AACN Framework for Governance Leadership Positions

In response to feedback from members that the competencies for governance leadership positions were not clearly articulated in the AACN Leadership Framework, the AACN Board of Directors initiated a deliberate process to prioritize and clarify the needed competencies.

The results of this work are detailed below in the AACN Framework for Governance Leadership Positions. The Nominating Committee will use this framework as the basis of their evaluation of nominees for the governance positions; therefore, nominees should demonstrate evidence of these competencies in their application materials.

Highly qualified and committed governance leaders are essential to the continuing health and progress of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). In partnership with members, constituents, the chief executive officer and national staff, these leaders ensure that the organization's mission, values and strategies are achieved.

Governance leadership positions are defined as:

  • Director, president or president-elect, AACN Board of Directors.
  • Director, chair or chair-elect, AACN Certification Corporation Board of Directors.
  • Member, AACN and AACN Certification Corporation Nominating Committees.

Based on feedback from members that the competencies required of candidates for governance leadership positions in the Association were not clearly articulated in the preceding AACN Leadership Framework, the AACN Board of Directors initiated a deliberate process to prioritize and clarify the needed competencies. The result of this work is included herein.

Each competency is accompanied by an operational definition, including examples of skills that would be evident in an individual with the competency. This is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of skills, but it is hoped that by example it provides additional context to the definition.

The competencies serve to:

  • Clearly communicate to stakeholders the competencies desired in candidates for AACN governance leadership positions.
  • Assist member nurses in assessing their readiness for AACN governance leadership positions.
  • Assist AACN in identifying, recruiting and developing potential candidates for governance leadership positions in the Association.
  • Guide the AACN and AACN Certification Corporation Nominating Committees in evaluating candidate qualifications and selecting future governance leaders.

Essential Competencies for Governance Leadership

Self-Leadership

The ability to assess, manage and develop oneself in order to preserve and optimize relationships and add value to the outcomes of one's organization.

Inherent in this competency is the ability to:

  • Promote trust and confidence in one's own intentions and those of the organization.
  • Invite, seek, value and use feedback, even if it is difficult to hear.
  • Clearly articulate one's own point of view and be open to having it challenged by others.
  • Validate one's own self-assessment with others and through various forms of communication, including spoken and unspoken cues and clues.
  • Be self-reliant in directing one's own development based on feedback and lessons learned from mistakes and successes.
  • Assess and recognize the value one personally brings to one's organization.
  • Ensure that one's own emotions and passions do not hinder group relationships and outcomes.

Global Thinking

The ability to think beyond one's current role and practice and apply new perspectives that will improve and optimize one's role and practice.

Inherent in this competency is the ability to:

  • Analyze national professional issues, trends, events and standards, and integrate this knowledge to form new perspectives.
  • Use these new perspectives to advance solutions and positive change.
  • Measure the progress of change.

Visioning

The ability to create a clear view of the preferred future resulting from global analysis in order to lead other people and the organization to this preferred future.

Inherent in this competency is the ability to:

  • Integrate lessons from the past, the realities of the present and the likely future consequences of a decision.
  • Foresee the outcome of a situation.
  • Translate for others how they can get to the vision of the preferred future from their current situation.

Consensus Building

The ability to achieve practical consensus within groups to promote strong teamwork and garner commitment and participation of others to achieve solutions and effect positive change.

Inherent in this competency is the ability to:

  • Create a safe environment to keep people in dialogue.
  • Articulate one's own point of view even if it is the minority view.
  • Recognize and overcome personal bias.
  • Suspend judgment to avoid premature closure of dialogue.
  • Invite and incorporate the perspectives of others.
  • Surface and address values conflicts.
  • Achieve shared understanding that everything is not "black and white."
  • Identify a common ground among stakeholders.
  • Manage conflict effectively.
  • Support the consensus decision of the group, even if it is not one's personal viewpoint.

Delivering Effective Messages

The ability to deliver effective messages in order to motivate others to thought and action.

Inherent in this competency is the ability to:

  • Translate complex issues into relevant and meaningful explanations.
  • Clearly convey (verbally and in writing) the multiple dimensions of an issue to individuals and groups in a manner that engages them and helps them understand.
  • Convey messages that are congruent with one's own actions.
  • Align messages to one's organization, division or unit's mission, goals and priorities.

Knowing and Committing to AACN

The ability to demonstrate knowledge and commitment to the mission, values and work of AACN in order to optimize outcomes for nurses and patients and their families.

  • Inherent in this competency is the ability to:
    • Integrate AACN's mission and work (e.g., creating healthy work environments, ensuring evidence-based practice, promoting certification) into one's current role and practice.
    • Inform others about AACN and advocate for its issues and value to nurses and patients and their families.

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Adopted by the AACN Board of Directors
April 2006

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