President’s Message
February 2020

Happy Valentines Day!  We are making progress towards spring, and that in itself is something to celebrate!  That, and the heart-shaped cookies and chocolates of course, as well as our long history of nurses working in Coronary Care Units, collaborating with physicians to save patients with “hearts too young to die.” [1]

Initially, I thought about recounting that history briefly for you, but decided it might be best to refer you to Dr. Julie Fairman’s and Joan Lynaugh’s book Critical Care Nursing: A History -- and my own work “Blurring the Boundaries between Medicine and Nursing: History of Coronary Care Nursing.”[2] Both of these, along with numerous other publications, give succinct accounts of that history. Besides, I want to focus on AAHN.

To that end, I would like to use this message to express AAHN’s board of directors’ heartfelt thanks to two of our members – Tess O’Neill and Adrian Melissinos -- who have recently stepped down from their roles as co-editors of the Bulletin. As you probably know, last year the Board decided to get news out to our members using the AAHN website and social media, having decided that brief and timely messages might be more effective than an annual newsletter. For some time into this year we thought we might do an electronic newsletter on our website in addition. However, you may have noted that we continue to update the website every month, adding the Author’s Corner, updated conference news, etc.  We also are using these President’s messages each month, as well as email blasts, to notify members of “breaking news,” such as Shannon Perry’s recent publication in Arizona Nurse.  We hope these efforts are working. That said, I cannot overlook the contributions our former Bulletin editors have made. Creating the Bulletin has been no small feat, and for that we thank them! Hopefully, Tess and Adrienne, and other interested members, will volunteer to run for Board openings this year.  Please notify Rebecca Coffin, [email protected] chair of the nominating committee, if you are interested.  It is of vital importance to the organization that we have an active board.

On another note, I would also like to thank Vice President Gwyneth Milbrath for representing AAHN in Brazil in November to collaborate with several international organizations to write a position paper on the importance of including nursing history in nursing schools’ curricula. In addition, I have asked Dr. Milbrath to represent AAHN in Atlanta in March at the AACN’s regional meeting allowing input into curricular requirements.   Let’s hope they accept her recommendations!

Stay tuned for updates, and be sure to register soon for the Chester, UK, conference (and possibly the side trip to Scotland).  We have extended the deadline for the “Call for Abstracts” until the end of this month in the hope of encouraging attendance. Bring a friend and join us! Led by Shannon Perry, the Membership committee has a new initiative underway! (THANK YOU!)


Arlene Keeling, PhD, RN, FAAN

President, AAHN

[1]  Dr. Hughes Day, Founder of the CCU in Kansas City

[2]  J. Fairman and J. Lynaugh, Critical Care Nursing: A History, (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998) and A. Keeling, in Nursing History Review, 12 (1): 139-64 (February 2004)