Summing Up: 3 Easy Steps to Start a PCNA Chapter

  1. Contact Mariel Snyder with your interest of starting a chapter. She will walk you through the responsibilities and processes of being a Chapter Leader. 
  2. If you would like to proceed, an electronic petition will be set up. You will need a minimum of 20 signatures, but they do not need to be only from PCNA members. 
  3. Once your electronic petition has 20 signatures, you will be contacted about next steps, including creating your chapter webpage and planning for 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 nurses in the geographical area to support the formal structure of a chapter (at least 20).

  1. Establish proposed boundaries of the new chapter. Keep in mind the travel time to meetings (less than 1 hour by car) and proximity of other PCNA chapters.
  2. Determine the current PCNA presence in your area. Ask the national office to send you a list of potential chapter 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 chapter membership by connecting with individuals who might be interested in joining the regional chapter that you know through work and friends. 

Step 2- Identify Leadership

  1. It is important to have support from colleagues in starting a chapter. Identify 1-3 individuals who can commit to spending time planning chapter events.
  2. If you do not have any colleagues interested in filling leadership roles, you can determine potential leadership by sending an email out to PCNA members asking for interested folks to step forward. Mariel will help you set this up.
  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 at least 1.0 CE program a year. Events can vary from 1.0 CE to 5.0 CE contact hours.
  2. Complete the chapter leader annual survey.
  3. Send welcome emails to new chapter members each month (Emails are sent through the natioanl office and a template will be provided).
  4. Attend two chapter leader conference calls a year.

Step 4- Organize an Informational Meeting

Invite colleagues and PCNA nurses in your area 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 to sign your chapter petition. 

Step 5- Wrapping up the Process

Once you have been informed that your petition has 20 signatures, set up a time to chat with Mariel about planning your first meeting. 

If you are interested in participating in the mentor program, you can be assigned another successful Chapter Leader as a mentor.

Contact the National Office

Still up for this rewarding challenge? Contact Mariel Snyder, Senior Membership and Chapter Lead at the PCNA National Office by 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.

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

  1. Plan at least 1.0 CE program a year.
  2. Complete an annual survey.
  3. Send welcome emails to new chapter members.
  4. Attend two chapter leader conference calls.

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

  1. Submit chapter paperwork and follow PCNA bylaws.
  2. Submit all expenses to the National Office.
  3. Support PCNA’s mission and goals at the local level.

When organizing local meetings, chapter leaders should:

  1. Be responsible for setting the meeting agenda.
  2. Identify CE topic and speakers. Leaders may use a ready-to-go deck from the CE library or submit original content.
  3. Secure location and any food/beverage and audio/visual needs.
  4. Locally market programs to the appropriate audience.
  5. Work with national office to review email invitations that go out to PCNA members.
  6. Send the completed sign-in sheet and any receipts back to national office so that the CE certificate instructional email can be sent to attendees.

The National Office will be responsible for the following:

  1. Managing all aspects of registration.
  2. Managing marketing, including invitation emails, providing a flyer template, and social media posts.
  3. Managing all financial components of the meeting (signing any contracts when needed).
  4. Managing all aspects of continuing education and certificate.
  5. Sending a box of materials for the event (PCNA pens & notebooks, name tags, patient education materials, etc.).