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Is Arizona Nurses Association (AzNA) prepared to be the voice of nursing in the future?

Want to make a difference in your professional practice and generate momentum for a vibrant nurses association?

Professional association models as they appear today may not be effective or relevant tomorrow. Members of professional organizations expect value in return for membership (Coerver & Byers, 2011). Some of the driving forces for "value added" expectations include: real time communications, instant media access, shrinking financial resources, best practices culture. Another key driving force that may influence changes to how professional associations may function is the potential loss of knowledge and expertise related to future registered nurse retirement at the same time that there is increasing demand for health care and nursing services (U.S. DHHSHRSA, 2010).

Arizona Nurses Association (AzNA) completed its annual board elections in October. In early December, 2011, the newly elected board of directors participated in its first face to face board meeting to prepare strategic initiatives for 2011-2013. Board members participated in a lively discussion about what makes an association vibrant, how to nurture and sustain board leadership talent, how to acquire new members, how to support and augment association staff to enhance productivity; but more importantly, how to involve and sustain the engagement of members. Based upon the list of topics, these energetic, qualified, elected individuals set forth the ground work of dialogue and change for a successful future.

What strategy might enable AzNA to promote future organizational leadership?

Nursing literature offers strategies such as mentoring, succession planning, and intellectual capital to foster organizational leadership. There is a place for each of these strategies within AzNA.

Mentoring encourages transformational (career advancement) and relational (psychosocial) growth (Thomka, 2007). Mentoring has value for the novice nurse who is wishing to become actively involved within a professional organization. The mentor is a role model in the areas of coaching, guiding, motivating, and advising. The mentee is committed to assume responsibility for professional and personal growth and development (Johnson, Billingsley, & Crichlow, 2011; Thomka, 2007).

Succession planning, a process for building an internal workforce conduit, is an investment on both the organization and its human capital. Succession planning and management, based upon strategic initiatives, organizational values and goals, enables an organization to "become" rather than to "exist" (U.S. General Accounting Office, 2003). Because many leaders in healthcare organizations are nearing retirement, a succession planning program is useful for strengthening organizational leadership and transitioning experienced nurses into leadership and mentoring roles.

Intellectual capital represents wisdom that is utilized, shared, and expressed in the workplace. According to Weston, Estrada, & Carrington (2007), creating and embedding a culture of wisdom into an organization requires "creating employee commitment through a professional practice environment, establishing the culture of a learning organization, generating social networks for sharing information, and encouraging employee participation in decision making" (p. 7). There are many ways to become involved and to tap into the wisdom of nurse leaders in healthcare administration, clinical practice, academic and clinical education, governmental affairs, and professional advocacy. The American Nurses Association ( and Arizona Nurses Association ( is the voice for nursing. Be an advocate and leader to foster a culture of excellence in the delivery of health care services.

The Appointments and Nominations Committee of AzNA is actively involved in preparing a succession plan of vibrancy and value. On behalf of the AzNA BOD and AzNA members, the Nominations/ Appointments Committee invites you to identify yourself or member nurses to become involved and support AzNA's mission: "To advance and promote professional nursing in Arizona."

Feel free to contact any member of the Appointment/Nominations Committee to discuss the opportunities and to field any questions/concerns that you may have about becoming involved in your professional organization. Appointment/ Nominations Committee is comprised of: Chair, Dave Hrabe; members: Tammy Hostetler, Pam Fuller, Beth Hunt, Pauline Komnenich, Jacqueline Mertes, Jodie Williams, and board liaison, Sharon Rayman. Call 480831-0404 x 101 or email to request contact information.

Together, we can be a vibrant association, not only in Arizona but nation-wide!

Sharon Rayman, MS, RN, CCTC, CPTC, Director, Nominations and Appointments


Coerver, H., & Byers, M. (2011). Race for relevance: 5 radical changes for associations. ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership: Washington, DC.

Johnson, J. E., Billingsley, M. & Crichlow, T. (2011). Professional development for nurses: Mentoring along the u-shaped curve. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 35(2), 119-125.

Thomka, L.A. (2007). Mentoring and its impact on intellectual capital: Through the eyes of the mentee. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 31(1), 22-26.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration. (2010). The registered nurse population: Initial findings from the 2008 national sample survey of registered nurses. Retrieved December 5, 2011, from rnsurveys/rnsurveyinitial2008.pdf

U.S. General Accounting Office. (2003). Human Capital: Succession planning and management is critical driver of organizational transformation (Report No. GAO-04-127T). Retrieved December 5, 2011 from the U.S. General Accounting office Web site:

Weston, M., Estrada, N.A., Carrington, J. (2007). Reaping benefits from intellectual capital. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 31(1), 6-12.
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Author:Rayman, Sharon
Publication:Arizona Nurse
Date:Aug 1, 2012
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