Portrait of young nurse in uniform smiling confidently, leadership skills program for new nurses concept

AACN Launches Leadership Skills Program for Nursing, Nurse Anesthetist Earns Federal Award, and More Nursing News

Portrait of young nurse in uniform smiling confidently, leadership skills program for new nurses concept

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) launches an initiative to build leadership capacity among new nurses. A nurse anesthetist is honored with a prestigious federal award from the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA). Five organizations in Maine agree to create a high school nursing program to fast-track nursing degrees. The Boston Red Sox are seeking 10 nurses to be honored during Nurse Night 2022. Read on for this week’s nursing news.

AACN collaborating with Johnson & Johnson to produce leadership skills program for new nurses

An initiative that’s expected to build leadership capacity among new nurses has been launched by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

“A Competency-Based Approach to Leadership Development and Resilience for Student Nurses,” an anticipated two-year collaborative effort with the Johnson & Johnson Foundation, will focus on developing essential skills related to resilience, self-care, and well-being, according to AACN officials.

“As we move beyond the pandemic and consider the future of healthcare, we arrive at a pivotal time in nursing when new ideas and energy are driving us toward a new way of preparing nurses for contemporary practice,” said Dr. Deborah Trautman, president and chief executive officer of the AACN, in a prepared statement. “We applaud Johnson & Johnson for helping us develop the next generation of nurse leaders with the skills needed to adapt work environments to prioritize self-care, healthy behaviors, and well-being.”

Through this program, the AACN will convene an expert advisory group to develop new learning strategies and assessment measures related to personal, professional, and leadership development, including activities and self-reflection that foster health, resilience, and well-being. Once developed, the AACN will pilot the new content at 10 schools of nursing, assess the impact on student competency, disseminate results to all nursing schools, and offer faculty development opportunities to assist with new content integration into curriculum.

The AACN has also convened an expert group of nurse faculty and content specialists to develop new curriculum and learning strategies for building competencies essential to leadership and fostering resilience, wellness, and self-care.

This work entails designing innovative clinical learning experiences where students can practice these new skills. Outcomes will include the identification of effective learning assessment measures consistent with the competency-based approach to learning advanced in the new Essentials.

Members of this expert group include: Michael Ackerman, DNS, RN, FCCM, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN, professor of clinical nursing and director of master of healthcare innovation program at Ohio State University’s College of Nursing; Adejoke Bolanle Ayoola, PhD, RN, FAAN, department chair and professor at Calvin University; Sherry S. Chesak, PhD, MS, RN, assistant professor of nursing at the Mayo Clinic; Janie Heath, PhD, APRN-BC, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN, dean and Warwick Professor of Nursing at University of Kentucky’s College of Nursing; Teri Pipe, PhD, RN, professor, dean emerita, and founding director at ASU Center for Mindfulness, Compassion and Resilience, Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation, at Arizona State University; Allison P. Squires, PhD, RN, FAAN, associate professor and director, Florence S. Downs PhD Program in Nursing Research and Theory Development, at New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing; Deborah Stamps, EdD, MBA, MS, RN, GNP, NE-BC, executive vice president and chief nursing education and diversity officer at Rochester (NY) Regional Health; Cheryl Woods Giscombe, PhD, PMHNP-BC, FAAN, LeVine Family Distinguished Scholar of Quality of Life, Health Promotion, and Wellness, and associate dean of the PhD Division & Program at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Nursing.

“Academic nursing leaders recognize that developing leadership and resilience capacity among new nurses is essential to effective nursing practice,” said Trautman. “We are excited to have this opportunity to elevate nursing’s role in leading innovation while sustaining provider well-being and impact.”

Related CE Courses: Leadership and Nursing Practice Courses

Nurse anesthetist earns prestigious federal award

Lt. Col. Laura Wiggins, DNP, CRNA, a certified registered nurse anesthetist and chief nurse for the critical care transport team in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, will soon be honored by the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) with the Daniel D. Vigness Federal Political Director Award.

According to AANA officials, Wiggins, who also serves on the staff at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, will receive the award at the organization’s Mid-Year Assembly in Washington, DC, April 2-6.

Established in 2001, the Federal Political Director of the Year Award was renamed the Daniel D. Vigness Federal Political Director Award in 2013 in tribute and memory of its first winner. It is presented annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the national healthcare agenda of CRNAs by coordinating grassroots CRNA involvement at the state level or through special contributions to the federal political process.

“It is an honor to receive the Federal Political Director Award,” Wiggins said in a prepared statement. “Promoting and safeguarding the profession and helping to work towards regulations and legislation that allow CRNAs to practice at their full scope has been both an honor and a privilege. However, all my work could not be accomplished without the support of the Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists (PANA) and my employers. I thank them for providing me with the resources and time to build the relationships that have allowed me to be a successful advocate for all CRNAs.”

Wiggins has been the federal political director for the Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists for two years and serves on its board of trustees. She helped to lead more than 180 CRNAs and students enrolled in nurse anesthesiology programs to lobby in Harrisburg on behalf of the profession in 2019.

A former chief nurse for the 911th Aeromedical Staging Squadron and former critical care air transport team member, Wiggins has been deployed to support numerous international situations throughout her career.

According to her nominator, Wiggins is a natural leader with a passion for nurse anesthesia “whether leading a medical team as the anesthesia director for military operations in Kyrgyzstan, or providing obstetric anesthesia in Pittsburgh. Laura carries herself with a sense of dignity and skill that reflects the best of our profession.”

In addition, Wiggins has been lauded for her hands-on leadership early in the COVID-19 pandemic. According to her nomination, Wiggins relied on her military expertise to review mask options and determine the best fit for PANA to provide to members to keep them safe weeks before Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf issued a formal stay-at-home order for the commonwealth.

“Laura knew early on how important it was for PANA to not disrupt the supply chain already working on personal protective equipment for local hospitals and other facilities around Pennsylvania,” cited her nomination.

Wiggins spearheaded a discussion with a small 3D printing company in southwestern Pennsylvania and began to work on a design for a 3D-printed mask. She oversaw all of the details, including the recruitment of a biochemist and an engineer from Stanley Black & Decker to support the cause.

Wiggins also serves as a clinical instructor at the University of Pittsburgh’s Nurse Anesthesia Program for various courses, including “Difficult Airway,” “Regional Anesthesia,” and “Obstetrics Anesthesia.”

As a critical care nurse in the Air Force Reserves, Wiggins directly supervises more than 60 medical military personnel while managing all nursing services and flight member activities. In addition, she is an independent contractor with Anesthesiology Services Network, where she provides anesthesia services for a Level One Trauma Center with 24 operating rooms and diverse areas, including neurosurgery, vascular, thoracic, orthopedics, general, gynecology, pediatrics, trauma, and obstetrics.

Wiggins received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in nursing with a specialization in nurse anesthesia area from Uniformed Services University. She earned a doctor of nurse practice degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Maine high school program to fast-track nursing degrees

A group of five organizations recently convened to sign an agreement that will create a high school nursing pathway for students taking allied health programs.

According to a recent report by The Ellsworth American, representatives from Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC), United Technologies Center, Hancock County Technical Center, and Bridge Academy Maine will offer “The High School Nursing Pathway Partnership.”

The collaboration will reportedly provide a pathway to EMCC’s associate in science in nursing degree to students within the Bangor and Ellsworth regions in the state of Maine.

According to the report, the collaboration creates a streamlined pathway to a nursing degree while reducing or eliminating student debt. The first year of general education credits are earned in high school. During one’s junior and senior years, students are taking courses through EMCC and their high school, which then will transfer as college credits.

The program will reportedly benefit students at United Technology Center and Hancock County Technology Center who are enrolled in Bridge Academy of Maine. Once students are enrolled in the nursing program, they will only have two years to complete before graduation, according to the report. Students also receive their license as a certified nursing assistant while in high school.

Boston Red Sox seeking nurses to honor

Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox are seeking 10 nurses to be honored during an on-field ceremony in May during the organization’s Nurse Night 2022.

Additionally, one nurse will be voted to throw the first pitch. Nurses can be nominated for the recognition online.

Views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Elite Learning or Colibri Group. Media referenced in this news round-up does not constitute an endorsement.