Three Rivers Chapter

Excellence in Chapter Educational Programming

The Three Rivers Chapter of the AACN is committed to providing quality continuing education programs to acute and critical care nurses in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The chapter attempts to provide programs that will provide the membership with the latest technology and evidence-based practice interventions that are available for them when they are caring for the critically ill patient.

The chapter board conducted an educational needs assessment to determine topics of interest for the membership. As in previous years, many of the members wished to attend programs addressing cardiac and pulmonary topics.

The board also felt it was important to present new topics and also promote opportunities for certification so that the requests of new members of the chapter would be met and that programs would not grow stagnant. Members also voiced concerns about increasing opportunities for continuing educational programs to meet newly established Pennsylvania licensing guidelines.

Fiscal Year Kickoff

The board holds it’s transitional meeting in July and program plans began. We view our September program as our fiscal year kickoff and the topic chosen was “Failure to Rescue Situations and Some of Their Causes” as presented by Susan Bruey. The Board was fortunate enough to receive vendor support for the program to help with costs.

Ms. Bruey was excellent, keeping the audience engaged throughout the presentation. Participants were eager to ask questions and several members began exploring opportunities for future presentations on the subject at their own hospitals.

Region III Collaborative Meeting

October was a busy month for chapter members as well as board members. Several board members attended a Region III collaborative meeting in New York City, in addition to preparing for our next program entitled “Anticoagulants for the Management of Venous Thromboembolic Disease.”

We were able to network with other chapters as well as hear Patty Daansen and Majella Venturanza (CAT’s) speak. All presentations were excellent and we found Ms. Venturanza particularly inspirational.

We laid the foundation for our annual May dinner meeting at that time as she agreed to come to Pittsburgh to address our membership. Our monthly educational program was also a huge success as our participants turned out in record numbers.

The educational chair worked closely with instructors at local schools of nursing so that students were given opportunities to attend the chapter’s programs. This allowed the students a chance to gain additional knowledge in the area of critical care nursing as well as boost membership in the chapter.

Current Concepts in Critical Care Conference

The “Current Concepts in Critical Care” conference was presented in November in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). Representatives of UPMC worked tirelessly with the Chapter to present this all day event.

National and local physicians and medical professionals presented an exciting array of critical care topics to the participants. UPMC provided the venue at no cost to the chapter and a total of 27 vendors participated in the event allowing the 162 participants to attend at a minimal cost.

Representatives from CORE and the Pittsburgh Community Food Bank were also in attendance. Our president-elect, Jan Lemme, had donated a “Steeler quilt” that she had made to raise funds for the Food Bank. Ms. Lemme had faithfully brought the quilt to our previous programs and sold raffle tickets to raise money.

Over $1000 was donated to the organization as well as bags upon bags of nonperishables. Sixteen hospitals sent participants and profits from the conference were used to cover the hotel, travel expenses and registrations for three UPMC staff to attend NTI in May.

Tissue Oxygen Saturation (StO2) Monitoring

Francie Lucas of Hutchinson Technology presented our February program on StO2 monitoring. Attendees greatly enjoyed this educational program, as Ms. Lucas was an excellent speaker and an obvious content expert.

Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia Management

Our March program saw a presentation on heparin-induced thrombocytopenia management and over 40% of attendees were nonmembers. The board was particularly pleased with these numbers, as we were working hard at increasing our chapter membership.

Skills for the Nurse Manager and Leader

Mary Bylone came to Pittsburgh in April to present “Skills for the Nurse Manager and Leader.” Nursing leaders from several of our local hospitals were in attendance. Ms. Bylone was very down-to-earth and immediately established a rapport with her audience.

Ms. Bylone's presentations addressed a variety of human resource topics as well as provided information on pursuing specialty certification examinations if participants desired. Upon review of program evaluations received, the board anticipates that a future presentation on the subject will be very successful as well.

Hospital Never Events — Moving Towards a Culture of Safety

Majella Venturanza came to Pittsburgh as planned in May to present “Hospital Never Events — Moving Towards a Culture of Safety.” We consider this our end-of-the-fiscal-year celebration and always seek a speaker with a positive message. Ms. Venturanza did not disappoint us and everyone left the program with a sense of pride and purpose.

During the past year, the Three Rivers Chapter has been able to meet the educational needs of the area’s critical care nurses successfully by providing a variety of educational programs to meet the goals and interests of our chapter members. The chapter was able to serve the community as well by gathering donations for the area’s local women’s shelter, community food bank and our local animal shelters.