Ninety-seven nurses were recognized for their important contributions to the nursing profession and their influence on health policies that benefit all Americans at an induction ceremony at the 36th Annual Meeting and Conference of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) in Atlanta last month.
The Fellows join more than 1,500 nurses nationwide—many of them scholars, fellows and project directors of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)—who have been recognized for their leadership in advancing nursing and the public health.
The ceremony was the culmination of the three-day meeting, which also featured an address by former United States Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., a former RWJF Clinical Scholar (1975-1976) who now directs the Satcher Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta.
Satcher discussed the importance of leadership development and his focus when he served as Surgeon General: “All of our reports focused on vulnerable populations. But we didn’t want the reports to site on a shelf and gather dust. We wanted them to have an impact. The purpose of the Surgeon General’s report should be to improve the health of people in this country, especially vulnerable populations.”
A highlight of the conference was recognition of the 2009 Living Legends—four nurses who epitomize nursing’s proud history and serve as role models for the profession. This year’s Legends are leaders in education, history, ethics, diagnostic reasoning and public policy. They are:
The conference also featured a discussion of the lessons learned through AAN’s Raise the Voice Campaign—an initiative funded by RWJF and directed by AAN to recognize practical innovators leading the way in bringing new thinking and new methods to a wide range of health care challenges.
The panel included four Raise the Voice Edge Runners—nurses who have developed and are leading innovative health care models that show promise for replication. The models discussed were: Diabetes Coping Skills Training, a program to help teenagers with diabetes cope with and manage their condition; MinuteClinic, a system of walk-up health care clinics staffed by nurse family practitioners; Nurse-Family Partnership, an evidence-based nurse home visitation program for first-time mothers in low-income communities; and Evercare, a care model that brings together nurse practitioners and case managers to coordinate services for seniors and people with long-term or advanced illness.