Enterprise is a word with many meanings: a business operation, a project that is especially complicated or risky, or a systematic, purposeful activity. These definitions, to varying degrees, can apply to the ANA enterprise and our ongoing work of transformation.
The “ANA enterprise” is made up of ANA and our constituent/state nurses associations—our longstanding membership association—and our related organizations that evolved over time as our profession and ANA progressed. They are the American Nurses Foundation, our philanthropic arm; the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), which includes individual and organizational credentialing programs; and the American Academy of Nursing, comprised of nurse fellows who help generate and disseminate nursing knowledge. Although we have often partnered on activities, each organization under the enterprise operates with its own board and occupies its own niche in advancing the nursing profession and health care.
Now let me describe how the second two meanings of enterprise coincide with our work. A few years ago, we engaged in systematic, purposeful activity to transform ANA into a membership association that is stronger, more relevant, efficient, and engaging to all nurses. This transformation was complicated and not without risks. But we knew that with risks can come great rewards.
Although ANA’s transformation continues, we have accomplished much since we started this process. We streamlined our business operations, grew our membership, engaged more nurses in professional issues panels to address emerging issues, developed practical resources and tools, and advocated for strong roles for both RNs and advanced practice RNs in health care. More about ANA’s transformation, strategic plan, and achievements last year alone can be found in our annual report in the May/June issue of The American Nurse or online at http://www.nursingworld.org/.
With strides made in our business, governance, and technology operations over the past 3 years, we are now in a solid position to refocus the majority of our efforts on our programmatic work. That work includes advancing safe, quality patient care; promoting safe, ethical, and healthy work environments; and optimizing professional practice and health care, in part through leadership development.
The ANA enterprise has been undergoing a transformation that we believe will yield great rewards as well. We took a historic step in April, when the executive committees of ANA, the Foundation, ANCC, and the Academy gathered to discuss how we can strengthen our collaboration to move nursing forward through shared strategic goals. And we developed a shared vision statement, “Nurses Creating a Healthy Nation, A World of Possibilities.” It was a high-energy, big-picture thinking meeting fueled by our commitment to promoting the expertise of nurses and the belief that all nurses can lead from wherever they are.
Karen A. Daley, PhD, RN, FAAN, who just completed her second term as ANA president, is a perfect example of a nurse who has been willing to lead throughout her career. She was a tireless advocate for nurses and patients in the emergency department and her home state of Massachusetts. She was willing to become the public face of the sharps safety movement. And as ANA president, she did not shy away from taking risks if it meant helping to transform ANA into a viable, relevant organization that will always be here for nurses and our patients.
As a tribute to Karen, a truly remarkable person, nurse, and leader, the Foundation established in May the Karen Daley Fund, with an initial goal of raising $25,000 to support the leadership initiatives of ANA and the Foundation. Contributions to this fund, which is also an investment in nursing’s future, can be made at http://www.anfonline.org/.
Through Karen’s leadership and that of our outgoing board, the ANA enterprise is stronger and more relevant than ever, and I am confident that will continue under our newly elected board members and president, Pamela Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. With our shared vision and goals, the ANA enterprise and our wonderful profession will thrive.
Marla J. Weston, PhD, RN, FAAN
CEO, American Nurses Association