Our chapter does not meet STTI’s definition as a virtual chapter since it is associated with a school of nursing--University of Phoenix. However, Omicron Delta was the first chapter that developed virtual means for chapter operations to meet the challenges it faced due to the geographic footprint of the university. In 1998, University of Phoenix had 25 campuses in 14 states and was one of the first nursing schools to have a large online program. This made it necessary to use electronic means of communication from the chapter’s outset. Monthly board meetings were originally conducted via teleconference and have now shifted to a web-based meeting platform. Annual business meetings have been conducted via a variety of web-based discussion platforms and are now held on the Circle.
From the beginning, chapter leaders recognized how difficult it was to reach our members for educational events. Even though we have rotated our face-to-face conferences to different regions in the United States, we determined that there was value in collaborating with other chapters. We joined the southern California consortium of chapters in 1999 to provide an annual research and education conference and were part of an Arizona consortium for a number of years. More recently, we have collaborated with individual chapters who face similar geographic challenges. We have also collaborated with Region 1 and the Europe Region to sponsor conferences. Benefits include broader networking and access to quality educational opportunities for members of all involved chapters, as well as cost and responsibility sharing,
Recognizing the synergies of working with a fully virtual chapter experienced with offering webinars and virtual inductions, Omicron Delta joined forces with Phi Gamma in 2016 to provide quarterly webinars to our members. Phi Gamma provides the virtual platform and as a provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Omicron Delta offers continuing education contact hours to session participants. Lessons learned from these collaborative endeavors include the need for well-defined roles and responsibilities, clearly delineated accountability methods, and careful multi-faceted evaluations.
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