Candidate for Director: Kimberly Curtin


Kimberly Curtin, MS, APRN, ACNS-BC, CCRN, CEN, CNL
Associate Director, Clinical Nurse Leader Program

The University of Texas
MD Anderson Cancer Center

Experience and Activities

Chapter Membership

  • West Houston Chapter, 2012-present 
  • Houston-Gulf Coast Chapter, 1993-present

AACN Commitment and Involvement in the Past 3 Years

Includes how the candidate integrated AACN's mission and work into her current role and practice. Local and national volunteer activities are listed, if applicable.

  • AACN Ambassador, May 2014-present
  • NTI presentation primary facilitator, “Making the Connection: Creative Communication Alternatives to Engage the AACN Community,” May 2014, Denver
  • AACN Nominating Committee, July 2013-June 2014
  • NTI presentation co-presenter, “Case by Case: Forensics of Successful AACN Chapters Defined by Healthy Work Environment Standards,” May 2013
  • NTI presentation co-presenter, “Seekin’ the Beacon: Using a Project Management Plan to Initiate, Promote and Support the Beacon Journey,” May 2013
  • NTI presentation primary presenter, “Rapid Response: Early Resuscitation in Preventing Chapter Death,” May 2012
  • Created and recorded webinar, “AACN Chapter Transition Checklist: Mapping Out the Road to Success,” 2012
  • Circle of Excellence Review Panel, 2012
  • Continuing Education Review Panel, 2011-2013
  • Chapter Advisory Team, July 2009-June 2012 

Key Professional Activities Outside AACN in the Past 3 Years

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

  • Doctorate of Nursing Practice student. Projected graduation August 2015. Practice Inquiry Project: “Implementing the Care and Communication Bundle to Promote Palliative Care in Critically Ill Oncology Patients.”
  • Research committee member for an Arthur Vining Davis Foundation-funded study: “Patient Perceptions and Use of Outcomes and Education Information.” Focus group facilitator Phase I, August 2013-December 2013. Phase II Survey development, January 2014-present.
  • Sigma Theta Tau International, Honor Society of Nursing. Induction May 2014. National member and Zeta Pi chapter member.
  • MD Anderson Cancer Center and MD Anderson’s Physician Network Symposium presenter, “Utilizing the Clinical Nurse Leader Role to Improve Outcomes at the Microsystem Level,” July 2013.
  • Adjunct faculty, The University of Texas Medical Branch School of Nursing, 2012-present.

Issues Statement

Unhealthy work environments are pervasive across nursing practices, despite myriad initiatives to improve them. Evidence suggests that, due to its acute nature, critical care nursing may be at particular risk for incivility and poor communication in the work setting. As amply documented, such unhealthy practices lead to burnout, work-life imbalance, poor job satisfaction and ultimately turnover among nurses. Such consequences are costly to healthcare practice settings and ultimately lower the quality of patient care. To promote clinical success and patient satisfaction, we must take measures to ameliorate the unhealthy nature of nursing practice settings.

AACN has led the initiative to promote healthy work environments by identifying six components, thereby providing the basis for developing interventions. However, we need to go beyond nominal recognition of problems such as nursing incivility, poor interdisciplinary communication and lack of recognition to develop feasible action plans to address these leading contributors to nurse burnout and turnover. In creating these action plans, we can look to model institutions where successful interventions have reduced symptoms of unhealthy work environment characteristics, improved nurses’ job satisfaction and decreased turnover rates due to burnout.

Fostering healthy work environments requires an ongoing commitment to rejecting unhealthy work environments as the status quo and redoubling our efforts to take a truly institutional, multidisciplinary approach to remediate the underlying issues from which unhealthy conditions emerge. AACN resources provide an excellent starting point for making progress in improving work environments for nurses.

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