News: Critical Care Nurse Editor Alspach Honored at NTI

Editorial Contact:
Kristie Aylett
AACN Communications
(228) 229-9472

JoAnn Grif Alspach to receive GE Healthcare-AACN Pioneering Spirit Award

Alspach — a pioneer in nursing preceptorship and 27-year editor-in-chief, Critical Care Nurse — will be honored for her innovative work in staff development and competency-based education

The Pioneering Spirit Award from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses and supported by GE Healthcare recognizes significant contributions that influence high acuity and critical care nursing and relate to the association’s mission, vision and values

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. — May 8, 2013 — JoAnn Grif Alspach, RN, MSN, EdD, FAAN, a pioneer in nursing preceptorship, will receive the GE Healthcare-AACN Pioneering Spirit Award.

The award, from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) and supported by GE Healthcare, will be given at the 2013 National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, Boston, May 18-23. This AACN Visionary Leadership Award recognizes significant contributions that influence high acuity and critical care nursing and relate to the association’s mission, vision and values.

Alspach is a Maryland-based consultant on nursing staff development, competency-based education and competency-based performance appraisal systems. Over the past 35 years, she has consulted, published and lectured nationally and internationally on nursing staff development, preceptor preparation, competency-based education and critical care nursing.

Since 1985, she has served as editor for AACN’s Critical Care Nurse, a bimonthly peer-reviewed clinical journal that provides a broad spectrum of continuing care information to help acute and critical care nurses inform best bedside practice in high-acuity, progressive and critical care settings.

An early advocate for preceptorship of new nurses, Alspach wrote the groundbreaking document, “The Preceptor’s Bill of Rights,” in 1987, followed by publishing the first educational program to develop nurses as preceptors.

The program’s subsequent updates expanded to include ancillary healthcare team members. Principles she framed continue to influence a wide range of materials guiding the preparation of today’s nurse preceptors.
Nationally known for her work in competency-based education, she was one of the first nurses to develop competency-based orientation programs. She published articles on the use of competency assessment to appraise and document staff performance more than 20 years before The Joint Commission made it mandatory.

As editor of the “AACN Core Curriculum for Critical Care Nursing” and its companion publications for more than two decades, Alspach has been instrumental in identifying and disseminating the body of knowledge for critical care nursing clinicians worldwide.

She received her BSN and MSN in cardiovascular nursing from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and her doctorate in adult and continuing education from the University of Maryland, College Park.


About the GE Healthcare-AACN Pioneering Spirit Award: The annual GE Healthcare-AACN Pioneering Spirit Award recognizes significant contributions that influence high acuity and critical care nursing regionally and nationally and relate to AACN’s mission, vision and values. Recipients of this Visionary Leadership Award come from business, academia and healthcare and receive a plaque and $750 honorarium at the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition. Other Visionary Leadership Awards, AACN’s highest honor, include AACN’s Lifetime Member Award, Honorary Member Award and the Marguerite Rodgers Kinney Award for a Distinguished Career.

About the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition: Established in 1974, AACN’s National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI) represents the world’s largest educational conference and trade show for nurses who care for acutely and critically ill patients and their families. Bedside nurses, nurse educators, nurse managers, clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners attend NTI.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN joins together the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and claims more than 235 chapters worldwide. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, Calif. 92656-4109;
Phone: (949) 362-2000; Fax: (949) 362-2020; www.aacn.org; facebook.com/aacnface; twitter.com/aacnme