Starting a PCNA Chapter

Table of Contents

  1. Summing Up: 6 Easy Steps to Start a PCNA Chapter
  2. What You Need to Know
  3. Chapter Leader Job Description
  4. Chapter Start-up Kit

Summing Up: 6 Easy Steps to Start a PCNA Chapter

 1.  Read the PCNA Chapter Manual – Starting a PCNA Chapter section, which provides an overview of the role PCNA Chapters play in the organization, the Chapter Charter, and the organization’s bylaws.

2.  Contact the National Office with intent to start a PCNA Chapter.  Staff will walk you through the process, discuss electronic petition set-up, and answer any questions you may have.  Call 608-442-3441 or email Mariel Snyder.

3.  Once your electronic petition has 25 signatures, complete, sign and return the following: 
a. Chapter Charter 
b. Chapter Application  

These documents may be mailed or emailed to:  
PCNA National Office
Attn: Mariel Snyder
613 Williamson St., Ste. 200
Madison, WI 53703
Email: msnyder@pcna.net

4.  Once received, the above mentioned documents, as well as any notes taken by staff during initial conversations, will be reviewed by the PCNA Board of Director’s Liaison to the Membership Committee.

5.  The liaison will notify you of the decision by phone or email within 4 weeks of the date of material submission.

6.  Work with Mariel Snyder to create your Chapter webpage and plan your first meeting!


What You Need to Know

Step 1- Determine Feasibility

It is important to determine the need for a local chapter in your area.  Chapters provide the opportunity for additional education and networking among colleagues.  Additionally, be sure to determine that there are a sufficient number of members and potential members in the geographical area to support the formal structure of a chapter (at least 25).
  1. Establish proposed boundaries of the new chapter. Keep in mind the travel time to meetings (≤ 2 hours by car) and proximity of other chapters.
  2. Determine current membership in your area by asking the National Office for a printout of members within the proposed boundaries.  (Please include a zip code and mile radius).  Email your request to Mariel Snyder. The National Office cannot disclose email addresses of PCNA members, but a list of names will give you a good idea of potential chapter members in your area.
  3. Determine potential membership by collecting the name and contact information of individuals who might be interested in joining the regional chapter from the following sources:
        • List of PCNA members (use as referrals)
        • List of clinics, hospitals, and private practice offices in your area
        • Local AHA, AACVPR, or other affiliates
        • Local associations (American Hospital Association, etc.)

Step 2- Identify Leadership

  1. It is important to have support from colleagues in chapter start-up. Identify 1-3 individuals who would commit to spend time planning chapter events.
  2. If you do not have any colleagues interested in filling leadership roles, you can determine potential leadership by preparing a mailing to known and potential members to determine level of interest in forming a chapter and the potential for involvement as leaders and committee members.
  3. To read more on chapter leadership, check out Chapter 5. Chapter Structure-Organization

Step 3- Time/Requirements

  1. The Leaders of a Chapter must plan either two (2 hours) meetings or one 1/2 day meeting per year.
  2. Chapter leaders must submit an annual report detailing their chapter activities for the year.  If they submit by January for the previous year, they will be eligible to receive a complimentary registration for the next annual meeting.   
  3. Chapter leaders must be a current member of PCNA at the time of registration for the annual meeting

Step 4- Organize an Informational Meeting

Invite colleagues and PCNA members in your area (see step one for information on collecting their contact info) to an informal gathering to determine interest and possible leadership in the proposed chapter. This is a great time to ask individuals to visit the PCNA Membership Webpage and sign the Petition.   The National Office will send materials including membership applications and display copies of member benefits for this event upon request.  See step one for National Office contact info.

Step 5- Wrapping up the Process

Once you have been informed that your petition has 25 signatures, complete the Chapter Application and Chapter Charter form and submit it to the National Office. When your application is approved, you will be sent a Chapter Starter Kit, complete list below.  You can then begin the process of conducting your first chapter meeting. 
If a Chapter Leader is interested in participating in the mentor program they can be assigned a mentor, or another Chapter Leader, who has demonstrated marked success in promoting the mission and goals of PCNA in their Chapter region.

Contact the National Office

Still up for a rewarding challenge?  Contact Mariel Snyder, Membership and Chapter Coordinator at the PCNA National Office by phone at 608-442-3441 or email.   

Chapter Leader Job Description

It is recommended that the chapter leader select a team to assist with the responsibilities outlined below.  Team selection is extremely important as it will assist the chapter leader in their duties and help foster future chapter leadership.  

I. In order to be considered an active PCNA chapter, chapter leaders must:

  1. Plan at least one 4-hour or two 2-hour meetings per year.
  2. Submit a year-end annual report detailing their chapter activities for the year. 
  3. Maintain their PCNA membership.
  4. Obtain the 25 member signatures needed to successfully petition for a chapter and submit signed bylaws in order to be an approved component of the organization.

II. As a component of the national organization, chapter leaders must:

  1. Submit chapter paperwork and follow PCNA bylaws.
  2. Submit all income and expenses to National Office.
  3. Support PCNA’s mission and goals at the local level by holding community programs, develop leaders, and through advocacy initiatives.

III.  When organizing local meetings, chapter leaders should:

  1. Be responsible for setting meeting agenda.
  2. Request speakers.
  3. Obtain funds.
  4. Secure location and any food/beverage and audio/visual needs.
  5. Market programs to the appropriate audience.
  6. Inform National Office of program.
  7. Work with national office and CE Committee on program development if granting continuing education.

IV. When recruiting new and retaining current members, chapter leaders should:

  1. Follow-up with potential members and connect with new members.
  2. Research and keep the National Office up-to-date on any local non-PCNA meetings which attracts potential members.
  3. Maintain strong relationships with local nursing school faculty, pharma reps, device reps, and nurse educators as they come in contact with many potential members daily.
  4. Work with local liaison organizations to hold joint meetings.

Chapter Approval: Start-up Kit

When your chapter has been approved, you will receive a start-up kit which includes the following:

  • Application approval letter
  • Copy of chapter petition
  • 5 GTOA pt. handbooks
  • 1 High blood peruse tear sheet packet
  • Sample Blood Pressure fact sheet Spanish
  • 1 antiplatelet medicine sheet packet
  • 1 living guidelines for women sheet packet
  • 1 FH sheet packet
  • 1 blood pressure booklets
  • Cholesterol fact sheet sample
  • Cholesterol fact sheet sample Spanish
  • 5 AFib booklets
  • 30 membership brochures
  • 20 post-it notes
  • Pens
  • Notebooks
  • Save-the-Dates

 Display only items

  • 3 copies of the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
  • PCNA Chapter Pop-Up Sign to use at meetings/events