AACN Chapter Leadership Development Workshop Case Study # 8 – Version 2

Case Study #8:

Growing Our Own 

(Fictitious) Chapter Name:

Forward Thinking Chapter

# of Chapter Members:


# of Chapter Officers and Board Members:

Eight chapter officers (president, president-elect, secretary, treasury, treasurer-elect, membership chair, program chair, community service chair). Officers serve staggered two-year terms. All positions are filled. 

Rural/Urban Area:


How active is this chapter?

Very active chapter with three to four large events each year, in addition to regular chapter meetings and certification study groups.

Background Information:

Chapter is just three years old with members from all of the area hospitals, and has had a purpose and plan in place since Day One that is regularly reviewed and shared with the full membership. 

Chapter conducts a yearly chapter member needs assessment and an annual SWOT analysis to validate what they do well, what they need to improve upon, constraints, and opportunities.

They then use the results of those items to evaluate their annual plan, tweaking as necessary. They keep the number of large events low so as not to overburden the chapter or any of the volunteers.

The chapter has established a relationship with the local nursing school and often provides information and education for the students. Students are welcomed to chapter meetings free of charge.

Conflict or Issues:

A recent nursing grad that has been attending chapter meetings has officially joined the chapter and paid her chapter dues. She has expressed to the chapter president her desire to be involved at a leadership level and has asked how soon she can run for election.

Things you need to know about this chapter:

Chapter has a mentoring program and succession plan in place, and is committed to developing their members for chapter leadership positions. Job descriptions are in place for current and past chapter leaders, and each is responsible for mentoring.


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

Effective Decision Making

  • Job descriptions
  • A purpose and plan since day one
  • Mentoring program and succession plan

Skilled Communication

  • Job descriptions.
  • Communicate with all members, through Facebook, email, blast texting of reminders of meetings.

True Collaboration

  • Establish relationship with schools.
  • Succession plan.
  • Allowing student nurses to participate within the chapter.
  • Have a student nurse as chair of board.
  • Present to student nurses before they are graduating.
  • Follow up with new grads one to two years after entering critical care.
  • Assist student nurses with resources — “coffee talks.”
  • Learning what goes on in a unit.

Appropriate Staffing

  • Succession planning — active membership.
  • Keep experience in chapter with elect, current and past.
  • Stagger positions.
  • Pair with experienced member.
  • “Big sister-little sister” program — buddy system.
  • Shadowing a board member.

Meaningful Recognition

  • Accepting student nurses.
  • Acknowledgment.
  • Chapter advisor sending thank you letters.

Authentic Leadership

  • Eight board members — staggered two-year terms, other five standards met.
  • Student felt comfortable talking to president about running for election.
  • Chapter has a mentoring program and a succession plan in place.
  • Where do you feel you best fit?
    • Buddy system — big sister-little sister program.
  • Time commitment.
    • Review job description.
  • Challenge
    • Keeping new grads involved.
    • Doing it only because it looks good on their resume.
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