September 2013 Update: Getting Involved

How many times has an AACN colleague asked you this question:

“How do I get more involved in the AACN community?”

And, what advice do you offer? 

We believe our members have much to gain from being truly engaged in our community.

As you well know, connecting on a deeper level within AACN and contributing one’s skills and talents for the greater cause provides deep personal satisfaction and invaluable opportunities for professional development. And, of course, we — as members of the AACN community — benefit immensely from these special connections and, ultimately, so do the patients and families we serve.

In this Update, we place at your fingertips ideas to share with colleagues on taking that step to a deeper connection within our AACN family. Because you are already there, we know you can deliver a powerful message — backed by experience and cemented by example.

As always, I am so grateful you embrace engagement.

Melinda

PS: You recently received AACN’s annual Volunteer Satisfaction Survey via email. We want to remind you that a special section of this survey is dedicated to Ambassadors. This replaces the separate Ambassador survey you formerly received so please take the time to complete this questionnaire.

The deadline for completing this survey is September 22. Thank you in advance for your time; your input is invaluable.

Getting Involved in AACN

Whether a member wants to dive head-first into a complex leadership role in AACN or start a little more slowly by simply joining a Facebook or Twitter chat, the opportunities to become more involved in AACN span a wide spectrum: 

Be an ambassador

There is always room for more ambassadors on a unit or in a facility. You know the ins and outs of being an ambassador so encourage others to consider also being a local leader who connects colleagues to AACN resources and keeps AACN initiatives in the forefront. The Ambassadors homepage has the details they’ll need. 

Join a chapter

One of the easiest ways to get more involved — especially for a new AACN member — is to join a local chapter. First, it allows instant networking with other members. Second, opportunities abound to share expertise and energy by serving on committees. Third, serving as a chapter officer is a great chance to hone leadership skills.

Details are available on the Chapters homepage or through the Locate a Chapter button on the AACN homepage. 

Also, you may be approached by colleagues who are exploring the feasibility of forming a new chapter to address a specific networking need. We recommend those individuals contact AACN Governance Manager Tracey Van Dell to brainstorm on the optimal approach to satisfying their needs.

Be an AACN Volunteer

In addition to the volunteers in our Ambassador and Chapter ranks, AACN also taps the expertise and passion of its members to drive specific initiatives. 

Who is eligible to volunteer? Any member of AACN is eligible to serve as a volunteer. While each opportunity has its own prerequisites for volunteers, needs exist for members of all levels of experience and all nursing specialties; a diverse mixture of expertise and ideas is highly valued.

What opportunities are there? The most frequent types of volunteer opportunities include advisory teams, Certification Corporation groups, program planning committees, publishing groups, review panels, task forces, think tanks and work groups. Visit the Volunteer homepage for more information.

How does one get started? The first step to becoming a volunteer is completing a volunteer profile. To make this process easier for members, a new Volunteer webinar is available online. It outlines the essentials of volunteering and guides viewers through the application process step by step.

Your next step. The easiest way for you to understand the ins and outs of volunteering is to watch the Volunteer webinar yourself. Not only will this help you if you are thinking of expanding your volunteer efforts, but it will prepare you to guide colleagues who ask you about volunteering.

Serve on AACN Board

Annually, AACN elects new members to its Board of Directors — volunteer leaders who play a crucial role in keeping AACN’s vision alive and driving the execution of its mission. Members are also elected annually to the AACN Nominating Committee. View requirements online.

Connect on Facebook, Twitter

Social media makes it simple to be a part of everyday discussions among AACN members. AACN’s Facebook page and Twitter presence make it easy to reach out for help or advice, easy to share expertise with others, easy to stay up to date on AACN happenings and easy to just keep in touch with AACN friends.

What’s New?

Adult CCRN Certification Review Course Launches in October 

AACN will offer an Adult CCRN certification review course, a seven-part live webinar, beginning Monday, Oct. 28. The 2.5-hour sessions will feature an interactive learning experience with teacher and peer-to-peer chats, knowledge check questions and support materials.

The webinar awards 14.5 continuing nursing education (CNE) contact hours. Group discounts available. Learn more and register.

AACN Grant Applications Open

Remind your colleagues who are involved in research to apply for AACN grants, which range from $10,000 to $50,000. The grants fund priority projects that address gaps in clinical research and support the translation of these findings to bedside nurses. Applications must be submitted online by Nov. 1. Learn more and get started.

Certified Nurses Day 2014 

Hard to believe, but it’s time to start planning for Certified Nurses Day 2014, which will be March 19. Please spread the word about this important day that recognizes certified nurses and the importance of certification and encourage a celebration at your facility. For ideas on how to kick off your plans, visit our Certified Nurses Day page on the website.

If you have questions or need additional information about Certified Nurses Day, contact us at certification@aacn.org.

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