AACN News—July 2002—Chapters

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Vol. 19, No. 7, JULY 2002

Celebrating Nurses: 'Blessing' Celebrates Nurses Week

Lehigh Valley Chapter member Kim Dologite
holds a replica of the Nightingale lamp
during the Blessing of the Hands ceremony
at St. Luke�s Hospital, Bethlehem, Pa.
Photo by Betsy Toole, St. Luke�s Hospital

In celebration of Nurses Week and Florence Nightingale�s birthday, the Lehigh Valley Chapter of AACN joined the St. Luke�s Hospital Network, St. Luke�s Hospital School of Nursing and St. Luke�s Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association for the second annual �Blessing of the Hands� ceremony.

Approximately 40 nurses attended the event at the St. Luke�s Hospital, Bethlehem, Pa., where Emily Jean Gilbert, director of pastoral care, led the group in the �Blessing of the Hands.� However, the blessing was given simultaneously at all campuses of the St. Luke�s Hospital Network, at the Visiting Nurses Association, at the St. Luke�s Hospice and in the patient care units.

Chapter President Gyl Corona, RNC, MSN, CCNS, CCRN, delivered opening remarks. Kim Dologite, RN, MSN, a chapter member and education specialist at St. Luke�s Hospital, portrayed Florence Nightingale as she carried a replica of the Nightingale lamp. The lamp, which was commissioned by the St. Luke�s Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association after obtaining permission from the Nightingale Foundation in London, England, is lit and carried at all appropriate alumni and School of Nursing functions.

Chapters-Without-Walls Concept Can Overcome Barriers

By Judy Lang, RN, BS, CCRN
Region 18 Chapter Advisory Team Representative

Is maintaining chapter membership records a frustration? Is chapter paperwork overwhelming? Do you put off completing chapter activity worksheets because your records aren�t in order? Are you pressured to fulfill membership expectations? Are your chapter leaders exhausted because the same core group does all the work and is facing burnout?

Perhaps the answer to resolving these and other chapter issues lies within the �chapters-without-walls� concept.

The chapters without walls approach arose after several chapters in Region 18, serving Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Hawaii and Washington, experienced declining membership and dwindling leadership pools.
Meeting the challenges of dwindling resources and energies, coupled with the frustration related to membership recruitment and tracking, can be quite overwhelming. Arising from these frustrations, the concept of �chapters without walls� was created.

Under the chapters-without-walls philosophy, all national AACN members within a respective geographic region are chapter members and all can attend any chapters-without-walls seminars or educational offerings for the same fee.

The national membership list, which is updated as new members join, is available from AACN. Address labels for this membership pool can be obtained easily online at http://www.aacn.org. Each chapter is provided two complimentary lists each calendar year. Because the list is maintained by National, chapters are relieved of this cumbersome task.

The environment that is created allows chapters to redirect their resources and energies and further pursue the mission and values of AACN at the local level. The main intent is to increase the circle of influence and to provide regional support.

When the Walls Came Down
The Northwest Evergreen Chapter of AACN, Everett, Wash., is one of AACN�s oldest existing, active chapters. Approximately 10 years ago, the chapter decided to eliminate local membership dues and requirements and obtain their membership list directly from national AACN. When this unique philosophy and policy was presented at the Region 18 fall meeting in 1995, it was met with enthusiasm.

As the chapters-without-walls concept took hold, Region 18 chapter leaders presented a poster at AACN�s National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition in 1996 in Anaheim, Calif. As a result of this networking opportunity, the Pacific Crest Regional Chapter in Medford, Ore., and the Mt. Rainier Chapter in Tacoma, Wash., adopted the practice. The Columbia Wheatland Chapter in Richland, Wash., has since joined the others.

Since transitioning to chapters-without-walls status, these chapters have developed a renewed structure that has revitalized membership. It also has prevented burnout and need to �recycle� chapter officers.

For additional information about chapters without walls, e-mail Judy Lang at Jmlang@cdsnet.net or Membership and Chapter Specialist Dennis Maggi at (800) 394-5995; ext. 339; e-mail, Dennis.Maggi@aacn.org.

Share Chapter Successes at NTI

Did your chapter receive a Circle of Excellence Award last year or has your chapter found an innovative way to encourage members to become more involved and step into leadership positions? Has your membership grown because you have found success with unique recruitment approaches?

Why not share your ideas with other chapter representatives from across the country by submitting a chapter speaker proposal for AACN�s National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition, May 17 through 22, 2003, in San Antonio, Texas? The deadline to submit proposals is Nov. 9. Presenters receive complimentary airfare, registration and two nights hotel accommodations.

For more information or to receive a chapter speaker proposal packet, call (800) 394-5995 for Chapter Specialist Dennis Maggi at ext. 339 or Chapter Associate Mitzi Inman at ext. 365.

What's on Tap

The Greater Phoenix Area Chapter will present �Modern Ventilator Management in ARDS� on Sept. 5 at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Phoenix, Ariz. For more information, contact Bobbie Wiles at (480) 988-3526; e-mail, dbwiles@worldnet.att.net.

The Northwest Chicago Area Chapter will present �The Art and Science of Fluid Management� on Sept. 18, 2002, at Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, Ill. For more information, contact Marilyn Arnold at (630) 833-4824; fax, (630) 993-4232; e-mail, marnold@emhc.org.

New Jersey
The Northern New Jersey Chapter will present �Critical Care Pharmacology Update� on Sept. 20 at Chilton Memorial Hospital, Pompton Plains, N.J. For more information, contact Janice Wojcik at (973) 754-3423; fax, (973) 754-3259; e-mail, janice.wojcik2@verizon.net.

The Lehigh Valley Chapter will present �Nurse-Fest 2002� on Sept. 16 and 17, 2002, in Bethlehem, Pa. For more information, contact Deborah Kumar at (610) 967-6161; fax, (610) 965-6210; e-mail, debi@nurse-beat.com.

Does your chapter have a program or special event coming up? Send the information to AACN News, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656; fax, (949) 362-2049; e-mail, aacnnews@aacn.org.

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