We both have been fortunate to enjoy a long association with the American Nurses Foundation (ANF), the charitable and philanthropic arm of the American Nurses Association (ANA). It is easy to support an organization that believes in the power of nurses. Like ANA, ANF has made it its mission to develop, support, and promote nurses as they take on the leadership mantle, be it in the clinical, research, health policy, or other game-changing arena.
To accomplish this mission, ANF has created many programs and resources—some new in 2014—to help nurses build their expertise, broaden their influence, and increase the profession’s visibility. That is good for individual nurses, the nursing profession, and ultimately, for patients.
One of ANF’s long-standing initiatives is the Nursing Research Grants (NRG) Program. Begun nearly 60 years ago, the NRG program is still going strong. This year, the number of grant applicants more than doubled, and ANF is awarding more than $240,000 to novice and experienced scholars who will continue to expand nursing’s knowledge and enhance our practice, our work environment, and health care. (Editor’s note: Pam Cipriano was an NRG Scholar.)
Another initiative is the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Nurse Scholar-in-Residence program, which is supported by ANA, ANF, and the American Academy of Nursing. This program gives nurse leaders the opportunity to play an even more prominent role in health policy development at the national level. We both had the privilege of being selected for this program. The 2014-2015 IOM Scholar is our colleague Sally S. Cohen, PhD, RN, FAAN, who will focus on childhood bullying, which has been known to cause lifelong health problems for both the victim and the aggressor. Again, this program raises nurses’ visibility and influence on the national scene and opens even more opportunities for nurses to lead—and to be seen as leaders—which is critically important to moving health care in the right direction.
In one of our newest collaborations, Springer Publishing Company and ANA co-published a book, Nurses Making Policy From Bedside to Boardroom, which was edited by three long-time nurse leaders—ANA Past President Rebecca M. Patton, MSN, RN, CNOR, FAAN, past Foundation Chair Margarete L. Zalon, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, FAAN, and distinguished educator Ruth Ludwick, PhD, RN-BC, CNS. This book, to which we contributed, offers nurses practical guidance to expand and strengthen their advocacy—whether it is working with the media or developing an effective strategy to change policy. (For book orders, visit http://www.springerpub
.com/nurses-making-policy-from-bedside-to-boardroom.html.) The book doesn’t just serve as an important resource for nurses. Royalties will support ANF, including the establishment of a high-level, policy-focused nurse internship program in Washington, D.C.
ANF is continuing efforts to place nurses on influential boards, including those that oversee hospital and health systems, for-profit healthcare companies, and philanthropic organizations. We strongly believe that nurses’ knowledge, range of skills, and innovative thinking will strengthen any board’s mission.
This year we saw the power of partnerships. Nurses and the public came out in full force for the ANF-cosponsored National Nurses Week premiere of Carolyn Jones’s documentary, “The American Nurse.” This film showcases the diverse and meaningful work of nurses, and no doubt will inspire a new generation of nurses. And our partnership with the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing to develop an interactive, web-based toolkit on posttraumatic stress disorder will improve nursing practice and the care given to our veterans and service members.
ANF has had a very busy year, but many of these initiatives would not move forward if nurses didn’t pay it forward. Please take the lead in supporting the work of your colleagues by making a donation to support the new Washington, D.C. internship fund or any ANF activity of your choosing at www.givetonursing.org.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN
President, American Nurses Association
Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN, FNAP
Chair, American Nurses Foundation Board of Trustees