AACN News—June 2008—Chapters

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Vol. 25, No. 6, JUNE 2008

New Chapter Charter Agreements Effective July 1

AACN has 244 chapters across the United States and in three foreign countries. Chapters are a cherished part of the AACN family and an essential voice that passes on our mission to every acute and critical care nurse, as well as those in their communities.

AACN recently announced to all chapter officers the development of a new Chapter Charter Agreement that will go into effect with the new fiscal year on July 1, 2008. In a single document, this new agreement clearly identifies the expectations and obligations of both the chapter and AACN, and will now be for a three-year term instead of one-year.

In the past, chapters have annually renewed their charters and were provided with the AACN Bylaws, Chapter Rules and Regulations, Chapter Management Module and Chapter Financial Module to assist in governing their chapters. We heard from many chapter officers that these resources were often complex, provided contradictory information and did not meet the needs of the chapter. Because of that feedback and a strong desire to minimize the administrative burden on chapters, the new Chapter Charter Agreement was developed.

The three chapter modules already mentioned have been retired. A single condensed, streamlined and simplified Chapter Governance Manual will be released later this year. Until that time, chapters will be governed by the Charter Agreement and AACN Bylaws. If you have questions about chapter governance issues in the interim, please contact your chapter adviser or the AACN Chapter Department staff.

Chapter officers are encouraged to schedule a meeting with their incoming chapter officers to review the new Chapter Charter Agreement. This will be a great start to a smooth transition of the chapter management duties. Chapter officers, please remember that your signed Chapter Charter Agreement, along with the required payment, is due by June 16, 2008, and should be mailed to Mitzi Inman in the AACN Chapters Department.

We believe that this new Chapter Charter Agreement will clarify and simplify chapter management so that chapter officers can focus more of their energy on the mission work. If you have any questions, please contact us at chapters@aacn.org.

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AACN Hangzou Chapter Member Visits from China

April YiYu Zhuang, critical care nurse director at Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital (SRRSH) in China, is no stranger to NTI, but that did not diminish her excitement about attending the conference again in Chicago last month. Managing a stressful intensive care unit in a 900-bed teaching hospital is a difficult and challenging career. Coming to NTI gives her the chance to see what the U.S. healthcare system has to offer critical care nurses and incorporate some of those advancements in her unit.

“Due to limited resources for critical care in China, AACN is really a great resource to us,” she said. “It keeps us informed in mainland China.”

The Hangzou Chapter of AACN China, of which Zhuang has been a member since its inception, formed in 1997 and gained recognition with the receipt of president’s awards in 1998 and 1999. Additionally, in 2006, SRRSH was recognized with Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation, which Zhuang says could not have been accomplished without the help of AACN.

“This is the first and only public hospital in mainland China with this accreditation,” she said. “We received a lot of credit for being an AACN chapter because our knowledge is informative and advanced, so the surveyor was very impressed with what we have done.”

The Hangzou Chapter received further acknowledgement as the home chapter for the 2008 AACN research grant recipient, Chen Xiang Ping.

Currently, there are no AACN-sponsored conferences or events held in China, but Zhuang is confident that with the rising credibility and recognition of the Hangzou Chapter this may change in the future. Despite the differences in healthcare systems between China and the United States, SRRSH has had the opportunity to work with nurses from Loma Linda University Medical Center in California (LLUMC), specifically medical specialists and management experts, over the last few years.

“LLUMC has been a great help to my hospital, especially when we were doing the Joint Commission survey,” Zhuang said. “They have been great resources and a great help. I think one of the reasons we passed accreditation was because we have been able to uphold LLUMC standards.”

These efforts add to Zhuang’s enthusiasm about joining forces with AACN chapters outside of China to advance the critical care nursing profession on a global scale and supplement the collaborative efforts that have been successful with LLUMC.

“I decided to attend NTI this year because you can’t miss this outstanding conference,” Zhuang said, citing the great resources and unlimited educational opportunities. “For me, I think I gain a lot from NTI and AACN. Being an AACN member has been of great value to my career.”

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New Chapter Web Pages and Database Upgrade

When the new AACN Web site was launched last month, the Chapters area was also upgraded with several new features:

• An instant at-a-glance view of each chapter’s “Good Standing” status on the Chapter Officer Home Page. The “Good Standing Grid” appears each time a chapter officer logs in. The grid shows all financial reporting requirements and due dates, as well as the status of your chapter as either Complete, Submitted-Pending Approval, Overdue, or (blank) for those items not yet due. Hyperlinks to the financial reporting forms allow you to complete and submit them online.

• Member Search feature. Chapters now have the ability to search national members and determine if their AACN status is current.

• Chapter Membership Grid. Chapters now have a detailed grid of all chapter members that they can sort in multiple ways, run reports and send e-mails directly to their members from this grid.

We thank the many volunteer chapter leaders who helped test the upgraded Chapters area. Their assistance was vital in ensuring that chapters have the features they need, and that these features work the way they are intended.
We are very excited about the changes that should make your jobs as chapter officers easier and more efficient. We hope that you enjoy the new look and improved functionality of the Chapters area of the Web site. If you have questions or need assistance, please e-mail us at chapters@aacn.org or call (800) 394-5995, ext. 365.

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Congratulations to Recipients of the President’s Award for Chapters

This award recognizes the chapters that best exemplify the theme of AACN's
president. The recipients are:

Greater Birmingham Chapter
Birmingham, Ala.

Greater Cincinnati Chapter
Cincinnati, Ohio

Lake Erie Chapter
Cleveland, Ohio

South Central Alaska Chapter
Anchorage, Alaska

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What’s on Tap?

The Gold Coast Chapters of South Florida will present “A Wealth of Knowledge” July 17 and 18 at the Signature Grand, Davie. For more information, contact Julie Diane at julie@awealthofknowledge.org.

The Northeast Indiana Chapter will present a “CCRN/PCCN Review Course” July 14 and 15 at Lutheran Hospital, Fort Wayne. For more information, contact Laura Thompson at (260) 425-3346; lthompson@lutheran-hosp.com.

The Mountain to Sound Chapter will present a “CCRN/PCCN Review with Robin Dennison” June 19 and 20 at Madigan Army Medical Center, Seattle. For more information, contact Isabell Stoltz at (206) 340-1275; mts.aacn@gmail.com.

Is your chapter planning a program or special event? Submit your information online at www.aacn.org > About AACN > Chapters > Chapter Resource Center > Chapter Forms.

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