AACN Chapter Leadership Development Workshop Case Study #6 – Version 3

Case Study #6:

It Takes a Village

(Fictitious) Chapter Name:

Greater Hurricane City Chapter

# of Chapter Members:


# of Chapter Officers and Board Members:

Six board positions (president, president-elect, secretary, secretary-elect, treasurer, treasurer-elect); all filled

Rural/Urban Area:


How active is this chapter?

Monthly educational meetings, one to two large events per year

Background Information:

Small, dedicated board serving a medium size membership. The membership consists of very diverse areas of practice in critical care. Good size attendance to meetings but only a small percentage active with the chapter. Educational events usually have a great turnout and there are a large number of nursing students attending the first part of the year.

Conflict or Issues:

The chapter had a great idea for mentorship and collaboration. They would have a previous board, Paula, mentor a new-elect board member, Nancy, on planning their yearly educational event.

Paula would serve as a great resource on the ins and outs of planning such an event; she has a great personality and was felt to be a strong and confident leader. Nancy was extremely enthusiastic, eager to jump right in and learn all she could. 

Paula and Nancy met and together they reviewed AACN website pages and requirements on chapter contracts and program approval. They downloaded the Educational Session Timeline and began plotting the dates for the various steps and tasks that would need to be completed for the event.

Once the steps were identified, they asked other chapter members to help on their committee, and divided up the responsibilities. The committee met regularly to review their progress and offer assistance where needed.

They secured speakers, a hotel where they would hold the event and contacted vendors to exhibit. They utilized the sample agreements on the website, negotiated terms and conditions, put it all in writing to help ensure the chapter was protected and then submitted them to National for review and approval before signing.

The committee followed the Program Approval Policy for Chapters and submitted the three required forms for CNEs as soon as their program outline was completed, and well within the required timeframe so they didn’t have to pay a “rush fee.”

The program was a success and went off without a hitch. The committee members enjoyed the process so much that both Nancy and another committee member both decided to run for election to the board as education co-chairs the next year.

Things you need to know about this chapter:

The board is small but strong, very cohesive in their duties to serve their membership.


Participants: Identify the HWE standard(s) that would apply to this scenario and how you would operationalize them as you consider possible solutions.

(X) Skilled Communication
(X) True Collaboration
(  ) Effective Decision Making
(  ) Appropriate Staffing
(X) Meaningful Recognition
(X) Authentic Leadership

True Collaboration

  • Working together to mentor new committee members

Authentic Leadership 

  • Past board member mentored new person.

Skilled Communication

  • Timeline, website, regular meetings.

Meaningful Recognition

  • Personal fulfillment of successful program mentee and other committee members run for board.
  • Communication key: inviting members to meetings.
  • Plans for awards.
  • Greater Washington Area Chapter in D.C. has a two-day program with a chair and co-chair for succession planning, 30-member committee, regular communication.
    • Many future board members come from this two-day Spotlight program.
  • South Central Connecticut Chapter: Program chair, program elect mentorship to facilitate succession.
  • SEPA: Challenge everyone to bring one new person each 1:1 to the chapter.
    • Find out people’s interests.
    • Ask them to serve in a position appropriate to interests.
    • Conference call — embrace technology.
      • Find out what your members want and simplify.
  • Alaska: Past board members stay in contact with/support and mentor new board members.
    • Email: interruption and need to address and communicate with each other.
    • Listening to new members — face to face communication important.
  • Strategic plan each year — using HWE standards ( i.e., communication: updated website).
  • Strategic goals to include HWE — include managers.
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