Candidate for Director: Maria R. Shirey

 Maria R. Shirey

Maria R. Shirey, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, ANEF, FACHE, FAAN
Professor of Nursing and Chair, Acute, Chronic, and Continuing Care Department

University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing
Birmingham, AL

Experience and Activities


Chapter Membership

  • Greater Birmingham Chapter, 2013-present
  • Greater Evansville Chapter, 2000-2013
    • Concurrent session speaker, “Value of Specialty Nursing Certification: Linkages to Outcomes”
    • Poster presenter, Heart of Cardiovascular Nursing Symposium
      • “Beyond the Cardiovascular Bedside: Implementation of a Community,” March 2010
      • “Peripheral Vascular Screening Program,” March 2003
      • “Restructuring of a Code Blue Team with Emphasis on Outcomes,” March 2002
      • “The CCRN Drive at Deaconess Hospital,” March 2002
    • Member, Planning Committee, Heart of Cardiovascular Nursing Symposium, 2000-2003

AACN Commitment and Involvement, 2012 - present

Includes ways in which the candidate integrated the mission and work of AACN into her current role and practice. Local and national volunteer activities are listed, if applicable.

  • Member, Chief Executive Officer Search Committee, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 2013-2014
  • Member, Governance Committee for Leadership Succession Planning, AACN Certification Corporation, 2010-2014
  • Immediate past chair, AACN Certification Corporation board of directors, 2011-2012
  • National Teaching Institute
    • Presenter, “Authentic Leadership Boot Camp,” Boston, May 2013
    • Presenter, “Dare to Publish: Tips for Selecting Your Journal for Publication,” Boston, May 2013
  • Consulting manuscript reviewer
    • AACN Advanced Critical Care, 2014-present
    • American Journal of Critical Care, 2008-present

Key Professional Activities outside AACN, 2012 - present

Includes involvement with other professional organizations, teaching and/or speaking engagements

  • Member, Research Committee on Credentialing in Nursing, American Board of Nursing Specialties, 2008-present
  • President, American Board of Nursing Specialties, 2013-2015
  • Column editor, Strategic Leadership for Organizational Change, JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration, 2011-2015
  • Keynote speaker, “Authentic Leadership From Research to Practice,” University of Southern Indiana Research, Evidence-Based Practice, and Performance Improvement Annual Conference, Evansville, April 2015
  • Presenter, “Teaching Authentic Leadership in Nursing Using Reflective and Analytical Exercises,” Sigma Theta Tau International Conference on Creating Healthy Work Environments, Indianapolis, April 2013

Issues Statement

In 2005, AACN released its landmark document for creating and sustaining healthy work environments (HWEs) that advance nursing practice and enhance patient care quality and safety. Although the HWE standards have been widely adopted and improvements in practice settings reported, 10 years later unhealthy work environments remain pervasive across the United States. According to a 2015 article in AACN Advanced Critical Care, nurses reported that lack of consistent leadership supportive of an HWE continues, and the opportunity exists for better communication and collaboration. Because an HWE has yet to be realized in every work setting, AACN as a mission-driven organization must continue to relentlessly champion the HWE message until it becomes the norm across America.

To this end, AACN maintains its well-respected national advocacy position, makes available valuable resources and empowers its members with knowledge and opportunities. Through programs such as AACN Clinical Scene Investigator, AACN is helping nurses find their voice as leaders and powerful change agents. As standard setters in acute and critical care nursing, AACN supports professional nurses with sound evidence for practice, distinctive credentialing programs, regular practice alerts for quality and safety, and Beacon unit standards to improve work environments and patient outcomes.

Fostering an HWE is everyone’s obligation. If the approaches we currently are pursuing have not yet fully enculturated the HWE standards, then we must regroup and evaluate what is going well and what we could do better. Tapping into AACN’s wealth of resources is a way to improve the current reality and facilitate sustainable change that enhances work environments, clinical excellence and patient outcomes. Sharing with others successful strategies that are working to advance the HWE agenda is one way we can make strides toward enhancing communication and collaboration.

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