Nominating Committee: Kimberly Curtin

Kimberly Curtin, RN, MS, ACNS-BC, CCRN, CEN

Associate Director, Clinical Nurse Leader Program
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas

Experience and Activities

Chapter Membership

  • Member, 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.

  • Chapter Advisor, Region 17, July 2009–June 2012
  • Houston-Gulf Coast Chapter
    • President, July 2008–July 2009
    • Board Advisor and Seminar Committee, July 2009–Present
  • Circle of Excellence Review Panel, 2008–2009
  • AACN Scope and Standards for Acute and Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice Review Panel, 2010
  • Chapter Poster Abstract Review Panel, 2009–2010
  • Chapter Awards Review Panel, 2009–2010
  • Continuing Education Review Panel, 2010–2011
  • Circle of Excellence Review Panel, 2012
  • Co-Presenter, “Pearls of Wisdom: Sharing Best Practices in Chapters,” AACN National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, Chicago, 2011
  • Primary Speaker, “Rapid Response: Early Resuscitation in Preventing Chapter Death,” AACN National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, Orlando, Fla., 2012

 Key Professional Activities Outside AACN in the Past 3 Years

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

  • Magnet program director for 2010 designation, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center. Facilitated multiple teams to prepare for site visit. Provide ongoing education and formal presentations to various nursing and leadership teams regarding the Magnet Recognition Program
  • Coordinated implementation of the DAISY Award recognition program at MD Anderson
  • National member, Oncology Nursing Society, and active local member, Houston Chapter of Oncology Nursing Society. Participated in multiple community outreach activities, 2009–Present
  • Serve as a Beacon Award consultant for UT MD Anderson Cancer Center units on their Beacon journey
  • Enrolled in the Doctorate of Nursing Practice program at The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, fall 2012

Issues Statement

Unhealthy work environments continue to be pervasive for nurses across practice areas despite increased evidence in the literature and numerous initiatives to address related concerns. Due to the particularly acute nature of critical care nursing, evidence suggests these nurses may be at particular risk for nursing incivility and poor communication in the work setting. 

It is well documented that such unhealthy practices lead to burnout, failure to achieve work-life balance, poor job satisfaction and ultimately turnover among nurses, all of which are costly for healthcare practice settings and ultimately impact the quality of patient care.

In order to promote clinical success and patient satisfaction, we must first ameliorate the unhealthy nature of nursing practice settings. AACN has led the initiative to promote healthy work environments by identifying six components to healthy work environments, and in doing so has offered the opportunity to develop interventions aimed at each of these areas.

However, we must go further to address the pervasive nature of unhealthy work environments which include, but are not limited to, nursing incivility, poor interdisciplinary communication and lack of recognition for nurses’ work contributions. We need to go beyond nominal recognition that such problems occur and develop feasible action plans to address leading contributors to nurse burnout and turnover.

We may achieve this by looking at model institutions where successful interventions have reduced characteristics of unhealthy work environments, improved nurses’ job satisfaction and decreased turnover rates due to burnout. Such efforts require an ongoing commitment to reject unhealthy work environments as the status quo and redoubling our efforts to implement a truly institutional, multidisciplinary approach to remediate the underlying issues from which unhealthy conditions emerge.

I believe that, by using AACN resources, we can make progress in improving nurses’ work environments.

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