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Rules & Regulations

I. Council Definition

A Council is a group of APNA members organized to enhance APNA’s mission and purpose through direct input to the Board of Directors on a psychiatric-mental health nursing area of focus defined by the board. The Council will serve as thought leaders for the association and advise the Board of Directors on issues within the Council’s subject area(s).

Councils are to serve as thought leaders for the American Psychiatric Nurses Association and work toward fulfillment of the general charge for councils within their established overall vision and goals.

General Charge for APNA Councils:

To be thought leaders for the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.

  • Conduct external environmental scans.
  • Conduct internal council assessments and discussions to identify member needs within your council’s subject area(s).
  • Synthesize information: information gathered from environmental scans, from Member Bridge conversations, etc.
  • Provide accurate information to inform conversations.
  • Monitor content of website to ensure that it is up-to-date and aligned with APNA’s strategic direction (core values & purpose, goals, envisioned future).
  • Recognize council members for their achievements.
  • Build an Enduring Structure – Identify and mentor promising new leaders.
II. Criteria for Council Formation
  1. A group of APNA members with a specific shared interest related to the mission of APNA that is not comprehensively addressed by any other APNA structure or subgroup.
  2. Formation requires submission of the following for approval by the APNA Board of Directors:
    1. Council’s proposed name
    2. Council’s proposed vision and goals
    3. Descriptive statement of how the vision and goals of the proposed council relate to the mission and Strategic Direction of APNA
  3. Councils can be formed by an initiative originating from either members or the Board of Directors.
III. Council Structure and Roles
  1. The structure and functions of the council shall be consistent with APNA Governance Policies.
    1. Councils may include:
      1. a “Steering Committee” which guides the council and coordinates its activities, ensuring that they are aligned with the APNA Strategic Direction and that they fall within the general charge for councils.
      2. an “Advisory Panel” which is an interested group who monitors, internally and externally, issues relevant to their area of interest in order to inform and advise the Board of Directors through the Council Steering Committee.
      3. Specific focus areas, “Branches”, within the council to concentrate on a certain endeavor, topic, issue, or request from the Board of Directors.
  2. Councils shall meet these APNA Council criteria and follow regulations and procedures as determined by the APNA Board of Directors.
  3. Councils are self-directed in matters of business as described within their approved Vision and Goals Statement and that are not specifically reserved as the responsibility of the APNA Board of Directors. The vision and goals of the Council are aimed at supporting the mission and purpose of APNA, shall have a national focus, and are reviewed and approved annually by the Board of Directors.
  4. Councils report directly to the Board of Directors through the APNA President.
  5. Councils will concentrate their efforts on issues pertinent to their specific areas of interest.
  6. Councils will make recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding the following possible activities/initiatives to be undertaken by APNA:
    • Policy or position statements
    • Programs or projects
      • Programs or projects will be recommended to the Board of Directors and the Board will charge a Committee or Task Force to work with the Executive Director in order to carry out the program or project.
    • Affiliation with groups outside of APNA that the Council feels will facilitate achievement of APNA goals.
  7. Unless specifically authorized in writing by the Board of Directors, the Council may not speak for or on behalf of APNA. Only the APNA President is authorized to speak for and the Executive Director on behalf of APNA.
IV. Procedures for Maintaining Councils
  1. Officers: The Chair and Co-Chair of the Council will be appointed by the BOD. Steering Committee members are appointed by the APNA President with recommendations from the Council Chair and Co-Chair.
  2. Terms: The Chair and Associate Chair are appointed by the Board of Directors on staggered terms and each will serve for three years. The term is renewable if approved by the Board of Directors. Participating Steering Committee members appointed by the President will serve for one year.
  3. Goals: If appropriate, the Council will update and revise measurable annual goals that are congruent with the overall vision and goals of the council. These will be submitted to the APNA Board of Directors with the Council Annual Report for review.
  4. Support and Services: APNA will provide staff support to coordinate regular meetings, online communities, website information, activities, council recruitment & procedures, communication to and among council members, and reports from the council. APNA will also provide support for each Council to hold a Council Meeting during the APNA Annual Conference.
  5. Council Recommendations for Board of Directors: The Council will submit proposals for programs/projects/statements, etc. to the Board of Directors using the APNA briefing paper template. A briefing paper provides the Board of Directors with a short summary of the issue, the background, and the recommended action, which informs the Board in the consideration of the Council’s request or recommendation. APNA staff will complete the section on financial considerations. Briefing papers are submitted to and placed on the next available board meeting agenda.
  6. Council Meetings:
    • Each Council shall hold a meeting during the APNA Annual Conference each year. The meeting will be led by either a council chair or designee. This meeting shall be open to all APNA members.
    • Each Council shall conduct its activities throughout the year utilizing a variety of APNA communications channels as appropriate.
    • Each Council shall determine its own rules or procedures for making decisions necessary to carry out Council business.
    • All Council meetings, whether in person, by telephone call, video streaming, or by other electronic methods such as APNA websites, etc., shall be scheduled in advance. If practical, an agenda shall be circulated to attendees in advance and written minutes prepared and circulated to council members via the council’s online community afterwards.
  7. Council Documents: All Council documents, including but not limited to, recommended position or policy statements, proposed training and educational programs, papers, newsletters, journals, etc., shall not be released outside of the Council without prior review and approval by the APNA Board of Directors.
  8. Annual Report: Each Council shall submit an Annual Report to the Board of Directors. The Annual Report shall be submitted by the Council Chair (or Associate Chair) to the APNA Board of Directors via or other specified online form. The Annual Report is due at the time designated by the Board of Directors will be included among documents distributed to the full membership as a part of the Annual Activity Report. The Annual Report shall be in a preferred format provided by APNA and shall include:
    • A summary of yearly activity respective of each council goal, including specific outcomes.
    • Proposed revisions to any components of the council’s vision and goals for the next year.
    • An evaluation of Council activities with regard to its vision and goals.

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February 2010, Modified August 2013, Modified November 2020