ANA Statement Condemns Vaught Verdict, Penn Medicine Honors Nurses, and More Nursing News

Nurse using digital tablet in hospital or medical office.

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) announces this year’s Circle of Excellence awardees. A new Penn Medicine digital art campaign honors nurses and healthcare workers. The National Black Nurses Association supports the Sickle Cell Care Expansion Act. The National League for Nursing (NLN) and the American Nurses Association (ANA) release a statement condemning the RaDonda Vaught conviction. Nurses are invited to attend the 71st annual conference of the National Association of Licensed Practical Nurses (NALPN). Read on for this week’s nursing news.

AACN announces Circle of Excellence Class of 2022 awards

A group of 16 nurses is set to receive a Circle of Excellence award from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).

According to AACN officials, the nurses have been chosen for their solution-oriented approaches to challenges, including reducing healthcare-associated infection rates, improving the work environment, and helping their organizations and communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the group of nurses are those who serve mentor roles and other leadership positions.

Criteria used to choose Circle of Excellence awardees include relentless promotion of patient-driven excellence; strong communication skills; true collaboration; effective decision-making; meaningful recognition of others; ability to transform thinking, structures and processes; and ability to address challenges and remove barriers to excellent patient care and achieve visible results through leadership.

The 2022 class includes:

  • Jennifer Bierbaum, director of nursing practice innovation, MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, Clinton, MD
  • Patricia Blissitt, neuroscience clinical nurse specialist, Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, WA
  • Maria Cielo Borrinaga, clinical nurse leader, VHA North Texas Dallas Medical Center
  • Chantal Branco, director, patient care services, medical-surgical ICU, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, PA
  • Turkeisha “Keisha” Brown, patient services manager III, UNC Health, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Stacy Caster, director, cath lab/endoscopy, Houston (TX) Methodist West Hospital
  • Stephanie Chmielewski, clinical nurse III, UC San Diego (CA) Health
  • Debra Farrell, clinical nurse IV, Duke University Hospital, Durham, NC
  • Joni Minor, unit director, University of Pittsburgh (PA) Medical Center
  • Evalyne, Mwangi, staff nurse, ChristianaCare, Newark, DE
  • Heather Pena, strategic services associate, Duke University Hospital, Durham, NC
  • Tasha Rose, patient services manager III, UNC Health, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Mary Sendin, clinical nurse specialist, Orlando (FL) Health
  • Denae Sims, director of critical care services, Odessa (TX) Regional Medical Center
  • Olena Svetlov, critical care clinical nurse specialist, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • Ben Valente, staff nurse, Durham (NC) VA Health Care System

“During these challenging times, these healthcare professionals demonstrate an exceptional commitment to achieving excellent outcomes in the care of acutely and critically ill patients and their families,” said Beth Wathen, president of the AACN, in a prepared statement. “The Circle of Excellence recipients are truly rooted in strength, charting a path toward a more equitable future in healthcare, one in which nurses are valued as the leaders they are. Their efforts ensure that every patient gets the excellent care they deserve and every nurse has the skills they need to provide that care.”

All award winners will be recognized during the AACN’s National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition in Houston, TX, May 16-18. The awards are supported by grants from Elsevier and Dale Medical Products.

Learn more about each nurse winner here.

Related: Leadership and Nursing Practice Courses

Penn Medicine art campaign honors nurses and healthcare workers

Officials at Penn Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, have unveiled a new digital art campaign that literally paints a picture of support for nurses and other healthcare professionals who have worked during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A collaboration that includes five local and national artists from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, the artwork is intended to express feelings of support and gratitude from the community for the incredible dedication that so many providers have shown during the pandemic.

These lively, creative pieces will be displayed on digital screens across Penn Medicine, as well as on the health system’s social media feeds (including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), and on the social media accounts of the participating artists.

The campaign can be followed on Penn Medicine’s social media channels (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) as well as via the hashtags #phillyheARTsyou, #ThankYouHealthcareWorkers, and #healthcareheroes.

Black Nurses Association supports Sickle Cell Expansion Act

Legislation that would improve access to treatment, medical care, and quality of life for people living with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) has gained support from the National Black Nurses Association Inc.

According to a recent press release, the Sickle Cell Care Expansion Act has been introduced by U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg, FL) and U.S. Representative Barbara Lee (D-California). The bill, H.R. 7177, specifically seeks to expand the National Health Services Corps (NHSC) to include the study of benign hematology.

“Like most rare diseases, sickle cell disease lacks the research and education needed to fully support healthcare providers who can properly diagnose and treat those afflicted with this terrible disease,” said Rep. Crist in a prepared statement. “Black Americans make up more than 80 percent of the population with sickle cell disease, and when combined with the poorer health outcomes already facing Black Americans, the lack of access to care compounds the injury. It’s time to right this wrong by boosting the number of medical professionals who specialize in treating sickle cell disease and raising awareness about the resources available for those with sickle cell–improving care for patients.”

The act would also expand the NHSC, which provides scholarships and loan repayment assistance as an incentive to attract healthcare providers to specialties where shortages exist, to provide scholarships and assistance to those studying benign hematology. Additionally, this legislation would create competitive grants to increase awareness about the disease and resources available to those living with the disease.

“Now is the time for Congress to provide critical funding to help alleviate the disproportionate burden of sickle cell disease on our communities by passing the Sickle Cell Care Expansion Act,” said Tammy Boyd, chief policy officer and counsel of Black Women’s Health Imperative. “In advancing this fundamental funding measure, we now have the opportunity to deliver the necessary treatment, education and investments to communities desperately in need, especially for people of color who are most impacted by this devastating disease.”

Sickle cell disease impacts approximately 100,000 people in the United States.

NLN and ANA release statement condemning RaDonda Vaught conviction

In response to the conviction of former nurse RaDonda Vaught related to her connection with a medication administration error that contributed to the death of an elderly patient, the National League for Nursing and the American Nurses Association, among other professional organizations, are speaking out what officials consider to be a dangerous association between healthcare errors and criminal guilt.

The best ways to address human medical error include astute management, close scrutiny, ongoing oversight, and continuous implementation of ever-evolving safeguards, according to NLN and ANA officials.

“The complexity of medicine today is reflected in the sophisticated, dynamic, high technology-driven environment that, given the high stakes of life and death decisions, not surprisingly, includes some level of risk,” write NLN officials in a prepared statement.

“In the delivery of care, processes may fail and mistakes occur,” officials write. “We believe it is vital to support a just culture where individuals are held accountable for misconduct or gross negligence, in an environment where individuals can report errors and organizations can improve processes to promote safe and quality health care delivery. Effective peer review resulting in disciplinary actions, and civil proceedings must be utilized to promote public safety, as well as to provide restitution for harm due to errors.”

“Nursing leaders have long been vocal about the priority to establish a culture of caring in all health care settings, from the largest university-affiliated medical centers to the humblest community-based health clinics treating underserved individuals and families,” the statement concludes. “Criminalizing healthcare errors threatens years of efforts to establish a just and caring culture.”

Related: Facing Legal and Ethical Issues in Nursing

National convention announced for LPNs and LVNs

Licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses are invited to attend the annual conference of the National Association of Licensed Practical Nurses (NALPN). The 71st annual event will be held Oct. 16-19 in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Topics of instruction will include delegation, legal reminders, documentation, and standard of practice. An awards banquet and the announcement of the NALPN’s new officers will also be a part of the event.

To register, visit the NALPN 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.

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