Promoting and Participating in Advocacy

Promoting and Participating in Advocacy

Swan, Beth Ann

For the last few years, AAACN has offered nurses’ week products. The slogan on the products proclaims, “Ambulatory nurses are everywhere caring for you.” The same can be said about our organization and our members – AAACN members are everywhere advocating for ambulatory nursing.


Advocacy is defined as “the act of speaking of or disseminating information intended to influence individual behavior or opinion, or policy and law” (American Heritage Dictionary, 2000, p. 26). For our professional organization, this involves representing AAACN by articulating the mission and supporting the organization’s message. Over the past 8 months, our members have represented AAACN at a variety of venues across the country. This President’s Message will provide a snapshot of all the advocacy activities that our volunteer leaders participated in and how they promoted AAACN and ambulatory care nursing. These activities support our organization’s Coal 3 – Advocacy: “Nurses, employers, and third party payers will recognize and value ambulatory care nursing.” The objectives of this goal are to increase recognition of the value of ambulatory care nursing by nurses, employers, and schools of nursing; establish and maximize alliances and relationships with other organizations; and work toward increasing reimbursement of ambulatory care nursing services by third party payers (AAACN, 2004).

AAACN members serve on national panels:

* Johnetta James serves on the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization’s Professional and Technical Advisory Committee OCAHO PTAC) for ambulatory care standards. PTACs are an integral part of JCAHO’s advisory structure. PTAC members, who represent a diverse group of national health care organizations, assist the joint Commission in developing and refining accreditation standards and scoring guidelines.

* Cynthia Marquardt and Charlene Williams serve on the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Content Expert Panel related to ambulatory certification test development.

* Janie McKenzie and Eugene Charles Young represented AAACN on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s (NCSBN) registered nurse panel of experts on continued competencies.

* AAACN is an Alliance Organization of the Americans for Nursing Shortage Relief (ANSR) and was one of the host organizations at the recent congressional briefing in May 2006 on the economic value of nursing attended by Cyndee Nowicki Hnatiuk. The ANSR Alliance is comprised of 51 national nursing organizations that united in 2001 to identify and promote creative strategies for addressing the nursing and nurse faculty shortages, including passage of the Nurse Reinvestment Act of 2002 – an important first step in increasing the number of qualified nurses in America.

* Becky Eggleston represented AAACN at the November 2006 American Journal of Nursing’s Stakeholders meeting. Participants at this meeting developed a master tactical implementation plan for America’s nurses to respond to From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in the Transition – a comprehensive report and recommendations issued from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Research Council in late 2005.

* Karen Griffin is on the advisory panel for HCPm, an organization that provides information to the health care compliance, regulation, and management industry.

* AAACN is a member of the Nursing’s Organization Alliance and contributed data to its recent Benchmarking Survey.

* AAACN was invited to serve as a consultant by Dr. jeannette Daly, University of Iowa, on a recent Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) proposal submission on practice-based research networks (PBRN).

* Beth Ann Swan serves on the Steering Committee of the National Quality Forum (NQF) for standardizing ambulatory care performance measures.

* AAACN is advocating for a seat on the ANCC Magnet Commission to represent ambulatory care (outcome pending).

AAACN members presented and/or staffed exhibit booths at the following national meetings:

* Regina Conway Phillips, Children’s National Medical Center’s Pediatric Ambulatory Nursing Conference, invited by AAACN member Vannesia Morgan-Smith.

* Charlene Williams, Physician Referral.

* Margarita Gore, American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE).

* Karen Griffin, Emergency Nurses Association (ENA).

* Stacy Humphrey, Louisiana State University Health Science Center.

* Marianne Sherman, Carol Bräutigam, and Becky PyIe, 10th National Magnet Conference.

* Beth Ann Swan, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Nurses’ Week; Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Nurses’ Week, invited by AAACN member Sue Southard; St. Mary Medical Center’s Professional Nursing Organization Day; Geisinger Medical Center’s Leadership Development Program.

The following ambulatory care certification review “On the Road” courses were offered by the AAACN team of E. Mary Johnson, Candy Laughlin, and Susan Paschke:

* Meridian Health, Brick, NJ organized by Diane Resnick.

* Beverly Hospital Hunt Center, Danvers, MA, organized by Cheryl Marasco.

* Christus St. Michael Health System, Texarcana, TX, organized by Vicki Hurst.

* Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, organized by Nancy May.

The following Telehealth Nursing Practice Core “On the Road” Courses were offered by the AMCN team of Beth Conaghan, Maureen Espensen, Traci Haynes, Sherry Smith, Lynn Smith-Cronin, and Carol Zeek:

* Chemung Valley Health Network/Arnot Ogden Medical Center, Elmira, NY, organized by Cathy Mathey.

* Kaiser Permanente, Willoughby, OH, organized by Meg Patton (offering course twice).

* LVM Systems, Fall Users Croup Meeting, Scottsdale, AZ, organized by Carol Zeek.

* Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, organized by Sue Southard.

AAACN reviewed and commented on the following position statements and/or supported consensus documents:

* American Nurses Association’s Congress on Nursing Practice and Economics. The following three position statements were reviewed and commented on: 1) Privacy and Confidentiality, 2) Assuring Patient Safety: The Employers’ Role in Promoting Healthy Nursing Work Hours, and 3) Assuring Patient Safety: The Registered Nurses’ Responsibility to Cuard Against Working When Fatigued.

* Alliance for Aging Research, Blue Ribbon Commission on Geriatric Health Care.

* Alliance for Aging Research, Accelerate Cure and Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease – ACT-AD Coalition.

* Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) National Ambulatory Care Medical Care Survey.

Most recently, Regina Conway Phillips contacted Johnson & Johnson to have AAACN added to their Web site.

I would like to thank all our volunteer leaders who made these advocacy opportunities possible. If anyone participated in an advocacy activity that is not listed, please let me know. As always, thank you for your active participation and volunteer leadership. I am interested in your views, and you can reach me at


American Heritage Dictionary. (2000). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Retrieved September 23, 2006, from

Beth Ann Swan, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, is AAACN President and Associate Dean of Graduate Programs, lefferson School of Nursing, College of Health Professions, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA. She may be reached at

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