On March 2, 1987, thirty two nurses members of National AACN met to establish the Greater East Texas AACN Chapter representing the MedicalCenter, Mother Frances Hospital, Good Shepard Medical Center, UT Health Center,and Baylor Medical Center of Gilmer. The Bylaws for Chapters adopted on March 2, 1987 were signed by first chapter president William D. Gardiner and Secretary Chris Bearden. A chapter newsletter “Critically Speaking” was established soon after written and edited by the chapter members.
Chapter goals for that chapter group were:
- Promote networking between critical care nurses throughout East Texas.
- Provide quality educational opportunities for professional nurses in the EastTexas area.
- Add to membership roster 5 members per month for first year.
- Establish community awareness of the role of the critical care nurse in health care delivery.
Educational offerings and seminars have been presented each year by and for the chapter members. National speakers have been brought in for one and two-day seminars. One of the first seminars presenting a national speaker was “CCRN: Keys to the Core” by Nancy Townsend in December 1991.
During some lean years we met in conjunction with the ENA chapter for our educational presentations splitting out into individual meeting following the sessions.
In 1997 our 10th anniversary of the chapter founding we reestablish with renewed interest and have consistently hosted an annual 1 or 2 day seminar event. Each meeting continues to include 1.2 ch of educational offerings. Meetings are held at Trinity Mother Frances Health System Educational Office at 802 S. Beckham, Tyler, Texas, on the second Tuesday of the month.
Since 1998 the chapter has sponsored partial and total expense scholarships to the National teaching institute each annually for active members of the chapter who collect points during the year towards the awarding of the scholarships.