AMSN Volunteer Toolkit

AMSN Volunteer Toolkit

Welcome AMSN Volunteers!

Thank you for volunteering to serve the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) and the specialty of medical-surgical nursing. AMSN volunteers are the strength of our association. Your time, talent, and expertise guide the organization and advance the specialty of medical-surgical nursing. Your participation is invaluable!

Whether you are a new AMSN volunteer or you’ve been an AMSN volunteer for a while, we know you have questions and we’re here to help! This section has been designed to assist you in volunteering your time to serve on a committee, task force, or in some other volunteer capacity.

Volunteer Overview

We’ve created a short presentation to give you an overview of where and how volunteers fit in the AMSN organization and how volunteers help AMSN accomplish the goals of the organization.

View Presentation Now: PowerPoint | PDF

Once you have viewed the Volunteer Overview and are starting to think about your volunteer unit, you will need detailed information. We have gathered resources, instructions, AMSN policies, guidelines, forms and templates all in one place and grouped them by categories so that you can easily find them. We hope this toolkit will answer the majority of your questions and give you the necessary tools for the work of your volunteer unit.

When you can’t find the answer here or need clarification, your best guides are your board and staff liaisons. Collaborating with your board and staff liaison on the work of your volunteer unit is essential. They can direct you to what you need and provide clarification. Your board liaison will provide overall big picture direction from the Board. Your staff liaison will help you accomplish the many background tasks and provide valuable experience on how to accomplish the work from other volunteer units.

Volunteer Checklist

We prepared a checklist of the main categories and topics in each for your convenience. You may use this to assess your knowledge of volunteer leadership. Check what you already know and determine areas where you would like more information. Some information is specific to AMSN. Other information is general and useful within any organization or situation. You can also review this list to help you find tools and forms you will need.

Download Volunteer Leader Checklist

The Volunteer Toolkit is comprised of the categories listed below. Each category contains detailed resources and information to help you.

Start Up

In this section you will find information about task force charters, standing committee descriptions, recruiting and selecting volunteers, and starting the volunteer unit (vu) with a kick-off phone call for the year or the project once all the members have been selected.

This section also includes the charter template, samples of calls for volunteers, volunteer interview questions, and guidelines for a kick-off call.

Go to Start Up

Accomplish Work

In this section you will find resources for various tools for accomplishing work; conference calls, effective meetings, VUs and the AMSN Hub, as well as guidelines for the collaboration between the chair, board liaison and staff liaison.

Also included are instructions for using things like “Doodle”* to schedule conference calls, AMSN Hub instructions to communicate with of volunteer members, screen sharing software like** for use during conference calls, and Survey Monkey*** for taking a VU member poll or gathering information from AMSN members.

*Doodle is an online scheduling tool for time management, and coordinating meetings.
** is screen sharing software.
***Survey Monkey is an online tool for creating and taking surveys.

Go to Accomplish Work

Report to the Board

In this section you will find instructions for when and how to communicate volunteer unit progress and completion to the board.

Included are templates and samples for board reports, task force final reports and board meeting agenda items.

Go to Report to the Board

Build, Evaluate and Recognize

In this section you will find information and resources regarding volunteer unit team building, when and how volunteer units are evaluated, how volunteers are recognized within the organization and how new volunteer unit chairs are selected and groomed for standing committees.

Go to Build, Evaluate and Recognize

Volunteer Unit Policies

Most organizations have some official policies that govern the working of the organization and AMSN is no exception. These official policies are reviewed, updated as necessary and approved by the Board on a regular basis. They must be adhered to.

AMSN also has Guidelines and Processes which are not mandatory but advisory in nature.

Included are the approved official policies and some guidelines and processes that affect AMSN volunteers.

Go to Volunteer Unit Policies

Run for National Office

Many volunteers ask how members get elected to the AMSN Board of Directors. We’re happy you asked, because we hope you can tell it is not just an “old boys’ club.” 

AMSN is governed and directed by a small, competency-based board. Before their election, each board member has already proven their ability and commitment to serving AMSN and medical-surgical nurses with volunteer time and service as an AMSN member.

Go to Run for National Office

Flow of a Charter

It is helpful to have a snapshot of a process to understand it and see how you as an individual volunteer fit in the process.

Here is an overall view of how AMSN charters begin, are accomplished and then end.

Download the Charter Flow Chart

FREE CNE for AMSN Members from the AMSN Online Library!