In the Circle: President’s Award for Chapters
Editor’s note: The President’s Award for Chapters recognizes a chapter or chapters that best exemplify the annual theme of the president of AACN. The theme of 2004-05 President Kathy McCauley, RN, PhD, BC, FAAN, FAHA, was “Live Your Contribution.” Following are excerpts from exemplars submitted in connection with this award for 2005.
Atlanta Area Chapter
The Atlanta Area Chapter has endeavored to weave the theme “Live Your Contribution” into all it’s done to carry out its mission to serve our members. At our annual Planning Retreat, the Board of Directors developed priorities and strategies that would best live our contribution as a chapter:
• Offer seven high-quality, low-priced educational programs.
• Encourage and celebrate certification by including a discussion of the theme and seeking out examples from the audience at our traditional CCRN luncheon, and providing a six-day Critical Care Update and CCRN review.
• Use the Atlanta Area Chapter News to encourage members to consider how to best live their contribution, improve their competence and celebrate the contributions of their colleagues. Articles were included that reminded nurses of the importance of providing competent, compassionate care despite difficulties; described Alex Koutsos’ contribution at a camp for diabetic children; provided a humorous reminder of the importance of valuing each nurse’s contribution; stressed the importance of nurses’ contribution in monitoring for and responding to drug reactions; emphasized the importance of collaboration at all levels; helped improve communication and collaboration skills; and summarized AACN’s Standards for a Healthy Work Environment.
• Collaborate with chapters throughout Region 6 to present a two-day regional symposium and with Emory University to present “Setting the Pace.”
Throughout the year, the Atlanta Area Chapter attempted to meet our priorities of offering high-quality continuing education, encouraging and celebrating certification, and helping nurses consider how to best live their own contribution.
Broward County Chapter
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
The Broward County Chapter answered Kathy McCauley’s call to “Live Your Contribution” through individual and collective action.
We began the year by evaluating the previous year’s performance and discussing successes and opportunities for improvement. Chapter leaders identified the role our chapter has in facilitating member contributions. Board members used the components of the “Live Your Contribution” theme as the springboard to develop the framework for chapter activities. The strategic plan included incorporating each component of the theme into activities.
The board concluded that to contribute maximally, a revolution from within was required. We identified areas that were contributing maximally, such as the chapter Web site, our quarterly newsletter and annual adult CCRN review course. We identified and implemented the following changes:
• Adding at least two community outreach projects to the chapter calendar
• Holding chapter meetings in the eastern and western part of the county to provide nurses living in the western region of our county a greater opportunity to participate in the chapter.
• Focusing on our well-attended spring seminar to bring the “Live Your Contribution” theme to our community of nurses
• Highlighting chapter and member accomplishments at every meeting and through the newsletter
• Encouraging members to become mentors through the “Bring a Member, Be a Guest” (BAM-BAG) program. Members are encouraged to bring a nonmember nurse to a chapter meeting The guests attend free, and the member is entered into a drawing for free registration at the spring seminar.
These changes have allowed our members to join us in contributing to the community, bringing new ideas to their workplaces, seeking mentorship and contributing in ways we never imagined.
Heart of the Piedmont Chapter
High Point, N.C.
During several leadership retreats, chapter board members gave considerable thought to determining what the Heart of the Piedmont Chapter really is. Kathy McCauley’s message rang loud and clear. But what did “Live Your Contribution” mean to our chapter? We were determined to answer this question.
Thanks to the facilitation of our Chapter Advisory Team representative Cindy Stewart, we decided to inspire our fellow critical care workers, excite and invite them, give to others in our community, and enjoy ourselves along the way. Our main initiative was to make a difference in our lives and in the lives of others.
We began our year by collaborating with a local Emergency Nurses Association chapter, the first joint meeting in chapter history. We continued our collaboration efforts by working with the administration of High Point Regional Health System to bring Roberta Kaplow to our facility to speak to us about the Synergy Model.
Self-knowledge and competency were planned goals of our chapter. Our journey has gone forward, as we hosted a two-day PCCN/CCRN review offering reduced fees to nurses who would join AACN or commit to taking a certification exam. Certified nurses were honored at our annual CCRN dinner, and we donated four CCRN plaques to High Point Regional Health System.
We demonstrated our presence by organizing a blood drive and food drive, and by sponsoring several community CPR events. In addition, we sponsored a bake sale and sold candy to finance sending two chapter members to NTI. We further demonstrated our presence by organizing donations of Christmas presents for two families.
As our name “Heart of the Piedmont” signifies, we gave a lot of heart to our community and chapter this year. The Heart of the Piedmont Chapter is living its contribution!!
What's on Tap
Alabama and Georgia
Region 6 chapters will present “Critical Care Nursing: Visioning Beyond the Basics” on Sept. 19 and 20 at the Marriott-Century Center, Atlanta, Ga. For more information, contact Deb Erickson at (706) 774-8348; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The San Francisco Chapter will present “Bridges” on Sept. 28 at the Cathedrral Hill Hotel. For more information, contact Julie McCorkle at (925) 370-7236; e-mail, email@example.com.
The Northwest Chicago Area Chapter will present “New Horizons in Interventional Cardiology” on Sept. 21 at Northwest Community Hospital, Arlington Heights. For more information, contact Charlene Cioe at (708) 352-1200, ext. 4939; e-mail, Charlene.Cioe@AHSS.org.
The Northern Illinois Chapter will present its Mid-West Regional Conference on Sept. 23 at the Stronghold Castle Conference Center, Oregon. For more information, contact Myra Porthouse or Chris Carter at (815) 645-1382; e-mail, Nursingretreat2005@yahoo.com.
The Greater Chicago Area Chapter will present a CCRN Review Course on Oct. 3 and 4 at Resurrection Medical Center. For more information, contact Lori Marcantonio at (847) 722-4354; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Northwest Chicago Area Chapter will present “Hypothermia & Trauma—the Cold Facts” on Oct. 26. For more information, contact Charlene Cioe at (708) 352-1200, ext. 4939; e-mail, Charlene.Cioe@AHSS.org.
The Greater New Orleans Chapter will present “Balance: Myth or Reality?” on Oct. 19 at Muriel’s Jackson Square. For more information, contact Michelle Rihner at (504) 883-4244; e-mail, email@example.com.
The Cumberland Valley Chapter will present “Critical Clues in Critical Illness” on Oct. 13 at the Sheraton Four Points, Hagerstown. For more information, contact Robert Rynecki at (717) 267-2006; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Merrimack Valley Chapter will present “Tricks & Tools of Trauma Resuscitation” on Oct. 19 at the Radisson Hotel, Chelmsford. For more information, contact Diane St. Pierre at (978) 455-4167; e-mail, email@example.com.
The West Michigan Chapter will present “Arrythmia, Ischemia and QT Interval Monitoring: Best Practices for the 21st Century” on Sept. 20 at the Hilton Airport, Grand Rapids. For more information, contact Barbara Rogers at (616) 752-7055; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Suffolk County Chapter will present “Everything You Always Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask About PPMs/ICDs” on Sept. 16 at the Laurel Lakes Vineyard. For more information, contact Denise Westman at (631) 224-5068; e-mail, Denise.Westman@stonybrook.edu.
The Suffolk County Chapter will present its 3rd Annual CHF Symposium in collaboration with Stony Brook University Hospital Heart Failure Services on Oct. 24 at Villa Lombardi’s, Holbrook. For more information, contact Terry Leonard at (631) 444-3322; e-mail, email@example.com.
The Pacific Crest Regional Chapter will present “Trauma and Burn Update” on Oct. 31 at Rogue Valley Medical Center, Medford. For more information, contact Judy Lang at (541) 488-1218; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Central Pennsylvania and the Three Rivers chapters will present a CCRN Review on Sept. 26 and 27. For more information, contact Lori Cox at (814) 534-3653; e-mail, email@example.com.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter will present “Trends in Critical Care Nursing” Oct. 18 through 21 at the Valley Forge Convention Center, King of Prussia. For more information, call (610) 658-7266; e-mail,
The Coastal Chapter will present “Cardiac and Palliative Care Issues” on Oct. 21 and 22 at the Crown Reef Resort, Myrtle Beach. For more information, contact Darlene Lorenzen at (843) 455-3962; e-mail, Trishal04@aol.com.
The Greater Richmond Area Chapter will present a PCCN Review Course on Sept. 27 and 28 at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Richmond.
Is your chapter planning a program or special event? Submit your information online at www.aacn.org .