Preventing Pressure Injuries Among ICU Patients With COVID-19 Requires Extra Vigilance

Patients who are critically ill with COVID-19 are at exceptionally high risk for developing healthcare-associated pressure injuries, especially those related to medical devices, and clinicians must consider additional factors beyond those assessed with common classification tools.

Nurse-led Initiatives Improve Cardiac Care in Underserved Communities

Nurses at nine hospitals developed initiatives to address diverse healthcare challenges in their cardiac surgery critical care or progressive care units, with noteworthy clinical and operational results.

AACN Study Underscores Pandemic Damage and the Benefits of Healthy Work Environments

Results from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses’ national survey of 9,000-plus nurses underscore the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on nurses and the benefits of creating healthy work environments to support nurse staffing, retention and optimal patient care.

Assessing Cognitive Function at Hospital Discharge Helps Identify Post-ICU Needs

Researchers at Montefiore Medical Center found that about 30% of ICU survivors could not complete a simple screening assessment for cognitive impairment at hospital discharge. About 47% of those who were able to complete the assessment scored at a level consistent with severe cognitive impairment.

SBAR Tool Adds Structure to ICU Communication

Duke University Medical Center improved communication and collaboration between nurses and advanced practice providers in an ICU, with a standardized template to guide conversations. The effort also contributed to an improved sense of teamwork and other unexpected positive outcomes.

Transition to ENFit Connectors Presents Opportunity to Review Feeding Tube Protocols

Variations in practice and outdated protocols related to nasogastric feeding tubes can impact patient safety and lead to complications. U.S. healthcare organizations are currently transitioning to a new type of connectors, which provides an opportune time to review feeding tube insertion and care processes.

AACN Critical Care Conference Brings Together Thousands of Nurses for Education, Inspiration

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) brings together thousands of progressive and critical care nurses and other healthcare professionals who care for acutely and critically ill patients and their families during its National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI, #NTI2022), with the theme “Rooted in Strength.”

Nurse, Heal Thyself – Spiritual Practices in the Midst of a Pandemic

For nurses on the frontline, the COVID-19 pandemic has been especially disparaging, challenging and even life altering. Nurses have worked extremely long hours faced not only with the excessive, increased number of deaths of their patients, who were dying alone, but also grieved the loss of coworkers. Researchers explored the use of spirituality and religion in nurses on the frontline as a way to find purpose and meaning in life, especially during times of heightened stress and uncertainty.

COVID-19 Pulmonary, ARDS and Ventilator Resources Now Available in Spanish

A joint effort between the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses and projects funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development has made AACN’s free “COVID-19 Pulmonary, ARDS and Ventilator Resources” online course available in Spanish.

Recursos sobre COVID-19, SDRA y Ventilación Ahora disponible en español

Un esfuerzo conjunto entre la Asociación Americana de Enfermeras de Cuidados Críticos (AACN) y los proyectos financiados por la Agencia de los Estados Unidos para el Desarrollo Internacional (USAID) ha hecho posible que el curso en línea gratuito de la AACN “Recursos sobre COVID-19, SDRA y Ventilación” esté disponible en español.

AACN Offers Scholarships for CCRN, PCCN Certification Applicants

Contributions from PBATS and MLBTPA fund special scholarships for nurses ready to pursue CCRN or PCCN certification. This is the first time AACN professional development scholarships have been available to support its nursing certification programs.

Growing Use of Mechanical Circulatory Support Affects Clinician Well-Being, Moral Distress

The growing use of mechanical circulatory support may contribute to high levels of moral distress for clinicians who regularly care for ICU patients receiving the aggressive but life-sustaining therapy, according to a study by researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

Proning Team Became Key Part of Massachusetts General’s COVID-19 Care

A designated proning team — composed of about 70 OR nurses, OR assistants and outpatient physical therapists — became a key part of the COVID-19 care provided by Massachusetts General Hospital, responding around-the-clock to patients who needed turning and allowing critical care clinicians to focus on other aspects of care.

Fast-track Extubation Protocol Reduces Ventilation Time

High rates of variability in extubation times among cardiac surgery patients in Duke University Hospital’s cardiothoracic intensive care unit led to a new fast-track extubation protocol and redesigned care processes. As a result, more patients were extubated within six hours after being admitted to the ICU after surgery.

New AACN CSI Academy Cohort at 10 Hospitals Focuses on Underserved Patient Populations

Thanks to a grant from Edwards Lifesciences Foundation, nurses caring for underserved critically ill cardiac patients at 10 U.S. hospitals will participate in a cardiac-focused cohort of AACN Clinical Scene Investigator (CSI) Academy, a nurse leadership and innovation program from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses selects OSU’s Happ as 2021 Distinguished Research Lecturer

Mary Beth Happ, from The Ohio State University College of Nursing, is the 40th recipient of AACN’s Distinguished Research Lecture award. Her research focuses on improving care and communication with communication-impaired patients, families and clinicians in high acuity and critical care settings.

Nurse-Driven Initiative Cuts CAUTI Rates in the ICU

An initiative at UPMC Williamsport used education and practice-related interventions to quickly reduce CAUTI rates and lay the groundwork for hospital-wide implementation with long-term impact. The bundle included a daily checklist and nurse-driven removal protocol for discontinuing indwelling catheter use.

Study: Race Made No Difference in ICU Outcomes of COVID-19 Patients

In a study that looked at racial differences in outcomes of COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit, researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit found that patients of color had a lower 28-day mortality than white patients.

Race, however, was not a factor in overall hospital mortality, length of stay in the ICU or in the rate of patients placed on mechanical ventilation, researchers said.

The findings, published in Critical Care Medicine, are believed to be one of the first in the United States to study racial differences and outcomes specific to patients hospitalized in the ICU with COVID-19.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Announces Recipients of 2021 Circle of Excellence Awards

The 18 nurses who receive the Circle of Excellence award from AACN this year demonstrate an exceptional commitment to achieving excellent outcomes in the care of acutely and critically ill patients and their families, with solution-oriented approaches to challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mealer, Moss Receive AACN Award for Efforts to Reduce Burnout Among Critical Care Clinicians

Meredith Mealer, PhD, RN, and Marc Moss, MD, from the University of Colorado School of Medicine, receive the 2021 AACN Pioneering Spirit Award in recognition of their collaborative work over the past 20 years to improve the mental health of healthcare workers, especially nurses.

Vanderbilt, Zambia Researchers Find Delirium in Hospitalized Patients Linked to Mortality, Disability in Sub-Saharan Africa

Delirium, a form of acute brain dysfunction, is widespread in critically ill patients in lower resourced hospitals, and the duration of delirium predicted both mortality and disability at six months after discharge, according to a study published in PLOS ONE.

Nurses Key to Reducing Stress for Families of ICU Patients

Nurses play a crucial role in helping to reduce the stress experienced by family members of critically ill patients, according to an article in Critical Care Nurse. A review of relevant research studies (2007-2019) found that, regardless of the patient’s age, family members’ stress fell into four main categories.

Post-ICU Interviews Reveal Outcomes Important to Patients, Families

A Penn Medicine study in American Journal of Critical Care offers insights into patients’ and families’ priorities for quality metrics during the ICU stay and postdischarge outcomes. Researchers conducted interviews with individual ICU survivors, as well as family caregivers of patients who survived and of patients who died.

AACN CSI Academy Expands to Support Underserved Populations With Grant From Edwards Lifesciences Foundation

A $200,000 grants from Edwards Lifesciences Foundation will support the expansion of the AACN CSI Academy nurse leadership and innovation program to 10 cardiac surgery critical care and/or progressive care units that provide care to a significant proportion of patients from underserved populations, with an emphasis on Black communities.

Informatics Approach Helps Reveal Risk Factors for Pressure Injuries

Researchers used informatics to examine 5,000+ patient records and five years of data related to nursing skin assessments and hospital-acquired pressure injuries. The results underscore the importance of treating and monitoring irritated skin early and eliminating the cause as an important step to prevent pressure injuries.

AACN-funded Research Influences Nursing Practice

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses invites clinicians and nurse scientists to submit research projects by Oct. 30, 2020, for the next application cycle, with total available funding of $160,000. The most recent recipients and their projects exemplify AACN’s commitment to nurse-driven research and evidence-based practice.

Statement: Science Must Drive Clinical Practice, Public Health Policy

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has released a position statement calling for all healthcare decision-making to be anchored in the best scientific evidence available. The statement reinforces nursing professionals’ commitment to following the best evidence possible to provide care for patients and families.