AACN News—September 2008—Chapters

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Vol. 25, No. 9, SEPTEMBER 2008

Calling All CATs

Oct. 31 Is Deadline to Apply for Regional Positions

AACN is currently inviting former and current chapter officers to apply for Chapter Advisory Team (CAT) positions in eight of its 19 regions. The chapter advisers will serve two-year terms, from July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2011. The deadline to apply is Oct. 31, 2008.

CATs play a vital role in ensuring effective communication among the AACN Board of Directors, National Office staff and local chapters on the issues chapters face. Advisers are volunteers who have expert knowledge on chapter issues and trends in their regions. They are well informed about events and issues at the national level and how they affect the chapters. CATs directly support AACN chapters and leaders in many ways.

Chapter advisers:
• Serve as a liaison and spokesperson to AACN chapters and leaders in their region, including supporting and understanding AACN initiatives, such as the Beacon Award, Certification and Healthy Work Environments.
• Establish ongoing mechanisms for communication with chapter presidents and other chapter leaders in their region.
• Work in partnership with AACN staff to identify individual chapter strengths and needs, so that chapters are effectively supported.
• Develop and mentor local chapter leaders for future chapter and national leadership roles.
• Collaborate with AACN staff to plan the Chapter Leadership Development Workshop, held annually at NTI.
• Travel within their assigned region and attend two face-to-face meetings with other advisory team members each year.
• Participate in conference calls and use electronic media, online communication tools and databases.

If you are interested in serving as a chapter adviser in your region or in another region and have questions regarding the role, contact Chapter Specialist Karen Certalic at (800) 394-5995, ext. 313, or by e-mail at Karen.Certalic@aacn.org or chapters@aacn.org. You can also contact the current chapter adviser in your region. Contact information for chapter advisers is available online at www.aacn.org > community > document repository > chapter advisory team.

To apply, register online at www.aacn.org > community > volunteer opportunities > access your AACN volunteer profile. Be sure to select “Chapter Advisory Team” under “specialty or type of role.”

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Engaging Chapter Members: It Takes a Village

Chapters provide a vital function for AACN by promoting the education and certification of nurses, healthy work environments, and the prestigious Beacon Award. And it takes a village of engaged chapter members to help carry out that mission. The dilemma for many chapters is recruiting and retaining members that are committed to those goals while keeping the energy and excitement flowing year after year.

Many chapter members are very active within their chapters. Chapter leaders have taken on the responsibility of managing the chapters, establishing goals and objectives to help promote members in both their personal and professional careers, as well as making a difference in their communities. Chapter members can help by volunteering for different projects and events, mentoring new members or nursing students, helping a colleague prepare for their certification exam, and striving for excellence in their workplaces.

Chapter members should also think about becoming a chapter officer. It will help develop their management and leadership skills, which will benefit them in both their personal and work lives whether or not they have a nursing leadership position. Most chapters have “elect” positions, such as president-elect, and treasurer-elect, where members would typically spend one year working with those leaders learning the ropes. Chapters also have board positions and chair positions, such as membership chair and program chair. Members should ask their chapter leadership if they could “shadow” them to see what it’s all about.

If you’re already a chapter member, but not actively engaged with your chapter, ask yourself a few questions. Why did you originally join your chapter? What were you hoping to get out of it? What was in it for you? And what has changed since you joined that has caused you to not be as active as you once were? Share your feedback with your chapter leaders. They want to know what their members need so they can ensure their strategic plans are on the right track.

If you’re considering joining a chapter, be a committed member and get involved with your chapter’s activities. Being an active part of a chapter is a win-win situation. It benefits you, your fellow nurses, your organization, your community and your patients. And remember no one can do it alone. It literally does take a village.

To find out if there’s a chapter in your area, go to www.aacn.org and click on “Find a Chapter” under the Community > Chapters section, or contact us by e-mail at chapters@aacn.org or toll-free at 800-394-5995, ext. 365 or ext. 313.

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What’s on Tap?


Region 6 will present its 5th Annual AACN Symposium Sept. 28-30 at the Marriott - Century Center, Atlanta. For more information, contact Mary Zellinger; (404) 712-4661; mjzelli@emory.edu.


The Northeast Indiana Chapter will present “Hemodynamics/Sepsis … Now What?” at the Landmark Convention Center, Indianapolis. For more information, contact Marie Hamrick; (260) 373-7249; marie.hamrick@parkview.com.


The Greater Kansas City Chapter will present “Traumatic Brain Injury: Acute Care to Outpatient” Sept. 23 at Providence Medical Center, Kansas City. For more information, contact Janell Huskey; (816) 691-1754; janell.huskey@nkch.com.


The West Michigan Chapter will present “Certification Cram (PCCN and CCRN)” Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at the Grand Rapids Airport Hilton, Grand Rapids. For more information, contact Barb Rogers; (616) 752-7055; wmc.info@aacn.org.


The Dallas Counter Chapter will present “CCRN Review” Sept. 24-25 at the Medical Center of Plano, Plano. For more information, contact Jeanne Farmer; (214) 883-1495; jeanne.farmer@hcahealthcare.com.


The Treasure Valley Centennial Chapter will present “CCRN Review” at St. Luke’s Medical Center Sept. 29-30. For more information, contact Connie Zimmerman; (208) 724-7173; zimmermc@slrmc.org.

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