I had the opportunity to attend the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) conference in January 2002. It was the third time I attended this annual multidisciplinary conference, which encompasses educational sessions geared to healthcare professionals working in acute and critical care, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, anesthesiologists, and others.

Although the conferences are always enjoyable and professionally stimulating, attending this year provided an opportunity to witness nursing history in the making. This year, Maurene Harvey, RN, MPH, CCRN, was officially installed as president of SCCM. Harvey is the first nurse to hold this esteemed position in the multidisciplinary critical care organization, which is composed of approximately 80% physicians. Harvey (oral communication, March 2002), who is currently an educator and consultant, relates:

Although she is the first nurse to hold the presidency position, Harvey is quick to point...

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