2018 NTI Program Planning Committee

For their dedication, vision and tireless efforts in developing this year’s program, we appreciate and recognize the members of the 2018 NTI Program Planning Committee.

Mary Anderson is a critical care flight nurse, based in Helena, Montana, and also serves in the U.S. Air Force Reserve Nurse Corps. She has more than 17 years of experience as a bedside nurse, spent five years as a Navy hospital corpsman and has served as adjunct faculty for several nursing programs. “I was honored to represent the bedside nurses’ perspective and to ensure that educational offerings were relevant for them,” she tells us. “Nurses all over the country have so many great ideas! I was impressed by how creative and adaptable they are as they respond to challenges in caring for the critically ill.”

Nicole Frederick has been an ICU nurse at John Peter Smith Health, Fort Worth, Texas, since 2008. She is amazed by the caliber of the nurses who belong to AACN. “We are truly a group of extraordinary nurses,” she says. “I had a great time learning about critical care at other hospitals across the country. It is always great to see how your practice compares nationally and take pointers from programs with strengths in other areas.”


Barb Leatherwood, with 23 years of experience as a nurse and a leader, now serves as clinical nurse educator for surgical, cardiovascular ICU, emergency department and emergency medical services at Magnolia Regional Health Center, Corinth, Mississippi. She learned to “trust the process” as a committee member. “A tremendous amount of hard work goes into the process of planning NTI and providing the best possible content for nurses in the sessions,” she says. “I learned that there are amazing nurses out there dedicated to research and the continuous process of moving nursing forward and improving patient                                                 outcomes.”

Paula Levett, nursing practice leader in the pediatric ICU at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, Iowa City, has more than 35 years of nursing experience. Her extensive pediatric and neonatal background brings an expert perspective to the clinical education needs of new and veteran nurses. “I was impressed with the high level of sophistication, detail and time spent selecting abstracts to be presented at NTI,” she says. “The selection process was data driven but at the same time reflected the opinions of content experts.”


Jasmyn Madden serves as professional development specialist in a unified cardiac services unit at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Portland, Oregon. Besides her cardiac focus, she advocates for topics that could span the spectrum of knowledge in terms of acuity. “One of the most valuable takeaways for me was the inspiration and camaraderie the AACN community provides,” she says. “We came together as a group of strangers from various parts of the country and a multitude of specialties, yet smoothly and swiftly determined the content of the NTI conference in a matter of days.”

Kelly Malcolm, a former cellular biologist, is an adult critical care nurse at Overlake Hospital, Bellevue, Washington. As an advanced practice critical care nurse, she has knowledge and skills that are broad based, and as a scientist she champions evidence-based nursing practice. “It was a lot of work, but AACN has an established process that results in an excellent conference format,” she says. “The people I worked with came from a variety of practice backgrounds, and their unique perspectives expanded my nursing lens.”


Betsy McDowell is a professor and chair of nursing at Newberry College, South Carolina. She has served as an educator and pediatric nurse for more than 45 years — 33 with CCRN certification. Having attended NTI numerous times, including several as a presenter, she brings firsthand experience as a critical care nurse and speaker. “I learned that each member of the planning team was selected with intentionality to fulfill the ‘Guided by Why’ theme.”


Meghan Pishnery is assistant nurse manager, surgical ICU, at Cleveland Clinic, and chair of the NTI Program Planning Committee. She believes that working as a manager at a large teaching hospital provides a unique perspective. “The most important piece I learned is that there are so many talented AACN members that submitted abstracts,” she says. “It was so hard to choose the topics from the diverse selection of abstracts for this year’s NTI.”


Pat Rosier, a surgical clinical nurse specialist at Berkshire Medical Center, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, offers the committee the broad perspective of progressive care nurses. “I was impressed by the variety of topics and depth of knowledge of the potential speakers. I also found reading the abstracts to be educational, as I was introduced to topics beyond my usual area of expertise,” she says. “This was an overwhelmingly positive experience.”


Erika Simon is the ICU clinical educator at Northern Arizona Healthcare, Flagstaff. Although she’s been a critical care nurse for 10 years, she “felt like the rookie on this team.” She tells us, “I was honored to serve alongside experienced nurses from across the country and enthusiastic AACN staff. I was excited to offer my perspective as a millennial-generation nurse with purpose, dedication and commitment to excellent patient care. Participating on the committee was a whirlwind of learning, leading and representing the needs of the bedside critical care nurse.”