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Sigma Theta Tau, the Honor Society of Nursing, has launched Nursing Knowledge International (NKI), a new, nonprofit organization for nurses all over the world. Through its Web site,, the organization will deliver nursing knowledge designed to improve patient outcomes by enhancing the knowledge base of its nurse customers. The site is designed to be a one-stop resource for nurses to learn or practice evidence-based nursing, develop their careers, increase leadership skills, and earn continuing education credits.


NKI allows users to customize their experience of the Web site and so each nurse is free to develop her/his own questions and intentions through high-touch, nurse-supported customer service using Microsoft's Commerce Server and customer relationship management infrastructure. Searches conducted through NKI will yield very specific results. Whether a nurse is looking for knowledge to help a patient or to continue her/his education, the right materials will be readily available.


Evidence-based nursing content will ensure that the best research, expertise, and patient preferences have been taken into account and translated into clinical application. Content is nursing-specific, developed by schools of nursing, nursing associations, and healthcare organizations, each committed to nursing as a profession and better patient outcomes as a goal. Solutions-oriented knowledge from sources spanning clinical practice, academia, and research serve both the educational and professional development needs of nurses.


The site is organized not as a "laundry list" of products and services, but offers comprehensive solutions based on search criteria from an advanced delivery platform. For example, approximately 11 million working nurses worldwide, including more than 2.5 million in the United States, need to continue their education to maintain licenses (32 states in the United States require continuing education for nurses), maintain certifications, and uphold employment terms. However, searching the Web for a pertinent article or a specific continuing education course can be frustrating and confusing. Online searches for "nursing continuing education" yield massive results, and it's difficult to wade through the different options. NKI's search tool will categorize and list classes, related articles, and other solution offerings.


NKI has established partnerships with nursing associations, publishers, universities, and other companies that produce healthcare books, continuing education material, journals, research papers, teaching products, and other forms of nursing content. Numerous organizations have agreed to collaborate with NKI, including American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, American Psychiatric Nurses Association, American Society of Ophthalmic Registered Nurses, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, Infusion Nurse Society, Oncology Nursing Society, Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing Society, and the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association.


Featured products at the site include CareeRxel, the first online, multimodule professional development program, offered in six Web-based sessions; Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, a quarterly, peer-reviewed evidence-based nursing journal available in print and online, presenting original research and synthesizing existing studies to arrive at best practice recommendations for clinicians, educators, and administrators; and Excellence in Nursing Knowledge, an online newsletter sharing the most recent developments in clinical practice, research, education, and management.


Established in 2002 as a nonprofit organization to serve the knowledge needs of the global nursing community, NKI's long-term vision is to become a key source for evidence-based nursing knowledge, resources, and practice guidelines.





The UK's NMAP subject gateway (, launched April 2001, provides free access to evaluated, quality Internet resources aimed at students, researchers, academics, and practitioners in the fields of nursing, midwifery and allied health professions. NMAP is part of the BIOME service (, which comprises six subject gateways covering the field of health and life sciences, and is freely available to anyone with Internet access. NMAP is provided by a team of information professionals and subject specialists, including partners from the CSP, RCM, RCN, and University of the West of England, with the core team based at the University of Nottingham.


The NMAP database currently holds more than 3000 records, which may be searched by keyword or browsed by MeSH and RCN thesaurus terms or National Library of Medicine subject headings. In addition, the NMAP homepage provides access to two free tutorials from the Virtual Training Suite ( The "Internet for Allied Health" and "Internet for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting" tutorials were written by members of the NMAP team, and are designed to teach Internet information-seeking skills to students, lecturers, and practitioners of these professions, and to identify some key resources in these fields.


In response to user feedback and increasing usage of the service, BIOME recently introduced a number of changes to its search interface. New features include the ability to carry out wildcard searching and sort results by a range of options. A new content management system has also been introduced, enabling greater accessibility, sharing, and integration with other information tools. As a result, the NMAP team can now offer a free NMAP Search Box, easily installed and enabling direct access to the NMAP database from your Web site.


Further information about the NMAP service is available from, and details of how to include a link to NMAP from your own Web site can be found at The NMAP team welcomes feedback and suggestions for inclusions in the NMAP database, and users can submit details of quality resources they would like to see added by following the "Submit" link from the homepage.





The Pew Internet & American Life Project has found that more than 53 million American adults have used the Internet to publish their thoughts, respond to others, post pictures, share files, and otherwise contribute to the explosion of content available online.


While Web logs (blogs) or personal online journals have captured the attention of the technology community, most of those who have made contributions have done so in less cutting-edge ways. Here are some of the things American adult Internet users have done:


* 21% have posted photographs to Web sites


* 17% have posted written material on Web sites


* 13% maintain their own Web sites


* 8% have contributed material to Web sites run by their businesses


* 7% have Web cams running on their computers, which allow other Internet users to see live pictures of them and their surroundings


* 3% have contributed video files to Web sites.



Pew Internet Project 2003 and 2004 polls of Internet users have shown that somewhere between 2% and 7% of American Internet users have created blogs and about 11% of Internet users are blog readers. These are not hugely impressive figures, but they are hardly trivial. They mean that anywhere from 3 million to nearly 9 million Americans have created these diaries.


Online content creators are evenly divided between men and women. They are especially likely to be students, to have broadband connections at home, and to enjoy high levels of education and household income.


The report, entitled "Content Creation Online," argues that the most eager and productive content creators break into three distinct groups:


* Power creators are the Internet users who are most enthusiastic about content-creating activities. They are young-their average age is 25-and they are more likely than other kinds of creators to do things like use instant messaging, play games, and download music. And they are the most likely group to blog.


* Older creators have an average age of 58 and are experienced Internet users. They are highly educated, enjoy sharing pictures, and are the most likely of the creator groups to have built their own Web sites. They are also the most likely to have used the Internet for genealogical research.


* Content omnivores are among the heaviest overall users of the Internet. Most are employed. Most log on frequently and spend considerable time online doing a variety of activities. They are likely to have broadband connections at home. The average age of this group is 40.



Although content creation is usually a small and personal act, its impact is beginning to be felt on a larger stage.


"Beyond the pure fun of creating something to share with others locally or globally, the Internet is living up to its promise to empower the individual," said Amanda Lenhart, research specialist at the project and the lead author of the report. "The world is changing in major ways when anyone with a modem can do the same thing as the most sprawling media company, the most powerful politician, or highest-paid entertainer. The online commons is full of virtual chatter and teeming with self-made content. It ranges from the simplest vanities like pictures of 'me and my puppy' to the most profound kinds of political argument-and everything in between."


The Pew Internet & American Life Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that examines the social impact of the Internet. It is funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and does not advocate any policy outcomes.


For the full text of the report, please visit





The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) recently released Simulators in Critical Care and Beyond, the first textbook on concepts and applications in critical care medicine simulator education.


The book is designed for educators of critical care physicians, nurses, and paramedical personnel. Crisis team training concepts are thoroughly developed within the book, making it applicable to simulation-based education in medicine and surgery.


"Simulator education represents a revolution in education within the intensive care unit (ICU). It holds great promise for creating safer training environs for physicians learning to treat future patients in medical crises," commented Editor William F. Dunn, MD. "Simulators provide a more conservative approach to medical training than the current apprentice model, which gives medical residents bedside responsibility beginning on their first day of training."


Increased evidence that medical simulation reduces patient risk when training physicians and allied healthcare staff made the publishing of Simulators in Critical Care and Beyond an SCCM priority. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) drew attention to healthcare training and quality of care when it reported that approximately 100,000 unnecessary patient deaths occur annually because of adverse events in American hospitals. Many of these events take place in the ICU.


The book addresses a wide array of simulation techniques including simulated patients, mannequin human patient simulators, task-trainers, and others. These devices are similar in concept to flight simulators, a well-established mechanism of aviation instruction.


Simulators in Critical Care and Beyond covers the following aspects of simulated medical education:


* Advantages of simulation over conventional medical educational techniques


* The function of simulation-based education in the patient safety arena


* Literature review of simulation-based education in critical care and other specialties


* Usefulness of simulation in nursing and allied health medical education


* Why the critical care environment is uniquely suited for simulation-based education and educational outcome-based research


* Technical resources, Web sites, and institutions with additional information on simulation-based education


* Advantages of a multidisciplinary simulation center and the necessary steps to create one.



Dr Dunn and the book's authors strongly believe that medical simulation training offers lessons and applications for the future education of intensivists, critical care nurses, respiratory therapists, and others working within the risk-laden ICU environment.


Written by leading experts and edited by William F. Dunn, associate professor of medicine and director of the Mayo multidisciplinary critical care fellowship at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, this comprehensive textbook on simulators in critical care education will help guide the future of simulated medical education.


To order, call SCCM customer service at 847-827-6888 or order online at





When the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey (VNACJ), a nonprofit Home Health Agency, was facing a major upgrade to its electronic patient medical record platform, it needed a fast and painless way to train 500 nurses, therapists, and support staff over a short period to ensure that there were no disruptions in patient care. ePath Learning, Inc, a developer of browser-based Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS), was chosen to assist the 92-year-old healthcare institution. The VNACJ provides in-home healthcare, hospice services, and extensive community-based health and wellness services to more than 500,000 patients and clients each year.


In 1998, the VNACJ successfully implemented an integrated clinical, financial, and scheduling software package to 200 office-based staff and 275 point-of-care laptop users, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and physical therapists. In 2002, the VNACJ needed to implement a new version of the clinical component of the agency's overall software platform and quickly train its entire field and support staff. The complexity of the rollout required extensive training for all users; consequently, the VNACJ had to train, implement, and support an upgrade that would require users to start using the new version in a live environment on the same day. In order to accomplish this, the training plan called for all users to be educated in as short a period as possible. The VNACJ decided that a unique, blended approach-a combination of both online and in-class coursework- would be the most effective method to minimize disruption to patients. The agency's premise was that if a strategic overview could be delivered and tested online prior to classroom instruction, the in-class portion could focus more on specific questions regarding application usage.


"The key return on investment was realized by the savings associated with the reduction of overall classroom training, a significant decrease in customer calls to our Help Desk, a reduction in the cost of hard copy training materials, and the speed of deployment which allowed our nursing staff to return to patient care in a much shorter timeframe," said Cyndi Leed, VNACJ manager of Clinician Information Systems. Recently, the VNACJ utilized ePath Learning's unique ASP delivery model to develop and execute another course in patient care, which has proved to have saved the VNACJ almost $10,000. In a VNACJ postcourse evaluation, four out of five respondents said that the course was beneficial to their overall training.


The initial VNACJ training plan required clinicians to take an hour-long eLearning course and posttest prior to attending classroom training. The users were not admitted to classroom training if the eLearning course and test were not complete. The users took the course approximately 2 weeks before their scheduled classroom training on their laptops or home PC.


ePath Learning ASAP is Web-enabled and takes advantage of universal Internet protocols and browsers; consequently, there are no concerns over differences in platforms and operating systems. Since ePath Learning content is housed in a database, the information can be queried and reported, including detailed statistics on test results, which enabled VNACJ trainers to tailor the classroom curriculum based on test score trends.


For more information on ePath Learning's training systems, visit





Global Hauri, maker of real-time virus eradication software and publisher of ViRobot antivirus software, has released LiveCall Suite, a security tool to prevent fraud and identity theft for any online transaction. With LiveCall, a bank or Internet retailer (e-tailer) will be able to assess the potential security threat of a client PC. The bank or e-tailer will allow critical transactions only if the client computer is clear of any malicious code or will advise the client to clean the PC before a transaction is allowed. Hauri developed LiveCall to address the problem of increased identity theft through keystroke-tracking programs known as "Trojans" on users' PCs.


When a user logs on to a Web site to purchase goods or carry out banking transactions, a small program downloads to the user's PC and checks for any Trojans. LiveCall controls this application from a server at the other end of the Web connection and not only looks for typical Trojan behavior, such as recording keystrokes, listening in on communications, or accessing a network, it also effects a complete memory scan. When LiveCall finds a Trojan, it blocks the transaction and offers to remove it from the client's PC before continuing.


Online transactions have been increasing rapidly as more companies encourage customers to conduct business over the Internet. Many of these companies have invested heavily in security technology to protect connections to clients' computers. Typically, it is difficult for hackers to gain access to bank networks because of encrypted data transfer, but commandeering a client's PC by "backdooring" renders the bank or merchant vulnerable. Identity theft such as key logging uses a method for keystroke listening at the input/output stage, allowing hackers to receive key logging information from the victim's computer before data are encrypted. Although it is not practical for a bank to expect all its online customers to have PCs updated with the latest antivirus scans and firewalls, the LiveCall provider can further offer an optional cleaning service to the client.


Hauri's LiveCall capabilities could also be used by ISPs to keep home PCs clean of this kind of threat. This product hit the market only weeks before a new California law took effect on July 1, which requires companies nationwide to alert their California customers if hackers or employees steal information that could be used for identity theft.


Global Hauri's technology won this year's The Best Awards Software at RetailVision spring 2004, following Hauri's recent entrance into Microsoft Virus Information Alliance (MS VIA) as a security provider. Global Hauri's flagship ViRobot Expert antivirus software has been awarded the Trojan Checkmark and "Antivirus Level 1 and 2" certification by West Coast Labs, one of the most respected independent IT security organizations in the world. ViRobot Expert has also been awarded the "VB 100%" for Windows XP by the Virus Bulletin.


Global Hauri is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hauri, Inc, and develops and distributes Hauri antivirus solutions to the United States, Canada, and Western Hemisphere. For more information, visit their Web site at





The Kaiser Family Foundation is expanding its health policy analysis and information resources by launching kaiserEDU, a new online resource for the academic community.


The free service, now online at, was developed specifically for use by faculty and students across the country who are interested in health policy. kaiserEDU provides a range of information-compiled from the foundation's own work as well as that of the larger health policy and research community-that can be used as an integral part of an academic course or as an additional source for independent research.


"Through this site we hope to encourage interest by young people in health policy and support educators who are hoping to develop the next generation of health policy leaders," said Drew E. Altman, PhD, president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation.


Current resources examine such subjects as the Medicare prescription drug benefit, health coverage for the uninsured, Medicaid, medical errors, and nursing shortages. In the next few months, kaiserEDU will add material on topics such as HIV/AIDS, racial disparities, long-term care, women's health, and private health insurance.


Bringing together the most recent policy analysis, news, academic literature, historical information, public opinion research, and Webcasts and multimedia presentations, kaiserEDU materials can serve as virtual textbooks providing real-time information on policy issues and debates. These online modules were designed so that professors can easily assign some or all of them as reading/viewing for their students' coursework. Faculty and students can also use them as a resource for research projects.


kaiserEDU features include the following:


* Issue Modules, focusing on specific policy issues and featuring key sources of data; the latest proposals and analysis; links to the academic literature, news, and public opinion; and Webcasts. Modules include The New Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit; Expanding Health Coverage for the Uninsured; Reducing Medical Errors; and Addressing the Nursing Shortage


* Syllabus Library, containing syllabi from health policy-related courses from across the country


* Tutorials, using multimedia presentations to educate users on policy topics and research methods


* Reference Libraries, providing bibliographies and background information on broad health policy topic areas



The Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit, private operating foundation dedicated to providing information and analysis on healthcare issues to policymakers, the media, the healthcare community, and the general public. The foundation is not associated with Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries.





Diana Russell, MSN, RN, vice president of patient care services at El Camino Hospital, has been recognized by Eclipsys Corporation as a nurse leader in healthcare technology at the April 2004 American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) Annual Meeting & Exposition in Phoenix, AZ.


As part of its "Year of the Nurse" initiative, Eclipsys sponsored the Leadership in Nursing Informatics Award to recognize nurse leaders who demonstrate leadership in using information technology to advance patient care and improve nursing workflow. As a key information technology decision maker, Russell engaged the nursing staff in the evaluation and selection of clinical solutions, spearheaded the use of wireless technologies, and led the implementation of bar coding patient arm bands. Currently, she is leading the evaluation of a template-based patient documentation tool. In addition, she has established a patient safety committee and directs the quality assurance and utilization department in an effort to evaluate clinical pathways and manage treatment costs using technology.


El Camino Hospital, a not-for-profit hospital in Mountain View, CA, is located on a 41-acre campus in the heart of Silicon Valley. Consistently ranked as a leading hospital in the area, El Camino Hospital recently received a prestigious three-star ranking in the Patients' Evaluation of Performance in California survey. The hospital has received national recognition for several pioneering programs, including cardiac treatments, radiation oncology, and maternity.


Regarded as a pioneer in healthcare technology, El Camino Hospital was the first to implement computerized physician order entry in 1971. Through the use of Eclipsys' software solutions, El Camino Hospital has demonstrated improved patient safety and reduced costs. The hospital reported a 250% increase in clinical interventions-the number of times a clinical pharmacist has the opportunity to intervene in the drug ordering process to prevent an adverse error-between 2002 and 2003.





In March 2004, Florida International University School of Nursing (FIU SoN) received a $1.4 million Department of Labor (DOL) grant to help expand the New Americans in Nursing program.


The $1.4 million grant-along with an additional $500,000 in scholarship funding from Hospital Corporation of America's (HCA's) East Florida Division-will be used to expand the FIU SoN's New Americans in Nursing program. This program is the only one of its kind in the country to tap an existing, underutilized source of medical skill and knowledge-foreign-educated physicians living in the United States but not practicing medicine-and retrain them to become nurses.


New Americans in Nursing is an accelerated education program that graduates students with their bachelor of science degree in nursing in only 11/2 years, as opposed to the traditional 4-year program. Students are able to transfer prior medical school credits in select subject matters, and then proceed through a five-semester curriculum of didactic coursework, clinicals, and community projects designed to facilitate the transition from medical to nursing practice. Additionally, the program serves to increase diversity in the nursing workforce. The DOL grant will enhance the program by ensuring its availability for a fourth straight year, expanding class size from 60 to 100 students, implementing a long-distance education curriculum for students in Orlando, FL, and providing scholarships to cover full-tuition expenses.


Since the program first launched in May 2002 with private funding from HCA East Florida Division, Kendall Regional Medical Center, Cedars Medical Center, and Mercy Hospital, nearly 1,000 candidates have applied for the three available class cohorts. It successfully graduated its inaugural class of 32 students in December 2003, and is expected to graduate an additional 60 students this coming December. Upon graduation, the students will fulfill multiyear work commitments at partner hospitals associated with this program.


For more information on the program, visit