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A dynamic strategic plan for changing times

By: American Nurses Association

ANA Enterprise prioritizes advancement of nursing and professional success of nurses

Healthcare and the practice and profession of nursing have changed rapidly in the almost 
3 years since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The ANA Enterprise has responded to these fast-moving developments while staying on course to deal with deep-rooted issues such as workplace violence, the nurse staffing shortage, and nurses’ well-being. The 2023-2025 ANA Enterprise strategic plan balances the need to confront today’s pressing challenges while making substantive progress toward longer-term goals.

“The ANA Enterprise strategic plan incorporates several key areas of focus determined at our annual ANA Membership Assembly, including the impact of climate change on health, workplace violence across the continuum of care, and nurse staffing,” said ANA Enterprise CEO Loressa Cole, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “Some strategies in the new plan continue our work already underway, while others involve a shift and new focus. Regardless, we remain committed to leading the nursing profession by listening and responding.”

Cole added that ANA Enterprise leaders cast a wide net in understanding both short-term and long-term issues facing nurses, the nursing profession, and 
the healthcare system. “Our plan is based on and informed by scanning the current environment 
in which nurses work, with inputs from numerous stakeholders, including our members, boards of directors, constituent and state nurses associations, and staff,” she said.

The 2023-2025 plan reaffirms the ANA Enterprise mission and vision. The mission calls for the ANA Enterprise to lead the profession to shape the future of nursing and healthcare, while the vision articulates a healthy world through the power of nursing.

These enduring concepts guided ANA Enterprise leaders in considering strategic priorities, according to ANA President Jennifer Mensik Kennedy, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “When we looked at each item, the boards of directors asked themselves whether it fit with the mission and vision of the 
ANA Enterprise,” she said. “Consequently, we 
feel confident that everything that has made it 
into the plan completely aligns with our mission 
and vision.”

The boards of directors of the organizations that comprise the ANA Enterprise—the American Nurses Association (ANA), American Nurses Foundation (Foundation), and American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)—approved the plan at their fall meetings. Before 2019, each organization had developed a separate plan and strategies. After 2019, a single plan for the ANA Enterprise incorporated merged strategies across the organizations to leverage their collective strength to better achieve a shared mission, vision, and values. The 2023-2025 plan further integrates these organization-wide efforts with an eye on ANA Enterprise customers, including ANA members, Foundation donors, organizations and individuals participating in ANCC programs, and other stakeholders and collaborators.

Building on solid foundations

Earlier strategic plans had prioritized finding solutions to persistent nurse staffing challenges, an objective continued in the 2023-2025 plan that builds on efforts already underway within the ANA Enterprise. For several years, ANA has been exploring solutions to long-standing staffing challenges as part of Partners for Nurse Staffing, a collaboration among leading nursing, financial, and healthcare improvement organizations. In June 2022, the group’s Think Tank issued recommendations for 
better staffing that organizations and individuals could implement within 18 months (bit.ly/3OXhXxk). A separate effort, the Nurse Staffing Task Force, soon will issue longer-term strategies to solve deep, structural challenges affecting staffing.

Meanwhile, in 2022, the Foundation’s Reimagining Nursing Initiative awarded $14 million over 3 years to pilot programs in 29 states aimed at sparking new ideas and testing solutions involving practice-ready nurse graduates, technology-enabled practice, and direct reimbursement models (nursingworld.org/rninitiative). These bold ideas promise to help nurses realize their full potential, including through better staffing approaches.

The 2023-2025 strategic plan also prioritizes the ANA Enterprise’s ongoing work to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism in improving nursing practice and work environments. These initiatives include the efforts of ANA as one of four co-lead organizations and ANCC and the Foundation among 20 partnering organizations in the National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing (nursingworld.org/commission-to-address-racism-in-nursing). In the 2023-2025 timeframe, ANA also will continue its journey of racial reckoning by not only acknowledging past actions that have negatively impacted nurses of color and perpetuated systemic racism but also to take accountability, sincerely apologize, seek forgiveness, contribute to healing, and foster reconciliation with nurses of color, ethnic minority nursing associations, and other communities that have been harmed (nursingworld.org/RacialReckoningStatement).

“We’re at a time in our country and around the world, that the significant negative impact of not addressing racism in our profession and our society is clear,” Cole said. “Anchoring this work in the ANA Enterprise strategic plan will continue our efforts to prompt change within the profession that ultimately improves our nation’s health.”

Building on ANA’s past work, climate change is a new focus in the 2023-2025 strategic plan. At the ANA Membership Assembly in June 2022, the Professional Policy Committee called on ANA, its constituent and state nurses associations, and Individual Membership Division to include the climate crisis and its consequential impact on human and population health as an essential component of their policy platform. This priority is reflected in the goal, Elevate the Profession of Nursing Globally.

The 2023-2025 strategic plan articulates two other main goals, including Evolve the Practice of Nursing to Improve Health and Healthcare and Ensure the Professional Success of Nurses. These goals have roots in prior strategic plans, but the 2023-2025 plan considers them in the context of customer-focused relevance, reach, and revenue.

Relevance in the plan relates to how the ANA Enterprise adds the most value to nurses, the nursing profession, and the future of healthcare. Reach considers the collective impact and influence the organization has directly and through partnerships with key stakeholders to achieve its mission and vision. Revenue involves how ANA, the Foundation, and ANCC together ensure financial strength, stability, and investments to achieve goals and growth. Key results linked to each goal and strategy feature specific, measurable outcomes for monitoring progress in achieving the enterprise’s aims.

Magnifying voices, enhancing influence

A key objective of the goal, Ensure the Professional Success of Nurses, entails magnifying nurses’ voices and advocating to overcome barriers to their personal and professional success.

“Nurses’ personal stories of their triumphs and trials have so much influence in effecting change,” Cole said. “By enhancing their voices and expanding our advocacy efforts—together with vital collaborators—we look forward to developing solutions that unleash their full power and potential.”

The 2023-2025 strategic plan also calls for the ANA Enterprise to leverage strategic partnerships to deliver more products, programs, and services that support nurses’ well-being.
Overall, the plan contemplates an ambitious yet realistic agenda, according to Mensik Kennedy. “We have a lot of work to do, and things get prioritized. But it’s a continuous living, evolving document as well,” she observed. “This ensures that we’re nimble enough to pivot and address issues immediately as they come up and then pick up the work that we were doing to continue it forward.”

View the full ANA Enterprise strategic plan at 
nursingworld.org/StrategicPlan

American Nurse Journal. 2023; 18(1). Doi: 10.51256/ANJ012332

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