AACN Chapter Leadership Development Workshop Case Study # 8 – Version 3

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

Skilled Communication

  • Writing out job description.
  • Chapter leaders must communicate.
  • Facebook page for chapter — for communication.

True Collaboration

  • Info and education to students
  • Free to students
  • Regular chapter meeting

Effective Decision Making

  • Strategic plan and re-evaluate.
  • Succession plan in place.
  • Do not say no to anyone.
  • Consortium of hospitals who have orientation program.
  • Incorporate ECCO, simulation lab and preceptor experiences.
    • On last day speak about benefits of belonging to a professional organization.
    • Start with preceptors and have them encourage the preceptee to join.
  • Use past officers to help us remember rules, regs, how to handle things that have come up in the past
    • Include in-board members.

Appropriate Staffing

  • Fill elect positions, keep past positions — help mentor.
  • Stagger board member positions official duties.
    • Always have experienced past-president working on elections
  • Co-chair paired with a mentor.
  • Buddy system (e.g., "big sister-little sister" program).
    • Shadow a board member to see what it is like.
  • Have meeting to find out what type of activities they might want to get involved in.
  • Chair who is a nurse and co-chair who is a student.
  • Each unit sends a representative.
  • Encourage nursing students to join.
  • "Coffee talks" with students to help them.

Meaningful Recognition

  • Including nursing student in chapter — inclusive rather than exclusive.
  • Verbal thank you to chapter officer.
  • Acknowledgement — chapter members telling you.
  • Write-up (submitted by chapter members) in local newspaper about seminar.

Authentic Leadership

  • Embrace all of the other HWE standards.
  • Student felt comfortable approaching president.
  • Concern for not over burdening chapter members.
  • Have new grad pair up with "buddy."
    • Provide job description.
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