As a New Practitioner Executive Committee (NPEC) member, the most common question I encounter is “How do I get involved?” The answer is more straightforward than one might imagine.
In the beginning months of each calendar year, the CSHP President-Elect announces a call for volunteers to serve on committees, councils and task forces. Committees for the 2015-2016 year include: Committee on Goals (COG), Continuing Pharmacy Education Committee (CPE), Council on Professional Affairs (COPA), Editorial Advisory Board (EAB), Government Affairs Advisory Committee (GAAC), Healthcare Reform Committee (HCR), Membership Committee, NPEC, Pharmacist of the Year/Distinguished Service Award Committee, Practitioner Recognition Program Committee, Public Relations Committee (PR), Seminar Planning Committee and the NEW Barriers for Residencies Task Force. Descriptions of each committee and approximate time commitments are provided so that members can select based on their interests and talents. Currently, each of the committees has at least one new practitioner (NP) member, so NPs need not feel intimidated when expressing interest in a particular committee.
The Call for Volunteers is traditionally disseminated via email but can also be accessed using the search function on the CSHP website. Members respond to the call by indicating involvement preferences, as well as a few details about themselves to assist the appointment process. From start to finish, it takes approximately 15 minutes to submit a response. Of note, the terms for the committees may begin in January of the following year, so be mindful if you anticipate outside commitments.
If you’ve missed the deadline for this year’s Call for Volunteers, don’t fret. Keep your eyes peeled for other opportunities to volunteer, such as for CSHP Seminar. Consider emailing committee chairs and members to see if they could use extra help. Additionally, reach out to your local chapter, as chapters are always looking for volunteers to lead and serve.
Staying involved when you transition to a NP can be difficult without a defined goal. Adjusting to new expectations and a modified work-life balance can require a great deal of energy and mind space. By taking the first step and committing to serve on a committee, you have ensured the continuity of your involvement. Most importantly, open each of the emails you receive from CSHP, because you never know when an opportunity to volunteer may be waiting.
Hopefully we will see some new faces on NPEC next year, as well as on many of the other committees. Please feel free to reach out to NPEC members at any time if you have questions. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to serving with you all.