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Member Spotlight: An Interview With Kathi Salley Randall

Kathi Salley Randall, MSN, RNC, CNS, NNP-BC, is a clinical nurse specialist in the NICU at Riverside County Regional Medical Center in Moreno Valley, California. She is also the founder of Green NICU (, through which she helps neonatal intensive care units create a "greener" environment for babies and staff and for the earth. Kathi recently was recognized with the Andrea Ravinett Martin Strong Voice Award from the Breast Cancer Fund, an organization dedicated to reducing and eliminating preventable causes of breast cancer from exposure to hazardous environmental chemicals and radiation.


Kathi Salley Randall, MSN, RNC, CNS, NNP-BC, first realized that she enjoyed working with babies in her undergraduate maternity nursing rotation. During a summer mission trip to Baja, Mexico, she particularly remembers being amazed by the small size of premature twin infants who were traveling in an incubator to a hospital nearly 4 hours away and who required hand ventilation. So intense was her passion for neonatal nursing that, following her graduation in June 1994, when there were no NICU positions for new graduate nurses, she paid $600 for the privilege of shadowing a NICU nurse for 6 shifts. By November of that year, she was able to land her first position as a NICU staff nurse. Several years later, she earned her master's degree as a neonatal nurse practitioner.


Kathi's journey as an environmental advocate illustrates how each road chosen can lead to unanticipated opportunities that could never be orchestrated in advance. Kathi attributes her initial interest in environmental concerns to the culture of southern California, where she lives. She particularly remembers watching The Oprah Winfrey Show on Earth Day in April 2008, when the show's guest talked about how to be green at home. At the time Kathi thought, "Why aren't we being green at work?" She remembers thinking about her NICU, where everything was disposable and nothing was reusable or recyclable. She then began thinking of the chemicals commonly used in her NICU: shampoos, baby wipes, cleaning supplies, disinfectants. Her turning point came when she began to educate fellow nurses informally about the dangers of cosmetics and then, adding ideas from the "health care without harm" movement, put it all together for a presentation at a meeting of her NANN chapter in September 2008. Preparing the presentation organized and solidified her thinking on the topic. During the presentation, she remembers seeing the shock on the faces of her colleagues who had never before thought of their work environment in this way.


By December 2008, Kathi was representing NANN, neonatal nursing, and the neonatal perspective at a think tank meeting of nurses from nearly 50 different specialties and settings from schools to government agencies. It was at this meeting that she first learned about the Breast Cancer Fund. Distressing facts that stuck in her mind included the statistic that 1 of every 8 women develops breast cancer in her lifetime, yet less than 10% of these women have a family history of the disease. She learned that several chemicals present in the environment were not strictly regulated by the US government, despite their known associations with breast cancer, and that studies had shown nurses to be at higher risk for exposure to many of these chemicals. The presenter challenged the audience to speak aloud the names of people they knew who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. As the room erupted in noise, Kathi spoke aloud the names of 6 women, 3 of whom had not survived the disease. All were NICU nurses.

Kathi Salley Randall... - Click to enlarge in new windowKathi Salley Randall, MSN, RNC, CNS, NNP-BC, is a clinical nurse specialist in the NICU at Riverside County Regional Medical Center in Moreno Valley, California. She is also the founder of Green NICU (

Out of that meeting, the Alliance of Nurses for a Healthy Environment ( was created, and Kathi joined the new organization. From that point on, Kathi became an active supporter of the Breast Cancer Fund. Although she had never been a hiker or mountain climber, she made the decision to participate in the Climb Against the Odds event to raise awareness and money for the Breast Cancer Fund. As part of the training to climb northern California's Mt Shasta, a 14179-foot elevation, Kathi was also trained to be a "strong voice" advocate to educate others about why she was climbing. Following the climb, in which she raised more than $9000, she continued to speak for the Breast Cancer Fund and spread the word about its "State of the Evidence" document that compiles research results on the link between breast cancer and the environment. From this document, Kathi created a well-attended continuing education Web seminar for nurses. The success of this seminar encouraged the Breast Cancer Fund to reach out to other groups of women through that method. Kathi has also helped her local NANN chapter sponsor a LUNAfest Film Festival, a national traveling festival of short films by, for, and about women that benefits the Breast Cancer Fund.


Kathi's tireless efforts in advocating for greener NICU environments and her work in promoting the mission of the Breast Cancer Fund earned her a 2011 Breast Cancer Fund Hero Award, awarded annually to 3 people who help to prevent breast cancer. Kathi plans to continue to use her voice to spread the word about breast cancer prevention as well as work to promote greener NICU environments. In Kathi's words, "A baby's first environment shouldn't be toxic." She added that we must all work together to help women keep the prenatal and postnatal environments healthy for babies. Her mantra is that a green-centered NICU results in an environment that is "better for babies, better for you, and better for all."


NANN'S 27th Annual Educational Conference: "Exploring the Science and Practicing the Art of Neonatal Care"

NANN's annual educational conference adds breadth and depth to your continuing nursing education and lifelong learning. At this year's conference, being held September 14-17, 2011, at the Caribe Royale Hotel and Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, you will find innovations in neonatal clinical care, management, and research, including best practices and evidence-based recommendations. If you provide care for neonates and their families, you belong at this conference.

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You will not want to miss the premier national conference for neonatal nurses. Register before August 15 and save $100. Visit, and register today!


NANN Preconference Workshop: Neonatal Procedural Skills Lab

Receive 3.5 continuing nursing education (CNE) contact hours by attending the Neonatal Procedural Skills Lab, 1 of 7 preconference workshops offered at NANN's 2011 conference. The workshop will be held Wednesday, September 14, 1 to 5 PM.

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Lecturers:Sharon M. Glass, MS, ARNP, NNP-BC, Children's Hospital, Aurora, Colorado; Robin L. Bissinger, PhD, APRN, NNP-BC, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston; Ellen Tappero, DNP, RN, NNP-BC, Neonatology Associates, Ltd., Phoenix, Arizona.



Through lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on practice with an animal model, this workshop allows attendees to advance their knowledge and skills in umbilical-line insertion, chest-tube placement, and lumbar punctures.



For nurse practitioners, NNP students, expanded-role RNs, and transport nurses.


What Will I Learn?

By attending this workshop you will be able to


* discuss the indications, equipment required, preparation, and expected outcomes for umbilical-line insertion, chest-tube placement, and lumbar punctures.


* review x-ray confirmation of line or tube placement and potential complications.


* demonstrate procedural techniques that lead to competence according to the standards taught during the workshop by performing each procedure under direct supervision of an advanced practice nurse.





* Member: $219


* Student: $140


* Nonmember: $275


To register for the Neonatal Procedural Skills Lab, visit Already registered for the conference? Call 800.451.3795 to add it to your existing registration.


NANN'S Newest Member Benefit: The NANN Member Community at

NANN has launched a new member benefit-a private social network for NANN members only. In the community, you can


* interact with other NANN members.


* have better control and more options with Discussions (formerly called Listservs) that are threaded and searchable by topic.


* find old friends and colleagues-search by name, college, city, job setting.


* conduct committee business in a secure environment.


* use the searchable resource library to house documents securely without clogging your e-mail inbox.



Get started!


1. Visit the NANN Member Community at


2. When you have logged in (use your NANN Web site login), click on "Profile."


3. Upload your photo and update your e-mail address, biography, and education details.



For help logging in or updating your profile, contact NANN at


Product Spotlight: Neonatal Developmental Care Specialist Designation

NANN recognizes the importance of developmental care to optimal patient care. This recognition has led to the creation of a developmental care initiative aimed at providing the neonatal community with several educational and professional developmental tools. The Neonatal Developmental Care Specialist designation is one of these.

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The Specialist designation offers clinicians with developmental care experience an opportunity to apply and assess their knowledge through the completion of a 100-item test. The test includes both cognitive assessment questions and scenario-based cases. See what a recent recipient of the Neonatal Developmental Care Specialist designation had to say about her experience:


* What motivated you to pursue the Developmental Care Specialist designation? To give my patients the best care they deserve on the basis of current evidence. Practicing for more than 20 years in the NICU, I have seen plenty of changes, some with great promise that proved to be disappointing and others that evolved into our current standard of care. I just want to stay current in my practice and model the way for other nurses.


* How did you prepare for the examination (the Developmental Care of Newborns and Infants textbook, CNE modules, self-assessment test, or other), and what recommendations would you offer to others who are considering obtaining the designation? I read the book and completed the CNE modules. The book was great-it provided all the evidence in one place. Each chapter covered a certain aspect of care and presented current evidence-based practice. My advice is to complete the self-assessment tool and base your decision on how you feel you best prepare for any testing situation. I wanted to read the book and complete the CNE modules so I knew I was not missing anything.


* What factors influenced your choice of study tools? NANN recommended the book and CNE modules. I completed the self-assessment tool but felt I needed the book and modules to validate that I had all the current information.



To learn more about the Neonatal Developmental Care Specialist designation and to purchase study tools, visit