Albert Einstein once said, “Strive not to be a success but rather to be of value.” This is symbolic of how the ONS Board of Directors and staff are always looking for ways to improve your membership experience and to be of value to our members. One of the ways we do this is by engaging local chapters at the regional chapter office program (RCOP). We want to know your chapters’ best practices and challenges so that we can share this information with other chapters and ascertain how ONS can serve as a resource at the local level. 

In October, I had the pleasure of meeting 15 chapter leaders representing East Valley, Phoenix, Southern Arizona, Albuquerque, and Greater Las Vegas who attended the Phoenix RCOP. The leaders were all very engaging and shared the following.

Best Practices

  • Fund-raisers: provide vendor fairs, raffle tickets, or gift baskets, and use pharma funding for educational seminars.
  • Education: offer educational seminars with local speakers to offset cost, use pharma funding, offer low-cost registration to encourage attendance, and most education is without CNE credit because of pharma sponsorship.
  • Member engagement: hold end-of-year celebrations for members; offer 10 free memberships; implement a board internship; hold membership meetings in different locations to increase access to members; have board members serve as ambassadors to local hospitals to encourage nurses to join.

Challenges for Local Chapters

  • Succession planning: difficulty in getting members to run for local chapter office
  • Member engagement: difficulty in getting millennials to join and attend local chapter meetings and getting members in general to attend meetings

As with most chapters, mega or small, the challenges shared at the Phoenix RCOP are all too familiar. ONS is committed to improving your membership experience and addressing the issues of succession planning and member engagement. During the October ONS Board meeting, the Board approved a project dedicated the membership experience by improving the ONS website and responsiveness of the ONS staff. In addition, the ONS Board approved a task force to review the structure and operations of ONS chapters. Finally, the ONS communities are fully functional, helping to foster a sense of community and a place to network with likeminded members or others who may share the same passion. Remember, ONS is dedicated to improving your membership experience and to being of value to you, our members.