Kirsten Skillings

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AACN Board
July 2023-June 2024

Kirsten Skillings, MA, APRN, CCRN-K, CCNS, serves a one-year term as secretary on the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) board of directors from July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024. She continues a three-year term as a director from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2025.

Skillings is director, inpatient cardiology, at CentraCare St. Cloud Hospital - Heart and Vascular Center, St. Cloud, Minnesota. Her passion for and dedication to acute and critical care nursing is a priority in her leadership role. Her staff are her "why” every single day and remain in the forefront of each decision she makes. Skillings says she strives to remain very connected at the bedside by being present on the units and available at nearly all hours.

Accountability and teamwork are foundational expectations in the three units (Telemetry, Cardiovascular Thoracic and Cardiac Intensive Care) she manages, supported by AACN's Healthy Work Environment Standards. She weaves components of the standards into her role as a foundation for unit stability. One unit has received a second gold-level Beacon Award, and two have earned silver-level.

Skillings is a member and past president of AACN's Central Minnesota Chapter. Some of her additional affiliations include membership in the Sigma Theta Tau - Kappa Phi Chapter and serving on the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University's Advisory Committee.

She is also an avid pen collector and retains her cosmetology license from her pre-nursing career. A horse lover, Skillings has raised and shown horses for many years and supported her daughter in that endeavor too. She adds that her family would say, "I am the most selfless person, who is always putting everyone, especially family, before myself.”

Skillings earned a Master of Arts at The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota.