Nominating Committee: Annette Bourgault

Annette Bourgault, RN, PhD, CNCC(C), CNL
Clinical Nurse Leader Program Director, Assistant Professor

Georgia Regents University, College of Nursing
Augusta, Georgia

Experience and Activities

Chapter Membership

  • Central Savannah River Area Chapter, 2007–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.

  • Presenter, “Gastric Residual Volumes May Be Misleading: Get With the Evidence on Enteral Feeding.” American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) NTI national conference, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • Co-Presenter, “Using Evidence-Based Practice Principles to Optimize Patient Outcomes.” Preconference workshop. American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) NTI national conference, 2010, 2011
  • Presenter, “I Have a Great Clinical Question … but Now What?” American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) NTI national conference, 2009
  • Armola RR, Bourgault AM, Halm MA, Board RM, Bucher L, Harrington L, et al. Upgrading the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses’ evidence-leveling hierarchy. Am J Crit Care. 2009;18(5):405–409.
  • Armola RR, Bourgault AM, Halm MA, Board RM, Bucher L, Harrington L, et al. AACN levels of evidence: What’s new? Crit Care Nurse. 2009;29(4):70–73.
  • Chairperson, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), Evidence-Based Practice Resource Work Group, 2008–2009 

Key Professional Activities Outside AACN in the past 3 Years

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

  • The Commission on Nurse Certification, Item writer for the national Clinical Nurse Leader certification examination, 2012–Present
  • Sigma Theta Tau International, Beta Omicron chapter. Faculty counselor, 2012–Present
  • Bourgault AM, Hooper V, Heath J. “Theoretical Definitions of Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation Complexity in Acute Care Clinical Practice Guideline Adoption: A Systematic Review.” Poster presentation. Southern Nurses Research Association, Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 18, 2011
  • Bourgault AM, Mundy C, Joshua T. Comparison of Audio vs. Written Feedback on Clinical Assignments of Nursing Students. Nursing Education Perspectives (accepted for publication November 2010)
  • Bourgault AM, Halm MA. Feeding tube placement in adults: safe verification method for blindly inserted tubes. Am J Crit Care. 2009;18(1):73-76.

Issues Statement

Of the many challenges facing critical care nurses in our increasingly complex healthcare environment, information overload may create confusion for nurses who are attempting to provide evidence-based care. AACN membership demographics show that 36 percent of our members are 50 years of age or older (March 2012).

An assumption could be made that a large number of practicing nurses may have graduated from nursing school before the birth of the Internet and the evidence-based-practice movement. Although evidence-based practice has become an expectation, we do not all have the knowledge and skills that are necessary to search for scholarly articles, assess the quality of available evidence or translate evidence into meaningful clinical practice.

We may have access to a practice guideline, but do we understand the meaning of level A evidence and how it is different from level B or C evidence? Is level B evidence inferior to level A, or is it supported by fewer studies or less rigorous research methods? Different organizations often use different evidence hierarchies, which can further add to the confusion.

The Internet has provided us with unlimited access to information, but do we have a good understanding of how to determine the quality of the information that we are reading? Unfortunately, conflicting information exists on the Internet, and nurses must be able to identify credible sources of information.

AACN does a tremendous job in providing evidence-based resources, such as publications in peer-reviewed journals, Practice Alerts and Protocols for Practice, to its members. Despite the availability of information, some practices fall outside the scope of these resources.

Going back to the basics to provide general knowledge and skills related to evidence-based practice and Internet searches may increase the confidence of nurses who strive for excellence in their clinical practice.

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