Program Planning Guidelines

A. Determine the Program

  • Analyze themes that will appeal to the membership.
  • Identify speakers familiar to the audience.
  • Select a date that does not conflict with school and professional calendars.
  • Select a location that is easily accessible and has adequate parking facilities; vary the location to accommodate the various segments of the membership.

B. Program Planning

  • Develop format/length of the program.
  • Develop a budget for the event, including expenses such as food, room, publicity costs, speaker-related expenses and audio/visual rental.
  • Secure speakers and workshop leaders, providing confirmation in writing.
  • Identify assistance needed from committees and timeframe required for various tasks. For example:
    • Program Committee contacts speakers, sets format for the seminar, develops program objectives and evaluation materials.
    • Publicity Committee develops mailing lists, prepares and mails flyers/brochures with a registration form, posts information about the seminar in appropriate locations, including websites.
    • Facility Committee confirms room, audio/visual and meal/break arrangements, finalizes parking/transportation needs, prepares continuing education credit-related materials, receives registration forms from attendees.

C. Program Evaluation

  • Review and summarize participant evaluations.
  • Make recommendations for future programs.
  • Review budget against actual income and expenditures.

D. Alternative To Hosting Individual, Stand-Alone Programs: Co-sponsored/Collaborative Programs

  • Arrange with another organization to present a program reflective of the philosophy of Sigma.
  • Designate a Program Planning Committee consisting of members from both groups.
  • Select a site that is centrally located.
  • Discuss financial arrangements/obligations of each group early in the planning stage.
  • Try to get as many volunteers as possible to divide the work and get more members involved.

E. Offering Continuing Education Credit

  • Inquire about the approval process with either the State Board of Nursing or State Nurses Association in your area.
  • Obtain and complete the necessary application information.
  • Most approval guidelines request:
    • Substantiation of the learners’ need for the program
    • Purpose of program
    • Behavioral objectives
    • A content outline
    • Teaching methods, with an emphasis on active participation
    • A description of the educational and experiential preparation
    • Speakers
    • Members of the planning committee
    • Description of evaluation process and sample copy of the evaluation form
    • Description of the record-keeping system for approved contact hours
    • Description of the facility in which the program is being held
    • A sample copy of the promotional brochure
  • Meet the established deadlines for approval.
  • Contact Sigma for additional assistance.

F. Other Helpful Hints

  • Involve former committee chairs and/or members as mentors to new program committee chairs/committees.
  • Remember to involve student members in program planning.