Candidate for Nominating Committee: Myra F. Ellis

 Myra F. Ellis

Myra F. Ellis, RN, MSN, CCRN-CSC
Clinical Nurse IV

CTICU, Duke University Hospital
Chapel Hill, NC

Experience and Activities


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.

  • Clinical Resource Task Force, 2014-present
  • Content writer and subject matter expert, Essentials of Critical Care Orientation (ECCO) 3.0: Cardiothoracic Surgery, 2014-present
  • Author, Use of bicarbonate in patients with metabolic acidosis. Crit Care Nurse. 2015;35(5):73-75.
  • Content reviewer, “Pulmonary Artery Catheter Insertion (Assist) and Pressure Monitoring, Temporary Transvenous and Epicardial Pacing, Cardiac Output Measurement Techniques (Invasive), and Atrial Electrograms,” AACN Procedure Manual for Critical Care. 7th ed. 2015
  • Cardiac Medicine Certification/Cardiac Surgery Certification Practice Analysis Task Force, 2015
  • CCRN/CCRN-E Exam Development Committee, 2014-2015
  • Critical Care Scope and Standards Work Group, 2014-2015
  • Evidence-Based Practice Resource Work Group, 2012-2013
  • Podium presentations, National Teaching Institute
    • 2015
      • “Adult ECMO: Supporting Cardiac and Pulmonary Failure When All Else Fails”
      • “Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR): Current and Evolving Valve Applications, Approaches and Technology”
      • “Raise Your Evidence Based Practice APP-titude: Tools for Nurses in Clinical Practice”
    • 2014
      • “Update on Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)”
      • “EASY Button for Evidence Based Practices (EBP): Tools for Nurses in Clinical Practice”
      • “What Are We Doing and Where Are We Going? Ethics of Mechanical Circulatory Support”
      • “Step Forward into Cardiac Surgery (CSC) Subspecialty Certification: Tools for Success”
    • 2013
      • “Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR): An Emerging Treatment Option for Aortic Stenosis”
  • AACN Clinical Priorities 2014
    • “Update on Aortic Surgery”
    • “Clinical Case Analysis: Managing Perplexing Postoperative Problems in Cardiac Surgery Patients”
    • “Right Ventricular Failure Following Cardiac Surgery”
  • Author, Cardiac Surgery Certification Review Course, CD-ROM, 2013
  • Co-author, Suitability of capillary blood glucose analysis in patients receiving vasopressors. Am J Crit Care. 2013;22:423-429.

Key Professional Activities outside AACN, 2012 - present

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

  • Conference presenter and planning committee, Foundation for the Advancement of Cardiothoracic Surgical Care, 2015 2014, 2013
  • Co-author. Neurological complications. In Hardin S, Kaplow R, eds. Cardiac Surgery Essentials for Critical Care Nursing. 2nd ed. Boston, MA: Jones & Bartlett; 2015.
  • Duke University Health System Heart Center research grant award, “Implementation of Active Sleep Promotion Plan in the CTICU”
  • Duke safety conference abstract winner, “Implementation of a Standard Protocol for Resuscitation of Cardiac Surgery Patients (CALS),” 2013

Issues Statement

I think one of the key issues affecting critical care nursing today is maintaining high-quality, safe patient care in an increasingly complex healthcare environment. Workforce issues such as the large number of experienced nurses nearing retirement, nursing turnover, staffing shortages and healthcare reform create challenges for us. We may be expected to deliver quality care with fewer resources. Despite the rapidly changing environment, we have a responsibility to our patients to see that they are not negatively impacted by these changes.

AACN has been a visionary leader in creating solutions to challenges in the critical care environment and has championed advocacy initiatives to create healthy work environments and support staffing and workforce. There is sufficient evidence to support the link between patient safety, healthy work environments and fiscal responsibility. I fully support these initiatives and think they will become even more important in the future. Changes in healthcare environments should not affect the necessity to ensure that nurse competencies match patient needs. Many hospitals have reduced funding for “non-productive” hours, but we have tools and resources created by AACN to support these initiatives. It is important to use them and advocate for their use in our hospitals. Nurses are uniquely positioned to know the care environment, advocate for patients and be leaders in collaborative efforts for improvement.

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