Frequently Asked Questions About ACNL Membership


Why Should I Belong to ACNL?

Membership in ACNL offers you many benefits for both your professional and personal growth. ACNL provides you with information, tools and resources to help you meet the challenges you face on a daily basis. As an ACNL member, you’ll have
the opportunity to network with other experienced nurse leaders to problem-solve current issues facing nursing and healthcare.

Find out more information about the benefits of membership in ACNL.

What resources are available to ACNL members?

  • Access to the expertise of other nurse leaders through networking opportunities.
  • Myriad of sources for essential and timely information, including website, publications, toolkits, and e-mail blasts.
  • Sharing of best practices in leadership, quality, patient safety and other key areas.
  • Exceptional leadership programs and educational opportunities...and MUCH MORE!


Does ACNL offer educational programs for members?

ACNL offers a wide variety of educational programs to meet our members’ needs:

  • Annual Conference each year in February: Conference features nationally recognized presenters discussing hot topics in nursing and healthcare; wide variety of vendors offering the latest in products, equipment and services; networking opportunities; as well as fun and camaraderie.
  • Foundation for Leadership Excellence: Equips frontline managers with the leadership skills to excel in today’s complex and changing health care environment Course faculty is comprised of California’s most influential nurse leaders who address timely topics across the management spectrum.
  • Webinars: Allow you and your staff to access educational information about current issues without leaving your facility.

I am not employed by a hospital or health system. Does ACNL have something to offer me?

Members of ACNL come together as leaders of the profession - in service, academia, state agencies, professional organizations and entrepreneurial ventures. What ACNL offers is connection with California’s leaders who are advancing the profession, making strides to improve the work environment, raising the bar for nursing competencies and addressing the legislative and regulatory issues confronting our profession. If these are areas that interest you then, yes there is a place for you in ACNL.

I am a nurse leader in academia - what does ACNL have to offer me?

As noted above, ACNL offers many benefits to nurse leaders who aren’t part of a hospital or health system.  About three years ago, the membership voted to add a position on the Board of Directors for a member from academia, to ensure the voice of nursing education is always heard. The Annual Program and Education Committees seek topics from faculty members to ensure that we offer programs of interest and relevant to leaders in both academia and service. Our committee structure includes Professional Practice, Health Policy, Environment of Practice and Quality and Patient Safety - work that crosses the span of practice and employment.

Who is eligible for ACNL membership and how much are dues in ACNL?

ACNL believes that all RNs are leaders, and therefore eligible for membership in our organization. ACNL dues depend on the membership category you belong to. The options are:

  • Regular Membership: For current nurse leaders and aspiring nurse leaders. $210 annually.
  • Associate Membership: For those members: a registered nurse who is a full-time student or a newly licensed RN. $100 annually.
  • Affiliate Membership: For those individuals who, as registered nurses, maintain active membership in a primary California organization affiliated with ACNL through an agreed partnership. $120 annually.
  • Friend of Nursing Membership: Established in recognition of the support and influence of key health care leaders who are not nurses. $100 annually

Where do my dues go?

Your dues support the strategic direction of the organization and help us actualize the vision and mission of ACNL. In addition to dues, ACNL generates revenue from education programs such as our Annual Convention in February, the management of the California Nursing Students' Association and the Foundation for Leadership Excellence program.

Is ACNL affiliated with a national organization?

ACNL is an affiliated chapter of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE). As an affiliated chapter, ACNL benefits from the work of AONE and in turn encourages members of ACNL to join the national organization. Members of ACNL’s Executive Board meet with the leadership from AONE and other state chapters twice yearly. Communication flows up from the chapters to AONE and information flows down from AONE to the state affiliates. AONE, like ACNL, is a membership based organization. We are stronger when we work together.

If I belong to a local ACNL chapter do I also belong to the statewide organization?

The short answer is no. While the local chapters are officially recognized as being connected to ACNL, there is no current mandate that members of the local chapter belong to ACNL. The downside of not belonging to the state organization is that you don’t have access to the many benefits that ACNL membership offers. We strongly encourage chapter members to belong to ACNL. To ensure we have a vibrant, active and strong voice, we need to collaboratively and collectively come together as the state nursing leadership organization.

Where can I find out more information about my local chapter?

If you are an ACNL member, you can visit the ACNL website.  There you will find information about chapter meetings, local chapter contact information and will receive e-mail blasts about regional meetings.  ACNL’s Board structure is divided into 4 geographical regions.  Each region has two Board members, who are elected by the membership in their respective regions.  Board members are available to provide information about activities in their regions. Contact information for each Board representative can be found on the ACNL website.

How can I connect with other nurse leaders in California?

By joining ACNL. Our website has a member directory enabling you to connect with other nurse leaders throughout the state. In addition chapter meetings, attending the Annual Conference and other educational events, as well as serving on a committee, offer a forum for discussion and the exchange of ideas.

My position is on the line, how can ACNL help me?

First, take a deep breath. Many of your peers in ACNL have walked in your shoes. Second, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help - network with peers and ask what is available beyond your current work environment. Several years ago, the Member Services Committee developed a Transition Tool Kit. Should you find yourself in line for potential layoff, contact the ACNL office.  Our CEO and Board of Directors have their fingers on the leadership pulse in California and will let you know immediately what is available or may be available soon. You will also want to view the job postings on the ACNL website. Remember as a member of ACNL, you are informed about the Job Postings five days before the position is posted to the public.

I want to attend graduate school, does ACNL have a scholarship program?

Yes, scholarships are awarded in February at ACNL’s Annual Program. We are very proud of our scholarship program and our ability to assist our members with their post-licensure education.

I am looking to hire a new leader for my facility – Can ACNL help me?

As the nursing leadership organization for the state, ACNL is well positioned to assist organizations in recruiting new leaders for their facilities. Organizations interested in connecting with potential candidates are encouraged to post their positions on the ACNL website. Once posted, interested facilities can have a one-on-one conversation with ACNL’s CEO to share the details of the position. The CEO or her designee will notify at least two members who may be interested in the position. In addition, facilities are encouraged to become a sponsor or vendor at an ACNL event. This approach allows you to connect with a large cross section of our membership, linking connecting potential employers and employees.

I am not receiving e-mail correspondence from ACNL, what is wrong?

ACNL often communicates with its members via e-mail. Members generally receive 1-3 e-mail blasts per week. These e-mail broadcasts may include information on new job postings to the ACNL site, legislative or regulatory updates, the CEO Report or news about other current issues. Information disseminated to the membership is critical to ACNL’s overall mission. If you find that you are not receiving e-mail communication from our office, there are several things you should do. First, visit the website to be sure your membership is current and that your email address is correct. Second, if your membership is current, you may want to check your spam filters. ACNL's e-mail is sometimes caught in a facility’s firewall, and unless you tell your IT Department that communications from ACNL is critical to your role, they may be blocking our communications. If there is no problem with your firewall, then contact ACNL.Together we will figure out were the problem lies.

How can I learn more about ACNL?

    Contact the ACNL office: 916-779-6949

    Visit the website

    Participate in area chapter meetings

    Ask other nurse leaders

    Contact a member of the Member Services Committee

I want to become active in ACNL – how do I start?

Begin by attending area chapter meetings and/or ACNL events. Volunteer to serve on a committee or project team, don’t be disappointed if you are not selected immediately, ACNL has more members volunteering for committees than we have space on the committees. But don’t be discouraged, area chapters often need assistance in coordinating functions.