Thursday, December 2, 2010

Greetings from AONE Chapter Leader Meeting

Great morning at the chapter meeting in Charleston, SC! AONE past president Donna Herrin-Griffith opened the meeting and welcomed the 52 chapter leaders in attendance. AONE president Pam Rudisill gave a quick overview of the AONE work done in 2010. A detailed report will besent to all members later in dec. Pam's report is a wonderful celebration of all AONE has done in 2010!

Jo Ann Webb, AONE senior director of federal relations and policy, gave a presentation of things that will (or will not) be addressed in the current lame duck congress. The new Congress will provide opportunities and potental problems the nursing field will face in 2011.

Right now we are in the middle of a panel disucssion "Solutions to Patient Ratios" w/ representatives from CT, IL, NV, OH and WA.

Looking forward to the rest of the afternoon and tomorrow. (and lunch!)


Alyse Kittner
AONE membership manager

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Leaving India

We are on the bus heading back to Delhi from Agra. We have been graced with such great weather for our whole trip. Everywhere we went people said how great it was to have us, as we brought good weather with us. Last night it started to rain. This morning it cleared up for exactly two hours so we could visit the Taj. Now we are on the bus to the airport and there is a downpour.

It is making the drive a bit bumper, much muddier and a lot longer. But I look at this as a positive omen. India wants us to stay.

We have met wonderful nurses and doctors and seen the amazing work they are doing. We have been able to learn from each other and are working to establish longer partnerships. We have done things I never thought I would, like riding an auto rickshaw, known locally as a Tuktuk.

So many of the customs in India may seem antiquated or just superstition. But there are not – they are rooted in truth and reason. Cows lay in middle of the road because the traffic keeps the flies away. One reason why some men wear turbans with a long tail down the back is because when they ride horses it can be used to cover their mouth. And I truly believe it is raining now because India wants us today.

Is it coincidence or destiny? As it was said on the first day of our trip – it was destiny, because nothing happens without a purpose.

Forever and for everyone

We all know the Taj Mahal as an amazing feat of architecture and one of the seven wonders of the world. But, in spite of its size, views of the Taj sneak up on you. Our first night in Agra, we visited the Red Fort of Agra. It was just before closing, but our guide took time to explain all of the ways the fort was protected. From a moat filled with alligators to (what I call) the Indiana Jones’ ball that can be rolled down main entrance, it is a spectacular. After we were lead us through the entrance, very causally he said, “And to your right, you can see the Taj Mahal.”


The Taj is an amazing building, but the story is even more amazing. The Mughal emperor, Shah Jehan’s wife Mumtaz Mahal had a dream she was going to die in child birth. So, she made Shah Jehan promise three things:

1. To never marry again
2. To take care of her parents
3. To build her a special mausoleum.

He kept all three. His love for his wife lead him to spend the next 22 years building the Taj Mahal. Everything is perfectly symmetrical and painstakingly handmade. The designs on the walls are not just for decoration. They are meant to show that all are welcomed. Religious symbols from Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism can be found. What is written across the entrance is the phrase, “Forever, for everyone.”

Shah Jehan wanted to build an exact copy of the Taj across the river as his mausoleum. But, his son imprisoned him in the Fort and only the foundation was laid. Shah Jehan was only able to view the Taj from his room at the Red Fort, the Jasmine Room.

The Taj Mahal is Forever and For everyone.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Visiting SMS Hospital - guest post

Carol Reineck contributes again -

A patient was brought in the front door of SMS Hospital on a steel stretcher. He was one of 4,000 patients seen that day in the government hospital in Jaipur. We were met by Dr Randawat, Deputy Superintendent and Chief of Surgery. We toured triage where patients were sorted by age. Most patients were high risk OB with anemia. The principal admitting diagnosis, though, was cardiac. We removed our shoes in the ICU where we saw high technology monitoring and ventilators. Most of the nurse managers were male, but opportunities and recognition for women are increasing.

The school of nursing was a few blocks away. The director, a Psych Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), met us in the classroom. She explained the various levels of program, including those of the maters and doctoral levels. She stated that tuition in the government school is all paid by the government. She mentioned their faculty shortage and that there are plenty of clinical experience in the hospital. Their students do not need to use labs for practice in the school.

The overwhelming volume of patients was accompanied by an equal abundance of patience, hope, and gratitude among those receiving compassionate care.

How Bazaar

What did you do last Friday night? Well, I got to breeze through the Tripoliya Bazaar and street vendors in the Pink City of Jaipur. When you are on the streets, all five senses are used. You see all of the vibrant colors in the sarees for sale. You hear the lyrical Hindi language being spoke. You smell the amazing and almost indefinable aroma of tea, flowers, and city live. You feel the age of the 200 year old brink and limestone buildings. You taste just a bit of the cinnamon and spices.

I only got to spend about half hour there Friday night, but I could spend days – maybe weeks weaving my way through the small streets and allies.

Lessons the Hindu King taught us

We can always learn from history and lessons in leadership come from many places. I learned a leadership lesson from a Hindu King yesterday at the Amber Fort in Jaipur

Shiv Partap, our tour guide, told us the story of Raja Man Singh and his bodyguard. Raga Man Singh slept outside each night and had a jug of water by him because it was so hot. He was accompanied only by his bodyguard. One morning he woke up and found that half of his water was gone. He knew only his bodyguard had been there, but said nothing.

He went to court in the morning as usual and asked if there was a party the night before. There had been one so he asked for the guest list to see if his guard was on the list. His guard was. Raja Man Sing then asked who the person was who threw the party. Raja Man Singh went to the host and asked what grocer he got the food from. Raja Man Singh then put the grocer in jail.

Raja Man Singh knew his guard was very loyal to him; nothing would cause the guard to leave his post in the middle of the night. The guard was so loyal Raja Man Singh knew only a great thirst would cause the guard to drink his water.

Raja Man Singh deduced the only thing that could make his guard so thirsty was if the ghee at the party had been mixed with animal fat. The grocer was put in jail because he sold impure ghee to the host of the party.

Raja Man Singh handled the issue with Root Cause Analysis. The problem was not with the loyalty of the guard, but the loyalty of the grocer who sold impure ghee. By investigating and finding the true cause of the issue – where the problem originated.

It is important to know the loyalties of your staff. But more importantly, you need to trust the loyalty of your staff. If Raja Man Singh did not trust that his guard would only drink his water for an important reason, the grocer would have gone unpunished and would have continued to sell impure ghee.

A super secret surprise at the Amber Fort

Shiv, our tour guide told us we had to get up early the other day, but he wouldn’t tell us why. The day before we had a great, but very long. We wanted to enjoy a late dinner and sleep in just a bit – maybe to 9:30? But no, Shiv was very stern – we would meet in the lobby at 8:15am – and there would be a surprise.

Okay, my interest was pique.

At 8:15ish we boarded the bus and finally Shiv told us where we were going – Amber Fort in the Pink City. Lovely! But why so early?

To Paraphrase Shiv:

Thank you all for your willingness to get us so early to see the wonderful Amber Fort. But, the reason why we had to get up so early is how we will be arriving at the fort – BY ELEPHANT!

Can you believe it? We all climbed up on the elephant ride for a 15 minute ride up to the fort. The view from atop of such a lovely animal was amazing. We could look down o the small village at the bottom of the fort; look across to the mountains and the wall that surrounds Jaipur; and see the beautiful paintings and decorations on the elephant up close. It was one of the best moments of the trip.

All of the elephants used are female and are limited in the number of trips they can make each day. The city of Jaipur regulates the care and usage of the elephants very closely. The entire experience is very human for the elephants.

I know, I know

I know - I know - I haven't posted in a few days. Well, that is what happens when you travel for about 20 hours and you don't really know what day it is. But - I was keeping notes along the way. I will add in some posts written through the trip with pictures!

Friday, September 17, 2010

A day at Fortis Escort, Jaipur

Today we spent the day at Fortis Escort. Located in Jaipur, it is a hospital in the larger Fortis system we met in Delhi on Tuesday.

The meeting began with a lovely lamp ceremony where Mr. Prateem Tamboli, Head of Administration, Pam Rudisill, and Pam Thompson each light a section of an oil lamp that burned throughout of meeting. This lamp ceremony is to bring good luck and successful outcomes – which it did.

Mr. Mohammed Mubeen Ahmed, Deputy Nursing Superintendent, lead us through some challenges the nursing profession is facing in India. The first is “brain drain.” Often, highly trained Indian nurses do not stay in India. After their education, many nurses leave and find employment in the US, Europe and countries in the Gulf. This leads to not only a shortage of nurses, but also a shortage of qualified nursing leaders.

They also face the challenge of nurses spending time on non-nursing related activates. As a system, Fortis is currently working to address this issue and reassign non-nursing tasks to other staff members. This will allow nurses to spend more quality time with the patient.

There were many other presentations covering issues related to patient care, the current improvements for continuing education to develop nurse leaders and community outreach programs Fortis has initiated. Again, these presentations will be available in a week or so.

An open discussion followed with both AONE delegates and Fortis nursing and medical professionals looking to exchange ideas. Fortis has a card at each bed that notes the Estimated Date of Discharge (EDOD). This simple red, yellow, green sign can be updated and helps manage the expectation of patients.
Fortis was interested in our CNML and CENP certifications and what domains of knowledge are covered. AONE plans on sharing aspects of our competency assessment tools. We finished the full-day meeting with a tour of the hospital. We were able to view wards, observe the nurse’s station and get a general feel for how a private hospital in India works. This will provide a great context for our public/government hospital visit tomorrow.

Just before dinner we popped into a handcrafted jewelry store. Jaipur is known throughout the world for its precious and semi-precious stones and jewelry settings. Yours truly made a small “investment” and will come back to the States with a small, sparkly reminder of my time in India.

dekhthe Hai! ("see you" in Hindi)


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Carol Reineck blogs from India

Greetings from the AONE nurse delegation trip to India!

Carol Reineck heard about my previous blog entries and wanted to share a few things. Here is a special post from Carol:

India is a land of contrasts. Today we rode in rickshaws through the wedding market in Old Delhi and saw tangles of electrical wire, a cacophony of sellers, and smelled the incense mixed with Indian food cooking. Later, in contrast, we visited a maker of Indian rugs who explained an intricate, orderly design system, painstaking exact processes of weaving and knotting, and the family-centered nature of this beautiful endeavor.

In India, chaos and order are weaved into a bustling, active and free market economy that works.

The health system application draws on these contrasts. Our visit with the government health system yesterday introduced us to the uneven mix of traditional medicine and Indian medicine. This mix provides for increased access to care. The order we observed was the fact that the Indian Nursing Council sets standards for a consistent syllabus in all government schools of nursing, similar perhaps to the AACN Essentials.

Thank you Carol!

Here delegate Verena Briley-Hudson enjoys a bumpy rickshaw ride through the streets of Old Delhi.

Tomorrow we will be meeting with a Jaipur-based hospital in the Fortis Health System. After having met their counterparts in New Delhi, we have high expectations of the dialogue for tomorrow.

Alyse Kittner
AONE membership manager

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Maulana Azad Medical Center and Medanta Medicity

Morning - it is 7am here - I have no idea what time it is in the states...

We began yesterday at the Maulana Azad Medical Center and associated hospital complex, including the Maulana Azad Medical College - a publicly run hospital. Coordinated by Dr. Suneela Garg, AONE delegates were lead through presentations about the Health Workforce in India, the public health system and how it differs from private hospitals and systems, a comparison of health care issues in India and the United States, an overview of the health care finance system, and a review of the current nursing care scenarios and future prospects.

These were very detailed and informative presentations that will be posted on the website. There was one aspect of the presentation by Mr. T Dilip Kuman, Nursing Adviser to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and President of the Indian Nursing Council (INC) that the delegates found very interesting. There is the one syllabus used for each of the nursing education programs. This syllabus is created by INC and used in all public/governement nursing colleges in India. We hope to collect more information about the syllabus used.

From there we traveled about an hour to the brand new private hospital complex Medanta Medicity. Medicity opened just two months ago. Their vision is, "Excellence in patient care through education and clinical practice." - something we all strive for. We had the pleasure of touring the new facility with Mrs. Vijayakshmi Banerjee, Chief Nursing Officer. We were also able to meet the man who made Medanta Medicity possible, Dr. Naresh Trehan, Chairman and Managing Director. It was a great honor to dialog with both prestigious professionals.

Today we are going to tour the "heart" of Old Delhi. We will be going to Raj Ghat, the simple memorial to the legendary hero Mahatma Gandhi and taking a rickshaw ride to view the Red Form and the Mosque of Friday, the largest mosque in India. I am personally very excited to ride the rickshaw. I have been seeing them buzz around. Driving in Delhi has been an experience in Chaos Theory - I can't wait to get out of the bus and experience it first hand! I will be taking pictures, but they may be a bit blurry. The rickshaws weave in and out of traffic pretty quickly!

Alyse Kittner
AONE membership manager

An amazing first day

I want to catch you up on the first two days of our program. It has been so amazing to meeting with these nurse leaders and to discover there are so many similarities.

Yesterday we attended the Fortis Nursing Forum. Lead by Ms Thankam Gomez, BSN, Chief Nursing Officer Fortis Healthcare, each quarter the chief nursing officers of the Fortis Hospital System gather to share their experiences and create standardization throughout the system.

One of the first things asked was, “Is it destiny or is it coincidence?” Months ago our People-to-People dates were set. By chance, these dates corresponded with the Nursing Forum. And by chance that they were also opening their outpatient treatment center. It was a very auspicious day and it was decided that our meeting was destiny – as nothing happens without a purpose.

AONE president Pam Rudisill gave a presentation: “Where Nurses Spend their Time.” There are three challenges facing US nurses today: the future of care delivery, creating excellence in the work environment, and building leadership competences. AONE CEO Pam Thompson wrapped up the presentation with a few comments about the pending changes we will experience with health care reform in the United States and asked the question: “How do we make the major changes to health care while maintaining the high standard of care?” She paraphrased American Hospital Association CEO Rich Umbdenstock‘s description of health care reform. She said it is a beautiful map of where we need to go, but we haven’t built the road yet.

Ms. Gomez presented “Vibrant India”, which described the Fortis hospital system. Fortis is among the Asia’s largest private service providers. The system employs 5,420 nurses at almost 20 facilities. As it turns out, the challenges we face in the US are very very similar to the ones nurse leaders face in India. Workforce, specifically retention, and standardization of education are some of India’s pressing nursing issues. Copies of these presentations will be available on the AONE website in the next week or so.

The AONE delegation and members of the Forum had an open discussion on how we can recognize nurses and show our appreciation for them, with the hopes of improving nurse retention. At Fortis, they have developed a very interesting quarterly review called Nursing Quality Improvement Process. This is an individual review each quarter to evaluate the growth of the nurse, where they have improved from the prior quarter, where they still need improvement, and if any compensation changes need to be made based on the nurse’s progress. They also have Nurse of the Month, Nurse of the Unit, and a celebration of Nurses’ Week each year.

Both the AONE delegation and Fortis members agreed that the best recognition is most often not related to compensation. A personal thank you card or simply saying “nice job” can go very far. The most important thing is that the feedback happens immediately.

There were two more quotes from the day that have stuck with me and I think we can all relate to:

"Tell me and Iwill forget; show me and I will know ; involve me; and I will remember” – Chinese Proverb
  • Does this sound strikingly familiar to “See one, do one, teach one”?

“If you want to get something done, give it to the busiest person you know.” – Pam Rudisill

  • I know you can related to this – we are all busy!

We finished the afternoon with a visit to the India Gate and Humayun's tomb. Located in New Delhi, the India Gate is a memorial built by the British to honor the fallen India soldiers from World War One. This striking monument was based on the Arch de Triumph in Paris. The name of each of the fallen soldiers is carved into the stone.

Humayun's tomb is a great example of a Mughal garden tomb. It was build by the widow of Humayun and houses not only his remains, but the remains of 150 members of the royal court. As a footnote, there is also a tomb for Humayun ‘s barber. It is legend that Humayun said you must trust your barber with your life. He was so fond of his barber, a tomb was built for him just south of Humayun’s.

More pictures of our meeting with the Fortis Nursing Forum and our sightseeing will be posted shortly.

Best wishes from New Delhi!

Alyse Kittner
AONE membership manager

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Greetings from New Delhi!

It is 7am in New Delhi and the delegation is gathering for breakfast. We got in late last night and went directly to our hotel. AONE CEO Pam Thompson greeted us - she arrived earlier in the day. After a quick glass of guava juice - which I highly recommend - we were off to bed.

The first bit of business today is our orientation. We will meet our guide for the week and learn about local customs to help us throughout the trip.

Then we will leave for Fortis Hospital-Shalimer Bagh in west Delhi for a half day workshop as part of the Fortis Nursing Forum. Fortis Hospital focuses on super specialties in cardiac, neuro and renal sciences as well as GI diseases and orthopedics. AONE will participate in presentations such as the Nurse Executive Role and Leadership and the Future Role of Nursing in Health Care.

Jet lag will probably be setting in soon, but I will try to keep up with the posts!


Alyse Kittner
AONE membership manager

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hitting the road!

On Sunday, 15 AONE members will hit the road (tarmac actually) and begin the AONE People-to-People ambassador program to India. From September 12-21, we will be meeting with nurse leaders in India to discuss common issues and challenges; share success stories and growth; and discuss how nurse leaders will shape the future of health care in India and the US.

I am Alyse Kittner, AONE membership manager. I have the pleasure of accompanying the fantastic delegation on this adventure and keeping you updated on our trip. Lead by Pam Rudisill and Pam Thompson, we will visit Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. Yes…we will get to see the Taj Mahal…

Every other year AONE partners with People-to-People for a citizen ambassador program. AONE went to South Africa in 2008 and China in 2006. People-to-People offers many ambassador programs – visit their website ( for other programs.

The 2010 delegates are:
Pamela Rudisill
Pamela Thompson
Verena Briley Hudson
Cynthia Carlson
Pamela De Back
Judy Husted
Pamela Jackson-Malik
Patricia Layton
Joyce Martin
Carol Reineck
Roxane Spitzer
Susan Spoelma
Cathleen Wheatley

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Last day of another fantastic ANLI session!

I am blogging live from the final day of the Nashville ANLI! Yesterday was a full day of conflict management, budgeting, safety and quality. Role playing allowed the practical application of the conflict modes. Dave introduced us to the "the really good nurse....but" and everyone in the room seemed to know or work with one. One scenario had the nurse manager talking with "the really good nurse...but". The attendees discussed whether "the really good nurse...but" was really a good nurse if teamwork fell apart or morale suffered when she was scheduled. After that discussion options for conflict management changed. A great discussion with some unexpected solutions.

Budgeting introduced FTE planning using average daily census, hours per patient day and "mose" time. (You will have to come an ANLI or ask someone who has been to one to find out what "mose" time is!!!). Safety and quality rounded out the day. A celebration reception set up out final evening in Nashville and an evening on Broadway.

We added "open mic" into the agenda at the suggestion of the attendees; giving them an opportunity to ask the faculty and each other questions and get more information about key issues. A very successful session and we will incorporate into the ANLI agenda.

Pam is wrapping up the behavioral interviewing session and I need to get ready for my role playing. I will be interviewing an applicant. It is always a surprise who shows up for the interview. I"ll let you know how it goes.

Pam showed up for the interview a great candidate but her "helicopter dad" also showed up! It added just the right amount of humor and a possible true life scenario.

We are wrapping up after a review of the 9 elements of a healthful work environment and cautioning us all to return as shuttles and not rockets.

The attendees are leaving with so much and so am I.

M.T. Meadows
AONE director of professional practice

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

ANLI - Nashville: Day 2

The second day of ANLI - Nashville started with the traditional selection of a word by the faculty and one of the attendees. I drew the word willingness from the bowl. The power of willingness was evident throughout the day as the group of 48 attendees from a rich variety of backgrounds and experiences shared the powerful ANLI experience.

Day 2 began with an Insight Inventory presentation by Pam Thompson where attendees explored their styles based on the tool they had completed the night before. I followed with a presentation on creating a collaborative culture between nursing and support services. Most attendees indicated that their organizations have included support services in shared governance at their institutions. I followed that presentation with one on delegation.

After a "taste of Tennessee" for lunch, the afternoon resumed with a presentation on work-life balance. A robust discussion took place about privacy and professional boundaries in the context of social networking.

The day ended with what can only be described as a powerful session on Calling a Circle. I was amazed that a group of people who met just a little over 24 hours before can create a safe place where professional and personal concerns can be shared. I have been privileged to see it work at two ANLI sessions now -- it's simply incredible!

Day 3 is about to begin...more bloggin' tonight or in the morning.

Best regards,

David Marshall, RN
AONE Board - Region 7

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Aspiring Nurse Leader Institute--Nashville

The Aspiring Nurse Leader Institute (ANLI) here in Nashville got off to a great start yesterday afternoon. On the heels of the CMA weekend, 48 attendees arrived in Nashville with high energy and enthusiasm. The group for this institute are from across the country and come from a variety of backgrounds. We have a large number of magnet hospitals represented as well as critical access hospitals and Indian Health Service facilities. But I think what brings everyone together is the shared desire to become better leaders and better navigators around the barriers.

After introductions, and an overview of the Nurse Manager's Skill Inventory, we found that "what keeps them up at night" are dilemmas shared by most everyone. As is the tradition at ANLI we concluded the session with the Blind Square exercise--a leadership challenge not unlike what we face everyday; somewhat vague directions, no beginning clear strategy, chaos and confusion. I will say the volunteers did a great job once the end was found!!!!!!!!!!

The evening concluded with a pizza reception. You might ask why pizza in Nashville; I will admit it was very good (and that comes from a pizza snob from Chicago). I hope everyone is well rested and ready for a full day. Tonight is a free night so we all will be able to taste the best of Nashville. When you get nurses together it really is all about the food.

Joining me as faculty are David Marshall and Pam Thompson. Meredith Paone is the meeting coordinator (making sure we are well fed!). David will blog this evening. Be sure to come back!


M.T. Meadows
AONE director of professional practice

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What an incredible three days...

Well, what an incredible three days at AONE 2010! The scientific knowledge, best practices, new evidence and leading innovations were all just amazing. It was wonderful to catch up with old friends and to make new ones all at the same time. So as we say our good byes and head home we leave knowing that we have gained new strategies and approaches to care delivery, team motivation and successful leadership. As the year continues to unfold and healthcare reform evolves we remain committed to our profession and the care of patients and their families. There is much ahead! I would like to thank AONE and the AONE board for all their hard work in making this year's event such as success! I look forward to seeing you all in San Diego next year and wish you much happiness and joy in the months ahead!


Gail Latimer
Siemens Medical Solutions

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good night

Well the final sessions have ended, the exhibits are closed, the prizes have been won, and all traveling leaders have left Indianapolis. The end of the Annual Meeting was as informative as the first - ending with outstanding keynote speakers and enlightening sessions.

The combination of stories from the sessions I attended reaffirmed why I became a nurse. The story of Dr. Steve Robbins’ family tragedies and Vicky's story swept me into the lives of individuals I had never met. I could see their pain and view the road to recovery, and I knew that brilliant healthcare professionals were there to help.

I have come away from our meeting with many new ideas, friends, and colleagues. I look forward to implementing and share these ideas with my peers and colleagues at home - with the understanding that I have a network of thousands to lean on when I am presented with a barrier.

Thank you all for a great time.

Be well.
Mark Ambler, RN

More energized than ever!

After being here since Wednesday non-stop I am more energized than ever! Last evening I attended the PAC fundraiser event and heard John Foley, performance expert and former Lead Solo Pilot with the United States Navy Blue Angels. John captivated the packed room with stories, videos and presentations linking how we as Nursing leaders responsible for patient care, need to have as much precision in health care as the Blue Angels do flying jets! John took us into the sacred Blue Angels debriefing room. Linking the processes of the Blue Angels work into healthcare. It was then off to the Nurse Manager fellows reception. The energy of these up and coming leaders is so inspirational.

This morning I had the pleasure of introducing Dr Steven Robbins His presentation Unintentional Intolerance-Creating Inclusion in Health Care Settings had all of us laughing and also crying. His presentation will remain with me for a long time. I learned new thoughts and approaches to diversity.

The morning concluded with the AONE Business Meeting where Donna Herrin Immediate Past President and Pam Rudisill President spoke about AONEs past and current accomplishments . AONE CEO Pam Thompson introduced the AONE staff, without them we could not accomplish all the great work that AONE does.

Rob Rose
Bristol Hospital

photo courtesy of King Shots

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hidden Benefit

Today was another great day at the AONE Annual Meeting; but I must be honest, there is a clandestine process afoot - something hidden.

If you have come to the Annual Meeting to attend a particular session to learn about a particular topic of interest - well you are in for a wonderful surprise! Yes, the Education Committee outperforms itself each year by providing a lineup of bright talent who deliver and share their knowledge. What you may not notice is the contagious processes outside the conference rooms.

I enjoy watching as leaders feverishly write notes during the sessions because I can see that each of them have had a spark. Ok, I know that happens with most sessions regardless of the venue; so where is the hidden benefit... wait for it...

What happens next is extraordinary. As we break between sessions or go off to the Exhibit Hall, leaders start mentoring leaders. Those notes - that spark - starts a discussion in the hallway and a network begins. Soon you will see business cards and smart phones coming out and the sharing path is opened.

The greatest attribute of Nurse Leaders is their ability to provide altruistic, open source information. I have never met some many talented individuals who are willing to freely share their information, their process, their story. This all takes place outside a structured learning process; it happens in hallways, over lunch, or at dinner. Open and honest leaders make up this great organization and I am so thankful that these meetings provide a knowledge outlet.

As you can see from the photo, tonight I was with Pam Thompson - one of the most influential leaders I have ever met. She hosts the Nurse Manager Fellowship reception every year; and each year I go back to visit with friends and colleagues. During this time we are afforded the time to mingle with past and present Nurse Manger Fellows, Board Members, and leaders. During this time we all share our sparks and our stories - a magnificent hidden benefit that you will never read in a meeting brochure.

So if you are reserved and only attend sessions, you MUST break out of your element and go to coffee, lunch, or dinner with other leaders and tell your stories! We will all benefit.

Be well.
Mark Ambler, RN
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What a Terrific Start to the Conference!

Siemens is so pleased to have once again sponsored the keynote address at AONE. The selection of David Whyte could not have been better and I hope you enjoyed his session as much as I did! He shared with us his tremendous insight and encouraged us to step back and reflect on aspects of our life and vocation - something we all need to do. What an inspirational start to the conference!

Coming from Pennsylvania and a graduate of Penn State University I really enjoyed Donna Haven's session this afternoon on 'Promote Desired Outcomes'. It was wonderful to learn about support for her work from many communities know well. Donna's research provides leadership with valuable information about programs that lead to excellent professional practice and patient care! Very promising and much can be learned from the work of her group.

As last evening came to an end I was honored to attend a reception for our international colleagues in support of the newly established AONE International Institute. It was wonderful to connect with our international nursing colleagues and it is so exciting to be a part of this exciting program looking to connect AONE's programs with our international partners promoting education and development of nursing leaders. We applaud Gladys Mouro, from the University of Beirut, for her vision and willingness to collaborate with nursing leaders in the middle east to promote the mission of AONE.

It was a tremendous day and I am looking forward to another just as exciting day today!

Gail Latimer
Siemens Medical Solutions, USA

Saturday, April 10, 2010

AONE Concurrent Session Update

This afternoon I attended several great sessions presented by extraordinary leaders. I love listening to the stories of leaders and how they are overcoming issues that each of us face.

One of the sessions I would like to highlight was the session titled: Design and Implementation of an Interdisciplinary Shared Governance Model. Why am I teasing out just this one session? One of the presenters was Amy Brown, MS, RN, NE-BC; a fellow 2008 Nurse Manager Fellow alumna.

It was great to see how Amy and Vanita (pictured above) presented a topic that was noticeably near to their core. I really enjoy seeing how each of the Nurse Manager Fellows continue to branch out and lead in different ways. All sessions were a great learning experience. I can't wait for tomorrow.

Be well.
Mark Ambler, RN
Follow the conversation on Twitter - use #aone with each tweet

Rounding the next lap

Wow! Indy is living up to its reputation - we are off to the races! Friday, our pre-conference sessions got us off and running. The Networking Fast Lane for new members and first-timers was well attended and was set up to get folks out of their comfort zones and network with new attendees and seasoned leaders. It was a great way to get introduced to not only the annual meeting, but also AONE.

Pam Rudisill, our 2010 AONE president, kicked off the annual meeting with her opening remarks, inspiring all of us to lead during these challenging times. Pam's quote from Charles Dickens, "these are the best of times, these are the worst of times..." certainly rings true 150 years later. Tim Porter-O'Grady received the AONE Lifetime Achievement Award. Tim is certainly well deserving of this award, but don't expect Tim to go off into the sunset. He continues to contribute to all of us nurse leaders and I look forward to Tim's future achievements.

See you the next lap!!

First Day at the AONE Meeting

Today was a great start of the Annual Meeting & Exposition. The opening ceremony began with a short video that enticed the audience. Since we are in Indy, it was fitting to see a video that opened with someone donning racing gear - with an auspicious helmet with the label #1. Soon we noted that the driver, walking to the car, was wearing high heels. "What is this," we asked. The drive then took the car around a lap which ended in the winner's circle. And who got out of that car? It was Pam Rudisill, President of AONE!!! Pam then walked on stage and welcomed all the leaders to the opening of the meeting. She delivered a riveting talk.

Next, Donna Herrin, immediate past President, presented Tim Porter O'Grady with the Lifetime Achievement Award. A very deserving Dr. Porter O'Grady then spoke. He graciously accepted the award but questioned its underlying meaning. He asked Pam Thompson if this award was the sunset of Tim Porter O'Grady - the outspoken nursing leader. He was assured that this was not the sunset; instead it was a new beginning. And with that caveat, he accepted his award followed by laughter from the crowd. As always, Tim provided the attending leaders with insight and humor.

Finally, the opening ceremony ended with the introduction of David Whyte, poet, author, and leader of leaders. He excited the audience with a woven story of how leaders need to seek out their fears by engaging in courageous conversations. What a wounder way to learn about leadership. David not only held our attention with stories but also with fascinating poems both personally written and also recited from the greats like Shakespeare and Frost.

And now the sessions...

My next post will be about the concurrent sessions. I wish I could have listened to all of them.

Before those sessions I did visit the Exhibit Hall. I met many of our great sponsors and vendors as well as visiting with distant friends.

Be well.
Mark Ambler, RN
Follow the conversation on Twitter - use #aone with each tweet

Meeting officially kicked off!

Greetings from Indy! This morning it was my pleasure to kick off the Annual Meeting! I am thrilled to report that we have over 2,200 nurse leaders and exhibitors in attendance this year.

I began this morning's session by recognizing our past presidents and current AONE board - I'm so grateful to carry on their collective torch! - and I was then joined on stage by my wonderful colleagues at Health Management Associates who presented me with a HUGE bouquet of pink roses. Then Gail Latimer from Siemens Healthcare - one of our wonderful longtime industry supporters - introduced our keynote session speaker David Whyte. David, a very engaging poet and author, talked about developing leadership through courageous conversations, both internally and with others in our organizations.

Now it's off to the Exhibit Hall for our ribbon cutting ceremony and then concurrent sessions in the early afternoon. Tonight is the president's reception sponsored by Hill-Rom. If you are one of our attendees, I highly suggest you bring your dancing shoes. If you forgot a pair, fear not. I packed fifteen pair!!! Take care, Pam

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hello from Indy!

I made it to Indy without issue. That is a first for me - I am directionally challenged.

I attended the New Member and First Time Attendees Networktonight. I know, I'm not new to the AONE meetings; but I like going to this first meeting to talk to newcomers and see the excitement in their eyes. It reminds me of the first meeting I attended.

Tonight's meeting was great! We had a "Speed Date-Like" meeting. Each of us had to ask and answer questions within 3 minutes and then move on to the next person. It was a great way to introduce myself to numerous people and learn about their roles, experiences, and history as nursing leaders.

See you all tomorrow morning for the Opening Ceremony at 08:00.

Be well.
Mark Ambler, RN
Follow the conversation on Twitter - use #aone with each tweet

Twitter at AONE Meeting

The offical hashtag for this year's meeting is #aone. Use it with all your tweets to join the conversation.

Be well.
Mark Ambler

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Siemens proud to sponsor plenary session!

I am thrilled to be heading to Indianapolis for AONE tomorrow morning! I am looking forward to catching up with many colleagues, learning from the excellent plenary and educational sessions planned, and getting a chance to visit the Exhibit Hall to see new innovations and offerings from the vendors. I am especially excited for the keynote speaker for AONE's opening session this year. Siemens is once again the sponsor of this event which will feature David Whyte, author and poet. He has done amazing work with the leadership teams of many organizations as they consider the importance of communication and the value it can bring if done effectively. For those attending, I think you will find his talk very enlightening. We are proud to be sponsoring the keynote address for AONE and I hope to connect with many of you while we are in Indianapolis this weekend.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I'm ready for Indy!

I just finished packing for Indy (a day earlier than normal) - OK too much info...One thing I do know for sure is that I am carrying less paper with me. I uploaded the program planner to my calendar which is on my blackberry. For those that have kindle - you can send sessions, abstracts and posters to your kindle. I also created "My Briefcase" account to plan my itinerary. Once signed in, you can check your profile and update it if need be. I created “My Expo Plan”. This is so easy to do -- just browse through the online tradeshow floor plan and create a list of exhibitors you wish to visit. Each online booth has a button that says "Add to My Expo Plan". Click there and it will be added to your personalized plan. Many exhibitors have there contact information available - click on the exhibitor and a screen will come up with there information. This is a great way to plan you time. You can make arrangements to meet with them if there is something or someone you want to spend some time with learning more about. All this can be accessed to your e-briefcase. The bigger issue is “DO NOT” lose your password. If you are anything like me and are forgetful, just place your email address in the space provided and they will send it to you. OK, I will admit, I needed to do that, but now I have my password on my blackberry for future use. Last but not least, do not forget the airline carry on rules -- check out the TSA website if you need a refresher. It makes traveling and getting through security much easier. Safe travels all and see you in Indy soon.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Final Checklist Before the Meeting

To celebrate Atul Gawande's newest book, "The Checklist Manifesto", I thought I would offer you a pre Annual Meeting checklist.

Flight Information
If you can, print out your ticket the day before your flight. Make sure you have your government approved ID! Also, check the airline for luggage information - you don't want to be hit with a high fee because you packed too much.

Hotel Information
Did you receive your confirmation number for your hotel stay? If not, call and request one and keep it with you. Also you will want to know directions to the hotel (driving from home or the airport) and you will want to get directions from the hotel to the conference center. I use Google Maps for all my direction needs

Annual Meeting Confirmation
Did you receive your confirmation email from AONE? If not, you can contact the AONE Registration Bureau at 301-694-5124 or emailed to Should you have questions you can also contact customer service at 800-974-3084 or 847-996-5876.

Make sure your luggage meets the airlines requirements and leave some room - you'll need it to take back all the great stuff you will accumulate at the meeting.

Car Rental
Do you have your rental confirmation? Keep it with you.

Program Planner
Have you completed the online program planner? If not, you can still access it here.

Program Guide
The Annual Meeting Program Guide is now available online. Read it here.

Tech Gear
Make sure if you are bringing a laptop you have your power source and a good secure bag. If you are really security conscious, bring a Kensington Lock. You will also want to bring your cell phone charger and an extra battery - you will be a sending out lots of tweets about your adventures at the meeting. Did you pick up an iPad on Saturday? If so -- BRING IT -- I want to see it!! If your cell phone doesn't have a camera (or a good one), you'll want to bring a digital camera so you can share your experiences when you get home and remember the great time you had at the Annual Meeting.

And now for the really tech savvy people... We will have session abstracts and the business meeting book available for Kindle, eReader, Nook, and iPhone. If you want to download more info about the concurrent sessions, posters, and the business meeting, you can get instructions and the files on-line at the meeting.

I trust this checklist will help you prepare for our meeting this week. See you soon.

Be well.
Mark Ambler, RN

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Organizing Your Trip Plans is Easy!

If you are like me you want to plan and re-plan your trip and keep an eye on your itinerary. I have found a great site to help you with your trip plans - it is called Tripit. You can set up a free account and then forward your travel confirmation emails to You will receive a well organized confirmation message back with helpful links. You can then go into the web based application to set up your hotel and/or car rental information. You can access this information from the web or your smartphone (there is an App for that).

Do you want to know where are the best places to eat in Indianapolis but don't want to rely on the hotel staff? Why not ask the locals via social media? Visit the site ForWhere. This site will find your location and allow you to "listen in" on what people are saying on the social media site FourSquare. It maps out comments about all the hot spots. Did someone say lobster?!?

Be well.
Mark Ambler, RN
Twitter: MarkInfoRN

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It is not too early to start mapping out your plans to visit the Exhibit Hall at the annual AONE conference in Indianapolis. Take full advantage of this wonderful opportunity to see and learn more about many different things!

I've been thinking about ongoing education and its acceptance as common practice in nursing - we are always looking to expand our horizons and to gather and utilize new knowledge in clinical practice, as well we should. Luckily for us, there are ample opportunities to learn about all that academia and industry partners have to offer. Once again the AONE Exhibit Hall will feature a number of academic centers that provide programs that support many different areas. As you consider how to develop your expertise or that of your team, visit with some of the academic centers represented to see how they might assist you.

We face many challenges as nurse leaders, but two of the most prevalent seem to be tackling technology and managing evidence-based practice. With the introduction of ARRA regulations organizations will need to accelerate their adoption of IT. In addition to some of the concurrent sessions, the AONE Exhibit Hall provides a terrific opportunity to look at how various electronic health records support both clinical practice and 'meaningful use' criteria. Nursing leaders should be an integral member of the IT initiative and therefore need to be knowledgeable about what their IT solution can provide and how well they are positioned to achieve success. Don’t miss the chance to meet with vendors to learn more about their solutions and how they can support your IT objectives.

We also see continued acceleration of evidence-based practice as a way to achieve positive patient outcomes – but where to direct our team efforts? As you consider options for integrating evidence within your nurses clinical practice you will want to visit with exhibitors that offer evidence-based content solutions that support your clinicians in making informed decisions. Take the time to familiarize yourself with these solutions and what they provide.

While these are just two areas of focus that I've been thinking about, the AONE Exhibit Hall provides a wealth of solutions that support your organizations in meeting ongoing operations. With the wide array of exhibitors, I know you will find the information you gather and the knowledge you gain to be extremely valuable!

So start planning your visit to the AONE Annual Meeting Exhibit Hall and take advantage of all it has to offer!

See you there!


Gail E. Latimer, MSN, RN, FACHE, FAAN
Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer
Office of the CNO, Industry and Government Affairs
Siemens Healthcare

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Support the AONE Institute at the annual meeting!

Hey ya’ll!

The AONE Institute has something new in store for us this year: an online auction! That’s right—instead of holding a raffle at the AONE Annual Meeting in an effort to raise funds for its research seed grant program, the Institute will be embracing the digital age by launching its first online auction. The AONE Institute Online Auction, which will run from April 1-15, will offer AONE members (as well as their colleagues, friends and family!) an opportunity to bid on a wide array of valuable items, including a Mexican getaway in the heart of the Riviera Maya, four tickets to a Pacers basketball game to be held in Indianapolis on the night of April 10 (during the AONE Annual Meeting, of course), gift certificates to several major chain restaurants such as Capital Grille and Morton’s, and much, much more. Check the AONE website for a link to the auction website once it goes live on April 1.

You also won’t want to miss the AONE Institute’s Sunrise Breakfast on Sunday, April 11, where a gospel choir will perform a concert designed to inspire and move your soul. Tickets for the event will be available to purchase on site at the registration desk, and proceeds will also benefit the AONE Institute’s research seed grant program.

So spread the word and tell your colleagues about the 2010 AONE Institute Online Auction, and mark your calendars for the Sunrise Breakfast.

Interested in donating a tax-deductible item for the auction? Contact Sara Neuner at Not sure what to donate? Use your imagination! Popular items from the Institute’s raffles in past years include: iPods and other electronics, jewelry, vacation getaways, and handbags).

See you soon!

Pam Rudisill
2010 AONE Board president

Friday, February 26, 2010

Online Program Planner

Have you tried the Online Program Planner for AONE’s 43rd Annual Meeting and Exposition? It is SWEET! The Program Planner is designed to give you up-to-date information about all the program details. You can browse by date or type of session. You can also conduct a more advanced search using the author’s name or institution.

You MUST check out the tools available under My Itinerary! They allow you to print your selected sessions, add your own comments, export your itinerary to excel, and download a link to your iPhone or Blackberry. I just tried this with my iPhone (yes, I am a Mac). It works great! I will now be ready to attend all sessions and will know exactly where to go without getting lost - well, I'll still get lost.

Be well.
Mark Ambler, RN

Friday, February 19, 2010

Looking Forward to the AONE Annual Meeting

Yesterday one of my fellow Nurse Manager Fellows called to talk. She initially called to talk about my (gratuitous plug) article in Nurse Leader [see the reference at the end of this post].

I see the AONE Annual Meeting as a great time to meet new nursing leaders and reconnect with your friends. You will find that after just one time at the annual meeting you will have dozens of contacts that you can reach out to when you have a problem - or just to talk.

I am not only looking forward to reconnecting with my fellow Fellows (2008) and the leaders of that group (MT Meadows and Pam Thompson); but I am also looking forward to meeting a whole new gaggle of leaders and aspiring leaders; like you. And since I have a new role in Nursing Informatics, I really want to talk with my techy peers!

To get you started with networking ideas I have listed just a few below...

Friday, April 9, 2010
Networking Fast Lane: New Member and First Time Attendees Networking Hour
5:15 – 6:15 p.m.
All new AONE members and first time Annual Meeting attendees are invited to come and network with veteran members and the AONE Leadership. remove

Saturday, April 10, 2010
AONE President’s Welcome Reception
8:00 – 10:00 p.m.

Sunday, April 11, 2010
Institute Fundraiser - Sunrise Breakfast
6:30 – 7:45 a.m.

FREE PENS!!!!!!!!!
Exhibit Hall Hours
Saturday, April 10, 2010
10:15 am
Grand Opening
10:15 am – 1:15 pm
Complimentary lunch will be served

Sunday, April 11, 2010
10:45 am – 2:00 pm
Complimentary lunch will be served
3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
Healthy break will be served. remove
Passport to Prizes [win a Coach bag or free plane tickets or other swag]

The meeting is fast approaching. I hope you have registered - I received my registration confirmation this week; so I'm set to go. Remember the early registration discount ends March 9th. Blog at you later!

Be well.
Mark Ambler

Ambler, Mark. "Preparing the Next Generation of Nursing Leaders: The AONE Nurse Manager Fellowship." Nurse Leader 8.1 (2010), 26-28.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Deligation Webinar February 17th

On February 17th AONE will host a webinar that answers the question: How effective are the nurses’ delegation and supervision practices at the bedside? Studies have shown that some basic care is being missed and this can be due to ineffective systems.

Have you wondered how nurse sensitive indicators reflect the ability of RNs to communicate patient needs and offer feedback to assistive personnel? What does your organization’s pressure ulcer, VTE, and fall prevalence tell you about the ability of your teams to plan rounding, turning and positioning, ambulation, hydration, toileting, and nutrition? Attend this webinar and discover how to transform the current realities of bedside care into a clear mental model for successful RN leadership.

Register now for this webinar on February 17th at 2:00 pm EST. You can read more information on the AONE webinar page.

Monday, January 25, 2010

First Time at the AONE Annual Meeting?

Will you be attending the AONE 43rd Annual Meeting & Exposition for the first time? If so you will be pleased to know that we have a New Member and First Time Attendees Networking Session the first night (April 9 5:15p-6:15p). This is a great way to begin making connections with other influential nursing leaders. You will enjoy learning about the Annual Meeting and talking with fellow new attendees. I like to attend these sessions just to meet new members.

So, don't be shy... come and join this fun group of dynamic individuals on your first night in Indianapolis. It will help with two nursing issues: your stress level and your need to be organized. You know what I'm talking about!

Be well.
Mark Ambler

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm on track - pun very much intended!

Hi to all AONE bloggers! I am so excited about the upcoming AONE Annual Meeting and Exposition to be held April 9-13. The programs look inspiring. I have never been to Indianapolis, but I hear it is a convention friendly city! This year we are using technology to its fullest, with sessions on demand, virtual posters and an enhanced online program planner. Our pre-conference line up will be sure to get us on track (get it-on track...OK, not so funny) for the opening keynote speaker David Whyte. We have built in certification preparation (CNML/CENP) and if you are ready, you can sit for the exam on the last day of the conference. The oral sessions all look great. I will have a hard time deciding what to attend. If you are anything like me, you will want to be in two places at once, but no worries----with sessions on demand you can view those you were unable to attend or bring back to your workplace, those that you found pertinent to share with your colleagues.
Now, it cannot be all work and no play, so we have built the programs around networking, exhibits and poster sessions, so you will have plenty of time to catch up with colleagues near and far. Speaking of colleagues, as you can see from my picture, I do not have a problem squeezing in a little fun (that's me in the middle).
See you in Indy!
Rob Rose, RN, MS, NEA-BC
Region 1 Board Member and
Sr Vice President Patient Services/CNO
Bristol Hospital