Rum River Chapter

President's Award for Chapters

In order to Stand Tall, our chapter needed to “lean down” and listen to our members. Being a relatively new chapter since 2004, the board felt the chapter had lost momentum.

Goals Set at July Retreat

To reinvigorate the Board and membership, the incoming president organized a 4-hour retreat in July, which also included all past presidents and past CAT. At this retreat, we completed a SWOT analysis and set four goals for the year:

  • Education fits the needs of our chapter members
  • At least five community service projects involving chapter members
  • Integrate AACN initiatives into chapter
  • Increase chapter recognition

We incorporated the theme of Stand Tall to visualize attainment of our goals by making a poster-sized Stan Tall figure out of wood with the intent for him to grow in height as each goal was achieved.

He attends all RRC meetings and activities, dressed in attire befitting the occasion. Pictures of him and the group are posted on the website, Facebook and in the newsletter.

Education Fits the Needs of the Members

We heard from our members that the time of day and format for education was the primary factor in poor attendance. So, instead of five 1-hour, late afternoon educational events per year, we planned one 4-hour educational conference that was held on a weekday in November.

Feedback from membership has inspired and encouraged us to continue this 4-hour education format this fall. We also gained four new chapter members as a result of this event.

We continued to meet as a chapter, but increased participation by changing the format to a social activity after the business meeting. To “enjoy what you do” we added an activity coordinator to the board.

We hosted a picnic in September and bowling and pizza in January. In response to these two activities we have gained seven members.

Get Involved in Community Service

To enhance and formalize community service activities, a community service outreach coordinator was established with a goal to increase the number of events as well as chapter member involvement. The board screened potential opportunities and selected five to support throughout the year.

The first project involved sponsoring two families at Christmas. Ten members participated with buying, wrapping and delivering the gifts to the designated families.

The second volunteer opportunity involved 25 chapter and family members going to Feed My Starving Children in January to pack food to be sent out of the country.

The third project is an ongoing collection of money for the local food shelf. The Board pledged to match funds up to $250. Thus far, we have collected $125 from membership, so $250 was sent to the local food shelf.

The last two projects will be held in late spring and over the summer. Chapter members can assist at the annual stroke screening event in May and Bike Safety Camps over the summer.

Having a variety of opportunities has allowed members to participate in greater numbers than last year. Stan attends all chapter activities adorned with the proper attire for the event. We realize that “Together we can do more”.

Integrate AACN Initiatives into Chapter Activities

“To own the outcomes of your work” the chapter incorporated key initiatives into the annual activities. We sponsor a two-day CCRN/PCCN review in April. The chapter organizes a certification study group around the same time as the review to increase the success rate.

“To celebrate” and honor the achievement of certification, the chapter is having its first certification celebration dinner on the national certification day in March.

To enhance our understanding of the Beacon Award program, we participated in the Region 13/16 Beacon webinar. Because our chapter currently has members from four Beacon units it is imperative for the chapter members to understand the new process for Beacon Award achievement.

In order to “speak up” about Healthy Work Environment (HWE), a former CAT gave a presentation on HWE at one of the first Board meetings. Subsequently, at each Board meeting we discuss one or two standards. We identify gaps and opportunities in the standard as well as celebrate how we are creating a Healthy Chapter Environment.

Enhance Chapter Recognition

To promote the chapter to potential members and to enhance communication to our current members, we reconstructed the website and the newsletter. We’ve added Facebook to "connect" with chapter members.

These projects require specialized skills in use of technology. Success depends on matching the right abilities with the needs of the project. So, during the retreat as we brainstormed, we realized there were better opportunities to match skills of the members to the committees (synergy model).

We wanted to showcase the chapter and “be proud of what you do.” Through this experience, we learned a valuable lesson in how synergy can magnify the outcome.

Stan Tall Grows to New Heights

As of January, 2011 we have attained half of our goals for the year. Stan Tall is now the size of a large 5th grader, and we are hoping he will grow to the size of Shaquille O’Neal by the end of the year.

After “leaning down” and listening to the chapter members at the beginning of the year, we are now able to Stand Tall as a cohesive and proud chapter, growing to new heights and reaching for the stars.