Mark Hunter is this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. Mark is a 2016 graduate of the national BSN-LINC online RN to BSN Program. Mark’s story is motivational.

Four years ago, Mark’s son fell and fractured his arm. Treatment included intravenous sedation and manipulation to align the bones. His son already had limited access options due to the fractured arm and an inexperienced nurse attempted to place his peripheral intravenous catheter (PIV). On the first try, she obtained a blood return and struggled to advance the cannula off the needle. Mark’s son screamed in pain. The needle found the vein, but the cannula did not. On the second attempt, she advanced the catheter too far, infiltrating the vein. On her third attempt, an experienced nurse came in and placed the PIV on the first try. Today, Mark’s son is not afraid of a potential break of one of his bones, but the placement of a PIV.

This experience motivated Mark to conduct research. He found upon admission to a hospital, 90% of patients receive intravenous therapy with 98% of the therapy delivered via PIVs. Unfortunately, initial placement of PIVs is only 57% successful with an average of two attempts required. Research demonstrates that initial placement success climbs to 95% among vascular access nurses with specific training related to assessment, placement, maintenance and removal. Further, it is well known that PIV placement is one of the top three skills graduate nurses are uncomfortable performing (Wenger, 2015). Another study by Clay and colleagues (2017) demonstrated that less than 10% of medical and nursing students could identify a PIV needing replacement.

Mark approached the Association for Vascular Access (AVA) and was given the opportunity to lead a task force to determine how nursing schools and health care institutions educate nursing students and practicing nurses about PIV concepts and skills. He reached out to Dr. Chris Vandenhouten for guidance and assistance. They completed a study with responses from over 700 nursing schools and healthcare institutions throughout Canada and the United States. The research resulted in the development of a comprehensive, evidenced based PIV curriculum and toolkit that AVA will offer. The article detailing the research has just been published in the September 2018 edition of The Journal of the Association for Vascular Access.Hunter 2018 Distinguished Alumni

Congratulations to Mark and his commitment to the profession of nursing.