AACN News—July 2008—Association News

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Vol. 25, No. 7, JULY 2008

American Nurses Center Awards AACN for Advocacy

AACN’s work to promote healthy work environments has been recognized by the Center for American Nurses, a national professional nursing organization that helps nurses advocate for themselves, their profession and their patients. The center presented AACN its 2008 Workforce Advocacy Champion Award in recognition of the association’s contributions to strengthen the nursing workforce and workplace.

Noting that AACN’s overall commitment and leadership in improving the work environments for nurses has set the standard for other nursing and healthcare organizations, the center specifically cited the AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments, AACN’s position papers on Workplace Violence Prevention and Zero Tolerance for Abuse, and the organization’s research and policy support for healthy work environments.

AACN published the Healthy Work Environment Standards – Skilled Communication, True Collaboration, Effective Decision Making, Appropriate Staffing, Meaningful Recognition and Authentic Leadership – in response to the urgent need for hospitals to implement initiatives to ensure that healthcare professionals deliver safe, high-quality care to their patients. The publication coincided with the release of the findings of the Silence Kills study, co-sponsored by AACN and Vital-Smarts. The study found the prevalent culture of poor communication and collaboration among healthcare professionals relates significantly to continued medical errors and staff turnover.

“The link between healthy work environments and patient safety, nurse retention and recruitment is irrefutable,” said Wanda Johanson, RN, MN, AACN’s chief executive officer. “We strongly believe that a healthy work environment is essential in maximizing the contributions nurses and their colleagues make in caring for patients and patients’ families.”

Johanson noted that the center’s recognition of this crucial initiative is especially gratifying at a time when a growing number of AACN’s members are reporting success in using the Standards to influence positive change in their workplaces.
In addition to bestowing the honor on AACN, the Center for American Nurses joined a growing list of professional nursing and medical associations who have endorsed and supported the Standards.

“AACN has been a trailblazer in developing standards supportive of healthy work environments,” wrote Carrie Houser James, MSN, RN, CNA, BC, CCE, center president. “The AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments eloquently articulates the many workforce issues encountered by healthcare providers that adversely affect patient care.”

The Workforce Advocacy Champion Award was presented to AACN in June at the Center for American Nurses’ 2008 LEAD Summit in Washington, D.C.

To learn more about AACN’s advocacy efforts, visit the AACN Web site at www.aacn.org. If you haven’t already, please download and share the AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments at www.aacn.org/hwe. Regardless of your title or position, you can be a leader in influencing your unit or organization to adopt and implement the Standards as an integrated part of your efforts to heighten patient safety.

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Goodyear-Bruch Steps Into Leadership Role With Confidence

Caryl Goodyear-Bruch, RN, PhD, CCRN, became AACN’s 39th president on July 1, accepting the leadership reins from outgoing President Dave Hanson, RN, MSN, CCRN, CNS.

Goodyear-Bruch selected “With Confidence” as her theme for the coming year, encouraging acute and critical care nurses to develop confidence so they can transform the healthcare environment to benefit patients and their families.
Joining Goodyear-Bruch as president-elect for 2008-09 is Beth Hammer, RN, MSN, APRN-BC, as well as newly elected directors Vicki Good, RN, MSN, CCRN, CCNS, Kathleen Stephens Williams, RN, MSN, CCRN, Natalie Correll-Yoder, RN, MN, CCRN, CCNS, and Kathryn Roberts, RN, MSN, CRNP, CCRN, CCNS.

Returning to the board are Marian Altman, RN, MS, CCRN, ANP, Linda Bucher, RN, DNSc, J. “Ski” Lower, RN, MSN, CCRN, CNRN, Julie Miller, RN, BSN, CCRN, Kristine Peterson, RN, MS, CCNS, CCRN, Mary Stahl, RN, MSN, CCRN, CCNS-CMC, CNS-BC, and John Whitcomb, RN, PhD, CCRN. Peterson is the new secretary of the board and Altman is the new treasurer.

Completing their terms on the board were Paula Lusardi, RN, PhD, CCRN, CCNS, Patricia Gonce Morton, RN PhD, ACNP, FAAN, and Janice Wojcik, RN, MS, CCRN, APRN, BC, ACNPC.

Caryl Goodyear-Bruch

Goodyear-Bruch is a critical care clinical nurse specialist and clinical associate professor at the University of Kansas Hospital and University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan.

A member of AACN since 1981, she served on the AACN Board of Directors from 2003 to 2006 and was a member of the AACN Certification Corporation Board of Directors in 2005-06. She previously served as chair of the Education Work Group and as a community liaison to the AACN board.

She is a member of the Greater Kansas City Chapter of AACN, where she has held a variety of offices on its board of directors, including scholarship chair, education chair, treasurer and president.

Beth Hammer

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

A member of AACN since 1989 and secretary of the AACN Board of Directors since 2007, she is a lifetime member and past president of the Greater Milwaukee Area Chapter. She also is a past Chapter Advisory Team representative for Region 8. In addition, Hammer has served as a member of the AACN Awards Review Panel and the AACN Scholarship Review Panel.

Vicki Good

Good is director of nursing practice integration for CoxHealth, Springfield, Mo.

An AACN ambassador since 1999, she is a member of the Greater Fort Worth Chapter and a past member of the Puget Sound Chapter. In addition, Good was a section editor, and a chapter author and co-author for the” AACN Advanced Critical Care” textbook. In addition, she was a chapter author and reviewer for the “AACN Procedure Manual.

Kathleen Stephens Williams

Williams is a nurse educator at St. Anthony’s Medical Center, St. Louis, Mo.

An AACN ambassador, she is a member and past president of the Greater St. Louis Chapter.

Williams is a strong advocate of the quality of AACN resources. She has integrated AACN materials, including ECCO, Practice Alerts, Protocols for Practice and publications, into her critical care courses. In addition, she has conducted research and delivered presentations on healthy work environments as part of her master’s program coursework and implemented the healthy work environment standards into team building and communications classes.

Natalie Correll-Yoder

Correll-Yoder is a critical care clinical nurse specialist at Queen of the Valley Medical Center, Napa, Calif.

She is a charter member and past president of the Napa Valley Chapter, and is a past member of the AACN Nominating Committee. She was a member of the ECCO Review Panel and participated in the development of the recently released ECCO 2.0 course outline.

A member of the former AACN Ethics Work Group, Correll-Yoder has co-chaired the Medical Staff Bioethics Committee at Queen of the Valley Medical Center the last 12 years.

Kathryn Roberts

Roberts is a clinical nurse specialist in pediatric intensive care at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa.

She is a member of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter and an AACN ambassador. She has served on the NTI Work Group and AACN Nominating Committee.

In addition, Roberts is a reviewer for Critical Care Nurse and a member of the Continuing Education Review Panel.

AACN Nominating Committee

Lisa Falcon, MSN, RN, CCRN, Christine Schulman, RN, MS, CNS, CCRN, and Lisa Riggs, RN, APRN, MSN, CCRN-CMC, were elected to the AACN Nominating Committee for 2008-09. Falcon of New Brunswick, N.J., is a nurse educator in Surgical Services at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Schulman of Portland, Ore., is a trauma and critical care CNS consultant. Riggs of Lenexa, Kan., is a clinical nurse specialist at St. Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City.

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AACN Announces Beacon Award for Pediatric Critical Care

Intensive care units demonstrating excellence in the care of acutely and critically ill patients from childbirth to young adulthood now have the opportunity to be recognized by AACN as part of the prestigious Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence program. Applications for the new Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence-Pediatrics are now being accepted. The criteria for this new Beacon category have been exhaustively vetted to reflect standards and benchmark data in the pediatric environment, and the application contains more family-centered and age-related language and messaging.

Units selected to receive this award will have demonstrated quantitative and qualitative success in the following areas that impact patient care, measured specifically for the pediatric environment:

• Recruitment and retention
• Education, training and mentoring
• Research and evidence-based practice
• Patient outcomes
• Leadership and organizational ethics
• Healing environment

Studies show that units achieving Beacon Award status rate higher on key indicators related to nursing satisfaction, quality of care, leadership and work environment. In addition, this award allows units to measure their systems, outcomes and environment against evidence-based criteria.

Since 2003, out of an estimated 6,000 intensive care units in the United States, 120 units in 33 states have been recognized with the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence. 17 have received the award twice, one has received the award three times and, in the spring of 2008, one unit had achieved the award four times.

Beacon Award units realize many benefits of having met rigid criteria for excellence, high-quality standards and exceptional care of patients and patients’ families:

• Influence and Recognition: Units that participate in the Beacon Award process help set the standards for what constitutes an excellent acute or critical care environment through the collection of evidence-based information. Patient safety and quality programs, such as the Leapfrog Group Hospital Quality and Safety Survey, consider Beacon achievement in their evaluation process.
• Credibility: Consumers, who are paying much closer attention today to quality-of-care factors with respect to their own healthcare, take this level of recognition into consideration when choosing a hospital for care or treatment.
• Recruitment and Retention: Prospective employees recognize a Beacon Award unit as a healthy work environment, a place where quality of care is tied directly to quality of staff. Nurses who work in these units recognize that their skills and expertise are appreciated and valued, boosting employee morale.

For more information on the Beacon Award please call (800) 899-2226. Applicants are not required to be a member of AACN to apply for the Beacon Award. Application information and requirements are available at www.aacn.org > Beacon Award

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Scene and Heard

Our Voice in the Media

Nurse.com (Feb. 25, 2008) – “Fast Track to Critical Care” included a quote from Ann MacMurray, RN, BSN, CCRN, residency program manager at AtlanticCare, Atlantic City, N.J. “ECCO has been a tremendous boon to AtlanticCare Regional Medical Center, especially in regard to retention and staff satisfaction. It really enables us to produce the best critical care nurses possible. Nurses who go through the curriculum come away feeling prepared and ready when they come off orientation. It gives them a huge advantage, and they are much less likely to want to leave us.”

Phoenix Business Journal (Feb. 1, 2008) – “John C. Lincoln Hospital Brings Home the Beacon.” “The Beacon Award stands for one year, after which the unit must reapply, said Roberta Johnson, clinical director of the intensive care unit. But she said it’s worth the effort because it keeps excellence in patient care at the forefront of nurses’ minds.” Joyce Benjamin, executive director of the Arizona Nurses Association, said, “This is like, oh-my-God fabulous. This shows the level of quality in the valley that we’re achieving.”

Nevada RNformation (Feb. 1, 2008) – “Why Should Nurses Get Certified?” In part, the article noted that “even more noteworthy, nurse certification has been linked to better patient outcomes, according to AACN, which found that certification is tied to a reduction in medical errors, among other benefits.”

American Journal of Nursing – AJN (Feb. 1, 2008) – “Negativity in the Workplace.” The following is an excerpt from a letter to the editor by Jan Fadel, RN, Louisville, Ky. “Studies have shown that when nurses are working in a supportive environment, they are less likely to take sick days or suffer from injuries, exhaustion or job dissatisfaction. AACN has developed six standards that define a healthy work environment: skilled communication, true collaboration, effective decision making, appropriate staffing, meaningful recognition and authentic leadership. A healthy work environment produces a healthy workforce.”

Indiana Nursing Quarterly (Feb. 1, 2008) – “Local Nurses Take the Lead” included a cover photo of Kevin Reed, RN, MSN, CNA-BC, CPHQ, then AACN Certification Corporation chair. Dave Hanson, RN, MSN, CCRN, CNS, then AACN president, who was also featured, said, “I joined AACN because it really was a professional organization that helped to provide education and information around how to care for patients in the ICU. I joined … so they could provide me with information to help me be a better nurse.”

Nurse.com (Feb. 11, 2008) – “Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Celebrates Three Beacon Awards.” “The work environment at Rhoads (5 SICU) is energizing. In one word it ‘hums,’” said William C. Kinkle, RN, EMT-P. “To be recognized with the Beacon Award means we have demonstrated a unique overall team concept that stands as a model for other critical care units.”
Advance for Nurses (Feb. 4, 2008) – “Climbing the Ladder of Success” addresses clinical advancement programs (ladders). One of these programs, in use at Rush-Copley Medical Center, Aurora, Ill., has “seven standards, based on components of AACN’s Synergy Model.”

The Synergist (Feb. 15, 2008) – “AACN Healthy Work Environment Standards Being Piloted Downtown.” “Six units – two each at Methodist, IU and Riley hospitals (at Clarian Health, Indianapolis) – are piloting tools and resources to adopt the first of six standards for a Healthy Work Environment, as outlined by AACN … Why adopt Healthy Work Environment standards? In short, they can help improve patient care and patient safety as well as on-the-job relationships and job satisfaction.”

Nursing Management eNews (Feb. 14, 2008) – “Ready, Set, Get Certified!” As reported in many other publications as well, AACN and AONE are partnering on a nurse manager certification course. Listed under “Breaking News,” it was the number one story in this issue.

Our Voice at the Table

Caryl Goodyear-Bruch, RN, PhD, CCRN, then AACN president-elect, and Mary Stahl, RN, MSN, CNS-BC, CCNS-CMC, CCRN, AACN board member, presented “Journey Toward Excellence! Creating a Healthy Work Environment,” for the Kansas City Area Nurse Executives, at St. Joseph Health Center in Kansas City, Mo. AACN’s Standards for a Healthy Work Environment were explored as a comprehensive approach to ensuring improvement in the work environment.

Dave Hanson, MSN, RN, CCRN, CNS, then AACN president, spoke at the Spectrum Health 2008 Emerging Concepts in Cardiovascular Care Conference in Grand Rapids, Mich. He presented a clinical breakout session, “Differential Diagnosis of Chest Pain: No Time for Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda,” and the closing keynote, “Healthy Work Environments: A Journey to Clinical Excellence.”

Hanson gave the keynote address, “Reclaiming Our Priorities,” at the 2008 Dimensions in Cardiac Care Conference sponsored by the Cleveland (Ohio) Clinic. He also met with the Lake Erie Chapter to discuss National AACN initiatives.

Damon Cottrell, RN, MS, CCNS, CCRN, APRN, BC, CEN, AACN Certification Corporation board member, represented AACN at the APRN Stakeholder Meeting in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the meeting was to seek feedback regarding the APRN Consensus Paper on Regulation proposed by the APRN Consensus work group consisting of 73 organizations and the APRN Committee of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. The paper proposes a model of common definitions and standardization in programs leading to APRN preparation, and addresses the lack of common legal recognition across jurisdictions.

Maria Shirey, RN, MS, MBA, CNAA, BC, FACHE, AACN Certification Corporation board member, presented a concurrent session, “Nurse Manager Work Complexity: Implications for Personal and Organizational Nurturance,” at the 30th Annual International Association for Human Caring conference in Chapel Hill, N.C. Her session emphasized the pivotal role of nurse managers in creating and sustaining healthy work environments.

Carol Hartigan, RN, MA, certification programs strategist, and Beth Martin, RN, MSN, CCNS, ACNP, then AACN Certification Corporation chair-elect, represented AACN at the National Council of State Boards of Nursing APRN Roundtable in Chicago. Issues related to advanced practice nursing licensure, accreditation, regulation and education were discussed.

Hanson delivered the keynote address, “Reclaiming Our Priorities,” and a clinical breakout session, “Making the 12-Lead ECG Connection,” at the Odyssey on Critical Care Conference co-sponsored by VCU Health System Education & Professional Development and AACN’s Greater Richmond (Va.) Area Chapter.

Janice Wojcik, RN, MSN, CCRN, APRN-BC, AACN board member, and Mary Fran Tracy, RN, PhD, CCRN, CCNS, FAAN, former AACN board president, represented AACN at the American College of Chest Physicians’ 15th Annual ACCP Capitol Hill Caucus in Washington, D.C. The caucus provides education to impact public policies affecting chest medicine. Participants discussed these issues with political insiders, including their own senators and representatives.

Stahl spoke at Effective Retention Throughout the Career Continuum, the 6th national conference of nursing workforce leaders, in Denver, Colo. She represented AACN as a member of the National Perspectives Panel: Innovation and Promising Practices in Nursing Retention.

Hanson delivered the keynote address, “Reclaiming Our Priorities,” and a clinical breakout session, “Differential Diagnosis of Chest Pain: No Time for Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda,” at the Emerging Trends in Critical Care Symposium sponsored by
AACN’s Greater St. Louis Chapter. During the symposium he attended a Town Hall Luncheon to update participants on National AACN initiatives.

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Winners Announced in AJCC Online Reader Survey

Clay Allen, RN, BSN, CCRN, of Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Ore., won an iPod nano for his participation in the 2008 reader survey at NTI. He was randomly selected from more than 500 respondents who evaluated the content and redesign of the American Journal of Critical Care, AACN’s premier research journal.

Results from the survey, titled “AJCC Redesign 1 Year Later,” showed that AJCC readers overwhelmingly approved of the redesign, with 96 percent reporting they liked the new cover, and 98 percent reporting that they preferred the new layout to the old.

Among other randomly chosen winners, respondent Mary Heitschmidt, RN, APN, MS, CCRN, of Chicago received a free copy of “AACN Advanced Critical Care Nursing,” the new clinical reference for acute care nurse practitioners and other clinicians.

Three additional winners received the innovative AACN book on patient care, “Synergy: The Unique Relationship Between Nurses and Patients,” which offers a practical an intuitive framework for nurses with varying subspecialties, levels of expertise and roles. Those winners were Mary Braun, RN, BSN, CCRN, of Omaha, Neb.; Susan S. Russell, RN, MSN, CCRN, of Pascagoula, Miss., and Ann Maslan, RN, BSN, of New Lenox, Ill.

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MGAM Campaign Total Exceeds 5,000 Members Recruited

Recruiting efforts in the month of May pushed the total in the latest Member-Get-A-Member campaign, I Can Make a Difference, to yet another milestone. In the month, 209 individuals and chapters recruited 437 new members. This brings the campaign total to 5,044 new members recruited by 1,096 individuals and chapters.

May Totals:
232 new members recruited by 102 individuals
205 new members recruited by 107 chapters

In individual recruiting for the month, first-time recruiter Yanxia Li, RN, ADN, AAS, CCRN, PCCN, of Marietta, Ga., burst onto the scene with 17 new members recruited. Also in double figures for the month was Kelly Wells, RN, AD, of Medford, Ore., with 12. Still in the campaign lead to date with 62 new members recruited is Lorraine Fields, RN, CNS, MSN, BSc, CCRN, CNRN, APN, of Uniontown, Ohio. In second place overall is Kathleen Richuso, RN, MSN, RN-BC, of Chapel Hill, N.C., with 39. Following close behind in third place is Mary Holtschneider, RN, BSN, MPA, RN-BC, of Durham, N.C., with 38.

In chapter recruiting for the month of May, the San Diego Area Chapter was responsible for eight new members coming into the AACN family. This puts them into a tie for second place overall in the campaign with 55. The Greater Birmingham Chapter added three to their campaign total to give them 55 also. The Denver Chapter and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter each added seven members in May. The Houston Gulf Coast Chapter added four new members in the month, solidifying its overall lead in the campaign, which now stands at 93 new members recruited.

The I Can Make a Difference MGAM campaign began Sept. 1, 2007 and will continue through Aug. 31, 2008. Participation in the Member-Get-A-Member drive offers the opportunity for recruiters to receive valuable rewards, including a $1,500 American Express gift check that will be awarded to the top individual recruiter. Members who recruit more than 20 new members by campaign end will be entered into a random drawing for a $1,000 American Express gift check, those who recruit 10-19 new members by campaign end will be entered into a random drawing for a $750 American Express gift check, and anyone who recruits 1-9 new members by campaign end will be entered into a random drawing for a $500 American Express gift check.

After recruiting their first five new members, participants will receive a $25 gift certificate toward AACN products and services, and $50 after recruiting a total of 10 new members.

In addition, individuals who recruit at least one new member in a campaign month will be entered into a drawing for a $100 American Express gift check. Yanxia Li, RN, ADN, AAS, CCRN, PCCN, of Marietta, Ga. won the gift check in May.

The overall top-recruiting chapter by campaign end will be awarded a $1,500 honorarium check toward the chapter treasury. Recruiting chapters will also be entered into a random drawing at campaign end for an honorarium check toward their chapter treasury: If they recruit more than 20 new members by campaign end, chapters are eligible for a $1,000 honorarium check, 10-19 new members recruited by campaign end, they are eligible for a $750 honorarium check, and with 1-9 new members recruited by campaign end, chapters are eligible for a $500 honorarium check.

In addition, chapters are eligible for monthly drawings for a free NTI registration any month they recruit a new member. The winner for May was the Treasure Valley Centennial Chapter (Idaho).

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Members on the Move

Dorrie Fontaine, RN, PhD, FAAN, former AACN president, will become dean of the University of Virginia’s School of Nursing effective Aug. 1. She helped develop AACN’s Standards for a Healthy Work Environment.

Kathryn Sapnas, RN, PhD, CCRN, CNOR, chief nurse for research & informatics at the Miami VA Health Care System, was appointed to the AONE National Technology Task Force and the NACNS National Research Committee. She is also working on a VA Translational Research Grant.

Linda Cassidy, RN, BSN, MSEd, CCRN-CSC, was named cardiovascular clinical specialist for the Bethesda Heart Institute, Boynton Beach, Fla.

Terry Richmond, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, former AACN board member, received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching from the University of Pennsylvania and two awards from the university’s School of Nursing: the Barbara Lowery Award for Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring of Doctoral Students and the MSN Mentored Research Award.

Joanne Disch, RN, PhD, FAAN, former AACN president, received a 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Wisconsin Alumni Association, the highest honor bestowed by the association.

Stephanie Baker, RN, BSN, Katherine Miller, RN, BSN, CCRN, Elizabeth Myslinski, RN, BSN, and Jodi Shelton, RN, received Palmetto Gold awards from the South Carolina Nurses Foundation, for excellence in their profession. They work at Sisters of Charity Providence Hospitals, Columbia, S.C.

Cynda Rushton, RN, PhD, FAAN, faculty at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and an internationally recognized expert in bioethics and palliative care, was named one of “Maryland’s Top 100 Women” for 2008.

Michelle Ritzler, RN, BSN, CCRN, was honored as the southern division Employee of the Quarter at Bayhealth Medical Center, Dover, Del.

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Bookstore Corner

Featured Bookstore Product:
AACN Scope and Standards for Acute and Critical Care Nursing Practice

The newly revised “AACN Scope and Standards for Acute and Critical Care Nursing Practice” is a must-have for acute and critical care nurses. The book describes nursing practices applicable to an acutely or critically ill patient no matter where that patient is cared for within the healthcare environment.
The standards:

• are authoritative statements that describe a level of care or performance common to the profession of nursing by which the quality of nursing practice can be judged.
• are written to establish an example of the roles and responsibilities expected of the practitioner by the profession at large.
• include both standards of care, which prescribe a competent level of nursing practice, and standards of professional performance, which articulate the roles and behaviors expected of nursing professionals

In addition, they reflect the key concepts of the AACN Mission, Vision, Values and Ethics of Care, scope of practice and the Synergy Model for Patient Care.

The “AACN Scope and Standards for Acute and Critical Care Nursing Practice” (Product # 130300) is available online from the AACN Bookstore, www.aacn.org/bookstore.
The price is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers

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Monthly Super Savers

These Super Saver prices are valid until Aug. 31, 2008. All orders must be received or postmarked by Aug. 31 to be eligible for the Super Saver price.

AACN Home Theatre: Mastering Sepsis (#190018)

This multimedia audio/video presentation focuses on recent improvements in the understanding and treatment of sepsis and clarification of the triad of disturbances at the cellular level. Past and present treatment of sepsis is presented.

Regular Price: Member $32, Nonmember $40
Super Saver Price: Member $28.80, Nonmember $36

Strategies for Managing Multisystem Disorders (#128641)

This book is comprehensive in scope, providing information on more than 80 disorders and other conditions that can impact them, such as trauma and pneumonia. Emphasis is on treatment and nursing interventions required when a patient is experiencing more than one disorder. Using a consistent format and a highly visual approach, each disorder is described in detail, including information about incidence and risk factors, etiology, pathophysiology and assessment findings. Each description also focuses on collaborative management that emphasizes multidisciplinary care measures.

Regular Price: Member $42.70, Nonmember $44.95
Super Saver Price: Member $37.05, Nonmember $39

Sepsis Series 2006 (#NCE9153106C- CD or #NCE9153106M – MP3)* 2 Audio Programs:

Mastering Sepsis: Identification and Treatment Advances in 2006

Prescribing Antibiotics Effectively in Acute Care

Regular Price: Member $33, Nonmember $33
Super Saver Price: Member $28, Nonmember $28

*Please allow 7-10 days for delivery, because these products are shipped directly from the publisher.

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Web Conference Series Concludes in October

The final AACN-JCR webinar series of the year, which focuses on Palliative and End-of-Life Care, will be presented in October 2008. The presentations can be accessed either live or later from the Webconference library.

The webinars are scheduled for Thursdays, Oct. 7 (Palliative Care Isn’t Just End-of-Life Care), Oct. 14 (Family Presence in Critical Care) and Oct. 21 (End-of-Life Care). Presenting are, on behalf of AACN, (Oct. 7) Patsy Treece, RN, MN, a critical care research nurse with the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care at the University of Washington, and (Oct. 14 and 21) J. Randall Curtis, MD MPH, FCCP, professor of medicine at the University of Washington and director of the Harborview/UW End-of-life Care Research Program. Presenting on behalf of JCR is consultant Beth Glassford, RN, MS, MHA, CHE, a past member of the AACN Certification Corporation Board of Directors.

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2007 Excellence in Chapter Collaboration Award

Greater Cincinnati Chapter
Cincinnati, OH

For more than 30 years, the Greater Cincinnati Chapter (GCC) has excelled in many areas. In keeping with the AACN vision, GCC created a Community Forum Committee. The committee’s purpose was to determine strategies for chapter members to utilize clinical skills and provide health promotion activities for an underserved community.

The committee collaborated with community leaders from a regional hospital, Young Men’s Christian Association and a university school of nursing. It was established that a “Health and Wellness Expo” would be held to provide accessible screening for inner city residents. Participants engaged in glucose, cholesterol, anthropometric and blood pressure screening; smoking cessation; lifestyle modification education; medication teaching; sleep apnea education; stress reduction; cancer prevention; and body massage. Student nurses were paired with registered and advanced practice nurses from the chapter to provide mentoring of one-to-one blood pressure measurement and medication education for participants. A positive and supportive environment resulted, where questions were encouraged and emphasis was placed on the learning process. The outcome was extraordinarily rewarding as indicated by a student’s comment: I know I still have a lot to learn, but I feel more confident after working with such knowledgeable nurses. Twenty-two members and 20 nursing students donated their time to this event. More than 100 individuals from the community participated. Multiple participants were referred for follow-up with their healthcare practitioner when hypertension was identified. It was evident this was a worthwhile event. As one patient stated, “Now I know why I need to start back on my high blood pressure medication. I had no idea what could happen to my body if I do not control my blood pressure.” This was a rare occasion when there was true collaboration among academia, practice and the community.

Puget Sound and Mt. Rainier Chapters
Seattle and Tacoma, WA

In early spring 2006, the Mt. Rainier and Puget Sound chapters of AACN (serving different parts of the greater Seattle-Tacoma area) began a collaborative relationship. Each chapter found itself not only struggling to attract participants to local educational offerings, but also working with the same small, but dedicated group of board members. Initially, the Puget Sound Chapter president approached the Mt. Rainier Chapter president for mentoring and guidance. They quickly realized the challenges facing their respective chapters were more similar than different. The chapters began holding joint monthly meetings and offered a CCRN/PCCN review in September 2006, which was a financial success. More importantly, it brought together the board members of each chapter and solidified the idea that we not only could work well together, but that a formal merger would result in a stronger and more vital group.

Over the next six months, we learned about each other’s strategies, traditions and values. Each meeting, newsletter, community service event and educational offering conducted together brought a renewed sense of energy, laughter and new relationships. Consolidating our groups has allowed us to branch out in new and diverse ways to connect with our community, including a Beacon Award Challenge to the community and an education dinner for area ICU nurses and physicians. Truly more than a sum of our parts, we have increased our educational offerings, participation in the community and outreach to new members. We are excited to announce a formal merger in July 2007 with a new chapter name, Mountain to Sound Chapter, and a shared identity.

Greater East Texas Chapter
Tyler, TX

Collaboration has been the mainstay of success for the Greater East Texas Chapter of AACN in achieving its goals. Each year, the chapter members embrace the opportunity to further the mission and vision of AACN by working jointly with three competitive health systems and a number of charitable organizations on a variety of projects that are mutually beneficial. We collaborate with our health systems to provide educational programming to enhance our evidence-based practice. Each health system hosts the site and provides the continuing education hours for our CCRN review. Working jointly, our focus is to increase the number of certified nurses in our community. This joint effort has allowed the chapter to annually reward six to eight active members with full scholarships to renew and transform themselves at NTI, as well as provide CEUs at each monthly meeting.

Annually, our members have embraced community service by collaborating with charitable organizations such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army and Bethesda Health Clinic for the indigent, providing funding, essential relief items and membership time. Our collaborative efforts escalated to meet the needs of the evacuees who flooded our city during the Gulf Coast hurricanes.

Continuing to embrace the theme of “Engage and Transform” for 2005-06, members set a goal to engage the interest of nursing students regarding the field of critical care nursing as part of an effort to reduce the local staffing shortages and transform awareness of the opportunities available through AACN membership. Collaborating with the University of Texas at Tyler, members identified an opportunity to participate in “Traditions,” a BSN and MSN student awareness program, highlighting opportunities in the nursing profession.

Powered by insight gained from years of collaborative relationships, the Greater East Texas Chapter continues to achieve mutually beneficial goals by working jointly with its local community, health systems and university.

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2007 Sharon Connor Excellence in Chapter Leadership Development Award

Greater Milwaukee Area Chapter
Milwaukee, WI

The Greater Milwaukee Area Chapter of AACN (AACN-GMAC) has a strong history of grooming local, regional and national leaders. In its 35-year history, GMAC members have gone on to serve as work group members, chapter advisers and directors on the national board. Despite this history, the chapter began to have increasing difficulty recruiting and developing quality leaders. Drawing from the AACN Strategic Plan and the Board Learning Partner program, the GMAC leadership team has succeeded in implementing a plan to recruit, develop and maintain strong chapter leadership.

AACN-GMAC began a focused succession plan in 2004 with the implementation of Board Learning Partners. Part of the plan included broadening the board makeup to include members from several area healthcare systems rather than just one or two. In two years, there had been a successful transformation, and the board includes nurses that practice at four healthcare systems and a major university. Job descriptions, role responsibilities and time commitments are posted at the bimonthly meetings, as well as in the chapter newsletter. This method was so successful in 2005 that a senior nursing student served as a Board Learning Partner her first year as an RN and filled an elected position in 2006.

AACN-GMAC has many long-term members who continue to support educational programs and serve on committees. Outgoing and incoming board members, committee chairs, lifetime members, learning partners and other long-term members attend the annual Strategic Planning meeting. AACN-GMAC continues to be a successful chapter in many ways, because of the revitalization of its leadership development approach. The visionary chapter leaders have re-created a chapter whose membership grows because of the ways the leaders and members support one another in living the AACN mission, vision and values.

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2007 President’s Award for Chapters

Greater Kansas City Chapter
Kansas City, MO

Mary Fran Tracy challenged all of us to be “Powered by Insight” by reflecting, learning and planning for excellence. Taking her challenge to heart, the Greater Kansas City Chapter began a journey to incorporate and empower the progressive care nurses in our organization. Realizing that we had left the development and expansion of our membership to chance, our chapter outlined a plan to fully integrate progressive care nurses into every aspect of our chapter, including leadership, communications, education and scholarships.

Our board is composed of a diverse group representing many different aspects of critical care nursing practice -- intensive care, progressive care and academia. This diversity has allowed us the insight to look at issues and member concerns from at least three perspectives and better serve our community of critical care nurses. We purposefully chose to have at least two members of our board from progressive care practice areas. For 2007-08, our president and education chair are from progressive care. In addition, the annual spring Critical Care Symposium is chaired by one of our progressive care nursing members.

Communication is a key to the success of our chapter. We use our quarterly newsletter, our Web site and our hospital-based representatives to communicate and ideally empower the membership. Because one-on-one, relationship-based communication has proven to be the most effective method, we expanded the number of unit representatives to a minimum of two at each hospital – one representing intensive care and one representing progressive care.

Committed to empowering progressive care nurses through education, we planned three educational events. The first was a renewed commitment to the Progressive Care Consortium that offers two, five-day courses specific to progressive care practice. The second was the incorporation of progressive care content from the PCCN exam blueprint into a combined CCRN/PCCN Certification Review Course. In addition, our annual spring Critical Care Symposium now offers a track for progressive care nursing staff.

Last, we are offering, for the first time this year, a scholarship for a progressive care nurse to sit for the PCCN exam.

Greater New Orleans Area Chapter
Metairie, LA

We didn’t ask, “Could we?” “Would we?” “Should we?” or “Why?” We simply knew the Greater New Orleans Chapter would have to lift itself from the aftermath of destructive forces of nature. The question was “how.” The “Powered by Insight” president’s theme became the answer.

We encompassed the theme in every aspect of what we did. The intention was to pay respect to everyone’s individual experience and then to take the value of that experience’s knowledge to help move us forward.

Gathering our members together, we started employing the theme. Although we were given challenges never experienced before, we gained new insights to work within our new world. As we started the new service year, we were nothing if we were not for our members.

We knew we had to use our energy to regain and re-energize our membership and expedite the communication process. But first, we had to find our members.

We had learned that the physical presence of leadership and community members was vital to the return of a functioning chapter. Field visits were made to every facility in our chapter’s area. As face-to-face contact was made with unit staff and managers, a Critical Care Circle was being developed. This circle continues to be contacted by e-mail as the first line of communication at each site. Although the field visits were long and tedious, we received a lot back in enthusiasm, commitment and guardianship of the purpose of our chapter.

As the membership base changed, our board was taxed with many unprecedented activities, new members and growing program attendance. Many of our board members, all of whom had been impacted by the storm, had entered their new offices without much role experience.

We joined and co-sponsored a program with the local chapter of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses. We had learned our nursing community needed to band together and we did have common grounds. We also opened our meetings to other local nursing chapters with similar interests.

Change is never a painless process but, if channeled and powered in the right direction, the results can be astronomical. We are still rising … Powered by insight … and each other.

Houston Gulf Coast Chapter
Houston, TX

The Houston Gulf Coast Chapter of AACN began its journey to build its future by using the president’s theme of “Powered by Insight.” As with any long voyage, we had to honestly look at ourselves and our chapter and develop insight based on the emotional and spiritual intelligence concept to help set the course of becoming a good to an authentically great chapter.

During our leadership retreat, we identified our individual and organizational strengths and weaknesses. We then set goals to continue the delivery of excellent educational programs, to develop a chapter Web site and to improve chapter operations, strategic planning and leadership transition.

Philosophically grounded in AACN’s mission, the end goal for educational programming was to develop insight about our membership through these programs. Each program had consistent features, including marketing via flyers and our Web site with consistent design to facilitate brand identification, establishing a designated e-mail address where members could RSVP for meetings and producing a consistent program environment featuring the theme and monthly President’s Note column from AACN News. We have seen an increase in our meeting attendance from 60 to 200 members and an increased awareness of the national theme.

We have gained the most insight through chapter operations, strategic planning and facilitating leadership transition. We looked at our current systems and asked ourselves: What have we done to show board accountability? Are we supporting the AACN values of accountability, acting with integrity, collaboration, stewardship, commitment and innovation?

Fully powered by insight, our board is working on resolving systems issues. A chapter manual that details each committee role and ideas that have worked and failed are in the works to guide future leaders. Our records are being scanned to allow for electronic retrieval of documents. We have clearly defined our advisory board’s role, function and limitations. To facilitate the future direction of our chapter, we are conducting our first annual strategic planning with the incoming and outgoing board and established a goal of transfer of information as well as establishing key priorities for the next five years.

Our journey to being powered by insight has been meaningful, challenging and necessary.

The Puget Sound and Mt. Rainier Chapters
Seattle and Tacoma, WA

The president’s “Powered by Insight” theme describes the journey that the Mt. Rainier and Puget Sound chapters have undertaken this past year. Insight was required to evaluate each struggling chapter’s operations, membership and expectations. Insight helped both chapters discover that we wanted to thrive and expand our goals.

To succeed, we needed to look not only “outside the box,” but also outside our chapters. Insight and inspiration led us to the possibility of merging two chapters that had not always been cooperative.

When the Puget Sound Chapter president approached the Mt. Rainier Chapter president for mentoring and guidance, they quickly realized that their chapters faced similar challenges. The chapters began holding joint monthly meetings, and the board members realized that a formal merger would result in a stronger and more vital group.

Over the next six months, we learned about each other’s strategies, traditions and values. Consolidating our groups has allowed us to branch out in new and diverse ways to connect with our community.

Our goal is to create a “critical care community” in Seattle and Tacoma and to be one of the safest places in the world to be a critically ill patient. Our chapters are committed to providing CCRN/PCCN reviews to support the area through certification education, and currently we have nine centers that are committed to take the Beacon journey with us!

Our chapters took this year’s theme to heart and lived it as we evaluated our future. We took a good look at what each chapter was contributing to our local area, who was contributing and how it could be done better with less duplication. We have increased our educational offerings, enlarged our participation in the community and expanded our outreach to new members. The drive to create a new vision of our chapters has brought us to where we are now, with a strong, unified, energized and merged chapter.

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2007 AACN Outstanding Chapter Educational Program Award

North Central Florida Chapter
Gainesville, FL

The North Central Florida Chapter of AACN prides itself on providing fun-filled, quality educational programs and professional enhancement for critical care nurses. In the winter months, the NCF chapter highlights its year with an educational program titled “Swamped with Knowledge” (SWK) named in part for its proximity to the University of Florida in Gainesville. The speakers, topics and exhibits for SWK seminars are based on the most current research and trends in nursing. It is the overall goal of the conference to provide participants with a professional, yet entertaining environment that fosters positive learning, provides valuable nursing-related information, and allows nurses an opportunity to network and learn with and from other nurses. This last year was no exception.

SWK expanded in 2006 from a one-day to a two-day learning extravaganza. The first day began chock full of knowledge, motivation, laughs and singing with Barbara McLean. That evening, there was a new, innovative event appropriately named “An Evening with the Divas,” in which three of our most beloved nursing stars, Barbara McLean (Bette Midler), Kathleen Vollman (Cher) and Cammy House-Fancher (Celine Dion) came out in their furs and went head-to-head discussing case studies. Day two of SWK provided opportunities to learn from 15 multidisciplinary speakers. Connie Barden opened with the journey to healthy work environments. The rest of the day included lectures that reflected research-based practice and basic critical care nursing and knowledge.

In keeping with AACN’s Mission, Vision and Values, SWK was designed to embrace lifelong learning, commit to quality, promote innovation, provide better patient outcomes and working environments, and provide nurses with the comprehension necessary to act as advocates for their patients.

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