Open Letter to all Members following meeting with AAOHN

Dear NVAOHN Member,

The NVAOHN Board of Directors had the privilege to meet with an executive director, the current president and the immediate past president of AAOHN in Florida. The AAOHN Board members were also concerned about the status of our chapter. However; NVAOHN is not alone. The Tennessee State Chapter just folded this year. Other local chapters are folding and becoming state chapters.

The NVAOHN Board discussed the poor attendance of members at meetings especially over the last 3-4 years. The board discussed the fact that members do not want to participate in meeting the needs of the association: board positions, committee positions, involvement in planning educational opportunities. Simply put, the NVAOHN chapter is in a resources crisis. If something is not done, the NVAOHN Chapter will fold. Our NVAOHN Chapter needs you to step up and resuscitate the dissolving NVAOHN Chapter. 

The immediate outcome of the meeting was: AAOHN does not recommend a merger between NVAOHN and Metropolitan Washington Association (MWAOHN) would resolve any of the problems NVAOHN is experiencing. AAOHN understands the apathy of the NVAOHN Chapter will not help anyone’s chapter. The fact is, if the members are not interested in being involved in the current organization: Why would they be interested in being involved in a merged organization as it would just be a bigger pot of people from which there will be no volunteers?

If our present membership does not step up and help run our organization and the necessary documents are not submitted to national, AAOHN will simply close us down.

AAOHN has recommended the NVAOHN Board:  

  • Notify each member of our organization individually regarding our present situation. Therefore; this letter has been sent as certified mail as we wanted every member to receive proper notification. 

  • Our by-laws will need to be rewritten, because at present, we do not need to have every “executive board member” our organization’s template states we are required to have. In doing this we would determine exactly what members we need on our board.

  • Send out a call for board members. If other members do not step up; ask the current board members if they would remain for 1 more year.

  • Decrease the number of meetings from 3-5 per year to only one meeting per year. In turn, having one daytime event, with multiple presentations with the option of offering multiple CNE’s.

  • The board will regroup in 1 year, and if there has been no increase in participation, the NVAOHN Chapter will close. 

If the NVAOHN Chapter folds: 

  • All the Chapter monies will be donated to a non-profit organization. AAOHN suggested donating our funds to the AAOHN Foundation, but the money could be given to a school for scholarships for nursing students – but we cannot give the money to the student directly.

  • Our present members would become members of the state organization; and that is the way it is in many states.   

What this means to you: 

  • If you are interested in filling a position on the board, please respond by 5/11/16 so our elections can be held via electronic voting. 

  • Positions open are Secretary, Treasurer and Vice-President. 

  • If you want to run for another position, please step up.  People can co-share these positions.

  • We also need committee members for planning, education, communication, membership, governance, and hospitality. These roles can be combined. For instance, communication combined with membership or planning and hospitality becoming one role. 


NVAOHN Board of Directors would like to thank you for taking the time to read this letter. We certainly look forward to seeing you at our annual dinner meeting at the Amphora, located at 377 Maple Ave, W, in Vienna on June 1, 2016. Your cost is $15.00 each.  Please send your check made out to NVAOHN to treasure Sue Jelinski at 4507 Briarton Drive, Chantilly, VA 20151-2606


Thank you,


2015-2016 NVAOHN Board of Directors


Renee Mason – President

Kate Kelly – Vice President

Brigitte Jones – Secretary

Sue Jelinski - Treasurer


Letter From Your President

Dear Members,

For several years, NVAOHN chapter has struggled with the problem of having members who are willing to run for the board or to undertake any of the tasks regarding our educational offerings and dinner meetings. The template that AAOHN provides for chapter governance requires a President, a VP or President elect, a Treasurer, a Secretary, 3 board members, and 3 people for an every-other-year nominating committee to find new officer candidates and run the election for new officers and board members. This requires 10 people. This is just to "run" the chapter. It does not cover the work of finding good speakers for our meetings, obtaining Continuing Education Credits, or arranging for our dinner meeting hospitality (finding a location, arranging for food, taking registrations, welcoming attendees and collecting fees, set-up, clean up, etc.).  We have managed to write our by-laws and have them approved by AAOHN to govern our chapter with 5 people; and a nominating committee which ends up being someone already filling another position on the board. 

NVAOHN chapter currently has 45 members. Our average dinner meeting attendance is 10 people; and at least one-third of that is compromised of board members.   We had 6 dinner meetings in 2014 and 4 dinner meetings in 2015. The work to coordinate these meetings and the work to serve on the board have been all done by 5 board members of the NOVAOHN. Some members have provided assistance right before and right after the meetings. We are grateful for your assistance. However, it is not enough to keep the NVAOHN chapter going. It is quite evident that members are not willing, are not able to, or are not inspired to run for office or take on the responsibilities related to our educational offerings. 

When asked through a recent NVAOHN survey: “What would increase your attendance at a meeting?” Only 11 people responded. When asked why they choose not to attend, no one indicated the time or location as an issue; yet we continue to have very poor attendance.  

Given the current status and the on-going challenges that have persisted for longer than the last 4 years, we have to forge a new way of doing things. A proposal has come forward for the Northern Virginia and the Metropolitan Washington Chapters to merge. This will give us a larger chapter composed of 82 members (37 DC and 45 NOVA members).  Part of the proposal is that there will be one board with 2 education and 2 hospitality committees. One committee to plan educational offerings for the Northern Virginia area. One committee to plan educational offerings for the DC area.  Our short-term goal is that with a larger number of members, we will have a better chance of electing the required 10-member board. There will be one board with 2 education and 2 hospitality committees. 

Please vote on the following: 

1. Are you in favor of dissolving this chapter, and merging with the neighboring chapter (MWAOHN) according to the instructions given to us by the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, including merging of our treasuries and all assets.

Yes ___No ___

2. Because neither chapter name, "Metropolitan Washington" nor "Northern Virginia," would speak to the combined geographical region that the combined chapter will represent, we would have to give the combined chapter a new name. Please vote for a new name, or write in your suggestion.

  1. Capital Region Association of Occupational Health Nurses
  2. National Capital Association of Occupational Health Nurses
  3. National Capital Area Association of Occupational Health Nurses
  4. National Capital Region Association of Occupational Health Nurses
  5. Greater Potomac Association of Occupational Health Nurses
  6. Other __________________________________

To this end, the entire executive board (5 members) is going to Florida in April (using NVAOHN funds) to meet with national members of AAOHN and representatives of MWAOHN to work on this merger.  At this point, no elections and nominations are being held. 

Please send your responses back to the following:

Please put NVAOHN Vote in the Subject line

Or plan to join us at our next General Meeting Wednesday, March 9, 2016.