As nurses, we value our professional autonomy. But we also know that we can move mountains when we join together for a common cause—be it for one patient or a nurse in need or the health of our nation.
Over the past year, the American Nurses Association (ANA) and our philanthropic arm, the American Nurses Foundation (ANF), have continued to embrace the power of partnerships to help us advance a range of initiatives. First, let us tell you what ANA has done on this front.
At ANA, one example of “partnership in action” occurred this June when members of our state and affiliated specialty nurses associations came together at our Membership Assembly to thoughtfully consider where health care is going in the next decade and where we as a profession need to be, so we’re all prepared to assume new roles and lead positive changes.
The strength of partnering was demonstrated further when many of these same nurses headed to Capitol Hill to gain support for ANA-backed legislation on safe staffing, home care plans, and safe patient handling and mobility. The latter measure itself grew out of a collaboration of safe patient handling and mobility experts brought together by ANA to develop the first-ever national interprofessional standards on preventing injuries among patients and healthcare workers.
<>And this month, more than 500 nurses from around the nation are pulling together to hash out innovative, real-life ways to ensure optimal staffing at a conference that is a collaboration of ANA and ANF.
At ANF, the partnerships have been equally amazing this year. Here are a few examples, including some that assist ANA in its work. This summer, ANF teamed up with the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing on a project to develop a posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) toolkit comprised of an online website and other e-learning tools to help civilian RNs better assess and care for our nation’s veterans and military service members with PTSD. This project is a direct extension of ANA’s work with Nurses Joining Forces, part of a broader White House initiative to help this population.
ANF also is working with ANA’s Leadership Institute, which offers webinars and other resources to assist nurses at all levels to build their leadership skills. A specific ANF aim is to place nurses on the boards of large organizations and corporations, allowing us to expand our influence. And we are collaborating with ANA’s state and specialty nurse associations on a scholarship program that will help nurse members strengthen their education and skills.
ANF again facilitated ways for nurses to support their colleagues who are poised to make scholarly breakthroughs and need to regain their footing. For example, 83 volunteers came together to identify 20 promising nurse scholars through the ANF Nurse Research Grants program. Through their grants, these scholars will be able to make a difference by examining topics from adolescents with sickle cell disease to decision-making among patients with heart failure. And ANF, along with our partners in Oklahoma, New Jersey, and ANA-New York, raised awareness and funds to help nurses who were personally affected by devastating tornados and Superstorm Sandy.
Every day we are amazed by the commitment and compassion of the nurses we meet in our travels. Often nurses want to share their best practices and ideas with us and want to know what they can do to make an even greater difference. We say, “Partner with us.” One significant way of doing that is to make a donation to ANF, whose mission is to further the work of nurses and the profession.
Remember—no matter which chair you are playing from, your part is greatly valued in the symphony
of our success. We wish you the best in the coming new year. Please visit www.givetonursing.org to contribute.
Karen A. Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN
President, American Nurses Association
Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN, FNAP
Chair, American Nurses Foundation Board of Trustees