AACN News—January 2008—Chapters

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Vol. 25, No. 1, JANUARY 2008


Waves of Wisdom Conference Wows Attendees


Attendees at the Waves of Wisdom conference in Orlando, Fla. included (front row, left to right) Marilyn McStay, Angela Mann, Pam Dulin, Deb Vanderkamp and Rheta Campbell-Sherman; and (back row) Lorna Baker, Diane Morgan, Jane Curts, Debbie Laughon, Marie Eidam, Vivian Cruz, Donna Stallings, Jennifer Dodimead, Charlotte Wolfe, Kim Martin and Gene Martin.

Last summer, the Coast to Coast Chapters (C2C) convened the 8th Waves of Wisdom (WOW) conference in Orlando, Fla. More than 200 critical care nurses from throughout Florida attended this biannual event.

For the past 16 years, the C2C Chapters, which is comprised of eight central Florida chapters, has organized the biannual WOW conference. The group is dedicated to providing presentations on timely clinical and administrative topics. The following comprise the C2C Chapters:

• Ancient City Chapter
• Brevard Chapter
• Greater Tampa Bay Chapter
• Heartland Chapter
• Metropolitan Orlando Chapter
• Suncoast Chapter
• Tri-County Chapter
• Volusia-Flagler Chapter

The C2C Chapters have enjoyed generous business partner support, which has enabled us to offer quality national and local speakers during the two-day conference. Many of the funds raised by WOW are redistributed to the participating chapters to offer continuing education within their local communities.

The committee is moving forward with plans for the 2009 WOW. Check out the Web site at www.aacnchapters.com/C2C.htm for updates, and plan to join us in Orlando in 2009.

A sister conference to the Waves of Wisdom in central Florida is A Wealth of Knowledge (WOK), in south Florida. These biannual conferences are held on alternating years. The WOK is presented by the South Florida Gold Coast Chapters and is
scheduled for July 17 and 18, 2008 in Davie, Fla. For more information, visit www.awealthofknowledge.org.
Other regional conferences in Florida include:

• Tides of Tampa Bay, which is sponsored by the Greater Tampa Bay Chapter, a member of the C2C Chapters. This conference is held annually in November. For more information, contact Eva Sheets at gtbc.info@aacn.org.

• Swamped With Knowledge (SWK), sponsored by the North Central Florida Chapter, and held annually in February. The next one is scheduled for Feb. 29 and March 1, 2008 in Gainesville, Fla. For more information on the SWK conference, contact Laura Bratcher at bratcl@shands.ufl.edu.

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Reclaiming Our Priorities: Our Students, Our Future


By Clareen Wiencek, PhD (c), ACNP, AACN Chapter Adviser for Region 16

The Lake Erie Chapter of AACN answered President Dave Hanson’s call to reclaim our priorities by hosting a collaborative between acute and critical care educators and practitioners across Northeast Ohio. The two-hour program was held Nov. 15 in Cleveland and, despite inclement weather, the event attracted 75 educators, staff nurses, nurse managers, CNSs, NPs, staff development instructors, LEC-AACN members and students. Faculty from nine of the 11 schools of nursing in the region responded to the invitation to discuss how to develop collaborative relationships that support the transition of students and new nurses into acute and critical care nursing.

Deborah Klein, MSN, RN, CCRN, CS, was the keynote speaker and addressed how to educate nursing students and new nurses on critical care nursing. Klein is the CNS of the CICU and Heart Failure ICU at The Cleveland Clinic, past president of LEC-AACN, current executive board member and a longtime member of AACN. She offered a unique perspective through her role as a CNS responsible for supporting the education of students and new nurses in the clinical setting and as co-editor of the popular critical care text, “Introduction to Critical Care Nursing.” Klein stressed the importance of combining textbook instruction with electronic resources, such as CD-ROMs, the concept map creator and publishers’ Web sites. She discussed ways to foster collaboration between the academic and clinical setting, such as confirming the nurse manager’s support, scheduling clinical during nontraditional times and using the CNS to provide SimMan or ACLS simulations. “Working with students stimulates all staff to remain current and use evidence-based practice,” Klein said.

Challenges to the transition of new nurses were addressed by Clareen Wiencek, PhD (c), ACNP, AACN chapter adviser for Region 16. The nationwide nursing shortage and the “perfect storm” brewing in critical care due to increasing demand for services and shortages of critical care professionals was discussed. Wiencek offered participation in professional associations and mentoring as personal strategies to support and attract nurses to the specialty. The rich resources of AACN, such as free CEUs, were stressed. Two free one-year AACN/LEC-AACN memberships were raffled to students. A highlight of the evening was a lively roundtable discussion of competing priorities, barriers to collaboration between academic and clinical settings, challenges to student instruction in the ICU, and ways to foster collaboration between educators and AACN chapters. One idea was to have AACN chapter members act as liaisons to schools of nursing.
Planning committee members Kyle Anthony, RN, and Peggy Smith, RN, of the Medical ICU of University Hospitals Case Medical Center, were instrumental in coordinating the collaborative. As Anthony and Smith reported, many faculty expressed their appreciation for being invited to network with the Lake Erie Chapter. Those faculty in attendance agreed that the collaborative should be an annual event and that it was a success despite Mother Nature’s efforts to interfere.

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AACN Welcomes Four New Chapters

Central Coast of California Chapter
P.O. Box 6026
Salinas, CA 93912
Chapter Officers: Sheryl Leary, president; Suzette Urquides, president-elect; Joanna Callahan, secretary; Molly McCarty, treasurer.

North Harris/Montgomery County Chapter
14330 Arlington Place
Cypress, TX 77429
Chapter Officers: Marcia Malone-Tedder, president; Miranda Kelly, president-elect; Lourdes DeLeon, secretary; Veronica Jones, treasurer.

Mountain to Sound Chapter
PO Box 25144
Seattle, WA 98165
Chapter Officers: Elizabeth Mattox, president; Diana Lodzinski, president-elect; Colleen Sembar, secretary; Dianne Long, treasurer.
(Merger of Mt. Rainier Chapter & Puget Sound Chapter)

Central Wyoming Chapter
3800 Alpine Drive
Casper, WY 82601
Chapter Officers: Jennifer Zettl, president; Linda Siplon, president-elect; Cristy Dicklich-Cobb, secretary;
Candace Becker, treasurer.

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Regions 13 and 16 Collaborative

Kenneth Brooks, a new member of the Rochester Chapter, and Dorothy Phelps, a 34-year member of the Greater Twin Cities Area Chapter, get acquainted at the Regions 13 and 16 Collaborative in Minneapolis.
By Pam Madrid, RN, CNS, MS, CCRN, CCNS, and Clareen Wiencek, RN, PhD(c), CNP

On Nov. 10, leaders from five chapters in Regions 13 and 16 met in Minneapolis, Minn. to focus on updates from National, to network and to share chapter creative solutions. Collaboration was the theme of the day. Represented at the meeting were the Central Minnesota Area Chapter, the Greater Twin Cities Area Chapter, the Rochester Chapter, the Rum River Chapter and the Siouxland Chapter.

Kristine Peterson, RN, MS, CCRN, CCNS, AACN board member, gave an update on the newest initiatives and information from National. Clareen Wiencek, Region 16 chapter adviser, presented information on the Circle of Excellence Awards, the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence and other AACN resources available to chapters. Pam Madrid, Region 13 chapter adviser, led a discussion with chapter leaders on why they came to the collaborative, how they know their chapters are doing well and how to effectively link with National. Many ideas were generated from the information shared throughout the day.

This was the second annual Regions 13 and 16 Collaborative, hosted by the Greater Twin Cities Area Chapter and the recently formed Rum River Chapter. The two chapters worked together to plan and welcome the other chapters to the meeting. Because of a recent move, attendee Kathy Powderly is a member of two chapters in two different regions - the Siouxland Chapter in South Dakota (Region 16) and the Greater Twin Cities Area Chapter in Minneapolis (Region 13). There was also collaboration between the experienced AACN member and the novice. In fact, Dorothy Phelps, a 34-year member of the Greater Twin Cities Area Chapter, and Kenneth Brooks, a new member of AACN and the Rochester Chapter, were seated next to each other.

It was great to learn about the National initiatives and to know that AACN is working to make it easier for chapters to be successful. We made plans to gather for the third annual Regions 13 and 16 Collaborative meeting in Sioux Falls, S.D. in 2008, which will be hosted by the Siouxland Chapter.

Regional collaboratives are wonderful opportunities for chapters in the same or different regions to get together to share best practices, learn from one another and network. If your chapter is interested in participating in a regional collaborative, please contact your chapter adviser, or e-mail AACN at chapters@aacn.org.

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Chapter Listserv Hot Topic
Involvement of Pediatric Nurses in AACN

By Kay Luft, MN, RN, CCRN, Region 14 Chapter Adviser

A recent hot topic on the chapter listserv focused on how to promote greater involvement of pediatric nurses at the local and national levels of AACN. Currently, chapter leaders are reporting that pediatric critical care nurse membership in local chapters has decreased, ranging from zero to 20 percent.

Donna Kamps, president of the Central Minnesota Area Chapter, said that only about 10 percent of their chapter members are pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) nurses. She said the director of PICU in their city’s children’s hospital is an active member of AACN, attends NTI each year, and is one of their greatest advocates for AACN and the recruitment of pediatric nurses to the chapter.

Karen Zahn is also an active pediatric nurse member of AACN, currently serving as president of the Greater St. Louis Chapter. Zahn reported that approximately 20 percent of their chapter membership is comprised of PICU nurses.

Overall membership in AACN is up compared to 2006. As of Oct. 31, 2007, the total number of AACN members was 68,656. Of those, there are 1,935 pediatric ICU members, representing 2.82 percent of the total membership.

Based on the recent chapter listserv discussions, chapters have not been very effective in recruiting pediatric nurses and then retaining them once they join the chapter. The challenge is: “How do we change this?” It starts with a plan:

• Conduct a chapter needs assessment based on the diversity of all the chapter members and their primary patient populations or focus
• Identify chapter goals
• Create a chapter strategic plan
By having a plan, chapters can ensure they are achieving AACN’s vision of creating a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families where acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution to all patients, adult and pediatric.
As a chapter adviser and former chapter president, I challenge each chapter to consider and take responsibility for meeting the following goals:
• Provide at least two educational topics each year that are specifically targeted toward pediatric critical care nurses
• Include pediatric issues in newsletters to the general chapter membership
• Increase pediatric membership in each chapter by 10 percent within the next year
• Recruit pediatric critical care nurses to serve on chapter boards and/or committees, especially those involved in planning educational conferences
We as members and leaders of AACN have identified the need to reclaim our priorities, one of them being meeting the educational and professional needs of all our members, including those who care for pediatric patients. By working together to recruit and retain pediatric critical care nurses at the local and national levels, we have the opportunity to unite nurses from both the adult and pediatric settings. Considering the current state of healthcare, such unification will make our chapters stronger and our patients safer.

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Feb. 14 Is Registration Deadline for Leadership Development Workshop

The registration deadline for the 9th annual Leadership Development Workshop (LDW) at NTI 2008 in Chicago is Feb. 14, 2008.
The LDW is intended for chapter officers and other chapter leaders to provide them with core leadership skills that will assist them in their roles. The event will be held Sunday, May 4, 2008 at the Hilton Chicago. Financial support is provided by AACN through a one-time $350 grant for each chapter that sends one or more chapter leaders to LDW, to help offset the costs of attending the workshop (airfare, hotel, etc.). In addition, the first chapter leader registration received from each chapter is complimentary; additional leaders may attend for $85 per person. Category O or C (Synergy CERPs) CEUs are provided for this workshop. Send an e-mail to chapters@aacn.org for a registration form or for more information.

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