Joined AACN, was it worth it?

  1. 0
    Soon after I graduated I joined the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, because I thought it might help me with my new job in the ICU. And I was kind of idealistically thinking that joining your supporting association is good.

    But frankly, I don't glean much from the three publications they offer. I mean, I have a personal interest in, say, how hypoplastic left heart babies are managed (I'm not being facetious; I almost applied to a pediatric heart unit) but it's not helping me as a new adult ICU nurse. I suppose they aren't meant to. At any rate, I'm probably going to switch to online delivery. They keep asking me to switch to online delivery anyway, which I suppose saves publication costs but also leads me to wonder if these articles are really meant to be read, or if the value is more for the writers, i.e. meeting milestones for academic or career advancement; for instance, to achieve the highest tier of pay in our hospital, you have to organize and publish a nursing research study.

    Half the mailings I get were trying to get me to go to the NTI conference, which I'm not yet financially able to do.

    I also didn't appreciate having my mailing address farmed out to different insurance companies, not just malpractice insurance (which kind of makes sense, though it's still just marketing) but dental as well? Like I need junk mail.

    Some of the political aspects of ICU nursing I'm interested in, such as improved palliative care, don't seem to be a main focus of the group.

    I do like the AACN Newswire email, but I believe that's free.

    Should I renew next year? It doesn't seem worth $78.

    Chris
  2. 10 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    I like the AACN journal .... what's it called? "Critical Care Nurse" I think. I get a lot of good info in there, usually the cover article is great and applicable to adult practice, but not always. There was a neonatal article in there recently that I didn't care about and probably wouldn't even have understood had I read it. That is, if I have time to read it (and I frequently don't.)

    The other pubs I don't read. Do they really sell your name to other parties? I thought I got all that garbage for other reasons. I started getting garbage nursing mail shortly after I got licensed/before I passed the CCRN and joined AACN.
  4. 0
    I read Advanced Critical Care, Critical Care Medicine, and CHEST.
  5. 0
    I just joined AACN too. I haven't received any of the publications yet, so can't speak to their usefulness.

    I find a lot of articles to be less than helpful. Like, I just read an article on ST segment monitoring (actually, I started reading it, got frustrated, then skimmed to the end). It talked about all the evidence/studies demonstrating WHY ST monitoring should be done as in timely detection of ischemia and decreased mortality, but did not discuss HOW to do it, etc. I just find that in this point of my career, I need more WHAT to do and HOW to do it, not a bunch of theoretical fluff.

    I read Nursing2010 and find that to be about the level of what I need right now. I hope one of the AACN journals will be along the same lines.

    I would be interested in getting access to AACN's ECCO online learning modules, as I think those would be useful. That is actually one of the reasons I joined AACN, because I thought I would be able to gain access. I was a little miffed to find out that even paying members can't access it.

    I will probably do some of the free CE's available not he website, even though I find a lot of those are too specific with a narrow scope of application.

    I do plan on getting CCRN certified, but I don't know if I'll renew my membership after that.
  6. 0
    Yes AACN is definitly worth it.

    Critical Care Nurses by necesity have both a deep and a broad knowledge base. As you progress as a critical care nurse, more and more of what you read will have meaning. And no one expects you to read and retain everything. Since I don't do Peds and do very little neuro, i scan those, and read with a highliter the ones on trauma and cardiology. It's amazing after awhile, now you start to be able to apply things you read, to your real world situations.

    AACN also works very hard on the science of what we do, and the environment we do it in. As a proffesional organization, you get a lot for your money, they have many revenue streams, that keep your outlay of cash to ao minumum for what you get. I admit that I started my critical care training in a LARGE east coast teaching hospital, and was exepcted to be able to answer a lot of the questions that the interns and residents couldn't when doing rounds. My knowledge of electrolytes and how they work in a critical patient started with what I read in the journal, and then when I was able to apply it, I retained the knowledge.

    Probably the best return on the investment is the contacts I've made as a member over the years, I've got people I can call at a moments notice and ask their opinion and for their help.
  7. 0
    Quote from TangoLima

    I will probably do some of the free CE's available not he website, even though I find a lot of those are too specific with a narrow scope of application.

    I do plan on getting CCRN certified, but I don't know if I'll renew my membership after that.
    Well, after you get your CCRN you won't want to drop out because you can
    re-certify with the free CEUs from the website. I know I certainly do not want to
    ever have to take that test again!
  8. 0
    Speaking of CCRNs, how long had you worked in ICU before you sat for the exam?
  9. 0
    Quote from ICUSkeenRN
    Speaking of CCRNs, how long had you worked in ICU before you sat for the exam?
    Oh, a little over 1 year I think.
  10. 0
    And what method(s) did you use to study? (Sorry for all the questions)

    Skeen, RN
    Sunny Southern Cal
  11. 0
    Quote from ICUSkeenRN
    And what method(s) did you use to study? (Sorry for all the questions)

    Skeen, RN
    Sunny Southern Cal
    Go over to the CVICU section and read that LONG thread about the best ways
    to study. I am all over that thread.
    Good luck


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