AACN News—July 2003—Chapters

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Vol. 20, No. 7, JULY 2003

Chapter Leaders Get Practical Advice at Workshop
Daylong NTI Preconference Builds on 'Bold Voices' Theme

Although the times are often trying and the message can get muddled, AACN chapter leaders should never doubt their value to the association, AACN Past President Denise Thornby, RN, MS, told attendees at the Chapter Leadership Development Workshop conducted at NTI 2003 in San Antonio, Texas.

Chapter leaders provide some organization of the many resources available through AACN to members. They also bring information back to the association, and AACN prides itself on its ability to listen to members and respond to feedback, Thornby said.

Thornby said her own chapter experiences remind her that chapter leadership is not always easy, because there is no full-time staff, and chapter duties must fit in with an already hectic schedule.

Maintaining Focus
To help chapter presidents who are constantly wondering when members are going to show up or why they don't do what they say they will, Thornby offered advice on ways to make this difficult job manageable.

Trying to do too many things will result in nothing getting done, she advised. Each chapter must focus on the capability, direction and talent of the members to determine what projects and topics are most important and worthy of time.

Chapter leaders should also remember that motivation is key to eliciting members' best work. When trying to find a person to take on an assignment, it is often not worth the effort to convince someone who is initially unwilling, because if problems arise, a person who is not personally committed to the project will be the first to quit, she said.

Developing Chapter Leadership
Outgoing AACN President Connie Barden RN, MSN, CCNS, CCRN, commended chapter leaders for embracing and carrying out the theme of Bold Voices the last year and encouraged them to carry that theme with them into the future.

"It is time for us all to use our voices differently, louder and more forcefully, and incorporate them into everything we do," Barden said. "This is a powerful method that moves nursing forward, moves critical care forward and moves healthcare forward."

Incoming AACN President Dorrie Fontaine, RN, DNSc, FAAN, vowed that the message of bold voices would carry forward into the coming year.

"This is a great time to be a nurse, but there are thorny issues like staffing shortages, ensuring healthy work environments and end-of-life care," Fontaine said.

In the coming year, nurses must step back and analyze these topics to solve these old problems with new solutions.

Thought Partners
Following that theme, AACN Chief Executive Officer Wanda L. Johanson, RN, MN, said that the association has always depended on the partnerships that the association develops. The network of like-minded nurses who want to drive nursing forward gathers strength through the chapters, regions and the national body, she said. In addition, many companies and organizations serve as physical and financial partners for the betterment of the association.

"Now is the time to identify thought partners," Johanson said. "Who can we partner with now. Who has new

Mentoring for Leadership
Past AACN board member Lori Hendrickx, RN, EdD, CCRN, also addressed the participants, emphasizing the importance of mentoring in developing leaders.

In addition, Hendrickx said, mentoring over the Internet is becoming more common where geography and time constraints hinder traditional means.

Chapter Gifts Support AACN Programs

Major chapter gifts to AACN were recognized during the annual Chapter Presidents Luncheon, sponsored by Nellcor/Tyco Healthcare at NTI 2003 in San Antonio, Texas. Outgoing AACN President Connie Barden accepted gifts from (from left, above) Sarah Martin of the Northwest Chicago Area Chapter, Michael NozDrovicky of the New York City Chapter, Kathleen Klein Peavy of the Atlanta Area Chapter and Barbara Pope of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter.

Barden also recognized the
Dallas County Chapter,
represented by Damon
Cottrell (at left) for its $2,500
grant to support visits by
middle and high school
students ath the 2003 and
2004 NTIs.

What's on Tap

Region 3 (Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania)
The AACN Region 3 meeting for critical care nurses in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania will be Sept. 13 in Pompton Plains, N.J. For more information, contact Janice Wojcik at (800) 394-5995, ext. 8803; e-mail, janice.wojcik2@verizon. net.

The Santa Barbara County Chapter will present a program titled "Nurturing the Nurse Retreat" on July 25 and 26 in Cambria. For more information, contact Celeste Richards, RN, MS, CCRN, at (805) 682-7111, ext. 3518; e-mail, crichard@sbch.org.

The Coast to Coast Chapters will present the "Waves of Wisdom" program titled "The Magic and Wisdom of Nursing" on July 25 and 26 in Orlando, Fla. For more information,
contact Kim Martin at (386) 334-5371; e-mail, coast2coast@aacnchapters.com.

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