AACN to present GE Healthcare-AACN Pioneering Spirit Award to JoAnn Grif Alspach

JoAnn Grif Alspach, RN, MSN, EdD, FAAN, a pioneer in nursing preceptorship, will receive the GE Healthcare-AACN Pioneering Spirit Award.

The award, from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) and supported by GE Healthcare, will be presented at the 2013 National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, Boston, May 18-23. This AACN Visionary Leadership Award recognizes significant contributions that influence high acuity and critical care nursing and relate to the association's mission, vision and values.

Alspach is a Maryland-based consultant on nursing staff development, competency-based education and competency-based performance appraisal systems. Over the past 35 years, she has consulted, published and lectured nationally and internationally on nursing staff development, preceptor preparation, competency-based education and critical care nursing.

Since 1985, she has served as editor for AACN's Critical Care Nurse, a bimonthly peer-reviewed clinical journal that provides a broad spectrum of continuing care information to help acute and critical care nurses inform best bedside practice in high-acuity, progressive and critical care settings.

An early advocate for preceptorship of new nurses, Alspach wrote the groundbreaking document, "The Preceptor's Bill of Rights," in 1987, followed by publishing the first educational program to develop nurses as preceptors. The program's subsequent updates expanded to include ancillary healthcare team members. Principles she framed continue to influence a wide range of materials guiding the preparation of today's nurse preceptors.

Nationally known for her work in competency-based education, she was one of the first nurses to develop competency-based orientation programs. She published articles on the use of competency assessment to appraise and document staff performance more than 20 years before The Joint Commission made it mandatory.

As editor of the "AACN Core Curriculum for Critical Care Nursing" and its companion publications for more than two decades, Alspach has been instrumental in identifying and disseminating the body of knowledge for critical care nursing clinicians worldwide.

She received her BSN and MSN in cardiovascular nursing from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and her doctorate in adult and continuing education from the University of Maryland, College Park.


American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

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