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September 2010
Greetings from the President

Catherine L. Gilliss,
Catherine L. Gilliss, DNSc, RN, FAAN
President, AAN

Dear Fellows:

When I last updated to you in June, the American Academy or Nursing (AAN) was in the midst of a significant organizational transition and some additional changes have since taken place. But steadfast in our commitment to the health needs of the public, we continue to advance the mission of the Academy.

Let me begin with an enthusiastic welcome to our new Chief Executive Officer, Cheryl G. Sullivan. Joining us just this week, Cheryl comes to us from the Office of U. S. Senator Evan Bayh (D-Ind) where she served for five years as his Deputy Chief for Policy. In addition to her recent experiences in federal policy, Cheryl brings a rich background in state and regional affairs. She served as principal advisor on social service policy to two Governors as chief executive of Indiana’s largest agency, the Family and Social Services Administration. The Search Committee and Board of Directors were impressed by her qualifications, particularly her vision for the opportunity of AAN Fellows to influence state as well as federal policy. We are now arranging opportunities for Cheryl to meet with our Fellows and key stakeholders. Please offer your own welcome and plan to join us and introduce yourself at the Annual Meeting in November.

The opportunity to celebrate the arrival of our new CEO would not have been possible without the rigorous and effective search conducted by our Fellow Search Committee. This five–member committee was chaired by Jean Johnson, and included Karen Kelly-Thomas, Diana Mason, Katharyn May and Barbara Nichols. Please join me in extending your thanks to them for a job well done. Thanks, too, to the many friends and Fellows who provided guidance and nominated candidates to our exceptionally well-qualified pool. This was truly a group effort.

On behalf of the Academy Board and its staff, I want to recognize the high-caliber work and professionalism of Interim CEO and Fellow Lola Fehr, who presided over our AAN Offices during the summer months. Unequivocally, she is an adept leader. During the summer, the AAN staff was restructured in an effort to maintain the highest standards of efficiency while providing excellent service to our Fellowship and initiatives. The following is a list of currently employed AAN staff members, and an abbreviated list of their responsibilities.

  • Cheryl G. Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer
  • Pat Archbold, Program Director, Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity (BAGNC)
  • Pamela Dudzik, Project Coordinator, Geropsychiatric Nursing Collaborative
  • Patty Franklin, Program Manager, BAGNC
  • Gale Guerrieri, Manager, Meetings and Events
  • Danielle Mensh, Program Assistant, BAGNC
  • Faswilla Sampson, Project Associate, BAGNC
  • Mallory Schindler, Program Associate, Council to Advance Nursing Science (CANS)
  • Tim Tassa, Program Associate, Communications
  • Laura Thornhill, Manager, Policy and Development
  • Megan Vijiarungam, Program Associate, Membership

During the next several months, we will refine responsibilities and provide a more detailed list to our Fellows.

Our important policy work has continued. The AAN Board met in July, and continued work on the development of a refined “working” strategic plan, including the identification of high priority tactics for the near term. We are also working on developing a long-term financial plan to support our priorities guiding the Academy’s work through 2014.

The American Academy of Nursing also published and broadly distributed a policy brief completed by its End-of-Life Task Force, carrying out a Board-levied charge to quell the misperceptions associated with end-of-life conversations. The task force was chaired by Fellow Virginia Tilden and included Fellows Inge Corless, Constance Dahlin, and Betty Ferrell, and non-Fellows Rosemary Gibson and Judy Lentz. We have received great feedback about the quality of this paper, entitled, “Advance Care Planning as an Urgent Public Health Concern.” If you haven’t, I encourage you to read it.

The success of this task force in producing a high-quality product on a short timetable led us to analyze the factors that contributed to the group’s success. And building off the strengths of our End-of-Life Task Force, the Board advised me to convene a Primary Care Task Force of six members, chaired by Fellow Nancy Ridenour and comprised of Fellows Charlene Hanson, Doreen Harper, Joyce Pulcini, Joanne Pohl, Lucy Marion and Jean Johnson. The task force has been charged with advising the Board on the priority areas within primary care. Based on their recommendations, the Board will work on the development of tactics within the strategic plan. I extend my thanks to these Fellows for lending the Academy their expertise on this very important and timely topic.

Just this week, the Academy’s Workforce Commission hosted a successful salon that revisited the results of its Technology Targets Study. The event targeted senior-level industry leaders for follow-up discussions on the results of the Technology Drill Down project and Transforming Care at the Bedside model of care.

And of course, the beginning of the fourth quarter means that the Academy staff is diligently preparing for two conferences, both of which promise to be very insightful and compelling. The Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science will hold its 2010 State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research from September 27-29th at the Omni Shoreham in Washington, DC. As of this writing, the event has secured a record turnout and participation, a testament to the growth of nursing science and nursing’s scientific community.

The Academy is also prepping for its Annual Conference and Meeting, “Advancing Practice through Innovation, Technology and Policy,” from November 11-13th at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, DC. We have an exciting agenda, and look forward to duplicating the success from last year in Atlanta. I would like to extend congratulations to this year’s remarkable class of Living Legends, whom we admire for their contributions and life-time achievements. This year’s living legends include Billye J. Brown, Donna Diers, Norma M. Lang, Barbara Nichols, and Betty S. Williams.

And as a reminder, we will honor former AAN CEO Pat Ford-Roegner during the Living Legends Ceremony on November 11th. Pat was integral in establishing the Academy offices in Washington and advancing its visibility for five years. I look forward to recognizing her contributions at that time.

It’s hard to believe we are more than a year removed from last year’s squabbles over health reform legislation and six months removed from its passing as law. Given AAN’s year of hard work, we are well poised to pursue the opportunities in the Affordable Care Act. Thanks to the many of you who stay in touch with me, our Board and staff. Your messages are most appreciated.

See you at the Annual Conference!


Catherine Gilliss, DNSc, RN, FAAN

Dear Fellows:

This is an exciting time to be completing my first week as Chief Executive Officer of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN). I am pleased to be leading the Academy’s day-to-day operations in Washington, DC, a town with which I am quite familiar. It is a privilege to work for an exclusive and esteemed membership that is so engaged with the mission and goals of advancing policy through nursing knowledge.

Once again, I am grateful for the opportunity and for the confidence of the Academy’s Board of Directors, whose support and leadership has helped AAN prosper through this summer’s challenging organizational transition. I want to recognize the contributions of my predecessor Pat Ford-Roegner, who was instrumental in establishing the Academy in Washington for five years, and Interim CEO Lola Fehr, who so skillfully led the Academy while it conducted its search for a new CEO.

My experience as the former Deputy Director of Policy for Senator Evan Bayh and as Vice Chancellor for External Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis brings perhaps a fresh perspective to complement the proven experiences of the Academy’s well-rounded membership. I look forward to sharing my ideas and learning from your diverse skills as thought leaders, educators and practitioners.

The fall is a demanding season for policy wonks, and a challenging time for our staff, who are diligently preparing for two major AAN-sponsored conferences and advancing our many programs and initiatives. I assume this new position with great zeal and commitment, and will serve our Fellowship with the same passion you’ve demonstrated towards the profession.

Warm regards,

Cheryl G. Sullivan, MSES
Chief Executive Officer

Key Dates

  • Conferences:
    • American Academy of Nursing 37th Annual Meeting and Conference
      November 11-13, 2010
      Grand Hyatt Washington, Washington, DC
    • 2010 State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research
      September 27-29, 2010
      Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC
Update from AAN Headquarters

Kickoff Pre-Conference

To complement the Annual Meeting, this year the Academy is throwing a Kickoff Pre-Conference, entitled “Transforming Nursing through Informatics and Technology: Implications for Practice, Education and Policy,” on Thursday, November 11th.

Click here to navigate to the exciting pre-conference agenda.

2010 Class of Fellows
The Academy announced this year’s 2010 Class of Fellows on June 29th. One-hundred and sixteen nurse leaders will be inducted into the Academy during the Annual Meeting and Conference on November 13th at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, DC.

Click here to review this year’s class.

If you are looking for a memorable way to honor a member of the 2010 Class of Fellows, please go to, click on the conference banner, and then click “Opportunities to Honor a 2010 Fellow Inductee.”

Honorary Fellows
The Academy will recognize three Honorary Fellows in 2010. By awarding Honorary Fellowships, AAN recognizes individuals – not eligible for regular fellowship – who are making outstanding contributions to health care and/or nursing. This year’s recipients include Patrick DeLeon, Chief of Staff to Senator Daniel Inouye (HI); John Rother, AARP Executive Vice President of Policy and Strategy; and Denise Polit, President, Humanalysis, Inc.

Click here to view the full list of Honorary Fellows.

Annual Fund
The Annual Fund is being regenerated to engage a more involved membership. Look for a new name, a sleek look, and a hard-to-resist campaign. Recognizing how essential contributions are to achieving the mission of the Academy, we are setting the bar high. We appreciate the generosity of so many donors who support the important work of the Academy.

President Gilliss had a Letter to the Editor published in the September 12th edition of the New York Times, responding to an editorial, “Who Should Provide Anesthesia Care?” The editorial cited studies concluding that certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) can provide safe and high-quality treatment, and President Gilliss honed in on evidence showing future shortages of anesthesiologists and an “oversupply” of nurse anesthetists. It was tremendous recognition for the Academy, and we are pursuing local and regional opportunities to move this issue forward.

The Academy has been active in its communications outreach, utilizing traditional and new media components to promote its initiatives and announcements. The Academy’s presence on Facebook and Twitter is growing; we now have more than 300 followers on Twitter. Keep current on Academy updates by following us on both platforms!

In case you missed them, check out some of the news items from the third quarter:

Share Your Innovations
The Annual Meeting & Conference Planning Committee is seeking all nurses to share creative, emerging innovations in nursing practice in all service sectors. This is an opportunity to share emerging work in all settings, including pilot projects, great ideas in progress, early adoption of creative new ways of providing patient care, or early insights and innovative solutions to challenges in health care delivery. Participants selected will share a 15-minute presentation of their innovation at the AAN Annual Meeting & Conference. For more information, visit the “Call for Innovations Application” Web page.

Raise the Voice
After two and half years of financial support, the grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) that helped to launch the Raise the Voice campaign has been completed. The American Academy of Nursing wants to express our deep gratitude to RWJF and its staff for their support: Raise the Voice would not have achieved such visibility and conveyed our messages to so many key people without your partnership.

This summer, Raise the Voice hosted a briefing at the Kaiser Family Foundation, “Solutions to Scale: Proven Health Care Models for Primetime.” The half-day event featured two panels composed of diverse perspectives and was moderated by Scott Hensley of National Public Radio. The overarching theme of the briefing was the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the resulting opportunities for evidence-based models of care to be scaled up and broadly diffused. The panelists discussed the barriers to that goal and their organizations’ priorities and challenges regarding implementation. The Web cast is available online at the re-designed Raise the Voice Resources page.

Due to the success of the campaign and the opportunities that the implementation of Affordable Care Act present, the American Academy of Nursing intends to focus the next phase of the campaign on fully utilizing the scope of nurses’ training, practice, and solutions, broadening the scale of those models of care, and sustaining them. Additionally, we also plan to seek out and identify the “incubators” of nursing innovation and determine what fosters and sustains this creativity.

The Raise the Voice campaign added four new Edge Runners this term, increasing the Edge Runner database to 46 disparate models of care. Fellows are encouraged to view each new model by clicking here.  

Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity (BAGNC)
The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence recently launched a new partnership aimed at increasing the number of well-qualified geriatric nursing faculty and ensuring that all nurses will be prepared to care for our rapidly aging population. This two-year partnership will support nine doctoral candidates in geriatric nursing, one at each of the nine Hartford Centers of Geriatric Nursing Excellence (CGNE) nationwide as part of the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program starting in the fall of 2010.

The Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program provides scholarship awards of $32,000 over a period of two years, with funding coming from the Jonas Center and the Hartford-funded BAGNC Coordinating Center, which also provides administrative oversight of the program. Scholars will also receive extensive mentoring and leadership training as part of the 2011 BAGNC Leadership Conference. A new Web page on BAGNC’s Web site ( is under construction and will feature these nine new scholars as well as highlights of their program.

Jonas Scholars will use their awards to pursue the goal of becoming academic geriatric nurses, with a special focus on geriatric mental health or community-based care for older adults. The program reflects a shared commitment by the Hartford Foundation and the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence to address the nation’s accelerating nursing shortage through faculty development.

BAGNC Call for Applications
The BAGNC Coordinating Center is actively promoting call for applications for the 2011 BAGNC Predoctoral Scholarship and the Claire M. Fagin Postdoctoral Fellowship programs. Applications are available online ( and due January 11, 2011. The Coordinating Center will hold an informational webinar October 13, 2010 at 2:00 PM Eastern Time for interested applicants. Those interested in attending may E-mail for details.

“A Day in the Life…” BAGNC’s YouTube Contest
The purpose of the BAGNC YouTube Contest is to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the John A. Hartford Foundation’s Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity program. The contest asks participants to create a short video responding to the prompt: “A Day in the Life of a Gerontological Nurse.” The goal is to focus on the growing field of geriatric health care and nursing’s role in caring for America’s diverse aging population. The contest is open to any student enrolled in a U.S. School of Nursing program or RN (18 years or older) and a legal resident of the United States.

For official contest rules and how to enter, please visit:

Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science (CANS)
CANS 2010 State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research is almost here. The Conference will be at the Omni Shoreham Hotel from September 27- 29th. This year is a record breaking year with nearly 900 registrants, 35 exhibitors and hundreds of papers and posters being presented by nursing scientist from around the country. Jennie Chin Hansen is the keynote, kicking off 9.25 continuing education credits offered by the other three days of plenary sessions. At the CANS conference, Margaret Heitkemper from the University of Washington will step down as Steering Committee Chair and Margaret Grey from Yale will assume leadership. CANS is energized by all of the new fresh ideas that come with the AAN staff transition and CANS leadership transition.

Workforce Commission
The Academy’s Workforce Commission continues to examine technology as a means to address the nursing workforce shortage in the United States. After conducting technology drill downs (TD2s) in 25 hospitals to identify processes that enhance nurse workflow, the Workforce Commission is now working in concert with the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) to encourage sites participating in the Transforming Care at the Bedside (TCAB) program to implement the TD2 process as well. Original TD2 sites have also been revisited to evaluate changes made based on the results of the drill down process and will share those results soon.

AAN Hosts Salon
AAN and AONE hosted an invitation-only “salon,” featuring a presentation on the TD2 findings and a facilitated discussion around communicating its benefits, nursing’s involvement in the strategic decision making of information technology and device purchases, and the next steps for TD2. The Workforce Commission is also examining its role in workforce planning and research opportunities within the Affordable Care Act.

Implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Implementation of the Affordable Care Act is underway, with the first round of deadlines for nominations and public comments having passed. Academy staff have worked with leadership and strategic partners to advance the names of well-qualified nurse leaders for the National Health Care Workforce Commission and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Board of Governors, the members of which will be named on or before September 30th. As the proposed regulations that will further define the Affordable Care Act are being drafted and released, AAN has offered comments and continues to reach out to the administration to ensure that officials have comprehensive, clear information and ideas to support them throughout the process.

NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Health System Elders)
NICHE announced the October 2010 Leadership Training Program (LTP). The LTP provides the means to train a team of staff and begin the process of becoming a leader in the care of older adults and a NICHE designated hospital. Registration information for the six-week, online October LTP is available at


Academy Initiatives

Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science

All persons interested in the Council’s mission, “Better health through nursing science,” are invited to become members. To join or for more information visit the Council’s Web site:

Save the Date:
2010 State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research
September 27th – 29th
Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC
For more information visit:

Fellows On The Move
If you have news you wish to share in the next Fellows On the Move, please E-mail Tim Tassa at

Effective January 1, 2011, AAN Fellow Karen Drenkardwill assume the position of Executive Director for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). She replaces Jeanne Floyd, who served as Executive Director for nearly 10 years. Drenkard has been ANCC Senior Director of Credentialing Operations since 2010 and the Director of the Magnet Recognition Program since 2008.

On July 1, Ruth Anderson, Duke University School of Nursing Professor and a Senior Fellow in the Center for Aging and Human Development, was named the Virginia Stone Professor of Nursing. The professorship is named in honor of Fellow Virginia Stone, who developed and implemented the first gerontological master’s degree program in the nation for nurses interested in caring for older adults.

Fellow Lin Zhan was named Dean of the Loewenberg School of Nursing at the University of Memphis, and she began her duties on August 1. Zhan assumed her position at the University of Memphis after serving as Dean and Professor at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

Norma Martinez Rogers, a professor in the Department of Family & Community Health Systems at the University of Texas Health and Science Center San Antonio, will lead the “Diversifying Future Leaders in Nursing” program, which aims to bring more minority students into the school of nursing’s undergraduate programs. The program is supported by a three-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Submission Deadlines for AAN Spotlight Enewsletter Fellows On The Move:
4th Quarter December 1, 2010
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