AACN News—February 2009—Association News

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Vol. 26, No. 2, FEBRUARY 2009

Keynote Speakers Will Inform, Inspire at NTI 2009

NTI general sessions are the cornerstones of the conference, kicking off each day’s activities with informative and inspirational presentations. Taking the podium this year are AACN President Caryl Goodyear-Bruch, RN, PhD, CCRN, President-elect Beth Hammer, RN, MSN, APRN-BC, motivational speaker Steve Rizzo and best-selling author Bertice Berry, PhD.

NTI 2009, featuring the Advanced Practice Institute, will be held May 16 through 21 in New Orleans, La. Find out more at www.aacn.org/nti or call (800) 899-2226.

Monday Opening Session Keynote
Caryl Goodyear-Bruch, RN, PhD, CCRN

AACN President Caryl Goodyear-Bruch’s theme, “With Confidence,” has resonated with nurses nationwide. As she officially opens NTI 2009, she’ll share highlights of her presidential year and encourage participants to continue confidently on their personal and professional journeys. 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. Goodyear-Bruch is a member and past president of the Greater Kansas City Chapter of AACN.

Tuesday General Session Keynote
Steve Rizzo

After walking away from a promising career as a headline comedian – sharing the stage with performers Jerry Seinfeld, Rodney Dangerfield, Eddie Murphy and Ellen DeGeneres – Steve Rizzo decided to pursue his purpose and passion: to help people learn to be happy and successful no matter what their current circumstances are. He offers a unique and insightful perspective on the journey that brought him to where he is today and how he achieved his own definition of success. Luckily for audiences worldwide, that definition has evolved to include showing others how to realize their dreams and achieve personal excellence and professional satisfaction.

Wednesday Opening Speaker
Beth Hammer, RN, MSN, APRN-BC

President-elect Beth Hammer will unveil her theme for the coming year in one of the most highest anticipated moments of the week. Hammer is a nurse practitioner in cardiology at the Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wis. A member of AACN since 1989 and 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.

Wednesday General Session Keynote
Bertice Berry, PhD

Sociologist and award-winning lecturer Bertice Berry is one of the most sought-after lecturers in the country. She combines her skills as a sociologist and researcher with her ability to make her audiences think and laugh at the same time. She is the best-selling author of the inspirational memoir “I’m on My Way, but Your Foot Is on My Head,” four novels and two humor books. Her newest book, “The Ties That Bind,” released this month, is a remarkable story of abolition, freedom and redemption. You’ll laugh, you’ll feel and you’ll be inspired.

All General Sessions at NTI
Master of Ceremonies,
DawnMarie Kotsonis

Equal parts entertainer, fundraiser and professional auctioneer for healthcare-related charity events, DawnMarie Kotsonis will add warmth and energy to each general session at this year’s NTI. Along with her dynamic style, Kotsonis will bring a tremendous appreciation of the contributions nurses make in the lives of patients and their families. Also a professional clown, Kotsonis, aka “Dr. Bubbles,” can be found in full clown regalia visiting patients in hospitals and community clinics.

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American Academy of Nursing Honors AACN Members

Bridges, Cullen, Fineout-Overholt, Happ, Henneman, Schell-Chaple, Stanik-Hutt, Stichler, Thompson, Zerwic

Ten AACN members have been inducted into the American Academy of Nursing in recognition of their achievements and contributions to the nursing profession:

Elizabeth J. Bridges, RN, PhD, CCNS, FCCM, a clinical nurse researcher at the University of Washington Medical Center and faculty member of the UW School of Nursing, is best known for her research and teaching related to the correct performance and integration of hemodynamic indicators into the care of the critically ill. She served 21 years in the U.S. Air Force, and was deputy commander of the largest Air Force clinical research facility and the USAF consultant for nursing research. She is a co-editor of the award-winning text Cardiac Nursing. She also created the pocket guide, Battlefield and Disaster Nursing, which has been distributed to 7,500 military nurses and provides evidence for the unique nursing care provided under the challenging conditions of military operations and disasters.

Laura Cullen, RN, MA, is the evidence-based practice coordinator in the Research, Quality and Outcomes Management Office of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Department of Nursing Service and Patient Care, adjunct faculty at the University of Iowa College of Nursing and consultant for nurse leaders in hospitals across the country. Best known for her work supporting evidence-based healthcare practice by staff nurses and multidisciplinary teams, she has developed innovative educational programs for staff nurses and nursing leaders responsible for facilitating evidence-based practice. Her leadership has led to the transformation of organizational infrastructures supporting evidence-based practice and the use of effective implementation practice strategies resulting in reduced nosocomial events, improved patient, family and staff satisfaction, reduced hospital length of stay and reduced costs.

Ellen Fineout-Overholt, RN, PhD, FNAP, is clinical professor and director of the Center for the Advancement of Evidence-Based Practice at Arizona State University. She is best known for her innovative work promoting evidence-based practice with clinicians in acute care and community practice in the United States and worldwide. Her publications focus on helping clinicians, faculty and administrators improve practice through implementation and sustainability of evidence-based practice. Her research is devoted to developing and testing models of evidence-based practice in multiple settings.

Mary Beth Happ, RN, PhD, is a tenured associate professor in the Acute and Tertiary Care Department at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, with a secondary appointment at the Center for Bioethics and Health Law and an adjunct appointment at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She teaches across the curriculum, specializing in qualitative and mixed methods research, clinical bioethics and acute and critical care gerontology. Her scholarship combines qualitative and quantitative research approaches to understand and improve the experience of vulnerable critically ill adults who are unable to speak, particularly those receiving mechanical ventilation. Her current research is focused on developing and testing interventions to improve communication with nonspeaking, critically ill patients.

Elizabeth Henneman, RN, PhD, CCNS, an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Nursing, has been a practicing critical care nurse for 30 years. Her outstanding contribution has been the conduct and dissemination of research related to improving patient and family outcomes in critical care, and her current work in patient safety focuses on the nurse’s role in the recovery of medical errors. Additionally, she has provided clinicians and educators with practical strategies for implementing family-centered care and creating collaborative work environments. Her research has provided insight into the critical role of nurses in the human and system failures that lead to errors and? adverse events. Her program of research has consistently recognized the need for an interdisciplinary approach to solving complex healthcare problems. Her work has been dedicated to identifying and implementing the transformative changes needed to improve patient and family outcomes.

Hildy Schell-Chaple, RN, MS, has been the clinical nurse specialist for adult critical care at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center and a volunteer clinical faculty member at UCSF School of Nursing for the past 15 years. She has made significant, influential and sustainable contributions to nursing through her leadership in advancing safe and quality care for critically ill patients through knowledge generation and dissemination. She is a recognized leader in transforming systems of care to incorporate research-based evidence and improve patient outcomes. She has led the implementation of numerous quality initiatives, including prevention of ventilator-associated pneumonia, tight glycemic control, managing sepsis, standardizing hemodynamic monitoring, pain assessment and improving “hand-off” communication. She is a recognized national leader in innovative nurse training and implementing safe practice systems for the care of critically ill patients receiving continuous renal replacement therapy.

Julie Stanik-Hutt, RN, PhD, ACNP-BC, CCNS, is an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and holds a joint appointment as an acute care nurse practitioner in the cardiology NP service at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Best known for her leadership as an ACNP, she was president of the American College of Nurse Practitioners and the first ACNP to lead a national nursing organization. She works to unify leaders of national nurse practitioner organizations, influencing policy at national and state levels. She co-chaired AACN’s Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Task Force, facilitates development of the ACNP role, serves on the ANCC ACNP Content Expert Panel, and has helped shape the evolution of ACNP certification to reflect more acute and critical care content. She has contributed to the development of ACNP competencies and the revision of the ACNP scope and standards of practice.
Jaynelle Flowers Stichler, RN, DNSc, is an associate professor and concentration chair for Nurse Leadership in Health Systems at San Diego State University. She has been a leader in women’s and newborn services and was the catalyst for the strategic plan, program implementation and facility design for one of the largest women’s hospitals in the United States. Her role in the facility design and as one of the first nurse consultants working in architecture pioneered new leadership roles for nurses in designing healing environments for patients and families, and improving work environments for nurses and other providers. She is a leader in advancing nursing’s role in healthcare design and a founding co-editor of Health Environments Research & Design Journal, a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal that enhances the knowledge and practice of evidence-based healthcare design and disseminates and translates research findings into practice.

Hilaire Thompson, RN, PhD, ACNP, CNRN, has had a primary faculty appointment since 2006 as assistant professor in biobehavioral nursing and health systems at the University of Washington and an affiliate appointment at the Harborview Injury Research and Prevention Center, in Seattle. A recognized leader in developing and disseminating innovative nursing management algorithms for patients with traumatic brain injury, she is best known for using translational bench-to-bedside research approaches to reduce disability and improve outcomes in TBI patients. Her research made important observations about the national standard of care and the undertreatment of fever and its association with worsened neurologic outcome, resulting in recommended changes to the standard of care. She pioneered exploration of the impact of traumatic brain injury on older adults, identifying that age-related health disparities may play a role in poor outcomes. She has an extensive history of fostering transdisciplinary linkages to improve patient outcomes through her research and service activities. She serves as editor of the “AANN Clinical Practice Guideline Series” and served as a member on the panel of experts for the National Institute of Neurologic Diseases and Stroke classification of traumatic brain injury.

Julie Zerwic, RN, PhD, is faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing. She has made significant contributions to understanding gender differences in the prevalence, etiology and presentation of cardiovascular disease; she has also identified factors that affect recognition of cardiovascular risk and symptoms and reasons for patient delay in seeking treatment for acute myocardial infarction and stroke. Her research has contributed to a broader understanding of the issues affecting women and minorities in the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease. An advocate for the uninsured and those who lack access to healthcare, she was a founding member and president of the board of directors for a group of healthcare providers that established a free clinic for the uninsured in Chicago, where the uninsured rate of 26 percent is higher than the national average. She has partnered with clinical journals and community newspapers to broaden the dissemination of nursing research and has worked with faculty and students as they develop skills to tailor their research findings to a broad array of audiences.

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Bookstore Corner

12-Lead ECG ? Clipboard

In Honor of Heart Health Month, AACN is featuring the 12-Lead ECG?Clipboard, a must-have for nurses working in acute and critical care units.

Immediately identify areas of injury to the heart with this sturdy, legal-size clipboard imprinted with an actual 12-Lead ECG tracing. The tracing is color coded so you can determine specific coronary arteries based on the leads. You’ll become an expert in identifying ischemia and right- vs. left-sided myocardial infarctions, using the steps on the back of the clipboard. A must- have for all nurses working in acute and critical care units.

Regular Price: Member $12
Nonmember $14 (#100131)

Become Certified in 2009 - and Save Money Too

For a limited time, AACN is offering 20 percent off the cost of all certification review courses and packages on CD-ROM, audio CD and DVD available for purchase at www.aacn.org/getcertified. Resources support all AACN certifications — CCRN, PCCN, CCNS, ACNPC, CMC, CSC, CNML.

Excellence at the Bedside

Certification validates your clinical knowledge, skills and abilities beyond the scope of RN licensure. Certified nurses meet standards of excellence in acute and critical care nursing, distinguishing themselves as leaders in bedside care. Cathie Manning, a medical-surgical ICU nurse at Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Mass., earned her certification in 1991. Manning said, “The more a nurse knows about how to assess, monitor and treat a critically ill patient, the better that patient’s chances are for early intervention. Knowledge helps you anticipate adverse situations because you’re better informed.”

Certified Nurses More Empowered

A study presented by Joyce Fitzpatrick, RN, PhD, FAAN, at NTI 2008 in Chicago, found AACN-certified nurses to be more empowered and less likely to leave their current position than non-certified nurses. Nurses with specialty certifications, such as CCRN and PCCN, earn praise and recognition from peers and demonstrate improved productivity, engagement and job satisfaction.

Hospital Support

To meet the criteria for the AACN Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence and/or the Magnet Recognition Program, institutions must maintain high numbers of certified nurses. Hospitals, especially Magnet-designated institutions, support certification to encourage professional staff development.

To become AACN-certified, you must sit for a multiple choice exam. The computer-based exam can be taken at any of the more than 170 Applied Measurement Professional assessment centers five days a week year-round. The NTI and TRENDS conferences offer paper and pencil versions of the test too. AACN also offers discounted exam application fees for groups to employers and the association’s local chapters.

AACN’s Super Saver promotion features specific products offered at a significant discount. February is Heart Health Month, and the following products are in keeping with the cardiovascular theme. These Super Saver prices are valid through March 31, 2009. All orders must be received or postmarked by March 31 to be eligible for the Super Saver price.

Cardiac Nursing: A Companion to Braunwald’s Heart Disease (#100253)

“Cardiac Nursing: A Companion to Braunwald’s Heart Disease” is the only comprehensive text available on this subject for cardiac nurses. This brand-new reference emphasizes both evidence-based practice and hands-on care in a high-tech, high-touch approach that meets the high-stakes needs of cardiac and critical care nurses. What’s more, the book makes the material easily accessible by using clear language, straightforward text and plenty of illustrations, lists and tables. This book is the third in a series of companion texts for “Braunwald’s Heart Disease” and the first specifically for nurses.

Regular Price
Member $97.85, Nonmember $103
Super Saver Price: Member $86.45, Nonmember $91

The Johns Hopkins Manual of Cardiac Surgical Care, 2nd Ed. (#100255)

Thoroughly revised, this handy manual is filled with practical advice for the entire cardiac care team. It covers all aspects of care of the surgical heart patient – from preoperative assessment to postoperative management to treatment protocols. Chapters are written by both nurses and doctors and emphasize the critical care team approach to cardiac surgery to improve patient outcomes and provide useful, practical information for every clinical setting.

Regular Price
Member $84.95, Nonmember $89
Super Saver Price: Member $76, Nonmember $80

Cardiovascular Nursing Practice: A Comprehensive Resource Manual and Study Guide for Clinical Nurses (#100256)

This book is primarily for clinical cardiac nurses working with patients in all types of clinical settings: intensive care, telemetry units, step-down units, emergency departments, chest pain centers, cardiac and interventional radiology laboratories, physician offices and clinics, and in-home healthcare. It is a useful resource for students and educators in hospitals as well as schools of nursing, and for clinical nurse specialists who are responsible for teaching and supporting clinical nursing staff. This comprehensive resource manual for cardiovascular nurses is an outstanding addition to your unit’s library or your own personal collection. It is a great way to study for certification exams or to increase your knowledge and achieve excellence in cardiovascular patient care.

Regular Price
Member $72.50, Nonmember $75
Super Saver Price: Member $68.40, Nonmember $72

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April 16 Is National Healthcare Decisions Day

The National Healthcare Decisions Day Initiative, now in its second year, is a collaborative effort among national, state and community organizations committed to ensuring that all adults with decision-making capacity in the U.S. have the information and opportunity to communicate and document their healthcare decisions. For more information, visit www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org.

AACN is participating in this event along with many other organizations. We hope you will join us to raise awareness about these important issues across the country. If you have not already done so, please sign up your organization at: www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org/maintopics/sign_up. Last year, 76 national organizations and nearly 400 state and local organizations participated in the event, and hundreds of thousands of people learned more about – and took action on – advance directives. Please help us ensure that AACN is well represented at the local level on April 16, 2009.

You need not change what you are already doing to educate the public about advance healthcare decision making and advance directives; instead, just make a “bigger splash” in your community/state on the topic April 16, 2009. There are lots of resources to help you plan and implement your promotional efforts on the NHDD Web site under “Organize Your Community.” Getting involved in this event is a wonderful opportunity to work collaboratively with other healthcare organizations and a great chance to gain increased recognition for your organization.
The event organizers are currently seeking volunteers to serve as state liaisons for this event. If you are interested in serving in this role, please go to the NHDD Web site and click on the “sign up” link. For additional information, e-mail nhdd@nhpco.org.

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Attend Nurse in Washington Internship ToInfluence Health Policies

Looking for a way to influence healthcare legislation? The Nurse in Washington Internship (NIWI) provides the perfect opportunity. Participants learn from health policy experts and government officials, network with other nurses and visit members of Congress. NIWI is open to any RN or nursing student who is interested in learning more about the legislative process. NIWI 2009 will be held at The Liaison Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. March 29-31, 2009. For more information visit www.nursing-alliance.org or call (859) 514-9157.

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Computer Glitch Delays Announcement of Beacon Award Recipient

The Medical Intensive Care Unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, Syracuse, N.Y., has been named a recipient of the Beacon Award for Fall 2008. It is the second time the unit has received the award. A snafu in the new automated Beacon Award process kept the unit from being listed with other Beacon recipients in the January 2009 issue of AACN News.

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Community Board Liaisons Find AACN Leadership Meeting Inspiring, Exhilarating

AACN members Leslie Culpepper and Carrie Horton represented the nursing community at the AACN Board Meeting last fall. They shared details of their experiences at the event in the following interview.

AACN News: What inspired you to apply for AACN community board liaison?

Culpepper: I was extremely honored to be asked to apply! AACN has always been my guiding light for my professional growth. Ever since my first NTI in New Orleans in 1988, AACN has inspired me to achieve my professional best. After working closely with many different AACN volunteer activities, I felt honored to be asked to apply.

By applying for this position, it was my hope to learn more about how AACN really works at the national level. I wanted to experience firsthand how AACN leadership shapes and molds the future of acute and critical care nursing.

Also, because I work closely with nurses at the bedside of critically ill patients, I was hoping to share my experiences from the board meeting with my local and regional colleagues in Georgia and Region 6. Sometimes, a big national organization feels so distant to an individual nurse’s actual practice at the bedside. I felt that I could bring back firsthand information about how AACN works to promote professional excellence through efforts such as the community board liaison program.

Horton: I was interested in the process and wanted to learn more about how national AACN works in collaboration with the board of directors.

Was the application process easy to follow?

Culpepper: Yes, it was. I think that some people are intimidated by filling out an application that asks thought-provoking questions. My opinion is that one should not worry about writing the “perfect” answer or writing an answer they think the reviewers want to read, but to write their personal professional story. Talk about how you think and feel about your role and the question. This makes the volunteer application a piece of cake!

Horton: The application process was very easy.

What were some of the high points you experienced at the meeting?

Culpepper: The entire experience was a “high point”! When I first arrived in California, I was immediately welcomed by Caryl Goodyear-Bruch, who had arrived on a plane just a few minutes before my own. In subsequent meetings with each board member, I was made to feel welcome, valued and part of the group. I never felt like a guest, but an integral part of the activities and meeting.

During the meeting, I was impressed by the professional collegiality all the board members showed to each other’s experiences, backgrounds and opinions. In fact, these differences were embraced as part of the great diversity of the organization. The collaboration displayed between the board and the national office staff was also quite impressive. Each member of the national office staff involved in the board meeting was keenly aware that their whole purpose and existence is to promote the professional nursing practice of member acute and critical care nurses, and that this in turn provides for the highest-quality patient care.

Horton: The first highlight was Carol Hartigan’s presentation of the APRN consensus document for the board’s approval. I was excited to be included in the conversation on such an important position statement for the future of APRNs.
The next highlight was the discussion on “AACN as the organization for acute and critical care nurses.” It was very exciting to me to think of expanding the influence of an organization as mighty as AACN to the majority of nurses working in acute care settings. AACN has so much to offer these nurses and their patients.

Now that you’ve returned home, how has your community board liaison experience changed the way you approach your work?

Culpepper: This experience has changed the way I look at advanced practice nursing roles. A great deal of discussion regarding how these roles are updating and changing ensued during this board meeting. Being involved in these discussions made me “re”-realize that professional growth is ongoing. It has helped me to refocus and reaffirm my personal commitment to the advancement of professional nursing, particularly critical care nursing. To that end, and understanding how advanced practice roles are changing, it is my hope that I can continue my education in the near future. This will keep my practice up-to-date so that I can continue to grow and develop nurses in the future.

Also, my experience with the AACN Board of Directors and staff has reaffirmed that the women and men of this organization are not sitting aloft in some ivory tower of idealism. On the contrary, every one of the board members is a working member of the critical care nursing community. They are educators, CNSs, NPs and bedside nurses, all giving of their time and efforts to advance nurses so that they can make their optimal contribution to the care of our sickest patients. These dedicated practitioners bring the world of the bedside critical care nurse and the critically ill patient to the decision-making table. Our voices are indeed being heard.

Horton: I continue to reflect back on the experience. The knowledge of the APRN consensus statement has influenced me on several occasions. Also, when I’m working with acute care nurses outside the ICU, PCU and tele, I try to think of resources on the AACN Web site they would use, and I have asked a few if they know of AACN and if they would consider joining.

If you could sum up your experience at the board meeting in one word, what would it be?

Culpepper: INSPIRING!

Horton: It was exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. The AACN staff and board of directors work so hard at the meeting it is tough to keep up with them. There were so many amazing nurses at the meeting, and the breakout sessions where we shared ideas for strategic planning were a real inspiration.

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Scene and Heard

Our Voice at the Table

Debbie Brinker, RN, MSN, former AACN president, represented AACN at the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (APP) Section on Critical Care meeting in Boston, Mass. The SOCC’s mission is to “optimize the care of critically ill infants, children and adolescents through the educational and profession support of its members.” Their primary work is advocacy and networking; policy statements; education and leadership; and awards. At the meeting, attendees discussed highlights from the liaison committee reports, the Pediatric Critical Care Scientist Development Program, and an AACN report regarding the Beacon Award and nurse manager supports. AACN is working to create a dialogue regarding nurses’ contributions and leadership in the care of pediatric critical care patients, including our standards for a Healthy Work Environment. Please e-mail Debbie at debbie.brinker@aacn.org with any activities (current or potential) that could be optimized through the SOCC.

Tom Ahrens, DNS, RN, CCNS, FAAN, former AACN board member, and Dorrie Fontaine, RN, DNSc, FAAN, former AACN president, represented AACN at the inaugural meeting of the U.S. Critical Illness and Injury Trials Group (USCIITG), in Washington, D.C. Funded by a grant from the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences, the USCIITG plans to foster collaborative research in critical care. This meeting included an overview of research methodology and research topics for consideration. The USCIITG was created to “establish national priorities for critical illness and injury research; promote clinical research and the application of new data to improve outcomes for the critically ill or injured across the age (developmental) continuum; stimulate interaction among existing federally funded programs for critical illness and injury (NIH, DOD, NSF, DARPA, etc.); and foster effective partnerships between federal agencies, academia, community practitioners and industry.” The USCIITG has great potential for organizing the research and solving key problems in U.S. critical care, and AACN plans to continue attending the meetings and contribute to future activities.

Our Experts Share Their Knowledge

Karen Harvey, RN, MSN, AACN certification specialist, Carol Hartigan, RN, MA, AACN certification programs strategist, Christie Artuso, RN, MA, CCRN, PCCN, AACN Certification Corporation board member, and David Swankin, Esq., AACN Certification Corporation board member consumer representative, attended “Spanning the Credentialing Industry – Education, Innovation, Advocacy,” the NOCA 2008 Annual Educational Conference in San Francisco, Calif. Harvey participated on a panel presentation titled “Innovative Approaches to Recertification: Experiences of Successful Organizations.” Benchmarking and sharing of issues and best practices among certification organizations was the focus of this educational meeting. The National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA) is the leader in setting quality standards for credentialing organizations. NOCA serves as a clearinghouse for information on certification, licensure and human resource development.

The St. Joseph Health System held a quarterly meeting of the critical care leadership from its various hospitals, in Santa Rosa, Calif., which was facilitated by Tricia Kassab, assistant vice president for Clinical Quality at Santa Rosa Hospital. Leadership includes directors, nurse managers, educators and CNSs. The purpose of the meeting is to ensure that all critical care units in the system are providing the best quality (what they call “perfect care”) based on evidence-based practice and standards; collaborating on implementation of the HWE standards; and working toward applying for the Beacon Award. Brinker spoke on “Healthy Work Environments: Infrastructure of Patient Safety and Quality Care” and facilitated a small group discussion on implementing AACN’s standards. Natalie Correll-Yoder, RN, MN, CCRN, CCNS, AACN board member, was asked to provide an AACN Board and National Update at future meetings.

Julie Miller, RN, BSN, CCRN, AACN board member, presented a “Board of Directors Update” at a Region 12 and 15 Collaborative Meeting, which was sponsored by AACN’s Greater East Texas and Abilene chapters. Jamai Freeman, RN, BSN, CCRN, Chapter Advisory Team (CAT) Region 15, gave a “Chapter Advisor Update.” Seleria Fletcher, RN, immediate past president of the Greater East Texas Chapter, moderated “Best Practice Sharing Among Chapters for Certification, Beacon and Healthy Work Environments.” Hayden M. Hayden, VitalSmarts master trainer, gave a three-hour presentation on Crucial Conversations and also on Crucial Confrontations. Jean Uy, RN, MSN, CCRN, CS, CAT Region 7; Ruth Ann Moore, RN, MSN, CCRN, CAT Region 12; Merci Sarmiento, RN, BS, BSN, CCRN, president, Greater East Texas Chapter; and Shelley Welch, RN, BS, CCRN, chapter president-elect, also attended. Regional collaboratives help move initiatives forward, improve chapter operations and drive excellence in skilled communication.

Miller presented “Titrating Drips,” “Basic Hemodynamic Monitoring” and “Endocrine Emergencies” at TRENDS in Critical Care Nursing, Valley Forge, Pa. Attendees learned concepts they could easily apply to patient care.

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Members on the Move

Cottrell, Good


Damon Cottrell, RN, MS, CCNS, CCRN, APRN, BC, CEN, AACN Certification Corporation board member, wrote an article titled “Abrupt Vessel Closure After Coronary Angioplasty” for the Action Stat section of the November issue of Nursing2008. Cottrell is a clinical nurse specialist in cardiology at Washington Hospital Center, Washington, D.C.

Cindy Lefton, RN, PhD, was a keynote speaker at the Emergency Nurses Association’s Scientific Assembly in Minneapolis, Minn. Her presentation, titled “Yes, We Do!” focused on emergency nurses who devise solutions to overcrowding. She included AACN’s six standards for a Healthy Work Environment as a framework for strategies to address overcrowding.

Lisa Jahrsdoerfer, RN, MSN, CCRN, wrote the continuing education article “Where is the Heartbeat?” for the Nov. 3, 2008 issue of Nursing Spectrum. She discussed the 10 diagnoses associated with pulseless electrical activity. Jahrsdoerfer is a staff nurse 4 in the Cardiothoracic ICU at St. Francis Hospital, Roslyn, N.Y.

Melinda Sawyer, RN, BSN, PCCN, is a new patient safety officer in the department of medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Md.

Janet Lau, RN, PCCN, wrote a letter to the editor that was featured in the November issue of Nursing 2008. She said, “I truly believe that requiring annual CE credits in areas pertinent to one’s practice will improve nursing care and help us update our skills.”

Carmalina Hembrey, RN, BSN, was named director of the ICU and the intermediate care unit at Potomac Hospital, Woodbridge, Va. She was previously assistant director of these units.

Susan Seiberlich, RN, BSN, MA, CCRN, was promoted to nursing care coordinator of the new Surgical ICU at St. Francis Hospital, Roslyn, N.Y., the state’s only specialty designated cardiac center.


Vicki Good, RN, MSN, CCRN, CCNS, AACN board member, earned a CENP (Certified in Executive Nursing Practice), a new credential offered by the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) for nurse leaders who are engaged in executive nursing practice. An individual who meets the eligibility requirements and passes the CENP exam attains this designation. 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.

Gail Priestley, RN, MS, CCRN, clinical nurse specialist at University Medical Center, Tucson, Ariz., recently received a DAISY Award. This award was established by the DAISY Foundation (for the elimination of Diseases Attacking the Immune System) in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, whose parents appreciated the skills and compassion of the nurses who cared for him. The award is presented monthly to outstanding nurses in hospitals across the U.S.

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A Healthy Work Environment Includes Nurse Autonomy

By Carol Miller, RN, BSN, CCRN, patient care manager, SICU
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Baltimore, Md.

Bedside nurse autonomy can have a positive impact on nursing and improve patient outcomes.

I began my nursing career in a combined med/surg/neuro (adult) intensive care unit in 1992. From a nursing standpoint, this type of mixed model ICU created a challenging work environment, because there are many differences in the care of medical, surgical and neurological critical care patients.

In 1994, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center separated the units into specialties: Surgical ICU, Medical ICU and Neurological ICU. These settings have allowed us to individualize the needs of the patients, including unit-based, specialized nurse training.

Early in my career, the concepts of autonomy and empowerment were unspoken. Patient orders at our hospital were written by physicians and carried out by nurses. Patient rounding was done by the physicians with little or no input from our nurses. There was little collaboration.

However, the concept of the multidisciplinary team has grown since the 1990s with an improved culture of patient safety and collaboration. The addition of intensivists, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and physician assistants who specialize in critical care has improved the quality of care. There is also more collaboration with physical therapists, social workers and dieticians.

Today, the scenario of patient rounding looks much different: The nurse leads the team. The patient’s history, admission information, current assessment, problems, medications, vital signs, swan readings, ventilator settings, fluid status and necessary prophylactic interventions are presented to the critical care team by the bedside nurse assigned to the patient. Our nurses’ roles have evolved from order execution to participants in critical thinking and clinical decision making.

In my new role as patient care manager in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, I know that further strengthening bedside nurse autonomy will also contribute to my personal and professional fulfillment.

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Editorial Manager Online Submission System Now Available for AACN Journals

Thinking of submitting a manuscript to Critical Care Nurse or the American Journal of Critical Care? The process just got a whole lot easier.

AACN’s member benefit journals, CCN and AJCC, are now live on Editorial Manager (EM), the Web-based manuscript submission and tracking system by Aries Systems, Inc. The EM system enables authors to submit manuscripts, check on the status of their submission, read reviewers’ and editors’ comments and communicate with the editorial office – all through the convenience of the Internet.

EM is fast, efficient and easy to use. The system automatically converts submitted files to PDF form, streamlining the submission and review process and decreasing the workload for time-strapped authors, whether they are new to or experienced with journal manuscript submission systems.

EM represents the next technological step, offering unprecedented ease of use and centralization of processes. Data are safe and secure, and Aries boasts a 99 percent availability for the EM system.

Current authors in the process of revising manuscripts submitted during the previous manual system are encouraged to use the new EM system to resubmit, simply by logging in and noting in the “Comments” section that the paper has been revised. Also in the comments section, resubmitting authors should include any previously assigned number used to identify the manuscript.

Reviewers are encouraged to log on to the EM system and to create or update their profiles so AACN journal editors will have the most recent contact information and areas of expertise on file.

EM is accessible through each journal’s home page. Visit www.ccnonline.org or www.ajcconline.org and click “Submit a Manuscript” from the gray bars on the left side of the screen. This will take you to the CCN or AJCC EM landing pages at www.editorialmanager.com/ccn or www.editorialmanager.com/ajcc. Instructions for registering on the system, submitting a manuscript and finding the help you need are clear and easy to follow.

More than 3,000 journals use various workflow solutions from Aries Systems. For more information, visit www.editorialmanager.com.

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2009 Circle of Excellence Award Recipients Named

Circle of Excellence awards recognize and showcase excellent outcomes in the care of acutely and critically ill patients and their families. The awards program is designed to align with the association’s mission and vision focusing on outcomes responsive to professional and environmental issues in acute and critical care nursing.

Nominations are evaluated by a panel of volunteer reviewers and rated on the basis of how well the nominees achieved the criteria:

• Relentlessly promotes patient-driven excellence

• Models skilled communication, true collaboration, effective decision making and meaningful recognition

• Transforms thinking, structures and processes to address challenges and remove barriers to advance patient-driven excellence

• Furthers AACN’s mission and key initiatives at influential forums

• Enriches own and other organizations by influencing and mentoring others in achieving excellence

• Achieves visible results that validate impact of individual leadership contribution to organizational excellence

The following members have been selected to receive 2009 awards and will become permanent members of the AACN Circle of Excellence Society.

Karol Cerosky, RN, BSN, CNRN
Assistant Nurse Manager, Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit
Carolinas Medical Center - Charlotte, N.C.

Michelle Dyes, RN, BSN, CCRN-P
Department Educator, Pediatric ICU
Medical Center of Central Georgia -

Sharon Engle, RN, BSN, CCRN
Unit Manager, CICU/COU
St. Vincent’s Health System - Medical
Birmingham, Ala.

Bradi Granger, RN, PhD
Clinical Nurse Specialist - Duke Heart
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, N.C.

William Hallinan, RN, MS, EMT-P
Clinical Director, Artificial Heart Program
University of Rochester Medical Center
Rochester, N.Y.

Mary Beth Happ, RN, PhD, FAAN
Associate Professor, Acute/Tertiary Care
University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing

Sonya Hardin, RN, PhD, CCRN, ACNS-BC, ANP-C
Associate Professor
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Lisa Herlihy, RN, BSN, CCRN
Clinical Educator, Cardiac Surgical Unit
North Shore Medical Center - Salem, Mass.

Patricia Hickey, RN, MS, MBA, NEA-BC
Vice President of Cardiovascular and Critical Care Services
Children’s Hospital - Boston, Mass.

Marcia Kent, RN, BSN, CCRN
Manager, Cardiac ICU
Shands at the University of Florida - Gainesville

Kimberly Kotora, RN, BSN
Manager, Medical and Cardiac ICUs
University Hospitals Case Medical Center - Cleveland, Ohio

Colleen Kylor, RN, BSN, CCRN
Manager, ICU/CCU
Chambersburg Hospital - Chambersburg, Pa
Charles “Buck” Marsalla, RN, BSN, CCRN
Staff Nurse
Trauma Surgical Intensive Care Unit
University Medical Center - Tucson, Ariz.

Tiffany McArthur, RN, BSN
Staff Nurse, Surgical-Trauma ICU
Carolinas Medical Center - Charlotte, N.C.

Melody McCutcheon, RN, BSN
Staff Nurse, Coronary Care Unit
McLeod Regional Medical Center -
Florence, S.C.

Wendy Moeller, RN, BSN, CCRN
Staff Nurse
Surgical-Trauma ICU
Carolinas Medical Center - Charlotte, N.C.

Marsha Mulbarger, RN, MS
Director, Adult Critical Care Nursing and Emergency Department
Rush University Medical Center - Chicago

Cindy Poole, RN, BSN, CCRN
Nurse Director, Cardiovascular ICU
Medical Center of Central Georgia - Macon

Julia Retelski, RN, BSN, CCRN, CNRN
Clinical Nurse III
Neurosurgical Critical Care Unit,
Carolinas Medical Center
Charlotte, N.C.

Melanie Wallace, RN, BSN, CCRN, NE-BC
Manager, Surgical Trauma Intensive Care
Carolinas - Medical Center, Charlotte, N.C.

Belinda Wallbank, RN, MSN, CNRN
Clinical Educator & Critical Care Internship Coordinator
Clarian Health Partners - Methodist Hospital

AACN Chapters that have made a difference in the healthcare profession and their communities will receive 2009 Circle of Excellence awards:

for Excellence in Chapter Collaboration

• Broward County Chapter (Fort Lauderdale)

• Oklahoma City Area Chapter

• South Florida Gold Coast Chapters (Greater Miami, Miami Beach, Palm Beach, Treasure Coast, Broward County)

for Outstanding Chapter Community Education & Public Service

• Siouxland Chapter (South Dakota)

• Lake Cumberland Area Chapter (Kentucky)

for Outstanding Chapter Educational Programs

• Piedmont Carolinas Chapter (North Carolina)

• Inland Northwest Chapter (Spokane)

• Greater Chicago Area Chapter

The 2009 ICU Design Citation Award, co-sponsored by AACN, the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the Institute of Architects, will be presented to

Intensive Care Unit
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
New York, N.Y.

for successfully combining functional ICU design with the humanitarian delivery of care.

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