AACN Volunteer Group Descriptions

Below are descriptions of the most frequently used types of volunteer opportunities at AACN.

Advisory Teams

Advisory Teams provide feedback on specific issues and related strategies regarding AACN initiatives. These groups are issue driven and are based on specific professional expertise depending on group content. These groups take part in an online discussion database or communicate via email, where participants explore significant issues from the convenience of their home or workplace.

While these groups may be expected to participate in conference calls or may be called upon to respond to written manuals and materials, the bulk of work will take place via the Internet through our volunteer database or via email. Examples of past Advisory Teams include staff nurses, nurse managers and progressive care.

Certification Corporation Groups 

AACN Certification Corporation offers volunteer positions for Item Writers, Exam Development and Appeals Panels.

  • Item Writers will develop exam questions for each certification exam item bank and research problem items during the item analysis.
    • Item Writers will be asked to prepare exam questions from home, communicate via email and attend one two-day meeting.
  • Exam Development members may develop and approve examinations, according to test specification criteria, continuously evaluate the relevance of the CCRN examination to the practice of critical care nursing, advise the Board of Directors of any necessary revisions to the test blueprint and provide mentoring opportunities to Item Writers.
    • Exam Development members will be required to attend one four-day meeting and should have prior experience as an Item Writer.
  • Appeals Panel members will review and deliberate appeals, will work primarily through written and electronic correspondence and participate in several conference calls that can be taken from home or work.

Program Planning Committees

Program Planning Committees are charged with determining the education programming based on evaluative and needs assessment data as well as association priorities. Examples of current programs that use such committees include Advanced Practice Institute (API) and National Teaching Institute® (NTI).

Program Planning Committees require travel to meet face-to-face one to two times a year. Members may participate in two to three conference calls that can be taken from home or work, and should be available to analyze and respond to materials between meetings.

Publishing Groups

AACN publications the American Journal of Critical Care (AJCC) and Critical Care Nurse (CCN) offer occasional volunteer positions for Manuscript Reviewers and Contributing Editors.

  • Manuscript Reviewers assist the editor in determining the quality and suitability of manuscripts for publication.
    • Reviewers provide manuscript reviews that are consistently constructive, detailed, thorough, clear, reflective of current practice and returned in a timely manner.
  • Contributing Editors assist the journal by providing a stream of papers pertaining to one of the more than 30 specialty and subspecialty areas of clinical practice, management, education or applied research that appear on the journal’s masthead.  

Review Panels

Review Panels review, evaluate and take part in the selection process of AACN awards, grants and scholarship recipients and critique articles and develop questions for Continuing Education units. They also review appeals to certification and recertification regulatory processes.

These groups are based on professional interests and may require specific expertise depending on group content. These groups will be asked to respond to written materials and participate in conference calls.

Work, however, will take place from the convenience of their home or workplace.

Task Forces

Task Forces deal with a pertinent issue that needs an immediate response, and the work typically has a distinctive beginning, middle and end. These groups require travel and may meet one to two times a year and can participate in two to three conference calls that may be taken from home or work.

Participants will be asked to analyze, investigate and develop related work between meetings and ultimately report findings back to the group.

Think Tanks

Think Tanks are leadership groups that are directly linked to the National Office work spheres, addressing issues that impact functional departments like Practice, Research, Certification, Professional Development, Membership, Chapters and Volunteer Services.

These groups identify and evaluate global trends and issues, in turn strategizing and making new suggestions for the future of the association and the healthcare profession. Think Tanks require travel one to two times a year and may participate in one to two conference calls that can be taken from home or work.

Work Groups

Work Groups accomplish an ongoing body of work on designated subject areas. The work directly supports strategic initiatives of the association.

Work Groups require travel to meet face-to-face one to two times a year. Members may participate in two to three conference calls that can be taken from home or work, and should be available to analyze and respond to materials between meetings.

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