Application of a Framework for Increasing Nu Beta Chapter Membership, Engagement, and Retention

Monday, 30 October 2017

Diana Lyn Baptiste, DNP, MSN, RN1
Nancy S. Goldstein, DNP, MS, ANP-BC, RNC-OB1
Teresa A. Pfaff, MPH, MSN, BSN, BA2
Michelle Patch, MSN, APRN-CNS, ACNS-BC3
Sabianca Delva, BSN, RN3
(1)Department of Acute and Chronic Care, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD, USA
(2)Department of Community and Public Health, Johns Hopkins Univeristy School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD, USA
(3)School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA

Nu Beta is a chartered chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, and was established at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in 1992. The purposes of Sigma Theta Tau are to recognize superior achievement and the development of leadership capabilities, foster high professional standards, encourage creative work, and strengthen commitment to the ideals and purposes of the profession of nursing. Since the inception of Nu Beta Chapter, membership has increased each year. However, in recent years, retention of chapter members has decreased. From 2013 to 2015, several chapter board members had made a departure from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and there was no formal election to replace members. As a result, there was a decrease in chapter board members leading to a reduction in chapter meetings, social events, induction ceremonies, and communications to chapter members. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss a change model that was used as a framework for increasing chapter membership, engaging members, and membership retention.

The chapter implemented three strategies for increasing recruitment of nurse leaders, engagement and retention of current members, and promotion of knowledge, research, and scholarship. The three strategies implemented were: 1) increased use of social media and the Circle site for communications, 2) scheduled activities that promote networking, scholarship, and continuing education, and 3) leading community service events. We increased the number of nurse leader applicants by contacting Chief Nurse Officers, Directors, and Unit managers of our affiliate hospital, asking them to nominate candidates for nurse leaders.

In leading a transition from one administration to the other, the Nu beta chapter board members reviewed the mission and vision of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. The chapter board used this strategies to assure that all operations, activities, and future endeavors were in alignment with the mission of Sigma Theta Tau International. The board also consulted on a Bi-monthly basis with chapter managers at the Sigma Theta Tau headquarters. The Nu Beta Chapter focused their communications and activities for members on three values: 1) Research, 2) Scholarship, 3) and Service.

Newly elected board members and incumbent chapter leaders met on a bi-monthly basis during the summer of 2015 to discuss strategies for revitalizing the Nu Beta Chapter. We implemented a plan based on Havelock’s Theory of Planned Change which provides guidance for change in seven steps. The framework for Havelock’s theory is applied using the acronym CREATER, where each letter stands for the actions taken: C- stands for Care, which involves the attention to need for change; R- represents Relate, in which relationships built; E-represents Examine, and diagnose the problem; A- stands for Acquire, the relevant sources; T- stands for Try, to choose the solution; E- Extend, and disseminate, diffuse, and gain acceptance; and finally R- is for Renew, and stabilize and sustain capacity. Havelock and colleagues, created a visual of the model for change agents to use to guide the change process.

Local chapters have the obligation to carry out the mission and vision of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society. The Nu Beta chapter continues to focus its efforts on meeting these goals. We are honored to say that we have improved recruitment, engagement, and retention for chapter membership.