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Finding Your Voice

What a wonderful opportunity this year has been for me personally to be able to serve as your President. I have loved almost every moment of it. The NACNS Board of Directors and other leaders in our organization all seem to inspire, motivate, and challenge each other consistently to do their best. They have been a joy to work with to promote clinical nurse specialist (CNS) practice and education. Our new slate of officers begin at the end of the March 2005 NACNS convention and we welcome their expertise, energy, and commitment. I will continue as Immediate Past-President and look forward to working with the new team in a collaborative manner. It is clear that it "takes a village" to cover all the bases out there.


Pleasant surprises take many forms. One of them has been the regular e-mails I get from members about a variety of issues of concern to them about or affecting the CNS world. It is one of the best parts of my week to hear from members and it often stimulates thoughtful dialogue. We are working to enhance our Web site so that members can engage in e-discussions with each other and with the board so that we can continue to represent our members.


For those of us who are Steven Covey fans-he wrote the classic book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People-there is a new book just out describing the eighth habit.1 It could well have been written for CNSs and for our organization!! The eighth habit is this: find your voice and inspire others to find theirs. I highly encourage you to read this new work. Covey writes that so many people feel frustrated, discouraged, and undervalued. He proposes that the eighth habit will help people and organizations move from the effectiveness mentality to one of greatness. Finding and using our voices for empowering CNS practice and achieving high-quality CNS education is a desirable goal. Thank you for the opportunity I have had for service to the cause!!


NACNS Updates, Passing the Torch: New President-Elect Dr Kathy Baldwin

The NACNS Board of Directors is pleased to announce the board appointment of our new President-Elect, Dr Kathy Baldwin, made at the December 2004 Board meeting. Our Board faced a very unique decision when the current President-Elect Theresa Posani had to resign for personal reasons in the fall of 2004, thus necessitating the Board to appoint a replacement. Kathy has served NACNS as a board member for several years, was a member of the NACNS Statement on CNS Practice and Education (2004) committee, serves on the NACNS Conference Planning Committee, and is a coinvestigator on the Nurse Competence in Aging/Hartford Grant that NACNS was awarded. She is Associate Professor of Nursing and Director, Graduate Studies, at Texas Christian University (TCU), where she teaches CNS students. Her research program includes pressure ulcers and end-of-life care, including receiving the first ever research grant from the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel. She brings many gifts and talents to our organization. She "saw the light" and became a CNS after working as a nurse practitioner, completing both didactic and clinical courses to become a CNS!! Please join the board in welcoming our new President-Elect, who will take office as our new President in March 2005.


News From Our Affiliates

Oregon: The holidays were very quiet for our organization but January saw the re-initiation of our group activities with a general meeting and a presentation by Teresa Goodell, PhD, RN, CNS, CCRN, on her research topic "Predictors of Symptom Distress in Lung Cancer." Other issues of concern in Oregon is our new legislative session (active for creation of new bills only once every 2 years) and attempts to get a bill passed for prescriptive authority for those CNSs in the state who need it in order to practice to the full scope of their specialty. We will be gearing up in the near future and will pound the pavement in the political process to educate our legislators about the issues that CNSs in our state face on a daily basis. March will mean convention and many of the CNSs in Oregon will be attending and presenting at the convention. Hope to see you there!!


Kelly Goudreau, DSN, RN, CNS


Montana: The Montana Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (MACNS) was established in July of 2004 and is a loosely formed group of clinical nurse specialists who share common interests and concerns related to CNS practice and education. The purpose of our group is to promote the unique contributions clinical nurse specialists make to the rural individuals and communities and to advance the education of CNSs.


Our chapter has had the opportunity to become involved with the Montana State University College of Nursing on various educational issues related to their new Clinical Nurse Specialist programs in two focus areas, which includes (1) Adult Health: Care of Adults With Complex Acute and Chronic Health Problems and in Community/Public Health. These programs are both delivered by distance and this has afforded our chapter the chance to further advocate for CNS practice throughout the state of Montana. In addition, we have been working on chapter development and the recruitment of new members.


Katie Mackie


Committee Reports

The NACNS convention in March is a time when the numerous committees and subcommittees of the NACNS have an opportunity to meet and discuss many issues in a face-to-face format. This edition of the journal contains no reports from committees as they were all actively working on issues and agenda to discuss at the conference. The next edition of the newsletter will contain the outcomes of many of those committee meetings.


New Board Member Introductions

As the board cycles into a new year there will be new board members who will join us. It is the intention of the board that through this column each of them will be introduced in their new roles as they enter the board. This installment is the last in the list of the current 2004-2005 board. At the end of the conference in March the newly elected board members will assume their positions on the board and they will again be introduced to the members through this column to the membership. It is a pleasure to introduce the last of the "old" board members, albeit she is far from old!!


Theresa Murray is a director at large on the board. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Indiana University. Theresa has worked at Community Health Network for nearly 20 years in critical care, the last 10 as Critical Care CNS. Theresa has been a member of the NACNS board for the last 2 years, and hopes to be reelected to another 2-year term in the current elections. Theresa both chairs the practice committee and serves as the board liaison to that committee. The practice committee has been working on a number of issues related to practice, including the development of a brochure on CNS practice.


Clinically, Theresa supports several ICUs within the Community Health Network. Theresa has led innovations at Community such as the Rapid Response Model, a critical care nurse innovation that began in 1997. The implementation of the Rapid Response Model has led to virtual elimination of codes in the medical area. In addition, she has been instrumental in development of a network standard of care established for caring for patients on a ventilator. As a result the Community Health Network facilities have had a sustained reduction in VAP for more than 5 years. As of this writing, there are two units that have not had a VAP for all of 2004, virtually eradicating VAP. This exceptional clinical quality is a credit to Theresa, the bedside staff, and the strong support for multidisciplinary clinical quality improvement at Community Health Network.


News Briefs and Announcements

Expect to see a tremendous number of news briefs and announcements in the next edition of the newsletter as we report on the outcome of the annual conference. For now, enjoy the conference and the networking, learning, and many activities that are anticipated!!




1. Covey SR. The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness. New York: Free Press; 2004. [Context Link]