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The role of the CAT.

Chapters serve an important role in promoting AACN's mission, with the support of the Chapter Advisory Team (CAT) and the national office. There are 19 regions with 19 CATs covering more than 240 chapters in the U.S., Germany, China and Japan.

CATs are liaisons and spokespersons for AACN chapters and leaders in their regions. Support includes:

* Strategic, financial and educational planning

* Chapter management--needs assessments, financial reporting, etc.

* Chapter leadership development

* Key initiatives--Certification, Healthy Work Environments, Beacon Award

Chapter advisers are key to ensuring effective communication among the AACN Board of Directors, national office staff and local chapters on the issues chapters face. They also collaborate with national staff to plan the Chapter Leadership Development Workshop (LDW) at NTI. CATs are volunteers who have served as chapter officers and have expert knowledge on chapter issues and trends in their regions.

CATs are responsible for communicating AACN's key initiatives (Beacon, Certification and Healthy Work Environments) at the regional and local levels through many strategies: presentations, newsletters, e-mail and one-on-one mentoring of local chapter leaders. Many CATs assist in hosting regional leadership development workshops. Mirrored after the national program, regional LDWs bring local chapter leaders together with their chapter advisers in networking forums. Participants are educated on the AACN initiatives, and often the CAT will provide chapters with presentations and other tools so chapter leaders can share the information at the local level. Chapter Adviser Kay Luft, RN, MN, MS, CCRN, TNCC, and AACN board member Mary Stahl, RN, MSN, CCRN, CCNS-CMC, CNSBC, provided Region 14 chapter leaders with information and strategies during their regional meeting. The networking was terrific as it allowed chapters to share their best practices with each other. A great example of meaningful recognition is the St. Louis Chapter's annual certification awards banquet.

In 1999, the Heart of the Piedmont (N.C.) Chapter nearly disbanded. The chapter adviser and chapter leaders met to determine the chapter's future. During strategic planning sessions and a SWOT analysis, Heart of the Piedmont decided they could be strong again. They refocused on certification, developed a new strategic plan and collaborated with High Point Regional Health System (HPRHS). This collaboration led to sponsorship of a national certification speaker and prepayment for certification fees for any critical care nurse interested in certifying. Since 1999, Heart of the Piedmont has hosted an annual certification review and a dinner for chapter members and High Point Regional staff. Chapter leadership also donated certification plaques to critical care units at HPRHS. The chapter continues to support certification and celebrates each certified nurse with a pinning and celebration of the nurse's certification. The number of certified nurses in the Heart of the Piedmont Chapter continues to rise.

Next month we'll share other examples of how chapter advisers can help chapters be successful. Please contact your CAT anytime at region#@aacn.org, or the national office at chapters@aacn.org; (800) 394-5995 ext. 365 or ext. 313.

By Jan Teal, RN, BC, MSN, CCRN, and Cindi Noe, RN, MSN, Chapter Advisory Team Co-Leads
CHAPTER ADVISORY TEAM REGIONS

Region 1    CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT
Region 2    NY, Germany
Region 3    DE, NJ, PA
Region 4    DC, MD, VA, WV
Region 5    NC, SC
Region 6    AL, GA
Region 7    FL
Region 8    MI, WI
Region 9    IN, OH
Region 10   IL
Region 11   KY, TN
Region 12   AR, LA, MS
Region 13   IA, MN, NE
Region 14   KS, MO
Region 15   OK, TX
Region 16   ND, SD, MT, WY
Region 17   AZ, CO, NV, NM, UT
Region 18   AK, ID, HI, OR, WA
Region 19   CA, China, Japan
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Title Annotation:chapter advisory team
Author:Teal, Jan; Noe, Cindi
Publication:AACN News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2008
Words:599
Previous Article:Addressing workplace issues in a positive way.
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