The Dermatology Nurses' Association
Nurses serving nurses for more than 30 years!

Re-engineering Update

DNA Re-engineering Summit Update

For the past several months, we have been providing you with updates about DNA’s re-engineering summit, held in late March to review and evaluate our current organizational model. The DNA board worked with a professional facilitator and a cross representation of membership to explore our external and internal visions, goals and objectives. The core purpose of DNA, “to promote excellence in dermatologic care,” and our mission statement, “DNA is a professional nursing organization comprised of a diverse group of individuals committed to quality care through sharing knowledge and expertise” were reviewed. Summit work included the development of various organizational models for consideration, and final input from attendees was sought through a post-summit survey. The Board met on July 14-15, 2012 and emerged with a new plan of action to carry DNA into the future.

After consideration of the models developed at the summit and input from participants through the subsequent survey, the board reached consensus to:

  1. create inclusive, efficient and effective governance
  2. formalize methods to recruit, engage and retain volunteers
  3. review the strategic plan and revise as necessary.

These efforts will not involve a change to the current organizational structure or modification of the bylaws at this time.

The following questions are meant to provide additional insight into these decisions and the next steps being undertaken by the DNA Board to reach the goals stated above. If you have additional questions, you are welcome to contact DNA President, Trudy Adamson MSN RN DNC at or Executive Director, Victoria Elliott, R.Ph., MBA, CAE, at

What is meant by governance?

Governance is the role of the board in setting organizational direction, ensuring necessary resources (financial, volunteers and staff) and providing oversight to the management of DNA and implementation of its goals.

What is the difference between governance and structure?

Governance is about oversight, the decision-making process, and accountability. It's about how the work of the association gets done. Structure refers to the way the association is organized to accomplish the work of the strategic plan.

Why is the DNA modifying its governance?

DNA is taking these actions to modernize the way DNA is governed using a knowledge-based model* that provides alignment with stated goals, assures better monitoring of stated outcomes, streamlines communication and decision making to be more nimble and responsive, and assures that the board continues to be good stewards of the DNA resources (staff, volunteer and financial).

How do these changes relate to the needs of specific member types?

The board’s commitment to all DNA members, from the medical assistant to the advanced practitioner in dermatology, remains unchanged.

All members are welcome to attend and participate in DNA educational programming. Keep a look out for the new programs coming this Fall (webinars, virtual symposium) and next Spring at the 2013 convention.

The Nurse Practitioner Forum will remain in place with a chair appointed by the President.

DNA is developing member-targeted educational messaging to be launched in 2013.

The board is undertaking an evaluation of all membership categories and dues, including the Nurse Practitioner Society. No matter what the outcome, the benefits received by all members, including those of the NPS, will be available as they always have been, including representation on DNA committees, education through the convention, the NP Forum and other educational activities, advocacy for professional and practice issues, and access to professional resources and information.

How does DNA plan to formalize methods to recruit, engage and retain volunteers?

DNA has already considered a draft plan for volunteer management that will identify necessary skill sets, match these skills to the needs of committees or task forces, provide training for volunteers and recognize their efforts.

Considerations are underway to potentially restructure the role of the nominating committee to foster leadership development.

How will DNA be inclusive with respect to education and decision-making opportunities?

The board will increase utilization of committees, task forces and communication mechanisms to effectively and equitably fulfill educational and professional needs for all members within the means of the association that are in line with its mission.

When will this work be completed?

The board has outlined the following timeline to minimize disruption to the current priorities and endeavors already planned for the remainder of this year.

Governance. An entire review and revision of existing policy will be completed by December 31, 2012. This will provide a process for efficient decision-making, planning and implementation. It will require reconfiguration of the existing DNA policies to match the vision for a knowledge-based governance structure.*

Volunteer management. A volunteer recruitment, engagement and retention plan that will be implemented with the next volunteer leadership cycle at the 2013 convention.

Review the strategic plan. The goal is to complete this by October 2012

What immediate actions can members expect to see?

Documentation of board and leadership commitment. Board members have been asked and committee members will be solicited to document their commitment to a professional, timely and thoughtful decision-making process.

A summary of board actions following every board meeting will be posted for members’ knowledge.

* A knowledge-based model of governance is intentional and proactive with focus on the highest priority strategies for achieving the goals of the strategic plan. Governance policies that accompany this system assure role clarity between board and staff. There is clean and precise delegation to staff and committees with explicit authority and resources to avoid constant requests to the board for permission to proceed or to be held accountable for unstated expectations. There is focus on results, not the methods of achieving them. The board's conversation becomes about defining and assuring performance on the organizational purpose, not management methods. With ongoing monitoring, there is a built-in system of checks and balances as well as processes to identify and direct attention to areas that are operating outside of acceptable parameters or that require new policy development.