Nominating Committee: Carol Olff

Carol Olff, RN, MSN, CCRN-E, NEA-BC 
Operations Manager, John Muir Critical Vision, Tele-ICU Center

John Muir Health
Walnut Creek, California

Experience and Activities

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.

  • Member, AACN Tele-ICU Task Force, April 2010–June 2012
  • Expo-Ed Tele-ICU Stage, AACN National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, Orlando, Fla., 2012
    • Coordinator of Speakers/Events, February–May 2012
    • Speaker, “It’s a Long Wait to Extubate!” May 2012
  • AACN Certification Corporation’s CCRN-E Virtual Exam Development Committee, December 2010–March 2011
  • AACN Ambassador, 2010–Present
  • Co-author, Tele-ICU partners enhance evidence-based practice: a ventilator weaning initiative (accepted for publication, fall 2012) AACN Advanced Critical Care 

Key Professional Activities Outside AACN in the Past 3 Years

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

  • American Telemedicine Association
    • Member, 2011-Present
    • Vice-chair, Tele-ICU Special Interest Group, June 2012–Present
  • “Decreasing Ventilator Length of Stay,” National Patient Safety Forum, May 2011
  • “The Bedside Nurse Perspective: Tele-ICU Satisfaction Survey Results,” “Nursing Collaboration and Documentation” and “Development of an Evidence-based, Cross-Campus Ventilator Weaning Protocol,” Philips VISICU User’s Group Conference, November 2011
  • “Health and Technology Careers,” Health Occupations Student Association Career Fair, April 2012
  • “A Tele-ICU Initiative: Enhancing Evidence-based Practice,” Bay Area Beacon Collaborative, April 2011 

Issues Statement

Critical care nursing is a rewarding career that requires strong clinical skills, knowledge, passion and the ability to flex with a rapidly changing healthcare environment. 

As my own career has developed, a progressive evolution of critical care has brought nurses into a new light within healthcare organizations. More than ever before, critical care nurses speak with a confident voice, taking an active role in shaping their practice and making decisions about the delivery of quality patient care.

Devoting significant time and effort in mentoring new critical care nurses as they begin their career is a key component to sustain the momentum. We are responsible for nurturing our novice nurses with the support, tools and resources to foster continued growth in critical care nursing as a profession.

Mentoring new nurses will be of utmost importance during the next several years. As baby boomers retire from the workforce and the population over the age of 80 steadily increases, the need for effective mentoring will be apparent as new nurses enter an ever-changing healthcare environment.

We must keep in mind that mentoring is more than simply teaching tasks. It involves nurturing and sharing a philosophy and vision to guide novice nurses on their journey.

Mentoring is a valuable method to provide guidance, increase retention and promote both individual and professional growth. As the professional organization for critical care nurses, AACN is the logical forum to champion the nurses’ development.

Guidelines for mentorship programs, resources for experienced and novice nurses, along with principles for a healthy work environment, will strengthen support for new nurses in stressful times. Our responsibility is to provide our future nurses with the abilities and confidence to explore new frontiers in nursing that many of us may never have imagined.

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