The Chapter of the Year award goes to a chapter or region without chapters (RWC) that best exemplifies a commitment to RNAO through active promotion, participation and initiation of projects that promote healthy public policy and the role of the RN or NP in its region. The chapter or RWC uses a variety of media and communications tools to effectively engage with its region, influence decision-makers, mobilize RNs/NPs to take action, and increase membership. This chapter or RWC demonstrates strong leadership in its nursing and health-care community, and its activities reflect RNAO's ENDs.
With the largest membership base in its region, and an active executive, RNAO’s Sudbury Chapter owes a lot of its success to persistence and listening to its members. Every year, the chapter hosts at least three or four general meetings to engage members and hear their perspectives on important nursing issues. During Nursing Week, the executive also hosts an event to celebrate and recognize nurses in the community for their various achievements. “It’s about staying alive and staying connected with the membership,” says Paul-André Gauthier, the chapter’s financial officer. In addition to regular events, the chapter stays in touch with members through a newsletter and frequent posts on Facebook about upcoming initiatives. With more than 550 members, the chapter continues to mobilize local nurses through participation in key RNAO initiatives, such as Queen’s Park Day and Queen’s Park on the Road; all with the goal to continue growing and engaging with members. When asked what other chapters can do if they are struggling with engagement, Maria Casas, policy and political action executive network officer (ENO) says it’s important to never give up: “We didn’t always achieve what we wanted (at first), but when we went back and tried (again), we were able to engage with different groups.”