AAACN Celebrates 38th Annual Conference

A strong education program drew over 700 nurses to the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN) 38th Annual Conference, April 23-26, 2013, in Las Vegas, NV. Attendees advanced their practice and skills with clinical, management, and leadership sessions. Hot topics this year included the latest on care coordination and patient-centered medical homes.

Another important aspect of the conference was addressed at the popular town hall meeting: patient and nurse wellness. Attendees learned about wellness in the ambulatory care setting and shared their thoughts and initiatives on taking care of both their patients and themselves.

The pre- and post-conference workshops and educational opportunities were also a hit. Nurses explored the work and workflows in ambulatory practice, learned how to write for publication, prepared for certification with the Ambulatory Care Nursing Certification Review Course, and polished their telehealth skills with the Telehealth Nursing Practice Core Course (TNPCC).

The AAACN conference highlights include:

  • Susan M. Paschke, MSN, RN-BC, NEA-BC, was inducted as the 2013-2014 AAACN president.
  • Attendees raved about “Why Courage?,” the keynote address by Virginia R. Beeson, MSN, NEA-BC. Beeson explored courage as a leadership skill and provided several suggestions on how to become a more courageous leader.
  • The AAACN silent auction on Tuesday, April 23, raised $4,600 for the scholarship and research grant program.

Awards and scholarships were presented during the opening ceremonies on Tuesday:

  • President’s Above and Beyond Award is the highest award and given to an individual who exceeds the expectations of a volunteer role. It went to Margarita Gore, MBA, BSN, RN-BC, from the Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ.
  • Excellence Awards, sponsored by the Anthony J. Jannetti, Inc. Nursing Economic$ Foundation, given to AAACN members who personify administrative and clinical excellence in ambulatory care, were awarded. The Administrative Excellence Award was given to Sharon Holland, RN-BC; Scott and White Healthcare, Temple, TX and the Clinical Excellence Award went to Beth Ann McMurtry, RN-BC, CDE, HC; Scott and White Healthcare, Temple, TX.
  • 2012 ViewPoint Writer’s Award, given for the outstanding article published in the association’s official newsletter, ViewPoint, went to Sarah Muegge, MSN, RN-BC, of Cox Health, Springfield, MO. She was recognized for her article, “Practice the Right ‘Rights:’ A Strategy Promoting Effective Immunization Delivery.” It was published in the September/October 2012 issue.
  • Conference Scholarships to provide financial assistance to attend the AAACN conference went to Diane Lapars, LPN, of the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH and Kathleen Martinez, BSN, RN, CPN, from Children’s Hospital, Aurora, CO.
  • New Certification Scholarship: A $1,000 certification scholarship will be instituted in Baker Laughlin’s honor and awarded annually to a nurse member seeking certification. The scholarship will cover the exam fee, study materials, and other expenses related to achieving certification. Members who wish to apply for this new scholarship can download the application form from the AAACN Website. The deadline for all award and scholarship applications is November 15, 2013.

Full conference attendees have indefinite online access to conference recordings and handouts in the AAACN Online Library. In addition, conference registration for each attendee includes Online Library access for two colleagues. Nurses who were unable to attend the conference can purchase access to the full conference in the Online Library or individual sessions at the end of June. For more information about accessing conference content, visit

The AAACN 39th Annual Conference will be May 19-22, 2014, at the Marriott New Orleans, in New Orleans, LA. Poster abstracts are now being accepted.

[From the June/July 2013 issue of AnswerStat magazine]