The CANNT board experience: why it is so essential!
Boards of directors
Boards of directors (Management)
Trade and professional associations (Services)
Trade and professional associations (Management)
|Publication:||Name: CANNT Journal Publisher: Canadian Association of Nephrology Nurses & Technologists Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2008 Canadian Association of Nephrology Nurses & Technologists ISSN: 1498-5136|
|Issue:||Date: July-Sept, 2008 Source Volume: 18 Source Issue: 3|
|Topic:||Event Code: 360 Services information; 200 Management dynamics Computer Subject: Company business management|
|Product:||Product Code: 8620000 Professional Membership Assns NAICS Code: 81392 Professional Organizations SIC Code: 8621 Professional organizations|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: Canada Geographic Code: 1CANA Canada|
While doing some reflection prior to sitting down to write, I
thought about some of the most rewarding experiences I have had since my
graduation in 1989. Holding different positions in the acute care world
both in clinical and management roles and now in community practice has
really provided me with a full experience. Outside of the paid hours of
work, I have belonged to many different professional associations and
there is one experience I remember the most.
In the beginning of my nursing career, my experience of being involved in a professional association was by way of paper and having a membership number. How many times have you heard that one? We hear and think we know about the benefits of joining our professional associations, but when it truly comes down to it, becoming involved throws a whole new light on things. The level of holding a board position really gives it full meaning! After being a CANNT member for four years, I was fortunate enough to hold the board position of website coordinator and treasurer within CANNT for three years, and what a gift that was!
The CANNT board of directors was such a fulfilling experience for me. I never imagined that it would be so enriching and help me connect even more to the nephrology world. In addition, I realized how small our country can be and how joined we are as a specialty. Current and past board members are from across Canada and are one of the many foundations of our dynamic organization. The ability to network and share professional experiences, which are then applied to CANNT members, is essential to strengthening the voice of the nephrology specialty in our country. The association has come so far and continues to grow and strengthen!
Within my role as a board member, I was able to improve many skills related to formal meeting structures and process, develop inter-professional skills, communication skills, learn more within the dreaded Excel software to develop financial spreadsheets and reports, and build many new professional friendships across Canada. The role of treasurer gave me so much insight into the critical role of building our membership, giving back to the members and having the ability to be innovative with events and professional tools while being financially accountable at the same time.
I was fortunate to be very involved in the development of the new CANNT website. I must admit this really did intimidate me in the beginning. Once I got more involved, I realized the endless opportunities it could offer our members in terms of communication, education and professional links. Participation in this project allowed for interaction with key partners and stakeholders in our nephrology community. Once again, this allowed me to develop skills and relationships with people I never imagined! In today's era of the Worldwide Web, our organization stepped up to the next level to offer services to our members and developed a very successful site. What a powerful tool this is to connect with colleagues and specialty groups both nationally and internationally. I never imagined the full power of this! We must continue to build on this element within our organization as we grow.
The CANNT organization and its members have so much experience. The professional relationships I developed with others in my board role also allowed for many mentoring opportunities. Working with seasoned nephrology experts was a significant aspect to being a board of directors' member. The ability to share and learn from others was something that will carry me forward in the next half of my career regardless of specialty or area of work!
After working within acute and chronic illness programs for the first 19 years of my career as a nurse, I made the decision to take a new fork in the road. My focus is now on the upstream approach within the public health sector in the Chronic Disease Prevention Program at the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, Ontario. The ability to make a difference in this area has true meaning for me. Creating awareness about chronic disease prevention and health promotion is so energizing and after seeing patients who suffer from chronic illnesses for years, I really can relate to the significance of the role in Public Health. It is back to the basics of messaging physical activity, healthy eating, healthy weights, early detection of cancer and sun safety, as strategies to reach our goals. Although public health and acute care may seem worlds apart, I believe we are essential partners that should be working together more often to meet the needs of the communities in which we live.
My experience within the CANNT organization was a valuable one and one I am thankful for! I encourage you to become involved in the future and can only hope you have a rewarding experience similar to mine.
About the author
Ruth McArthur, RN, BN, CNeph(C), is a Public Health Nurse, Healthy Lifestyle Program, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, ON.
Ruth's professional volunteer activities related to nephrology include: CANNT--CANNT Treasurer and Website coordinator, 2003-2005.
By Ruth McArthur, RN, BN, CNeph(C), CANNT Website Coordinator/Treasurer 2003-2005
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