First adopted in 1955, the ACNM Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws are the guiding documents which define the structure and function of all areas of the organization. The ACNM Bylaws Committee reviews all proposed changes to ACNM and ACNM Affiliate bylaws, as well as Standing Rules of Procedure (SROPs) for the volunteer structure of ACNM (divisions, committees, task forces, and caucuses). Upon their review, the committee makes a recommendation to the Board of Directors for approval.
2020 Bylaws Revision and Member Vote
In summer 2019, the Bylaws Committee began work towards comprehensive review of the Bylaws, which occurs every five years pursuant to ACNM Bylaws. The Committee led a highly collaborative process that incorporated feedback from the National Office, the Board of Directors, Divisions and Committees, Fellows, ACME, the Board Composition Task Force, ACNM Membership, and legal counsel.
An open comment period was provided to membership in August 2019. Feedback was presented to legal counsel and the ACNM Board for review. Membership was presented a second feedback opportunity by joining a focused discussion in the dedicated ACNM Connect Bylaws Forum. The forum, opened January 4 – February 4, 2020, contained separate threads for the general 2020 revision package and each specific amendment. All voting members were added to the community and permitted to participate in accordance with ACNM’s Code of Conduct.
In February 2020, the Bylaws Committee gave notice of the final 2020 Bylaws revision proposal. Membership had the opportunity to vote on 1) a general 2020 revision package that contains basic edits that capture the current volunteer structure and 2) several specific amendments. These documents are available in the member-access portal of the Town Hall Library. During the 2020 election, a threshold of at least 20% of membership votes was not achieved; therefore, the revision was brought to the floor of the 2020 Opening Business Meeting, held virtually on May 30, 2020.
Each amendment and rationale was shown onscreen and read aloud prior to each of the eight (8) votes. The results were captured and validated after the meeting to ensure only voting members were counted. Ultimately, seven (7) of the eight (8) proposed amendments were adopted by the membership. View the breakdown of vote results and newly adopted ACNM Bylaws (2020).
2019 Bylaws Revision and Member Vote
At the May 21 and 22, 2019 ACNM Business Meetings held at the 64th Annual Meeting and Exhibition held at the at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, the Bylaws Committee brought to the floor a proposal for an amendment related to the process of voting on a change to the name of the ACNM. Under the 2015 Bylaws, a valid vote on a name change requires 1/3 of the active membership to vote, and 2/3 of those members must support the proposed name change. This process is not consistent with how other matters of importance are voted upon by the membership. To address this inconsistency, a proposed change was brought forward in response to member input. The proposed change to the Bylaws would require 20% of the active membership to vote, and 2/3 of those must support the name change. The active members present at the Annual Meeting voted to accept this proposal consistent with our process for making Bylaws changes. The change is now reflected as an amendment to the approved 2015 Bylaws. Article XVII: Amendments and Revisions, Section C, item 3 now reads: “For the ACNM name change to be adopted, at least 20% of active members must vote and 2/3 of those must vote in support of the name change.”
2015 Bylaws Revision and Member Vote
At the ACNM 60th Annual Meeting & Exhibition, held June 27-July 1, 2015, ACNM members voted to approve comprehensive revisions to the ACNM Bylaws via a single amendment. At the same meeting, they rejected a separate amendment to impose a 5-year limit on how often an amendment to change the name of the organization may be brought to the membership for a vote.
2014 Bylaws Revision and Member Vote
Beginning in 2014, the ACNM Bylaws Committee completed a thorough review of ACNM's Bylaws, which included input from members, volunteer leadership, and a full legal review. Two Bylaws Amendments were presented to members for a vote in conjunction with the 2015 Board election: a general revision of the full bylaws document (Amendment #1), and new language proposing a 5-year provision on how frequently an amendment to change the name of the organization may be brought to ACNM members for a vote (Amendment #2).
Article XVII: Section B of the Bylaws requires that at least 20% of Active Members return ballots in order for an amendment to be adopted, and only 18.05% of Active Members submitted valid ballots. As a result, these amendments were presented for a vote at the Annual Business Meeting at ACNM's 60th Annual Meeting & Exhibition at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. In order to pass at the Business Meeting, ACNM bylaws require that amendments be approved by a 2/3 affirmative vote of the voting members present.
• Amendment #1: General Revision
Amendment #1 was brought to the floor for debate at the Opening Business meeting on June 29. The Bylaws Committee brought forth an amendment to Article II Section A, which involved revising a new mission statement to match the most recent mission statement developed by ACNM as part of its recent strategic planning process. This amendment to update the mission statement passed with a voice vote.
A second amendment to the mission statement in Article II Section A was brought forth by an ACNM member, but was not voted on at the Opening Business Meeting as the meeting ran out of time. Debate on Amendment #1 continued at the Closing Business Meeting on July 1, beginning with the proposed language changes to Article II Section A. This amendment also passed with a voice vote.
Following these 2 new amendments to the mission statement, Amendment #1, the entire general revision of the ACNM Bylaws, passed on the floor by a voice vote.
• Amendment #2: Name Change Amendment
There was considerable debate on Amendment #2, which proposed to limit the frequency of amendments to change the name of the organization to once every five years. This amendment was rejected by a voice vote at the Closing Business Meeting on July 1.
Please send any inquiries or comments about ACNM Bylaws to Bylaws Committee Chair, Melicia Escobar, MSN, CNM, WHNP-BC
American College of Nurse-Midwives
8403 Colesville Rd. Ste. 1230 Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 240.485.1800 Fax: 240.485.1818
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