Circle of Excellence: Central Savannah River Area Chapter

Excellence in Educational Programming

In 2002, the Central Savannah River Area Chapter of AACN, Augusta, Ga., saw an opportunity and a need for development of a Critical Care Consortium. The Consortium proposed to provide quality education for nurses desiring to seek a career in critical care.

The Consortium board members conducted a literature review and researched several other programs before pursuing this opportunity with area hospitals and educators. The area hospitals and educators worked together to make the program a success.

A meeting was held with area clinical nurse specialists, nurse educators, hospital nurse executives and the board members to discuss the possibility of creating this educational consortium. Five area hospitals and one school of nursing were represented.

At the time most hospitals had a critical care program with limited resources and, therefore, the program proposed by our chapter was well received. The program was then designed to provide basic critical care education for nurses in the units and nurses desiring to work in the critical care units.

Objectives were to:

  • Establish a community standard for critical care education.
  • Improve access to quality critical care education for the nursing community.
  • Reduce duplication of critical care courses.
  • Increase the pool of clinical experts to present at the critical care courses.
  • Reduce the cost to participants and providers.
  • Grant continuing education hours for participants.

The local Consortium became a standard of education for the participating hospitals. The Consortium is beginning its 10th year and has educated more than 1,000 nurses.

The chapter and Consortium boards are very pleased with the overwhelming acceptance of this program in the hospital community.