Guidelines for NTI/API Live Educational Abstracts

AACN's annual meeting, National Teaching Institute (NTI) & Critical Care Exposition is the premier conference for high acuity and critical care nurses. NTI offers outstanding and diverse learning opportunities, inspirational gatherings and informal networking to reignite one's practice.

The Advanced Practice Institute (API), fully integrated into NTI, offers pharmacology in concert with advanced-level sessions to build advanced practice nurses' skills and knowledge. Advanced practice nurses are not limited to API sessions and are welcome to attend any NTI session. API and NTI feature the latest evidence-based guidelines and nursing research to help nurses think critically, plan effectively, and practice in today's ever-changing clinical environment.

AACN and the Program Planning Committees invite you to submit abstract(s) for consideration as a potential learning facilitator for an API or NTI live educational session.

NTI 2016

Submission for NTI 2016 is a two-step process:

Step I: Abstract Submission
Deadline: June 1, 2015, 11:59 p.m.(PST)

Step II: Facilitator (Primary and Additional) Documentation Submission
Deadline: June 15, 2015, 11:59 p.m.(PST)

This information is provided to assist you in completing your abstract to ensure it will be included in the review process as well as optimizing the potential for it to be accepted.

Preparing for Your Abstract Submission

  • General Information
    • AACN members and nonmembers may submit a NTI Live Educational Abstract using the online system. A new nonmember/customer will be prompted to create a new account prior to beginning the online NTI Live Educational Abstract Process.

    • The process is fully automated and easy to follow. Each NTI Live Educational Abstract is submitted individually.

    • Abstracts should be updated to reflect the current evidence-based guidelines or best available evidence.

    • A facilitator's role is to engage NTI participants to collaboratively contribute to an interactive and dynamic presentation. AACN requests NTI facilitators promote a nurse's professional development by using learning facilitation methods that enhance critical thinking and encourage a shared accountability of knowledge and learning for each educational session.

    • Before writing your abstract please read this entire document and review the online submission form. AACN highly recommends you then write, proof and save your abstract in a Word document first. This will save you time, ensure the character count and spelling are correct and will avoid the session timing out on you causing you to begin all over again. Then copy and paste from your Word document into the appropriate fields on the form.

  • NTI Live Educational Session Types
    • Preconference: Offered on Sunday before the API or NTI main conference begins. Three- or six-hour sessions provide in-depth, state of the art content (pharmacology, API skills, AACN certification prep courses, leadership development, healthy work environments, etc...), plus a skills or interactive component. Faculty should allow one-third to one-half time for skills or interactive exchange. Preregistration and additional participant fees required.

    • Concurrent Sessions: Offered Monday through Thursday. Abstracts are assigned either 60- or 75-minute duration when accepted by the API/NTI Program Planning Committee. Facilitators are required to design the content to accommodate either session length. Content may not contain product-specific material.

    • Mastery Sessions: Offered Monday through Thursday. Abstracts should contain 165 minutes of in-depth, evidence-based content. Facilitators should use a variety of learning facilitation methods to promote learning.

    • Learning Connection Mentoring Sessions: Mentoring a novice NTI facilitator is a rewarding experience. Mentors coach, counsel, motivate and inspire the novice facilitator to deliver engaging, effective and creative presentations. Mentors ensure that session learning outcomes are achieved and that the material presented is factual and lasts the duration of the designated time. If the novice facilitator is unable to fulfill these responsibilities, the mentor should be able to step in and seamlessly continue the presentation. Novice NTI facilitator and mentor require AACN approval.

    • API Sessions: Offer pharmacology in concert with advanced-level sessions to build advanced practice nurses' skills and knowledge. These sessions can be any abstract type: Preconference, Concurrent and Mastery. Open to anyone who registers for NTI.

    • API Pharmacology Content Sessions: Meet the growing need for continuing professional development in pharmacotherapeutics. Pharmacy content includes pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, drug-specific information, safe-prescribing practices, results from clinical trials, safe medication administration, cost-comparison and prescribing methodologies. Only API educational sessions meeting AACN pharmacology criteria receiving CE designation in pharmacology. The percentage of API pharmacology content in the overall potential presentation must be selected from the drop-down menu on the submission form (25%, 50%, 75% or 100%). Pharmacology content is for sessions submitted as API only. May be Preconference, Concurrent or Mastery sessions.

  • Required Components
    • Abstract Title: Use of key words that describe the specific topic and content of the abstract. Catch phrases can be used but need to include a reference to the topic. For example, “Playing Your Aces Right” may get attention but does not suggest what the abstract is about. By adding a specific reference to the abstract subject matter, the abstract title becomes clearer (i.e., “Playing Your Aces Right: Ace Inhibitors in Hypertensive Patients”). The title should be entered in title case. Do not begin the title with 'The' or 'A'. (100 characters including spaces) 

    • Learning Connection Mentoring Sessions: Answer Yes or No. Available to novice facilitators who desire mentoring to become an NTI primary facilitator. The novice facilitator and mentor must be identified in the submission process. The novice facilitator must submit the abstract as the primary facilitator. The mentor should add themself to the abstract as an additional facilitator. No other additional facilitators are permitted for these sessions. Novice facilitators may not change their mentor once the abstract has been submitted. 

    • Abstract Session: Select the appropriate session (Concurrent, Fast and Focused, PreCon Full Day or PreCon Half Day) from the menu. 

    • Level: This refers to the nursing level of the session attendee, not the expertise of the facilitator. Select the appropriate level (All, Advanced Beginner, Proficient or Expert) to ensure the session content and materials presented meet the specific criteria. Do not select All levels for clinical topics, they must be Advanced Beginner, Proficient or Expert level. (click here to expand):

      • Level Descriptions:

        Advanced Beginner:

      • Primary focus of content is the individual patient and family.
      • Uses decision trees, algorithms, protocols and evidence-based practice.
      • Provide general content on individual patient and family teaching.
      • Uses definitions for patient rights and ethical issues to deliver patient care.
      • Patient safety and comfort concepts are emphasized.


      • Teaching/learning plans based on patient characteristics.
      • Individualizes learning based on patient needs and goals.
      • Explains complex patient data.
      • Analyzes policies, standards for appropriateness.
      • Clinical decisions based on the whole patient picture.
      • Able to critically think based on experience.
      • Advocates for patient/family rights.
      • Collaborates with team members.


      • Explains evaluation of education based on patient behavioral changes.
      • Makes decisions based on complex, sometimes conflicting data and dynamic situations.
      • Challenges the status quo thinking.
      • Incorporates evidence-based resources and nursing research into nursing care.
      • Facilitates collaboration of others in meetings and discussions.
      • Explores diverse resources for optimizing patient outcomes.
      • Anticipates patient and family needs.
      • Demonstrates how to modify the environment and health care culture to meet diverse needs. 

    • Primary Facilitator Content Expertise: Describe your expertise in this topic. Do not use your name in this section. (max 500 characters)

    • Target Audience: What nursing population is this session designed to benefit most? Please be specific (i.e. bedside nurses, advanced-practice nurses), 'nurses' is not acceptable. (max. 250 characters including spaces)

    • Age-Specific Population: Select whether the content is designed for Across the Life Span, Adult, Geriatric, Neonatal/Pediatric or N/A (Not Applicable).

    • Prerequisite: Include any minimum knowledge and/or skills required to most benefit from this session (i.e. basic knowledge of 12 Lead ECG).

    • Purpose/Goals: This statement should be the most important primary information you want to convey for the abstract. This should be one or two sentences. The title should not be repeated. (max. 250 characters including spaces)

    • Learning Facilitation Methods: Select all the methods that will be used during your session to facilitate learning. These would include: Audio Visual Tools (slides, etc.), Case Studies, Demonstration/Simulation, Interactive/Collaboration, Panel, and Lecture.

    • Learning Outcomes: Provide up to three outcomes that complete the statement: "By the end of this session the participant will be able to".  Do not type this statement in the text box when entering each of your outcomes. Write learning outcome to contain a measurable verb such as analyze, apply, create, differentiate or evaluate. Please refrain from using non-measurable verbs such as appreciate, believe, motivate or understand. For a list of measureable verbs, please search the internet for Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. (max. 140 characters each including spaces)

    • Session Description: This is a brief description that would be used for the online and printed materials to be viewed by participants in determining if they want to attend the session. It should be concise yet comprehensive. Ask yourself as you are reading the abstract: "As an attendee, do I know what this session is about and would I want to attend?" Ask a colleague to read it as well asking him/her the same questions. This needs to be in the present tense not future. "This session covers" not "This session will cover". Session description may not be a restatement of the Learning Outcomes or Abstract Text. (max. 1,000 characters including spaces)

    • Abstract Text: NTI Live Educational Abstracts must be written in a brief, well-organized and focused manner. Abstract text is a narrative description containing literature review and/or evidence-based guidelines or best available evidence to provide reviewers with a convincing overview of your proposed session. Outline formatting is not acceptable as an abstract. Abstract Text may not be a restatement of the Session Description or Learning Outcomes. If the reviewers cannot clearly understand what this session is about, your odds of having your abstract selected are greatly reduced. In one paragraph the potential primary facilitator should have written an abstract narrative that includes (max. 2,000 characters/spaces) (click here to expand):
      • Why the session is important?
      • Identifies the key content concepts.
      • Outlines how the educational content is substantial, relevant, presents/addresses current and evidence-based guideline trends.

    • Abstracts for API designated pharmacological CE content should contain the following criteria/objectives (click here to expand):
      • Discuss relevant principles of physiology, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.
      • Give a rationale for selecting a "drug of choice," including evidence-based guidelines.
      • Identify the goals of drug therapy, desired effects and evaluation of patient response, including management of adverse reactions.
      • Describe special dosage situations, including age-specific considerations.
      • Present results from relevant clinical trials.
      • Describe cost comparison information when indicated. 
      • Indicate what percentage of the session is specifically pharmacological.

  • Content Criteria
    • Abstracts should be based on a curriculum that includes clinical systems and professional development topics. AACN does not provide a list of preferred topics.

    • Abstracts will not be edited for content, grammatical or typographical errors prior to the NTI/API Program Planning Committees’ reviews. To avoid scoring point deductions, please be sure to proofread your abstract prior to submitting!

    • Please avoid the use of all capital letters when completing the submission form (turn off the Caps Lock feature).

    • Avoid the use of acronyms.

  • AACN Learning Facilitator Policies and Procedures
    • AACN welcomes all potential primary and additional facilitators.

    • All primary facilitators must submit their abstract prior to the close of the Step I Abstract Submission deadline on June 1, 2015 for their abstract to be considered.  

    • Primary facilitators may make changes to their submitted abstract up until the close of the Step I Abstract Submission Deadline on June 1, 2015.

    • All facilitators (primary and additional) presenting any portion of an education session are required to complete, update and/or submit the following no later than the Step II deadline on June 15, 2015 (click here to expand)
      • Review and update their AACN profile
      • Facilitator Release with Disclosure Document
      • Upload CV or Resume

    • Only facilitators (primary and added additional facilitators) with completed documentation will be eligible for selection for presentation. No additions or substitutions will be permitted after the Step II deadline.

    • There may only be one primary facilitator per session. Additional facilitators may not be added or changed after the close of the Step II Facilitator Document Submission on June 15, 2015.

    • The primary facilitator is the person submitting the abstract. Primary facilitators may not be changed or transferred once the abstract has been submitted.

    • Upon submission of an abstract, primary facilitators must provide the abstract ID number and verification ID number to their additional facilitators so that they may add themselves to the abstract.

    • As these documents require electronic release and disclosure signatures, the primary facilitator cannot add an additional facilitator to their abstract.

    • All additional facilitators presenting any portion of a submitted education session are required to add themselves to the abstract by the close of the Step II Facilitator Document Submission on June 15, 2015. Additional facilitators must use the Step II link to add themselves to the abstract.

    • Please assure that all email addresses for both primary and additional facilitators are accurate. Once the abstract has been submitted and/or accepted for presentation at NTI, this is the sole means of communication from AACN regarding your NTI Live Educational Abstract(s). Please assure that you can receive emails from AACN.

    • Should any email addresses change prior to NTI, please provide the updates to

    • If AACN does not receive all requested information by published deadlines, an abstract may be withdrawn from consideration or a presentation may be withdrawn from NTI.

    • Facilitators receive a benefit package for presenting a live session at NTI. Specific benefit details are provided to the accepted facilitators with their acceptance notifications.

  • AACN's Commercial Support Restriction Policy
    • Facilitators will present educational sessions objectively and without bias.

    • Facilitator(s) may not be supported by a commercial entity and the display or distribution of literature or promotional materials for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited in the live educational session room.

    • Content shared in the live educational session must not be specific to a commercial product or service.

    • Representatives of a commercial entity may not present on a specific medical device product and/or equipment in the live educational session room.

    • Facilitators must state disclosure prior to the start of the educational session.

    • Commercial Support is financial or in-kind contributions given by a commercial interest which is used to pay all or part of the costs of a CNE activity.

    • AACN prefers the facilitator seek an unrestricted educational grant to remove financial relationship and ensure the financial relationship will no longer be relevant.

    • CNE content integrity will be maintained by facilitators agreeing not to promote the products or entity providing the financial or in-kind support.

    • Educational activity's content for presentation balance, evidence-based content and any relevance to commercial bias will be monitored by members of the program planning committees.

    • Violators of this policy will not be eligible to present at future NTI's.

    • AACN reserves the right to not award continuing nursing education contact hours for an educational activity demonstrating commercial influence or bias.

    • Please send questions regarding AACN's Commercial Support Restriction Policy to

  • Abstract Selection Process
    • NTI/API Program Planning Committees review and provide a qualitative and quantitative score to each abstract. Only those abstracts with the highest scores are selected to be a part of the NTI Program.

    • Learning objectives must be congruent with content description and abstract text (i.e. If you are writing an objective to target proficient advanced practice nurses, a learning objective of "define basic pulmonary physiology" is not acceptable. Learning objectives should meet the needs of the targeted audience and content level.

    • Abstracts are scored based on the reviewer's ability to immediately identify the focus of the educational session from the abstract narrative. Points are deducted for incomplete and/or inaccurately completed required components of the abstract.

    • Notification of acceptance or regret will be emailed to the primary facilitator by late November of the selection year.

    • All decisions made by the NTI and API Program Planning Committees are final.


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