Mary Guanci MSN, RN, CNRN, SCRN

Arlington, MA


MSN Salem State College 1992


CNRN 1984 –present
SCRN  2014- present
ATNCC- 2015


2014   AANN Excellence in Education
2000- 2014 Partners in Excellence Award
2014 Nathaniel Bowditch Award.
2013- Annual Patient and Family Support Specialty Award- Society of Critical Care Medicine.
2011 Arctic Circle Excellence Award 2011

Vision for Neuroscience Nursing:

Every day neuroscience nurses are in a unique position to influence the care of a neuroscience patient. This knowledge has driven our passion to learn about our specialty and encourages us to foster an environment of care that is patient and family centered, innovative, collaborative, empowering, and culturally competent.  It is through knowing our patient, that the neuroscience nurse demonstrates the importance of our specialty practice and through commitment to this practice that others become aware of our unique contribution to patient outcomes. We have an opportunity and a responsibility to influence other nurses and health care professionals who are discovering the challenges of caring for our complex patient population.  Continued scholarship, scientific inquiry, mentoring, teaching, and publication will prepare us to influence current and future neuroscience practice. Creating or embracing opportunities to share this knowledge through collaboration with other health care colleagues will aid in our ability to advocate for our patients and our profession in an ever-changing healthcare environment.

Vision for the Association:

Changes to the healthcare delivery system will require the AANN to remain positioned as the leading authority in neuroscience nursing; advocating for our practice at a local, national and international level. Continued collaboration with other specialty and nursing associations will remain necessary to continue to achieve this goal. It is important for the AANN to promote neuroscience nursing standards of practice and define core nursing competencies needed by a nurse caring for our specialty population. This becomes increasingly important as shifts in health care delivery have led to renewed interest in creating neuroscience programs of care. The AANN can provide the support and resources needed to maintain neuroscience nursing excellence.

Engagement of the membership is challenging but important to the success of any organization.  Continued support for educational programs, certification, publication and research remain important tools used to increase the visibility of the organization. Caring for neuroscience patients is intellectually, emotionally and physically demanding. Programs that aid the neuroscience nurse in the fostering or sustaining resilience will become important in supporting nurses in our specialty practice. The AANN must continue to ensure that it is representing the voice of its membership. Competing interests, work-life balance and financial constraints challenge us to think more creatively about maintaining or establishing communication with members. Continued exploration of technology to promote and exchange of information will continue to be necessary. Teleconferenced meetings supporting chapter leadership by “attending a meeting “or an “ask the leader” session may assist in creating relationships that encourages a member’s interest in association activities. The AANN must continue to strive to re-energize some, spark inquiry and innovation in others and help identify the leaders of tomorrow.

Accomplishments in Professional Positions:

I have been a neuroscience nurse for over 38 years and have had the honor of caring for many patients and their families. I have also been privileged to work at the local and national level with talented colleagues from many disciplines either as a member or leader of many interdisciplinary committees and nursing groups. Sharing knowledge and practice is a large component of my professional practice. Accomplishments would include; authoring, teaching and disseminating standards of care, procedures, guidelines and research specifically used in the care and management of the neuroscience patient and families. Specific accomplishments include authoring chapters in the AANN Core Curriculum, authoring a book chapter in neuroscience nursing textbook, publication of articles in the journals on various neuro-intensive care topics, and most recently, networking as a contributor to an “Ask the Experts column concerning targeted temperature management. Research conducted has been presented nationally at AANN annual conference; Educational Needs of Families of Patients with TBI and The Impact of Death & Dying in the ICU on the New Graduate Nurse. This has led to the creation of educational materials and programs at the service level used in support of patients and families.  I have lectured on many topics, internationally, nationally, regionally and locally. Collaboration with an interdisciplinary group resulted in the creation of the Neurocritical Care Society Guidelines for External Ventricular Drain Management. The ability to maintain my passion for neuroscience nursing and the opportunity to influence and ignite passion in new practitioners as a clinical nurse specialist, through role modeling, coaching and teaching is the professional accomplishment of which I am proudest.

Accomplishments in Leadership Positions:

 My role as a clinical nurse specialist has allowed me the opportunity to remain in touch with the needs of the patients, families and staff at the bedside. This has influenced the groups of which I have led both personally and professionally.   I am the nurse representative to my hospital’s Executive Board for Organ Donation and chair of the clinical subgroup. These groups are responsible for providing leadership and expertise in the promotion of donation through the development of policies, procedures and case review.  I act as the co-chair of the Targeted Temperature Management Collaborative charged with the creation and review of practice and policies related to use of this therapy in the ICU. Educational efforts have led to the establishment of safe practices in diverse populations of patients.

Changes in healthcare prompted the development of transdisciplinary hospital redesign groups charged with improving quality and cutting cost. The Endovascular Redesign Group, of which I was nurse co-lead, was able to decrease the length of stay of elective aneurysm coiling while ensuring a quality and safe experience for the patient.  I have served as the President, executive board member and conference coordinator of the Boston Chapter of the AANN. Our accomplishments include the establishment of an annual conference Two local and two national scholarships are available to our membership and we are proud recipients of a Chapter of the Year Award from AANN.   I am the current Chairperson of the AANN Awards Committee and the AANN liaison to Neurocritical Care as a member of the Targeted Temperature Guideline development group. In 2014, I was presented the AANN Excellence in Education Award.

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