2023 Bylaw Revisions Questions

Association Bylaws & Election Process Revisions

In August of 2022, three structural changes were introduced to the APHON membership that would require Bylaws change approval: 1.) expand the Board from seven members to nine members; 2.) modify the Nominating Committee’s scope to function as a Leadership Development Committee; and 3.) alter the election process from a competitive election to a fully appointed slate (In this slate election model, the entire slate is either approved or denied by the members. Candidates do not run in opposition of each other and there is no voting on individual candidates). 

These changes intend to enhance further APHON’s commitment to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive association for all members and establish an appropriate framework for recruitment, nomination, and selection processes that will build a board of directors comprised of a balance of representation, skills, knowledge, and other characteristics and competencies that will optimally serve you and your fellow APHON members. Time was spent during the Business Meeting in September addressing questions and comments received from the membership about the proposed changes.

Summary of the Amendments

Some minor grammatical errors have been corrected in addition to the three structural changes. For context, details about the three major proposed Bylaws changes are as follows:

Expand the Board from seven members to nine members

Expanding the Board’s composition from its current seven members to nine members will help achieve greater diversity in representation. Officers would remain the same as the current state: President, President-Elect or Immediate Past-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Director-at-Large positions would increase from three to five positions to align experience and needs with strategic priorities and better accommodate gaps in member representation, such as early career, bedside nurse, hematology specialty, etc.

Modify the Nominating Committee’s scope to function as a Leadership Development Committee

The Nominating Committee will become the Leadership Development Committee (LDC) in the proposed Bylaws changes. 

Criteria and qualifications for LDC members that align with APHON’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goals will be established by the APHON Board of Directors with guidance and input from APHON’s DEI consulting partner, the Exeter Group. APHON’s Immediate Past-President will lead the LDC. The Board of Directors will appoint LDC members after thoroughly vetting each LDC candidate’s application, qualifications, and interviews.

The LDC, once appointed, will continue to oversee the board selection process. All members of the LDC will participate in mandatory leadership training to equip them to be more inclusive and more purposeful in the board selection process. The LDC will ensure effective succession planning, recruiting, and slating highly qualified leaders for the APHON Board of Directors. Each year, the determined and defined targeted needs of the Board’s composition will be communicated to the membership via announcements and a public call, including our established interest form that reflects the desired competencies, experience, and diversity/representation that the committee seeks. The goal is to fill the leadership pipeline with nurses that have varying backgrounds, specialties, institution sizes, and geographies so that APHON can begin cultivating their leadership journeys within the organization and slate them for roles when the timing is right.

The LDC will slate candidates by utilizing an established Board Competencies Matrix to identify gaps in member representation, bring diversity and balance to demographics and practice areas, and match candidates’ strengths/skills with the Board’s needs and strategic priorities.

If approved, we anticipate that the LDC will be trained and fully equipped to slate candidates effective in the spring of 2024.

Note that the LDC is different than the Professional Development Committee. The Professional Development Committee is charged with supporting the vision of APHON to provide ongoing support for continued career growth, advancement, and learning by offering opportunities to the members of APHON through webinars, resources, professional development tools, and mentoring. Whereas the LDC will be responsible for ensuring effective succession planning, recruiting, and slating highly qualified leaders for the APHON Board of Directors.

Alter the election process from a competitive election to a fully appointed slate (i.e., candidates do not run in opposition to each other)

Voter participation in APHON’s election process is consistently below average, and the association often struggles to meet the 10% minimum requirement of member voter participation. Some members may not feel informed enough or qualified to vote for the organization’s leadership, and some may not prioritize voting in the election as an important aspect of their membership. Moving to a fully appointed slate allows members to rely on the LDC, who will be dedicated to furthering the direction of APHON through a sound, internal decision-making process and vetting candidates to select the best suited to meet the competencies of the Board. The desired process for APHON to determine the slate of candidates is not the personal familiarity of candidates by the chair or committee but rather the determination of the competencies needed in candidates and an evaluation of which candidates would best meet those needs. Candidly, APHON is specifically trying to move away from a leadership pipeline created on the basis of who is known by current members of the Board or the present Nominating Committee.

To make the proposed revisions binding, APHON’s voting membership must approve them. Each voting member received an email with their unique voting link on March 2, 2023. Please contact APHON Member Services if you did not receive your voting email.

All votes must be submitted by Friday, March 17.