President's Award: Atlanta Area Chapter

As board members Dared To Attend the Transition Meeting in July, the Atlanta Area Chapter made the commitment to Dare To Explore the limitless opportunities to create “value-added” initiatives that would enhance not only the Atlanta area hospitals and patient care facilities but also the community.

These lofty goals were implemented, and the following overview validates the successful accomplishments the Atlanta Area Chapter Dared To Conquer with dedicated and determined chapter leaders and members.

In accordance with AACN’s theme, the Atlanta Area Chapter titled our Community Service Programs, Dare To Serve. In line with the AACN vision, the chapter participates in Community Service activities that include helping people in need and providing educational opportunities throughout the community on health-related issues.

Today’s youth are faced with many challenges regarding lifestyle and behavior. The Atlanta Area Chapter chose a local, private high school of 70 students that expressed a need for health education. Along with board members and several chapter volunteers, we Dared To Act!

The topics we taught included safe lifestyle choices, drug and alcohol abuse, healthy nutrition, self-esteem and combating bullying. Lesson plans were completed and submitted for school board approval.

We received high marks from both the students and faculty, and the students said they now are more prepared to make better choices regarding their lifestyle and behavior.

The Atlanta Area Chapter Dared To Promote Recognition by initiating a Unit Appreciation Breakfast. The chapter’s vision is to recognize local critical care areas quarterly that Dare To Excel. Criteria was established and publicized in the chapter newsletter and website, and announced at chapter meetings.

Nominations are submitted, and the winner is selected based on the number of certified nurses, use of evidence-based practice and promotion of healthy work environment standards.

A Unit Appreciation Breakfast and Dare To Excel plaque were well received by the staff. Staff members reported feeling recognized for their hard work and supported by the Atlanta Area Chapter.

The chapter reached out to Camp Sunshine Oncology camp for children. By connecting with this organization, our members had the opportunity to participate in various activities such as registration day, an annual reunion dinner and “Ride to Remember.”

Chapter members donated time and money, and left this function with a different outlook on these special young people. This opportunity was truly a Dare To Care!

Camp Sunshine presented a letter of recognition for the chapter’s efforts.

For the past three years, chapter members have volunteered at Medshare. We Dare To Volunteer. The chapter has a monthly commitment to serve one set day as announced in the chapter newsletter and website.

Members are encouraged to bring friends and family. Feedback from participants included making a difference and heightening their awareness of local and global needs.

Providing education is the core mission of the Atlanta Area Chapter. Empowering nurses with the knowledge to Dare To Educate, make changes and improve patient outcomes is our commitment to our members and our patients and families.

Monthly meetings were held in a variety of settings and included topics such as CDC guidelines for prevention of infection and managing blood glucose in the ICU. Evaluations of monthly educational meetings have generated more than 90 percent “superior” ratings.

The Atlanta Chapter was also a co-sponsor with Emory Healthcare in providing “Setting the Pace 2012,” a biannual two-day conference with more than 220 nurses from the metor area and cities around Georgia who Dared To Set the Pace.

This symposium focused on the latest trends in cardiovascular care, including topics such as percutaneous aortic valve replacement and hypothermia for cardiac arrest. A nurse and a physician collaborated in the presentation of each topic to provide a medical and nursing perspective.

The Region 6 AACN Symposium, “Critical Care Nursing: Visioning Beyond the Basics,” is held in Atlanta every year in September. The Atlanta Area Chapter is the host for this multistate AACN critical care conference with the participation of more than 200 nurses each year.

This year we were also fortunate to have the national AACN president speak. Evaluations of this symposium continue to be excellent, and it Dares To Have a Vision that has earned a great reputation.

The Atlanta Area Chapter is proud of its outreach to the Emory School of Nursing and support of bedside critical care nurses. In 2010, members were invited to teach in a critical care curriculum for senior BSN students.

Five of our members volunteered to teach a variety of topics including sepsis, cardiogenic shock, stroke, acute MI and hematologic emergencies. This has become a standard presentation that we Dare To Commit to and teach every year.

Dare To Get Certified! The Atlanta Area Chapter Dared To Collaborate with Emory Healthcare to propose and organize a CCRN/PCCN Review Course that will be presented in March and August.

This course will be taught by Atlanta Area Chapter members. Members Dare To Act and take the necessary steps to reach this extraordinary goal of excellence and to make this June Certification Celebration Dinner the best ever.

Other projects in progress for 2013 include environmental opportunities such as the Chattahoochee River Cleanup and the Homeless Shelter Tree Planting group. Both of these projects promote member involvement and help to provide a cleaner and healthier environment.

The Atlanta Area Chapter Dares To reinvent, reinvest and reevaluate the new adventures that lie ahead.