‘Guided by Why’: Notes from the 2017 AACN Conference

Clareen Wiencek, left, and Christine Schulman

AJN‘s clinical editor Betsy Todd recently had a chance to speak with outgoing AACN president Clareen Wiencek and president-elect Christine Schulman about their plans and accomplishments. This post includes her podcast conversation with the two critical care nurse leaders, as well as a summary of highlights from the annual conference. For other updates from recent nursing and heath care conferences, visit our On the Road page.

As always, this year’s National Training Institute and Critical Care Exposition (“NTI”), the annual meeting of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), offered hundreds of educational sessions along with thought-provoking “supersession” addresses. Five “visionary leaders” were honored on the opening day: […]

2017-06-07T12:21:23+00:00 June 7th, 2017|Nursing|0 Comments

Critical Care Nursing in San Diego (or was it Las Vegas?)

FullSizeRenderBy Maureen Shawn Kennedy, MA, RN, AJN editor-in-chief

I’ve written before about the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) annual meeting, the National Teaching Institute (NTI). As a former critical care and emergency nurse, I’ve attended it almost annually. And I’m always amazed at how each year they step it up with new twists. One year, it was the helicopter and full MASH unit in the exhibit hall. Then AACN went to the TED talk style of keynote presentations. Last year, they had a contest for members to apply to be the guest co-master of ceremonies. So, what might possibly be a new twist in this year’s opening session?

I was sitting with leaders of the Canadian Critical Care Nurses Association, one of whom had never been to NTI before and had been told by her colleague that it would be unlike anything she had seen before. She couldn’t have been more on target—even by NTI standards. The session opened with a DJ and loud techno-rock music, followed by a very fit and energetic dance troupe and pop singers. Then, down from the ceiling came four acrobats and a bare-chested man spinning above the stage, along with a dozen or so men and women running up and down the aisles with large, lighted balls that the audience began batting around, all to the techno music. Was I really at […]

What Lies Ahead? AACN Presidents Weigh In on Health Care Reform, Rapid Response Teams, and More

By Shawn Kennedy, AJN interim editor-in-chief

On my last day at the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses’ annual meeting last week in Washington, DC, I had a chance to speak with both Beth Hammer, whose term as president ended with the meeting, and Kristine Peterson, the new president. Our conversation ranged from how they felt about being president of such a large nursing organization to their views on health care reform and how rapid response teams are affecting the work environment of critical care nurses. You can hear the conversation free on AJN’s Web site: go to the Podcasts tab and click on Conversations. Or just click here (the download may take a minute or two).

And don’t miss my first post from the exhibit hall floor at the meeting (the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, or “the NTI”)  and my second post on a conversation with a critical care nurse about a bad staffing practice, which seems to have hit a nerve!

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Thousands of Critical Care Nurses, a Helicopter, and More! AACN’s National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition

By Shawn Kennedy, AJN interim editor-in-chief


I’m writing to you this morning from Washington, DC, where I’m attending the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) 2010 National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (known simply as “the NTI”). I’m probably miscounting, but I think this might be my 15th visit to the NTI. I first attended when I was an ED staff nurse at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. I marveled at the hundreds of nurses who attended from all across the country. It was energizing and inspiring and overwhelming, and I learned a lot.

Now, it’s not just hundreds but thousands of nurses who attend the NTI, and they come not only from states across this country but also from around the globe. It’s still energizing, and there’s no doubt I can still learn a lot. Throngs of nurses have crowded the sessions, so much so that it’s hard to remember there’s a nursing shortage; but critical care nurses are still much in demand, and representatives from many hospitals—as well as from all branches of the military—are manning recruitment booths. The exhibit hall is still overwhelming: this year there are more than 500 exhibitors and the exhibits include a Life Flight helicopter, a couple of full-size buses equipped as classrooms or EDs, and a fully-equipped military emergency treatment tent.

I’ve attended some very good sessions and a couple of clunkers—a better ratio than I’ve found […]

2016-11-21T13:17:39+00:00 May 19th, 2010|Nursing|1 Comment