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2007 excellence in chapter collaboration award.

Greater Cincinnati Chapter

Cincinnati, OH

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For more than 30 years, the Greater Cincinnati Chapter (GCC) has excelled in many areas. In keeping with the AACN vision, GCC created a Community Forum Committee. The committee's purpose was to determine strategies for chapter members to utilize clinical skills and provide health promotion activities for an underserved community.

The committee collaborated with community leaders from a regional hospital, Young Men's Christian Association and a university school of nursing. It was established that a "Health and Wellness Expo" would be held to provide accessible screening for inner city residents. Participants engaged in glucose, cholesterol, anthropometric and blood pressure screening; smoking cessation; lifestyle modification education; medication teaching; sleep apnea education; stress reduction; cancer prevention; and body massage. Student nurses were paired with registered and advanced practice nurses from the chapter to provide mentoring of one-toone blood pressure measurement and medication education for participants. A positive and supportive environment resulted, where questions were encouraged and emphasis was placed on the learning process. The outcome was extraordinarily rewarding as indicated by a student's comment: I know I still have a lot to learn, but I feel more confident after working with such knowledgeable nurses. Twenty-two members and 20 nursing students donated their time to this event. More than 100 individuals from the community participated. Multiple participants were referred for follow-up with their healthcare practitioner when hypertension was identified. It was evident this was a worthwhile event. As one patient stated, "Now I know why I need to start back on my high blood pressure medication. I had no idea what could happen to my body if I do not control my blood pressure." This was a rare occasion when there was true collaboration among academia, practice and the community.

Puget Sound and Mt. Rainier Chapters

Seattle and Tacoma, WA

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In early spring 2006, the Mt. Rainier and Puget Sound chapters of AACN (serving different parts of the greater Seattle-Tacoma area) began a collaborative relationship. Each chapter found itself not only struggling to attract participants to local educational offerings, but also working with the same small, but dedicated group of board members. Initially, the Puget Sound Chapter president approached the Mt. Rainier Chapter president for mentoring and guidance. They quickly realized the challenges facing their respective chapters were more similar than different. The chapters began holding joint monthly meetings and offered a CCRN/PCCN review in September 2006, which was a financial success. More importantly, it brought together the board members of each chapter and solidified the idea that we not only could work well together, but that a formal merger would result in a stronger and more vital group.

Over the next six months, we learned about each other's strategies, traditions and values. Each meeting, newsletter, community service event and educational offering conducted together brought a renewed sense of energy, laughter and new relationships. Consolidating our groups has allowed us to branch out in new and diverse ways to connect with our community, including a Beacon Award Challenge to the community and an education dinner for area ICU nurses and physicians. Truly more than a sum of our parts, we have increased our educational offerings, participation in the community and outreach to new members. We are excited to announce a formal merger in July 2007 with a new chapter name, Mountain to Sound Chapter, and a shared identity.

Greater East Texas Chapter

Tyler, TX

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Collaboration has been the mainstay of success for the Greater East Texas Chapter of AACN in achieving its goals. Each year, the chapter members embrace the opportunity to further the mission and vision of AACN by working jointly with three competitive health systems and a number of charitable organizations on a variety of projects that are mutually beneficial. We collaborate with our health systems to provide educational programming to enhance our evidence-based practice. Each health system hosts the site and provides the continuing education hours for our CCRN review. Working jointly, our focus is to increase the number of certified nurses in our community. This joint effort has allowed the chapter to annually reward six to eight active members with full scholarships to renew and transform themselves at NTI, as well as provide CEUs at each monthly meeting.

Annually, our members have embraced community service by collaborating with charitable organizations such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army and Bethesda Health Clinic for the indigent, providing funding, essential relief items and membership time. Our collaborative efforts escalated to meet the needs of the evacuees who flooded our city during the Gulf Coast hurricanes.

Continuing to embrace the theme of "Engage and Transform" for 2005-06, members set a goal to engage the interest of nursing students regarding the field of critical care nursing as part of an effort to reduce the local staffing shortages and transform awareness of the opportunities available through AACN membership. Collaborating with the University of Texas at Tyler, members identified an opportunity to participate in "Traditions," a BSN and MSN student awareness program, highlighting opportunities in the nursing profession.

Powered by insight gained from years of collaborative relationships, the Greater East Texas Chapter continues to achieve mutually beneficial goals by working jointly with its local community, health systems and university.
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Publication:AACN News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2008
Words:875
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