AACN Chapter Leadership Development Workshop Case Study #6 – Version 1

Case Study 6 – Version 2
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
(X) Effective Decision Making
(X) Appropriate Staffing
(X) Meaningful Recognition
(X) Authentic Leadership

Skilled Communication

  • Met and talked about things

True Collaboration

  • Met regularly — committed
  • Different committee

Effective Decision Making

  • Set their plans down on paper.
  • SWOT: Celebrate good things you do, but fix broken links as well.
  • Put the SWOT analysis into a survey monkey and report it back to the board and the chapter members.
  • Also related it back to Beacon or Awards
    • Identifying the weakness/strengths.
  • Brought forward the idea of sharing the information back to the membership.

Appropriate Staffing

  • It was a committee doing the work and reporting back — they all worked.

Meaningful Recognition

  • Recognized Paula for her good work and Nancy also.
  • Nancy taking on the mentor role the following year.
  • Gifts with grab bags and dinner meetings with thank you for your work.
  • Rewards that follow the national theme — recognize nurses that come from different facilities and notify the leadership that their nurses will be recognized.
  • The scholarship was used as recognition, based on the theme for that year — members wrote on the topics for that year — Together, Stronger, Bolder.
  • Chapter has its own Circle of Excellence
    • Yhe person who nominates reads the award.
  • Recognition for managers and directors and thanking them for their leadership.
  • Vendor provided meal — members there as well.
  • Get leadership to buy in to the chapter.

Authentic Leadership

  • Three past presidents on board mentoring new people.
    • People volunteer to assist on board with various leadership positions.
  • Shadowing previous chapter leader, plan out things and be accountable.
  • Dead chapter officer book.
  • Consider the appropriate communication technique.
  • Find one person who is committed to be involved.
    • Focus on one person at a time.
  • Keep your elevator speech ready about AACN.
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