The Benefits of ACNL Membership for the CNO


by Rae Charos, MSN, FNP, RN
Board Member - Central

My first exposure to ACNL occurred well before I ever considered becoming a chief nursing officer. I attended the annual program at the behest of a director at our hospital who was an ACNL Annual Program Committee member. I accompanied our CEO, who is also a nurse, to ACNL's Annual Program. Both he and I were amazed at the new perspective our participation gave us. Being exposed to national speakers, nursing researchers, and other leaders in academia and patient care services gave us a "big picture" view. From that exposure, I realized that participation in ACNL would be valuable in connecting me with powerful nurse leaders and helping me grow in the profession of nursing. I also began to recognize my potential as a nurse leader.

Within a few years of that first exposure, I had the confidence to apply for the position of CNO at my hospital. As a CNO, my association with ACNL has been even more valuable. The advantages of networking with both experienced and aspiring leaders has been invaluable. Learning from the stories of experienced leaders, and hearing new theories and research related to leadership have direct applicability to my everyday challenges as a CNO. In addition, discussion with new and emerging leaders is very energizing and inspirational.

As a CNO - being supported, inspired, and energized is the value of ACNL membership for me.

Participating in ACNL's Strategic Planning Process
As an ACNL Board Member, I recently had the opportunity to participate in ACNL's strategic planning process. Having been through many such exercises in the past, I had some initial doubt. However, I was quickly inspired by the energy and thoughtful comments of colleagues who participated. Important ideas about who ACNL is and what ACNL does emerged.

Developing nurse leaders and being the voice of nursing leadership were recognized as core business elements of ACNL. To that end, we are refraining our approach to these critical areas with defined, measurable outcomes and a formal three-year implementation plan. We are looking for members interested in participating in project teams that will develop and implement key components of this work.

More information about ACNL's strategic plan can be found on the ACNL website ( If you are interested in volunteering for an ACNL committee, project or work group, contact the office at [email protected]