Over the past year, you have excelled as an active member of your nursing council ( for tips on being an active member https://rntrailguide.com/tips-active-nursing-council-member/ ) and have been elected as chair for the new year. How do you prepare for your first meeting to ensure a successful year with active membership?
Evaluating the Membership
- Do you have everyone present to make decisions? Are all areas of nursing represented? What about services ancillary to nursing like pharmacy, dietary, physical therapy, are they represented? What representation would allow decisions to be made and elements of day to day work become more efficient?
- Can members teleconference in for meetings? Do agenda topics allow for call-ins? Sometimes meeting content may contain private information privy to membership only or even pertain patient identifiers. Is it safe to have members listening elsewhere? How does the membership feel about this option or even your organization before allowing it?
- Does the current schedule work? Are day shift, night shift, and weekend nursing staff able to attend the meeting? Is the time and location agreeable to the members?
Setting the Agenda
- Working with your co-chair, manager, or educator, you must set-up the nursing council’s agenda. A well-laid out agenda allows for solid groundwork to a successful meeting. Items to include in the agenda:
- Review of minutes
- Old Business topics
- New Business topics
- Open Forum for future items or needs
- Time estimates to aid with keeping on task
- Person’s responsible for actions or discussion on items
- One organization I chaired councils, the suggested lead time for an agenda and minutes for council members to print out and review was 3 business days prior to the meeting. It has two functions. 1. Reminder of upcoming meeting 2. Reminder of agenda topic responsibilities.
Preparation for a council meeting is necessary to ensure flow, staying on task, and member accountability. The preparation will pay off when the council is able to move topics forward and see results in their departments.
Let’s hit the nursing council trail!