Proposed Bylaws Amendments

A message from our President

Hester C. Klopper, STTI PresidentExcitement and anticipation are building and STTI’s 43rd Biennial Convention is rapidly approaching. I am looking forward to meeting the more than 2,000 registered attendees, delegates, and members from all our STTI chapters, sharing together, and conducting the important business that will ensure the future of STTI. 

During my biennium as president, the STTI Board of Directors has developed an official strategic plan that will ensure the organization continues its mission, supports members across their professional careers, and continues global outreach. 

The strategic plan consists of four overarching strategic goals for 2015-2020:  

1. Grow in value for members and nurses worldwide; 
2. Promote and celebrate nursing scholarship, leadership, and service; 
3. Build partnerships and collaborative endeavors to advance the mission of the society; and 
4. Sustain and advance the resources of the society.

In order to fulfill these goals, STTI must continue to evolve to maximize accessibility while maintaining the high standards for which we are known. Please allow me to share with you information about two proposed bylaws changes that specifically support the goals of our strategic plan. During the past two years, the Governance Committee has devoted a great deal of thought and effort into the proposed bylaws amendments that will be presented to the House of Delegates at convention.  Countless hours of discussion took place and focus groups were conducted to inform their decisions. 

I am aware that two of the proposed 2015 bylaws changes have the potential to prompt questions and discussion within your chapters. I’d like to take this opportunity to share some important information pertaining to both those proposed changes. As your chapter reviews these proposals to inform your delegates on how to vote, I personally ask that you think with a global vision – beyond your chapter and region – and consider what is needed to support and grow the STTI organization as a whole. The proposed amendments are:

Proposed amendment #4a and b (chapter models)

This proposed amendment would allow the option for practice settings to join in an at-large chapter with institutions of higher education. It is an innovative chapter model that accelerates STTI’s ability to meet its vision and mission. 

As you consider this proposed amendment, I want to share some facts with you. Each year, STTI gains approximately 30,000 new members, the majority of whom are students and new graduates. Almost half of them fail to renew their membership. This proposed chapter model will help chapters and STTI better engage first-year members that we are currently unable to retain.  

More than 50 percent of active STTI members currently work in practice settings, and an at-large chapter presence in the workplace will assist in keeping these members actively engaged and involved. STTI provides multiple options for the focused education that is essential for professional growth and guidance in the clinical practice setting. This model will ensure that STTI supports clinicians equally as well as those in academe.  

This proposed model encourages cross-collaboration and partnerships among administrators, clinicians, educators, and researchers, which benefits both academic and practice settings. A strong STTI presence in the workplace can help improve patient outcomes through implementation of shared knowledge and research. It is foreseen that the proposed chapter model should increase the scholarship, research, and evidence-based practices within that clinical setting and better enable the clinicians to contribute meaningful knowledge and scholarship to the nursing profession.

During the past several biennia, many special task forces convened have supported efforts to strengthen the academic-practice setting partnership. I believe that with outstanding, active members in both settings, STTI is uniquely poised to help bridge the gap between academe and practice.  In addition, I believe chapters with a presence in the practice setting, where the majority of members do their day-to-day work, will be better able to serve members throughout their professional careers.

Proposed amendment #2a, b, and c (chapter charters)

This proposed amendment would allow the STTI Board of Directors to approve chapter charters and amendments without waiting for a vote from the House of Delegates. By not delaying chartering until a House of Delegates vote can occur, approved groups that have met all requirements could charter much sooner, giving their members full access to STTI member benefits up to five months sooner than the current process.

Within the current chapter charter application process, which takes at least one year, prospective chapters work closely with headquarters staff to develop their honor society to chapter readiness according to the policies and procedures set forth by STTI. Once the application process is complete, there is a separate eight-month review process in which each application is reviewed and approved by multiple groups–first by STTI staff, then by the Charter Review Task Force, then by the STTI Governance Committee–all before being forwarded to the STTI Board of Directors. 

While a comprehensive formation phase is warranted to ensure that groups are well positioned to be strong chapters once chartered, I believe the length of time that passes once an application is submitted needlessly lengthens this waiting period for those interested groups. STTI must find an appropriate balance in ensuring that developing groups meet our requirements while not stifling their forward momentum. Having reviewed multiple charter applications as a board member and president, I can assure you that these applications are well vetted and reviewed before being presented to the STTI Board of Directors.

During the past several years, charters and amendments have been voted on electronically. Since the inception of the Electronic House of Delegates there have been 15 voting sessions conducted. No petitioning honor society’s application has ever been denied, and the Board’s recommendations have been upheld each time. Allowing the STTI Board of Directors' final approval for chapter charter applications – as it already holds for charter amendments – would greatly reduce the length of waiting time for a prospective chapter. The length of time required to develop would remain the same, and the applications would remain as thorough.

To those of you serving as official chapter delegates, I thank you in advance for your service to STTI and the thought and commitment you will devote to this process. Again, I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible, and to many more years advancing world health and celebrating nursing excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service. 
Click here to read the proposed 2015-2017 International Bylaws Amendments in greater detail. Have questions about some of the changes? Take a few minutes to read the Frequently Asked Questions document to see if your question has been answered.

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