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Thomas Ahrens is an American nurse, researcher, and educator at Barnes-Jewish Hospital specializing in critical-care nursing.
Ahrens graduated from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis with a PhD in physiology and nursing in 1987.
Ahrens has more than 25 years of experience as a critical care nurse,and is the author of five books, more than 100 papers, and more than 40 scientific publications. His book Essentials of Oxygenation received the Book of the Year Award from the American Journal of Nursing. Ahrens is also a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and formerly served on the board of directors for AACN. He is a recognized authority in sepsis and has given numerous lectures around the country on the subject.
Ahrens is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, which named him one of its first Edge Runners in 2006; the award recognizes innovations resulting in better care for patients, families, and the community.In 2008, he received the Flame of Excellence award from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses; this award recognizes sustained contributions of excellence in acute and critical care nursing.
Ahrens co-founded the company ICU-USA, Inc. in 1999.The company operates a website which provides educational information to hospital staff and medical information to patients and families (particularly those in intensive care units). The company also places computer kiosks in public areas for use by patients, families, and hospital staff in accessing the site. The website has been endorsed by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and has been named "The Official Patient and Family Website of the Society of Critical Care Medicine" by the Society of Critical Care Medicine.
Ahrens and his wife Pat Ahrens have four children.
Intensive care medicine, also called critical care medicine, is a medical specialty that deals with seriously or critically ill patients who have, are at risk of, or are recovering from conditions that may be life-threatening. It includes providing life support, invasive monitoring techniques, resuscitation, and end-of-life care. Doctors in this specialty are often called intensive care physicians, critical care physicians or intensivists.
An advanced practice nurse (APN) is a nurse with post-graduate education in nursing. APNs are prepared with advanced didactic and clinical education, knowledge, skills, and scope of practice in nursing.
Nursing credentials and certifications are the various credentials and certifications that a person must have to practice nursing legally. Nurses' postnominal letters reflect their credentials—that is, their achievements in nursing education, licensure, certification, and fellowship. The letters usually appear in the following order:
Health advocacy or health activism encompasses direct service to the individual or family as well as activities that promote health and access to health care in communities and the larger public. Advocates support and promote the rights of the patient in the health care arena, help build capacity to improve community health and enhance health policy initiatives focused on available, safe and quality care. Health advocates are best suited to address the challenge of patient-centered care in our complex healthcare system. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) defines patient-centered care as: Health care that establishes a partnership among practitioners, patients, and their families to ensure that decisions respect patients’ wants, needs, and preferences and that patients have the education and support they need to make decisions and participate in their own care. Patient-centered care is also one of the overreaching goals of health advocacy, in addition to safer medical systems, and greater patient involvement in healthcare delivery and design.
Critical care nursing is the field of nursing with a focus on the utmost care of the critically ill or unstable patients following extensive injury, surgery or life threatening diseases. Critical care nurses can be found working in a wide variety of environments and specialties, such as general intensive care units, medical intensive care units, surgical intensive care units, trauma intensive care units, coronary care units, cardiothoracic intensive care units, burns unit, paediatrics and some trauma center emergency departments. These specialists generally take care of critically ill patients who require mechanical ventilation by way of endotracheal intubation and/or titratable vasoactive intravenous medications.
The Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies is a graduate and undergraduate nursing school and one of the professional schools of Fairfield University located in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States. The school offers graduate and undergraduate programs, according to the National League for Nursing (NLN) and Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and ranks among the "10 Best Colleges for a Degree in Nursing" according to Bright Hub.
The Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award is an award that recognizes registered nurses and other non-physician, clinical, health care professionals who work directly with patients in the United States. The award invites anyone to nominate a health care professional for exceptional service, sacrifice or innovation. The award is named after Cherokee Uniforms, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of uniforms, scrubs and lab coats worn by health care, dental and veterinary professionals internationally.
Torrance Memorial Medical Center is a private hospital located in Torrance, California. Torrance Memorial Medical Center is a Magnet designated facility recognized by the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC) for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. Torrance Memorial was the first hospital in the Los Angeles South Bay region, and is currently one of just three burn centers in Los Angeles County.
A family nurse practitioner (FNP) provides continuing and comprehensive healthcare for the individual and family across all ages, genders, diseases, and body systems. Primary care emphasizes the holistic nature of health and it is based on knowledge of the patient in the context of the family and the community, emphasizing disease prevention and health promotion.
Ambulatory care nursing is the nursing care of patients who receive treatment on an outpatient basis, ie they do not require admission to a hospital for an overnight stay. Ambulatory care includes those clinical, organizational and professional activities engaged in by registered nurses with and for individuals, groups, and populations who seek assistance with improving health and/or seek care for health-related problems. The American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN) describes ambulatory care nursing as a comprehensive practice which is built on a broad knowledge base of nursing and health sciences, and applies clinical expertise rooted in the nursing process.
The Uniform Advantage/AACN Graduate Nursing Student Academy Scholarship is an award that acknowledges the important role nurses play in the health care system. It was developed based on a commitment to improving access to nursing students enrolled in master's and doctoral programs.
A pediatric intensive care unit, usually abbreviated to PICU, is an area within a hospital specializing in the care of critically ill infants, children, teenagers, and young adults aged 0-21. A PICU is typically directed by one or more pediatric intensivists or PICU consultants and staffed by doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists who are specially trained and experienced in pediatric intensive care. The unit may also have nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physiotherapists, social workers, child life specialists, and clerks on staff, although this varies widely depending on geographic location. The ratio of professionals to patients is generally higher than in other areas of the hospital, reflecting the acuity of PICU patients and the risk of life-threatening complications. Complex technology and equipment is often in use, particularly mechanical ventilators and patient monitoring systems. Consequently, PICUs have a larger operating budget than many other departments within the hospital.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for baccalaureate and graduate nursing education. AACN works to establish quality standards for nursing education; assists schools in implementing those standards; influences the nursing profession to improve health care; and promotes public support for professional nursing education, research, and practice.
Paoli Hospital is a 231-bed, not-for-profit, acute care hospital in Paoli, Pennsylvania. In 2014, the hospital was re-accredited as a Level II Trauma Center, the only one in Chester County.
In the United States, Nursing is the largest healthcare profession, with more than 3.1 million registered nurses. Between 2012 and 2022, employment for nurses is projected to grow by 19 percent, which is more than any other profession. Nurses make up the largest component of staff in hospitals but are also able to provide care in clinic settings, patient's homes, schools, nursing homes, public health agencies, and mental health centers. In addition, nurses can be found in the military, in industry, nursing education, and do health care research. Nurses in these various roles and settings can provide direct patient care and case management, but also develop and establish nursing practice and quality standards within complex healthcare systems. As each degree can provide a different level of care for patients and function in vastly different roles, it is important to differentiate between them. The levels of nursing degrees have different educational requirements, licensure, and credentialing that can vary state to state.
An acute care nurse practitioner (ACNP) is a registered nurse who has completed an accredited graduate-level educational program that prepares them as a nurse practitioner. This program includes supervised clinical practice to acquire advanced knowledge, skills, and abilities. This education and training qualifies them to independently: (1) perform comprehensive health assessments; (2) order and interpret the full spectrum of diagnostic tests and procedures; (3) use a differential diagnosis to reach a medical diagnosis; and (4) order, provide, and evaluate the outcomes of interventions. The purpose of the ACNP is to provide advanced nursing care across the continuum of health care services to meet the specialized physiologic and psychological needs of patients with acute, critical, and/or complex chronic health conditions. This care is continuous and comprehensive and may be provided in any setting where the patient may be found. The ACNP is a licensed independent practitioner and may autonomously provide care. Whenever appropriate, the ACNP considers formal consultation and/or collaboration involving patients, caregivers, nurses, physicians, and other members of the interprofessional team.
The End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) project is a national education initiative whose mission is to improve palliative care. The project provides an undergraduate and graduate nursing faculty, CE providers, staff development educators, specialty nurses in pediatrics, oncology, critical care, and geriatrics, and other nurses with training in palliative care so they can teach this information to nursing students and practicing nurses. ELNEC is a partnership between the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), Washington, DC and the City of Hope, Duarte, CA. The project provides undergraduate and graduate nursing faculty, CE providers, staff development educators, specialty nurses in pediatrics, oncology, critical care, and geriatrics, and other nurses with palliative care training. Once trained, these healthcare professionals go on to teach this essential information to nursing students and practicing nurses. The project, which began in February 2000, was initially funded by a major grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The National Cancer Institute (NCI), American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), US Cancer Pain Relief Committee, the Aetna, Archstone, Oncology Nursing, California HealthCare, Milbank, Stupski, Open Society, and Cambia Health Foundations, and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have provided additional funding.
Middlesex Hospital is a non-profit, acute care community hospital in Middletown, Connecticut.
Dorrie K. Fontaine is an American educator, author, dean, and critical care nurse. She is known best for her academic leadership at the University of Virginia School of Nursing.
Bernadette J. Mazurek Melnyk is an American nurse. She is a professor of paediatrics and psychiatry at Ohio State University College of Medicine and dean of the College of Nursing. Melnyk is also the editor in chief of the journal Worldviews on Evidence Based Nursing.