Volunteer Toolkit

This page has been designed to assist members of AAACN who have already volunteered their time to support AAACN through serving on a standing committee, Special Interest Group (SIG), on the Editorial Board, or serving in an official capacity as an elected member of the Nominating Committee.

Read testimonials from members on their volunteer experience.

Roles and Responsibilities for Committees, SIGs, and Task Forces

AAACN has official Policies and Procedures that define how the work of the association should be conducted. We also have policies that describe the roles and responsibilities of committees, SIGs, and Task Forces. Click on the links below to view the policies listed:

Charters

Charters are created by a member of the board, and approved by the board, when a new project that requires volunteer members to serve on a task force is introduced. A charter guides the work of the task force showing the:

  • Strategic Plan Goal the project falls under
  • Strategic Plan Objective the project falls under
  • Strategy Statement
  • Outcome/Deliverable expected at the end of the project
  • Name of board liaison the chair of the task force is accountable to
  • Next Steps to consider when starting the project
  • List of Collaborators - key people who can be helpful to the project.
  • List of Resources - Research, Publications, etc.
  • Time Frame(s)/Completion Date
  • Reporting Times when the chair is expected to submit a report (monthly)

Charters are provided to chairs of volunteer groups to help guide the work of the group. Charters should be shared with all volunteers so that they understand the scope of the project and expected outcome.

How Work is Accomplished

Committee, SIG, and task force work throughout the year is accomplished by email and conference calls. Each committee/SIG/Task Force has a specific conference call line they use to conduct their work. Members of the group "dial in" to a pre-distributed phone number. Conference calls should last no more than an hour. The chair of each group normally schedules the calls after checking the availability of the volunteers in the group. Chairs should send a confirmation of the date/time for the conference call, the dial in number, and an agenda of what will be covered on the call. It is helpful to appoint someone to take minutes/notes on the call and distribute them to everyone following the call.

Role of the Board Liaison

Each committee, SIG, and task force is appointed a Board Liaison to provide guidance and direction to the group, as well as be a "voice" of the group to the Board of Directors. Board Liaisons are appointed from the 8 member Board of Directors. Board Liaisons serve in an advisory role, they should not be given assignments or work to complete. Board Liaisons should be invited to participate in monthly conference calls. Your board liaison will attend if their schedule permits.

Length of Service

Volunteers usually serve on a committee/SIG for 1-2 years. Occasionally a committee/SIG member will be asked or choose to step up to the Chair position after serving and learning how the committee/SIG is conducted. Members are appointed annually by the President at the end of each year. Each committee/SIG volunteer year ends at the close of the annual conference. Members of short term task forces can expect to serve 4-6 months on a task force depending on the goal of the task force and the progress of the work.

How Chairs find Volunteers for a Committee, SIG, or Task Force

The National Office maintains a list of members who have volunteered to support the association via a Volunteer Opportunities form. The first step in locating volunteers to serve is to contact Linda Alexander at the National Office to obtain the chart showing the current list of volunteers.

If a chair is unable to identify enough volunteers, they may either put a "Call for Volunteers" in the monthly E-newsletter, or request that the National Office send out a special broadcast to members. We try to limit the number of special broadcasts sent to members due to the cost, but also we do not want to be a nuisance to members by sending frequent emails. You can arrange either of the above "calls for volunteers" through Linda Alexander at the National Office or 800-262-6877. Press 53 as soon as you hear the recording.

Bylaws

The Bylaws of the association are the strictest "rules" by which the organization must be run. Any changes to the Bylaws must be voted on by the membership.
View Bylaws

Writers of Articles, Contributors to Chapters in Publications

Review and approval of articles is coordinated by the Editor of either the ViewPoint newsletter or the Nursing Economic$ Perspectives in Ambulatory Care column Editor, and the A. J. Jannetti, Inc. Editorial Department. Editors/Staff coordinating articles are:

ViewPoint
Kitty Shulman, MSN, RN-C, Editor kittyshulman@earthlink.net
Katie Rayburn, ELS ViewPoint Katie@ajj.com

Nursing Economic$ Perspectives in Ambulatory Care Column
Kitty Shulman, MSN, RN-C, Editor kittyshulman@earthlink.net

Publications

Content for publications is managed by the Editor of the publication. The Editor establishes deadlines, keeps track of progress, and sends reminders to keep project on track. Although a board liaison is assigned to publication, volunteers are responsible to the Editor for completing their work.

Recognition of Volunteers:

AAACN would not be the successful association it is without the support of member volunteers. AAACN recognizes its volunteers annually at the Leadership Symposium held in conjunction with the annual conference, and via certificates when a project is completed.

Reimbursement

Members who have been appointed a designated representative of AAACN and are asked to travel to a meeting, are entitled to reimbursement for air travel, mileage via personal vehicle, ground transportation, and meals if these services are not provided by the host. AAACN offers a $55 per diem to cover breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Receipts showing funds spent must be submitted with the AAACN reimbursement form.

Taping receipts to a sheet of paper is helpful. Please identify what charges are for by writing on each receipt. AAACN does not cover costs for alcohol. This is considered a personal expense. If you choose to have alcohol at a meal, the amount must be deducted from your receipt. Once completed, reimbursement forms are submitted to the AAACN Treasurer for approval.

After approving an Expense Reimbursement form, the Treasurer submits the form to the National Office for reimbursement. Allow 2-3 weeks to receive your reimbursement.

Phone calls are reimbursable if desired. Receipts should be submitted using the Expense Reimbursement form. Reason for call(s) and names of those contacted must be submitted with the invoice showing the phone charges being claimed.

Download Reimbursement Form
View Reimbursement Guidelines, Policy 5.4

Running for National Office

Serving as a volunteer on a committee, SIG, or task force is a "stepping stone" to serving as an officer of AAACN. Since leadership skills are important if you desire to run for the Board of Directors or serve on the Nominating Committee, members are encouraged to volunteer, learn about the association and its members, realize the fantastic benefits of volunteering, then consider running for National Office.

Review the Information for Elected Positions brochure

FOR CHAIRPERSONS ONLY

Project Approval/Agenda Item Form

Any project that requires financial support from AAACN must first be approved by the Board of Directors. It is actually a good idea to obtain board approval on any project that requires a fair amount of work, even though no financial support is needed, before the project is undertaken. In order to obtain board approval, an Agenda Item Form must be completed and submitted to your Board Liaison, and Linda Alexander at the National Office. Your agenda item will be placed on the board meeting agenda for the next board meeting. The board meets monthly via conference call, and in person twice a year.

Download Agenda Item form

Board Reports

Chairs of committees, SIGs, , and members who serve as representatives on external committees are required to submit a board report two times per year, for the two "in person" board meetings. Board reports update board members on the status of projects and inform them of activities taking place.

Download Board Report format

Monthly Reports from Charter Chairs

Volunteers who are chairing a Task Force directed by a "Charter" are expected to submit a monthly report to the board liaison. The purpose of the report is to keep the board liaison up-to-date on the progress of the task force as well as alert them to any challenges or barriers met. This report will serve as the chair's board report for the two "in person" board meetings. The report should be sent to the board liaison, and Linda Alexander at the National Office when board reports are due.

Download Charter Monthly Report format (Word)

How to Reach Members

Members can be reached to provide input to committees/SIGs/task forces via:

  • Monthly E-Newsletter
  • ViewPoint Newsletter (2 month lead time)
  • Special email broadcast sent from the National Office

The National Office can set up surveys on Survey Monkey to gather input. Or, if only a few people are expected to respond, the Chair may wish to include her/his email address in the communication. Special email broadcasts are the most costly of the three options listed above. Email broadcasts can be sent to members, both members and non-members, or a specified group of members — e.g. only telehealth nurse members. Specialized lists can be prepared using data from the 13 questions on the membership application. Anyone who has purchased something from AAACN who is not a member, or contacted AAACN in some manner within the last two years would appear on our "prospect list." You may wish to include this group of non-members in your communication. Contact Linda Alexander at the National Office to coordinate your communication to members and non-members.

Sharing your News

Committees, SIGs, and task forces are encouraged to share important accomplishments or news via the E-Newsletter, or ViewPoint. Submit your news to Linda Alexander and indicate where you would like your news to appear.