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American Nurses Association house of delegates approves organizational transformation: changes aimed at streamlining governance and enhancing policy development.

SILVER SPRING, MD-Nurses participating in the American Nurses Association's House of Delegates (HOD) took action to update and streamline governance of the association to more quickly address pressing issues and better meet the needs of nurses These decisions represent significant change in the association's governance structure .

During the HOD sessions held on June 15 and 16 in National Harbor, Md., about 450 voting delegates from ANA's constituent and state nurses associations (C/SNAs) and Individual Member Division (IMD) approved several measures that reflect the association's focus on updating its governance structure and processes These measures are part of a larger and continuing effort to position ANA and its C/SNAs to serve members and the profession at large . Changes will go into effect at various times.

National and state association leaders have been engaged in extensive dialogue for months about how to streamline policy development processes, clarify ANA's purposes and functions, simplify governance, and revise ANA's current membership model as well as how to better integrate state and national operations .

"I applaud the wisdom and leadership of the House," said ANA President Karen A. Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, who was elected to her second term during the meeting "The transformational changes approved by the House demonstrate the strong commitment of a broad coalition of leaders who came together with unity of purpose and a focus on serving members and the profession," she said.

"These changes are aimed at creating a preferred future for ANA and charting a new course that will make ANA a stronger advocate for registered nurses and create an organization that is relevant and responsive to members," said Daley.

During the HOD meeting, nurse delegates voted to:

* Retire the House of Delegates, Congress on Nursing Practice and Economics, and the Constituent Assembly and replace them with a Membership Assembly and Professional Issues Panels: Comprised of representatives from ANA's constituent and state nurses associations, its organizational affiliates, and the IMD, the new Membership Assembly will serve as ANA's governing and voting body The Assembly will elect, advise, and direct the ANA Board of Directors on emerging environmental trends as well as determine policy and positions for the association The new body will meet annually as opposed to the previous biennial HOD meeting schedule Nurse delegates also voted to dissolve the Constituent Assembly, comprised of C/ SNA presidents and executive directors, and effective March 2013, the 60-member Congress on Nursing Practice and Economics

* Create ad hoc Professional Issues Panels comprised of volunteer nurse subject matter experts: The new panels will help ANA respond more quickly to emerging policy and practice issues. The ANA board will create and dissolve panels as needed The panels will be comprised of nurses whose specific areas of expertise are needed at a given time

* Move to a smaller Board of Directors: The Board of Directors will be reduced from 15 members to nine members, including four officers and five directors-at-large, one of whom will be a staff nurse and the other a recent nursing graduate The new board will ensure that ANA can quickly address the emerging needs of ANA members, prospective members, and the nursing profession This change will go into effect in 2014.

* Update ANA's language to better reflect the purposes and functions of the national association: Delegates voted to approve new language in ANA's governing bylaws that says the association will "advocate for workplace standards that foster safe patient care and support the profession " This change, along with a modification to a reference about advancing the "welfare" of nurses, updates language to better reflect ANA's current broad programmatic work related to workplace standards and the advancement of nurses' interests.

Nurse delegates also considered changing ANA's membership structure from the 1982-adopted federated model, in which organizations, such as state nurses associations, are ANA's "members" to a structure where individual nurses are the members Delegates voted to refer this proposal back to the board for additional consideration and information gathering purposes It is anticipated that the proposal will be brought to the Membership Assembly for consideration

ANA is the only full-service professional organization representing the interests of the nation's 3.1 million registered nurses through its constituent and state nurses associations and its organizational affiliates. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the rights of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Congress and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public. Please visit www.nursingworld.org for more information.
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Publication:Colorado Nurse
Date:Aug 1, 2012
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