educational conference and exposition for acute and critical care nurses—staff nurses, nurse educators, nurse managers, clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners who care for patients who are acutely or critically ill.

The event will take place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, which is convenient to conference hotels and New Orleans’ most popular attractions. NTI attendees will have access to comprehensive resources designed to maximize their contributions to patient care. They can network with peers from across the country and around the globe, earn CE credits, hear inspiring talks from well-known speakers, take review courses and sit for exams in their specialty (CCRN, CCNS, PCCN or ACNPC) or subspecialty (CMC or CSC) certifications.

There’s a lot to do after hours, too. New Orleans is as charming and welcoming as ever. The city is steeped in history and culture and and renowned for parades and parties, where food, music, glamour and reverie never end. It’s the birthplace of jazz, and rightfully so - early jazz greats like Louis Armstrong, Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver got their start in the city’s nightclubs. New Orleans also has a well-deserved reputation for Creole and Cajun cooking with more than 3,000 restaurants in the city, many owned and operated by the same families for generations.

Check out a list of NTI hotel accommodations and book your room online at www.aacn.org/nti. Visit the site regularly for updated information about NTI 2009 programs and speakers.

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New AACN Scholarship Initiative Focuses on Excellence

Since 1982, AACN’s highly successful academic scholarship program has helped many members earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees. This year the program expands to support professional enrichment and career development. AACN’s commitment to lifelong learning is the cornerstone of the new program. Individual scholarships will not exceed $3,000 per year.

Beginning in 2009, scholarship applicants will submit an individual professional development plan as the basis for their request. They will be asked to show why they have chosen their proposed plan and how it will make a difference in their professional goals. Applicants will assess their knowledge and skill gaps, then describe the desired learning outcomes and how they will evaluate their success.

Areas of particular focus include communication, collaboration, mediation, leadership and governance, organizational effectiveness, informatics, influencing the political process, safety and quality. Scholarships will not be given for clinical learning such as attending the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition or preparing for clinical certification.

Courses that are part of a nursing or non-nursing academic degree program may qualify when the link to the individual development plan is made. Nurse managers seeking a BSN or master’s degree are encouraged to consider this new opportunity.

Additional information about the new program will be posted on the AACN Web site, www.aacn.org > Scholarships, as it becomes available.

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Oncology Nursing Society Endorses AACN Healthy Work Environment Standards

The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) has endorsed the AACN Healthy Work Environment Standards and has pledged to promote the standards to its members. ONS is a professional organization with more than 35,000 registered nurses and other healthcare providers dedicated to excellence in patient care, education, research and administration in oncology nursing. It is the largest professional oncology association in the world.

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An AACN Member Shares Her Story A Day in the Life By Dawn Kuerley-Schaffer, RN, CRNFA

Preparing to evacuate in the event of an impending hurricane is part of living along the Gulf South from June to December. So, after packing their families off to safe destinations, the nursing staff in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital, New Orleans, La. began preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Gustav in September.

At the time, the PICU had 18 critical patients, nine of whom had recently undergone open heart surgery. Evacuating these patients would have been far more dangerous and stressful than keeping them at the hospital. As preparations began, ensuring the proper number and experience of the staff was important. Of the 24 nurses who volunteered to stay, nearly half had been employed at Children’s prior to Hurricane Katrina, and several had been on duty when Katrina struck. The experiences of these nurses as well as lessons learned were incorporated into our plans.

Of the valuable information and lessons learned none is more important than ensuring the caregiver is also cared for, so they can take care of the patients. Ensuring the staff had extra time for breaks away from the unit and being available to one another were part of our daily routine. An issue with intermittent cell phone service was resolved by sharing phones that still had service, allowing staff to talk with evacuated family members. We shared food and stories; sometimes giving up a break so another could have extra time. Having sleeping quarters off the unit was also important. Dorm-like housing allowed staff to talk to one another, laugh and joke and provided another source of normalcy and decompression.

The nurses worked each day to care for their patients as if nothing were different; and they also made sure each colleague was cared for. Even in difficult times, they created a healthy work environment, and a difficult situation became a positive experience for all involved.

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postmarked by Jan. 31 to be eligible for the Super Saver price.

Evidence-Based Advance Directives: A Study Guide for Nurses (#140326)

A practical and necessary training tool, Evidence-Based Advance Directives provides a concise overview of the legal, ethical and cultural aspects of advance directives that affect nursing. Using case studies and role play activities, Evidence-Based Advance Directives helps nurses become more comfortable discussing advance directives with patients. This guide examines the cultural elements that influence advance directives to help nurses learn how to broach this difficult subject, mindful of the cultural influences and without personal bias.

Regular Price
Member $54.50, Nonmember $58
Super Saver Price: Member $51.21, Nonmember $54.50

Designing Clinical Research, 3rd Ed. (#140326)

Designing Clinical Research sets the standard for providing a practical guide to planning, tabulating, formulating and implementing clinical research, with an easy-to-read, uncomplicated presentation. This edition incorporates current research methodology – including molecular and genetic clinical research – and offers an updated syllabus for conducting a clinical research workshop. Emphasis is on common sense as the main ingredient of good science. The book explains how to choose well-focused research questions and details the steps through all the elements of study design, data collection, quality assurance and basic grant-writing. All chapters have been thoroughly revised, updated and made more user-friendly.

Regular Price
Member $75.95, Nonmember $79.95
Super Saver Price: Member $68.35, Nonmember $71.95

Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing and Healthcare, A Guide to Best Practice (#128606)

This user-friendly resource to evidence-based practice serves as a guide to implementing evidence-based practice in nursing and healthcare. Real-life examples assist the reader in actualizing important concepts and overcoming barriers in the implementation of evidence-based care; efficient critical appraisal of both quantitative and qualitative evidence; how to factor in a clinician’s expertise and patient preferences/values when making decisions about patient care; chapters on outcomes management and how to create a vision to motivate a change to best practice; chapters on generating both qualitative and quantitative evidence; how to write a successful grant proposal; as well as a chapter on how to disseminate evidence to other professionals, the media and policymakers. The text also includes Web alerts that direct readers to helpful Internet resources and an accompanying CD-ROM with 40 evidence reviews written by experts in the field who answer burning clinical questions across six specialty areas: adults in critical/acute care; adults in primary care; aging; emergency & trauma care; high-risk children & youth; and psychiatric mental health.

Regular Price
Member $62.65, Nonmember $65.95
Super Saver Price: Member $55.76, Nonmember $58.70

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Bookstore Corner

What's New

Attitude Is Everything Series

Attitude Is Everything DVD

Keith Harrell’s keynote address at the 2008 National Teaching Institute (NTI) made such a positive impact on the 9,000 nurses in attendance that they demanded a way to relive the experience and share it with others. AACN and Keith Harrell have made this 50-minute DVD available to meet this demand. Watch it on your own or with a group of colleagues in your unit or chapter. Either way, Keith Harrell’s special message to nurses on how to refresh your attitude and re-energize positive thoughts and behaviors will change the way you approach the challenges and privileges of nursing.

Regular Price: Member $20,
Nonmember $25 (#120678)

Attitude Is Everything: 10 Life-Changing Steps to Turning Attitude Into Action

This is an enlightening, inspiring and practical guide for gaining control of your career and your life by ridding yourself of negative baggage, building positive attitudes and turning them into actions to help you achieve your dreams. (2005)

Regular Price: Member $14.20
Nonmember $14.95 (#120676)

Attitude Is Everything Workbook

Based on his successful “Attitude Is Everything: 10 Life-Changing Steps to Turning Attitude Into Action,” this workbook is the essential how-to guide to transforming Harrell’s strategies into success. In a series of clear step-by-step exercises and instructions, Harrell teaches readers techniques for maintaining a powerful positive attitude in order to get ahead in life.

Keith Harrell’s message is simple yet powerful: Attitude, whether positive or negative, has the power to impact an organization’s or individual’s success. (2005)

Regular Price: Member $14.20, Nonmember $14.95 (#120677)

Get the Keith Harrell “Superfantastic” Trio & Save up to 20% off individual prices! Prices include the DVD and two publications.
Regular Price: Member $38.50, Nonmember $45.00 (#302025)

Monthly Super Savers

These Super Saver prices are valid through Jan. 31, 2009. All orders must be received or

AACN Member Receives Award

Maj. Elizabeth A. Mann, RN, CNS, MS, CCRN, CCNS, who helps save the lives of critically burned soldiers, recently earned a prestigious award. The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) presented her with the Anita Newcomb McGee Award, Army Nurse of the Year 2008.

A member of AACN for more than 10 years, Mann was honored for her work as a clinical nurse specialist at the Institute of Surgical Research Army Burn Center, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where she provided educational opportunities for the staff, gave lectures on managing burn patients, facilitated clinical research and developed evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. She recently left this position to pursue a PhD in nursing research at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston.

Her previous military assignments include serving as head nurse at the Army Burn Center Intensive Care Unit and as a member of the Army Burn Flight Team; team commander of the 5th Army Medical Department New Orleans Recruiting Team; and assistant head nurse for the 212th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, while stationed in Germany and deployed with the 212th MASH to Kosovo.

Mann received a bachelor of science in nursing from Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. and a master of science from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colo.

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2007-08 Financial Report to the Membership

A Year of Exceptional Growth

The fiscal year that ended June 30, 2008 marked the completion of another stellar year of enhancing and enriching programs and resources to support the personal and professional needs of acute and critical care nurses. Here are just a few of the accomplishments from 2007-08.


• Eliminated CE fees for all AACN members as a way to thank them for their loyalty and commitment to acutely and critically ill patients and patients’ families

• Realized membership growth to more than 70,000, strengthening the community and voice of acute and critical care nurses

Healthy Work Environments

• Continued partnerships for development of resources and educational programs to assist healthcare professionals in implementing the AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments

• Partnered with Joint Commission Resources on a series of three Web conferences – Healthy Work Environments, Reducing Medical Errors and Palliative and End-of-Life Care

• Published Critical Care Nurse Work Environment Study findings linking Beacon units and Magnet hospitals to healthier work environments

Practice, Education and E-Learning

• Launched Online CE Center with enhanced features, including the ability to track CE credits and store individual CE certificates for anytime access

• Launched Essentials of Nurse Manager Orientation (ENMO) in partnership with the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE); first comprehensive, Web-based program for new frontline managers, assistant managers, charge nurses and aspiring managers

• Released the 4th edition of “AACN Scope and Standards for Acute and Critical Care Nursing Practice”

• Awarded 62 Circle of Excellence Awards

• Awarded first Flame of Excellence Awards as a prelude to a redesigned Circle of Excellence Award program that will be phased in over the next few years

• Completed nurse manager job analysis and announced that AACN and AONE have expanded their partnership to develop the first certification exam designed
exclusively for nurse managers

• Began Renewal by Synergy CERPs program, with some candidates choosing to use the approach well before 2010 when it will be required

• Launched ACNPC certification exam for adult acute care nurse practitioners

• Created the CCRN-E renewal status for nurses working exclusively or primarily in remote ICU environments

• Received CMS approval of AACN Certification Corporation as a certifying organization for Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement for NPs; already approved for CNSs

• Conducted PCCN study of practice and prepared to launch CCRN study of practice

Web Site

• Launched enhanced Web site designed to give members easy access through improved functionality and navigation to more targeted, interactive resources

• Awarded 66 scholarships of $1,500 each to members at 40 academic institutions in 22 statest

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Members on the Move


Pamela Rudisill, RN, MSN, CCRN, ACNP, vice president for nursing and patient safety at Health Management Associates, and a former AACN board member, is 2009 president-elect of the American Organization of Nurse Executives. AONE and AACN are partners in the development of the Essentials of Nurse Manager Orientation e-learning program and CNML national certification for nurse managers.

Kimberly Hodge, MSN, RN, CCRN-CMC, accepted a position as a clinical nurse specialist in the ICU and Adult CCU at St. Francis Hospital, Beech Grove, Ind. She is also vice president of the Alpha Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau Intl.


Sandra C. Schulz, RN, CCRN-CSC, a charge nurse in the ICU at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center, Laguna Hills, Calif., was recognized as the “2008 Employee Honoree” at Saddleback Memorial Foundation’s Spirit of Philanthropy Black Tie Gala in Newport Beach. There were four other honorees in different categories. This was the foundation’s 10th year of honoring outstanding individuals and business organizations for their accomplishments, generosity and commitment to the medical center and the community.

John Whitcomb, RN, PhD, CCRN, AACN and AACN Certification Corporation board member, recently received the Rear Admiral Mary F. Hall Award in the Education category for an article titled “Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: How Far Have We Come?,” published in the January/February 2007 issue of Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing. He co-wrote the article with fellow AACN member Virginia Blackman, RN, MS, CCRN. This award was established in 1991 to support professional publication and recognize Navy Nurse Corps officers who contribute to a positive image of nursing.

Ruth Lebet, RN, CCRN, CCNS, RN-BC, received the regional Mentoring Award, one of Nursing Spectrum’s 2008 Nurse Excellence Awards. She is a clinical nurse specialist in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Del.

Beth Broering, RN, MSN, CEN, CCRN, Vanderbilt Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn.; Patricia Kunz Howard, RN, PhD, CEN, University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center, Lexington; and Jacqueline Stewart, RN, MSN, CEN, CCRN, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., were among the eight 2008 inductees into the Academy of Emergency Nursing (AEN). This fellowship, sponsored by the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), recognizes emergency nurses for their contributions to patient care.

Patricia McQuade, RN, BSN, CCRN, received the Rockland County Excellence in Practice Award 2008, one of five nurses to be recognized. She is also completing course requirements for an MSN in education through the University of Phoenix, and was recently inducted into Sigma Theta Tau Intl. She has worked at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, N.Y. for 23 years, with 20 of those years in the CCU. “This has been an exciting year of personal and professional growth for me. Being recognized for my professional and my academic dedication is an experience beyond words,” McQuade said.

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AACN Member Earns Two Awards

Robin Watson, RN, MN, CCRN, was selected to receive an annual County of Los Angeles Productivity and Quality Award in the “Personal Best” category for improving pediatric medication safety. She is a neonatal/pediatric clinical nurse specialist at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif., where she has worked for 27 years.

There have been well-known documented errors associated with accurate administration of medication given to infants and children; however, national statistics indicate that standardizing medication concentrations has significantly reduced errors.

Watson led an interdisciplinary team that designed, evaluated and implemented a program at her medical center to address the complex processes of prescribing, dispensing and administering continuous infusion medications to infants and children. She coordinated product evaluations, created worksheets to assist nurses in medication calculations and led the development of the drug software library. She also developed policies and procedures to support this new program, including training and monitoring. Watson continues to be a strong advocate for medication safety for pediatric patients and told AACN News, “I am very honored to have been selected and absolutely delighted that nursing is being recognized as a leader in developing and implementing comprehensive programs to improve quality of care and patient safety.”

She was also presented with the Staff Level Patient Safety Leader Award at the 2008 Los Angeles County Department of Health Services Patient Safety Conference in October. The award money, $3,000, can be used toward travel and tuition for a national patient safety seminar. This award was also based on her work to improve pediatric medication safety.

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Retiring Nurse Co-editor Sees ‘Day Full of Possibilities’

When the AACN Board of Directors hired a UCSF doctoral student as the new nurse editor of Heart & Lung in 1981, they were taking a leap of faith.

“I didn’t think I’d get the job,” said Kathy Dracup, RN, DNSc, who retires this month after 28 years as an AACN journal editor—12 years with Heart & Lung and 16 with the American Journal of Critical Care (AJCC). “After all, I was still in graduate school.”

But something well beyond the degrees she held obviously made Dracup an attractive candidate. For 13 years before joining Heart & Lung (which had been published for AACN by The C.V. Mosby Company since 1972), Dracup built her reputation in research, publishing many papers on critical care topics.

She’d also held several clinical positions, including staff/charge nurse and assistant head nurse at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Chicago, staff nurse with the medical/coronary unit at UCLA, nurse therapist with Golden State Community Mental Health Center, and research clinical nurse specialist, also with UCLA. In 1981, she joined the School of Nursing at UCLA as an assistant professor; she was a full professor when she left in 2000 to become dean of the School of Nursing at UC San Francisco.

“I have watched critical care nursing research grow exponentially,” she told AACN News. “The role of dean is all about developing teamwork and a healthy work environment. I learned both of these values in the ICU and see them reflected in many publications.”

Dracup served with former CHEST and JAMA editor Sylvan Weinberg on Heart & Lung from 1981 until 1988, when Weinberg retired, then from 1988 until 1992 with Christopher Bryan-Brown, who succeeded Weinberg. In 1992, AACN decided to launch its own research journal, and Dracup and Bryan-Brown became founding editors of AJCC.

For the next 16 years, Dracup—first with Bryan-Brown (until his retirement at the end of 2006) and now with physician co-editor Pete Morris—worked tirelessly in her capacity as co-editor,

reading literally thousands of manuscripts and reviews, advising and mentoring just as many new and experienced authors, and serving as the journal’s ambassador at various conferences and symposia.

Through it all she’s seen how the power of peer review—and the willingness to respond to constructive criticism—can effectively shape nursing scholarship.

“One of the first papers I managed as an editor received three very grim reviews,” she said. “It was a clinical paper on an important topic, so I encouraged the authors to revise and resubmit, but did not hold out great hope for success. When I sent it back to the original reviewers, they enthusiastically accepted it. The authors’ careful revision had made all the difference.”

Of his co-editor colleague, Morris remarked: “Dr. Dracup reminds me to approach life with a positive attitude. Her accomplishments certainly impress, but so does her clear-eyed understanding of complex situations and her sensitivity to people. We’ll miss her immediate presence as nurse co-editor, but the influence of her skillful leadership and experience will endure and continue to guide me.”

Dracup’s former colleague, Bryan-Brown, feels similarly. “Kathy’s friendship, support and guidance, combined with her leadership in nursing, made her a remarkable and lovable role model that I aspired to follow,” he noted. “These same qualities have led to the success that AJCC has become.”

Although her successor as AJCC nurse co-editor is yet to be named, Dracup offers advice for anyone assuming an editorial role on a scientific journal. “Research reports must be clear to multiple audiences—to researchers who want to replicate the work and therefore are looking for great detail and to clinicians who want the clinical pearl to apply to their practice and are bored by detailed methods,” she said. “It’s always a difficult challenge but worth trying to achieve as we move critical care to more of an evidence base.”

Over the years, Dracup has contributed substantially to that evidence base, producing a body of scholarly work that defies easy summarization. She has published research in hundreds of articles and chapters, and in 1995 authored the textbook “Meltzer’s Intensive Coronary Care.” She has served on local and national committees of the American Heart Association, including the National Research Committee, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. She is a member of the American Heart Association Council of Cardiovascular Nursing and a member of the Institute of Medicine. She was also Fulbright senior scholar in Australia. In 2002, she received the Distinguished Research Award from the Western Institute of Nursing; in 2003, she was honored with the Braunwald Academic Mentorship Award from the American Heart Association.

Cardiovascular care has been the topic—if you’ll pardon the pun—closest to Dracup’s heart. She and her colleagues have tested interventions designed to reduce emotional distress experienced by cardiac patients and their family members and to reduce morbidity and mortality from sudden cardiac death. When asked what research she has done in the last decade that she is most proud of, she responded that it’s her research in bystander CPR, which, she said, “helped simplify current recommendations by the American Heart Association.”

Having worked at the bedside for many years, Dracup remains committed to improving patient care. One of her first editorials in AJCC, “An Open Door Policy in ICU” (September 1992), combated commonly held myths (e.g., that we don’t know what families need in the acute care setting, that family visits upset patients) with the soundness of research demonstrating the contrary.

In subsequent editorials she wrestled with “tradition” in the form of unsupported ICU practices, questioned the wisdom of clinical practice guidelines, cautioned about healthcare reform efforts, encouraged nurse readers to maintain a “strong voice” and to lobby to add nursing colleagues to hospital committees and boards, reflected on the role of advanced practice nurses in critical care, advised about the most effective way to write a research report, discussed the reality of mortality in the ICU, and touched on dozens of other topics highly relevant to clinicians, researchers and educators. Together with Bryan-Brown and Morris, she has been bylined on nearly 100 AJCC editorials since 1992.

One of her most recent efforts, “Passing the Torch,” dealt with the complexity of shift changes or “handoffs,” which seems appropriate. As Dracup’s long shift with AACN comes to a close, and she hands the editorial task to someone else, she remains confident about the future of nursing research. She evokes the theme of the final Calvin & Hobbes cartoon strip, which celebrates “a big white sheet of paper to draw on,” a “magical world” and “a day full of possibilities.”
Originally published in December 1995 and reprinted on page 13, the cartoon’s optimism is characteristic of Dracup’s attitude and hope for the future. “That’s how I feel!” she enthused.

Her tenure as nurse co-editor has coincided with significant advances in nursing scholarship, due in no small part to the existence of journals such as AJCC and the research milestones that she and colleagues have doggedly pursued.
Looking back after their first year of publication in the early 1970s, the editors of Heart & Lung—the journal that gave Dracup her first break when she was still a graduate student—remarked on the changes they’d seen in only 12 months, and made a prediction that seems even more apropos in light of Dracup’s distinguished career: “Perhaps a landmark in medical journalism is the emergence of the nurse as a scientific writer, critical clinical observer and ultimately an investigator,” they wrote. “These roles will grow in the future.”

How right they were.

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Scene and Heard

Our Voice at the Table

The fifth annual 21st Century Visions of Nursing: Excellence Through Knowledge, sponsored by Christiana Care’s Department of Nursing, was held at the John H. Ammon Medical Education Center on the hospital campus in Wilmington, Del. The event offered four lecture tracks – critical care, medical, surgical/trauma and professional enrichment – and covered a variety of clinical topics. Keynote speakers included Caryl Goodyear-Bruch, RN, PhD, CCRN, AACN president, and Donna Wright, RN, MS, of Creative Health Care Management.

Goodyear-Bruch presented “Alpha Dog Wisdom for Nurses.” Applying wisdom from the characteristics of alpha dogs to nurses, she said, “Alpha dogs have the ability to control their environment with a calm, persistent and consistent approach. They display confident characteristics. Nurses have control over their environment and have the power to create the ideal workplace. They are also calm, persistent and consistent in creating positive workplace cultures. Nurses are confident with ‘can-do’ attitudes and assertive in all aspects of caring for their patients and families.” Linda Bucher, RN, DNSc, AACN board member, was also in attendance.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing organized a meeting of stakeholders in Washington, D.C. to discuss Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) issues. As a participant in the APRN Consensus Work Group, AACN Certification Corporation was invited to attend, and Beth Martin, RN, MSN, CCNS, ACNP, AACN Certification Corporation chair, represented the organization. Multiple issues were discussed, including a controversial certification program for DNP graduates. Martin conveyed AACN’s concerns and position on DNP certification. The system of advanced practice education, certification, licensure and practice is complex and needs further alignment. To provide guidance and further clarity on the issues, AACN has issued a position statement, which is available on our Web site. AACN and AACN Certification Corporation are committed to involvement in consensus forums related to advanced practice issues in order to ensure consumer protection.

Maria Shirey, RN, MS, MBA, CNAA, BC, FACHE, chair-elect, AACN Certification Corporation, represented AACN at the Fall 2008 American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS) membership assembly meeting. AACN Certification Corporation is a member of ABNS and was one of 24 national nursing certification groups represented. ABNS serves as an advocate for consumer protection by establishing and maintaining standards for professional specialty nursing certification.

Our Experts Share Their Knowledge

Critical Care Nursing: Visioning Beyond the Basics, a two-day conference and leadership workshop in Atlanta, was sponsored by AACN’s Region 6 (Alabama and Georgia chapters). The conference covered topics related to new trends and procedures in care delivery for critical care patients and the professional development of critical care nurses.

Goodyear-Bruch presented the keynote speech, “With Confidence, Live Your Power of One.” After the conference, she summarized her speech by saying, “We all want to work with people who have positive, can-do attitudes, are great team players and are fun! These are characteristics of people with confidence … Finding confidence in our power of one requires building know-how, including how to have a crucial conversation, practicing this new skill and imagining your success by painting the successful, confident action in your mind … Confident nurses feel empowered to act and believe in the power of one … Confident units are teams that create their own ideal workplace.” Roberta Kaplow, RN, PhD, CCRN, CCNS, former AACN board member, spoke on “Synergy” during the closing session.

Goodyear-Bruch also attended the leadership workshop, which was coordinated by Marylee Bressie, RN, CNS, MSN, CCRN, CCNS, CEN, Region 6 chapter advisory team leader. This workshop brought together the region’s chapter leaders to discuss best chapter practices and the challenges chapters face.

Shirey and Dr. Mary Fisher wrote an article titled “Leadership Agenda for Change: Toward Healthy Work Environments in Acute and Critical Care,” which was published in the October 2008 issue of Critical Care. The article is a secondary analysis of AACN’s landmark national critical care survey published in January 2006. The survey undertook the first empirical assessment of the healthcare work environment at the facility and unit level in critical care. Shirey and Fisher analyzed the findings of the study and identified the implications for nursing administrators.

Janice Wojcik, RN, MSN, CCRN, APRN-BC, AACN Certification Corporation board member, presented “Healthy Work Environments: A Journey to Excellence” at the Critical Care Symposium in Woodside, Del., which was sponsored by AACN’s Diamond State Chapter. The chapter was chartered in October 2006 to bring together the state’s critical and acute care professionals and to support AACN’s mission at the local level. This was the chapter’s inaugural symposium.

John Whitcomb, RN, PhD, CCRN, AACN and AACN Certification Corporation board member, spoke at an AACN Region 4 (W.Va., Va., Md., D.C.) Meeting and Leadership Development Workshop in Suffolk, Va. He presented a National AACN update and discussed the AACN president’s theme “With Confidence” and its significance to practice. He reviewed the goals of the 2008-09 work groups, the record attendance at NTI 2008, the free CE program, ECCO 2.0, and the Beacon Award for Progressive Care and Pediatric units. In addition, he discussed new e-learning courses and the recently launched CNML exam for nurse managers.

Marian Altman, RN, MS, CCRN, ANP, AACN board member, presented “When a Chapter Officer Goes Missing” at the AACN Region 4 meeting in Suffolk, Va. Damon Cottrell, RN, MS, CCNS, CCRN, APRN, BC, CEN, AACN Certification Corporation board member, presented “Certification Update” and Whitcomb presented “AACN Board of Directors Update.” The meeting was moderated by Cindy Steinbach, MS, RN, BC, Region 4 chapter advisory team leader.

Julie Miller, RN, BSN, CCRN, AACN board member, represented AACN at Specialty Education’s Critical Care Opportunities and Challenges in Las Vegas. She presented “What Do All Those Lab Values Mean,” “Amazing Case Studies” and “Endocrine Emergencies.” She emphasized the importance of remaining current and using the latest evidence-based practice guidelines.

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