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Frequently Asked Questions

The ACNM Nominating Committee is responsible for selecting the individuals who they believe are good candidates to fill vacant positions. The committee's process, while confidential, is transparent. To remove the mystery and encourage members to consider running for national office, here are answers to some of the most frequent questions the Nominating Committee receives from members.

What makes a good national candidate?

In a nutshell: communication, organization, and connections! Board members need to communicate well with their constituents, meet deadlines, and involve other accomplished people whether seeking input or accomplishing their vital tasks. In an attempt to look for these characteristics, the Nominating Committee looks for candidates with a history of ACNM involvement in the local, state, or national arena, diversity among candidates, and responsiveness and accuracy during the nomination process.
Diversity may be represented in many ways including academic and clinical background, hospital and out-of-hospital experience, geographic location (past and present), skill set, ethnicity, and gender. The candidate’s curriculum vita (CV) should be current, detailed, and without errors. Responsiveness and interest in running is a must.
Other considerations include: 1. According to the ACNM Bylaws and Nominating Committee Standing Rules of Procedures, when a member nominates a candidate for consideration from their area for regional representative (versus self-nomination), more weight is given to that member as a potential candidate, 2. A candidate for nominating committee appears stronger if they have midwifery-related organizations and connections with other CNMs/CMs across the country, and 3. A candidate for the BOD is stronger if they have a skill set that is needed on the board.

How heavy is the competition?

The Nominating Committee cannot divulge the names of candidates until they are officially announced, except to acknowledge that an incumbent is or is not seeking reelection. The number of submissions for consideration varies each year and according to open positions (e.g. there is not usually a large number seeking the President-elect position!).
At times there are multiple Consents to Serve and CVs for one position. In that case, the nominating committee attempts to “balance the ballot” (attempting to meet the diversity goal again!). If someone might be a strong candidate for another position, we will ask that person if they would consider running for the other position.
The nominating committee attempts to select the top two candidates for each position. Given the voting pool, running more than two candidates could dilute the vote with a negative impact on the outcome. The committee has struggled with this; however, we have committed to making the difficult decision of selecting a maximum of two candidates for each position. Sometimes this means that members who have submitted their paperwork and have a desire to run are ultimately not selected for the ballot.

If I submit a Consent to Serve and a CV for consideration, what is the likelihood that I will be on the ballot?

It depends on the number and qualifications of submissions that given year. At times, a member submits their paperwork and is not placed on the ballot. This does NOT mean that they would not be the top candidate another year based on potential candidates and identified needs; there are no hidden agendas or intentional slights in the Nominating Committee selection process.

I think someone would be an excellent candidate. How can I get them on the ballot?

Please contact any member of the Nominating Committee about your support of a candidate. A letter (short is fine), e-mail, or phone call works! Each year members are identified by other members as potential candidates for particular positions; however, it is ultimately the decision of the member being suggested to agree to run and submit the required documents. The nominating committee follows up with these suggestions; however, often the identified member does not desire to serve or does not have the qualifications for the position.

What are “red flags” to the nominating committee that make a candidate less desirable?

While we encourage everyone to consider running, there are a few things that are concerning to the Nominating Committee. When a potential candidate states they are interested and that they will submit their documents but fails to do so despite repeated requests, their commitment - a major qualification for any position - is raised. Comments such as “it is time for me to get involved” is not highly valued as a reason for running.
These are significant national positions and ideal candidates possess prior ACNM involvement at some level. This does not mean the person must have numerous years of experience, but there should be some experience evident on the CV. Errors on the CV are also of concern. Examples include incorrect names of organizations, referring to an ambulatory job as a nurse practitioner (NP) position (when there is no educational preparation or certification as a NP), misspellings, and no professional service experience listed on the CV.

Why aren’t the candidates on the ballot more diverse?

Diversity among candidates is highly desirable as previously discussed. The committee makes every effort to present a diverse, balanced ballot, but ultimately, the Nominating Committee depends on YOU to participate so that there will be a diverse ballot.


I submitted my paperwork for consideration before and was not selected for placement on the ballot. Why should I submit again?

The potential pool of candidates and the needs of the organization changes year to year. Often multiple strong candidates submit their paperwork for consideration during the same election cycle. Perhaps you can strengthen your CV by involving yourself in ACNM activities. This will help the organization, allow you to network on a broader scale, and increase your potential for ballot consideration in the future.
You may want to request someone you trust to give you professional feedback on your CV so that it reflects your work in the best possible light since this is what represents you to the Nominating Committee. If you are already active in ACNM, have a well-written CV, yet were not selected, it is most likely that you did not meet the Nominating Committee’s needs that particular year. You should consider indicating your interest again for future elections!

I ran before and did not win, so why should I run again?

If you were selected to be placed on the ballot in the past, but did not win the election, you should not take it personally. You were a strong candidate or you would not have been selected to be placed on the ballot! The ideal ballot has two well-qualified candidates for each position. Someone will win and someone will lose. Don’t let that end your chance for service: consider running again for the same position or consider a different position. The qualifications of candidates change every year. Leave it to the Nominating Committee to determine whether you should be re-considered for a particular position. The Nominating Committee will not place you on the ballot if you are not a deserving candidate. If they do not place you on the ballot, no one has to know. The Nominating Committee must keep all deliberations confidential.

Can I know who I may run against before deciding whether to run?

According to the Nominating Committee’s Standing Rules of Procedures, committee members may NOT disclose who else is running for a particular office with one exception: if an incumbent is running, that information can be shared with someone considering the position.

If I like an incumbent and think that person is doing a nice job, why should I still consider running?

Often the Nominating Committee hears members suggest this. Our strongest answer: there have been several situations in which the incumbent has had to resign during their term, for unforeseeable reasons. We need a strong ballot, because according the ACNM Bylaws, the next in line to fill a vacancy is the alternate candidate. It is important that each candidate on the ballot have the qualifications to fulfill the position.

 

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Donors to the A.C.N.M. Foundation can help ACNM achieve their 2015-2020 Strategic Plan by designating their monies to the “Marsico Fund” when making contributions at: http://www.midwife.org/charitable-contributions




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