Chapters Embrace Concept of Local Action|
AACN chapter members who participated in regional meetings in Fall 2000 seemed re-energized and enthusiastic about how they can be even more involved in promoting critical care nursing and exerting influence at the local level, according to Connie Barden, RN, MSN, CCNS, CCRN, the AACN national board liaison to the Chapter Advisory Team.
In a summary of feedback from the meetings, which were conducted in all 19 AACN regions, Barden noted that, in general, participants were more upbeat, positive and optimistic than in the past few years. More than half of AACN’s 239 chapters were represented at the meetings.
“The AACN board members, past leaders and staff reported meeting with enthusiastic members, who were full of ideas, comments, plans and visions,” Barden added. “The information obtained will be valuable as we plan further strategies to support and strengthen our presence at the local level.”
Support of $10,000 each by Hill-Rom and Siemens Medical Systems, Inc., two long-standing AACN Partners With Industry members, allowed for additional meetings to be conducted in two regions and covered expenses associated with arranging for representatives of the AACN national board to attend each meeting. Barden said that comments about national board representatives being present at local and regional events were positive.
“The presence of board members and other representatives from the National Office is a concrete way for members to feel connected with the organization,” she said.
At the board’s requests, local action was a topic discussed at every meeting. Barden said that most participants found these discussions lively and supported the concept that the association brings its vision to life and has its greatest impact in the daily work of individual members.
“Participants were anxious to know more about where they fit in and how they can work toward fulfilling AACN’s mission and vision,” Barden said.
The feeling was that local action is enhanced by chapter members who are perceived as influential leaders because they have access to information as a result of their involvement and contacts with AACN. For example, passing on copies of AACN’s practice standards to policymakers and peers in their workplaces is an example of making local action happen.
“We are the voice at the bedside, but we need to learn to be a better voice in public for critical care nursing,” Barden commented. “We need to develop the knowledge and skills to make certain that our voice is heard.”
Participants also cited a need for AACN to actively help chapters promote the value of nursing and get the message out that nursing is a career to be proud of. She said there was also
tremendous enthusiasm for chapters being included in AACN’s branding campaign with the consulting firm of Burson-Marstellar to solidify the association’s position as the undisputed leader among critical care nurses.
Barden said that AACN’s proactive response to the Chicago Tribune articles about medication errors was seen favorably by members attending the regional meetings. In many regions, discussions also centered on the need for AACN to “take a stand” on issues related to the workplace, particularly staffing issues.
Special NTI Programs Geared to Chapters
Chapter leaders will have an opportunity to enhance their effectiveness during special sessions and events at AACN’s National Teaching Institute™ and Critical Care Exposition, May 19 through 24, 2001, in Anaheim, Calif.
In addition to occasions when chapter leaders from throughout the country can meet and discuss mutual ideas and concerns, special education sessions geared to chapter interests are scheduled throughout the NTI. Topics that will be covered include how to start a chapter, recruitment and retention of members, finances, ways to re-energize a chapter
and how to develop a chapter Web site.
The Web site session will roll out the pilot-tested chapter program and explain how chapters can create their own sites. AACN will be hosting these sites and providing a standard template for chapters that want to participate.
Developing leadership skills will also be highlighted, beginning with the daylong Chapter Leadership Development Workshop on May 20. Each chapter was invited to nominate its president-elect or another chapter leaders to participate in this workshop.
Further dialogue will take place in more informal settings. For example, Chapter Advisory Team (CAT) members, as well as representatives of the AACN Board of Directors, AACN Certification Corporation Board of Directors and AACN National Office, will be available in the AACN Resource Center at various times throughout the NTI.
The annual Network Night, which Cross Country TravCorps is cosponsoring with AACN, is another highlighted activity for chapters. And, chapter presidents will be guests at the annual Chapter Presidents Luncheon, sponsored by Nellcor.
For more information about the NTI or to register, call (800) 899-AACN (2226) or visit the NTI Web site.
The Gift of Reading
Mary E. Hillberg, president of the Brevard Chapter of AACN, Rockledge, Fla., presents books to Donna Engsinger, assistant principal at University Park Elementary School, one of the most under-funded schools in its county. Chapter members collect more than 100 children’s books throughout the year to donate to the school as part of an ongoing community enrichment project. Each book is wrapped and labeled to present to a needy child at the school. Extra books are donated to the school library.
What's on Tap
The Sacramento Chapter of AACN will present its annual seminar on March 15, 2001, in Sacramento, Calif. Topics will include ECG monitoring, septic shock and ARDS. For more information, call (916) 851-2902, or e-mail
The San Fernando Valley Chapter of AACN will sponsor its annual spring symposium, titled “Challenge of Diversity,” on March 20 and 21, 2001, in Studio City, Calif. For more information, call (818) 734-9457.
The Atlanta Area Chapter of AACN will present “Advanced Hemodynamics” on March 22, 2001, in Atlanta, Ga. For more information, e-mail Kathy Graham at email@example.com.
The Atlanta Area Chapter of AACN will present “Endocrine Emergencies” on May 5, 2001, in Atlanta, Ga. For more information, e-mail Nancy King at
The Greater Chicago Area Chapter of AACN will present “Dying in the ICU: Ethical Decisions” on March 6, 2001, in Chicago, Ill. For more information, contact Lori Marcantonio at
(847) 854-8358; e-mail, GCAC_AACN@YAHOO.COM.
The Greater Chicago Area Chapter of AACN will present “Power Received Is Power Achieved” on April 3, 2001, in Chicago, Ill. For more information, contact Lori Marcantonio at
(847) 854-8358; e-mail, GCAC_AACN@YAHOO.COM.
The Chicago West Suburban Chapter of AACN will sponsor its annual spring symposium on April 7, 2001, in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. For more information, contact Kim Greg at
(630) 968-5748 or Linda Morris, RNC, PhD, at
The Greater Chicago Area Chapter of AACN will present “Interpreting Lab Tests” on May 8, 2001, in Chicago, Ill. For more information, contact Lori Marcantonio at (847) 854-8358; e-mail
The Greater Evansville Chapter of AACN, Deaconess Hospital and the University of Southern Indiana will cosponsor “The Heart of Cardiovascular Nursing” symposium on March 8, 2001, in Evansville, Ind. For more information or to register, contact Lynn Schnautz, RN, MSN, CCRN, at (812) 450-7172; e-mail,
or Ellen Wathen at (812) 450-7249; e-mail,
The Greater Evansville Chapter of AACN will sponsor the “Critical Care Challenge” on April 19, 200, in Evansville, Ill. For more information, contact Lynn Schnautz at (812) 450-7172; or e-mail
The Chesapeake Bay Chapter of AACN will sponsor its 12 annual symposium, titled “The Future is Now,” on March 15 and 16, 2001, in Columbia, Md. For more information, contact Terry Tucker, RN, MS, CCN, CEN, at (410) 605-7000, ext. 6098.
The Greater St. Louis Chapter of AACN will present “Critical Care in the Millennium” on March 29 and 30, 2001, in St. Louis, Mo. For more information, leave a message on the chapter voice mail at (314) 653-1828.
The New York City Chapter of AACN will present “Advances in Cardiovascular Nursing” on April 6, 2001, in New York City. For more information, contact the chapter at (212) 620-1900; e-mail,
firstname.lastname@example.org, or e-mail Rey Rivera at
The Lake Erie Chapter of AACN, in conjunction with the Division of Nursing and the Division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, will present the 21st annual Dimensions in Cardiac Care Nursing Symposium April 1 through 3, 2001, in Cleveland, Ohio. For more information, contact the Department of Continuing Education, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44195; phone, (216) 444-5696 or (800) 762-8173.
The Greater Tulsa Area Chapter of AACN will present its 27th annual Critical Care Symposium on March 9, 2001, in Tulsa, Okla. For more information, contact Neil Golden, RN, MSN, CCRN, at (918) 494-3553; e-mail,
The Pacific Crest Regional Chapter of AACN will present “Acute Brain and Spinal Injury” on April 16, 2001, in Medford, Ore. For more information, contact Mary Edwards at (541) 826-4581; e-mail,
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of AACN, in conjunction with MCP Hahnemann University, will present “Trends in Trauma Nursing and Cardiovascular Nursing” on April 22, 2001, in Philadelphia, Pa. For more information, visit nursing.mcphu.edu online or contact Anne Goldblatt, One Wynnewood Road, Suite 100, Wynnewood, PA 19096; phone, (610) 658-7266; fax, (610)658-7268; e-mail,
The Midstate South Carolina Chapter of AACN will sponsors its spring conference on March 30, 2001, in Columbia, S.C. Sepsis and the systemic inflammatory response syndrome and oxygen transport in the critically ill are the topics. For more information, e-mail
The Greater Memphis Area Chapter of AACN will sponsors its spring seminar on March 9, 2001, in Collierville, Tenn. For more information, contact Cecilia Garrison at (901) 227-4598; fax, (901) 227-4580; e-mail,
The Middle Tennessee Chapter of AACN will present “Advanced Directives, Patient Rights, Legal Issues” on March 27, 2001, in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, contact Jan D. Wheeler at (615) 222-2190 or (615) 222-6405; fax, (615) 222-3687; e-mail,
The Greater Milwaukee Chapter of AACN will present “Dementia and Alzheimers” on March 6, 2001, in Milwaukee, Wis. For more information, e-mail Holly Clanton at
The Greater Milwaukee Chapter of AACN will present “Cardiac Arrythmias and Treatement Devices” on April 3, 2001, in Milwaukee, Wis. For more information, e-mail Holly Clanton at
The Fox River Valley Chapter of AACN will present “Critical Care Update” on April 6, 2001, in Appleton, Wis. For more information, contact Diane Schraufnagel at (920) 722-0913;
fax, (920) 738-8059; e-mail, dschrauf@ affinityhealth.org.
Send information about your chapter programs to AACN News, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656; fax, (949) 362-2049; e-mail,