Year of the Nurse


President's 2021 Nurses Month Message

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it abundantly clear how important nurses are to our healthcare system. May is designated as Nurses month and serves as a reminder that we must continue to amplify the profession's impact because our leadership, innovation, science, and commitment to health equity improves well-being every day, not just in a pandemic.

This Nurses Month, the American Academy of Nursing, is inspired by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) theme - Nurses: A Voice to Lead.

2020 Nurses Month Archive


Remarks from President Eileen Sullivan-Marx

As we recognize the 200th Birthday of Florence Nightingale and the International Year of the Nurse & Midwife, nurses around the globe are being viewed in a new light.

To celebrate Nurses Month, we reflected on the four themes developed by American Nurses Association (ANA):
We reached out to Fellows to share their insights on these topics, particularly in light of the pandemic. We look forward to sharing these messages of hope and resilience with you. New videos and resources will be released weekly.



Week 1: Self-Care

Academy Fellows who have expertise on this subject discuss the importance of nurses practicing self-care especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, APRN-CNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, Vice President for Health Promotion, University Chief Wellness Officer, Dean and Professor, College of Nursing, Professor of Pediatrics & Psychiatry, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University
  • Cynda H. Rushton, PhD, RN, FAAN, Anne and George Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics, Berman Institute of Bioethics, Professor of Nursing and Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
  • Judy E. Davidson, DNP, RN, FCCM, FAAN, Nurse Scientist, University of California San Diego Health Sciences
Content Warning: These videos discuss the topic of suicide.The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at

Bernadette Melnyk

Cynda H. Rushton

Judy E. Davidson

Week 2: Recognition

Academy Fellows with expertise related to this topic discuss the unique innovations of nurses and the diverse contributions the profession has made to improve care delivery. In addition, to celebrate International Nurses Day on May 12, the Academy thanks our International Fellows.

  • Antonia M. Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor and Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania
  • Lauran Hardin, MSN, CNL, FNAP, FAAN, Senior Advisor, Camden Coalition's National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs
  • John Lowe, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor, Endowed McKenzie Chair for Health Disparities Research, Director, Center for Indigenous Nursing Research for Health Equity, Florida State University

Antonia Villarruel

Lauran Hardin

John Lowe

Week 3: Professional Development

Academy Living Legends offer inspiration and share advice on how to lead during the current coronavirus pandemic and throughout your professional nursing journey.

  • Marilyn P. Chow, PhD, RN, FAAN, 2018 Living Legend, Vice President, National Patient Care Services and Innovation, Kaiser Permanente, Retired, Professor, UCSF School of Nursing
  • C. Alicia Georges, EdD, RN, FAAN, 2019 Living Legend, Chair and Professor, Department of Nursing, Lehman College
  • Linda S. Schwartz, DrPH, RN, FAAN, USAF (Ret.), 2019 Living Legend, Consultant in Veteran Affairs

Marilyn P. Chow

C. Alicia Georges

Linda Schwartz

Week 4: Community Engagement

Academy Fellows discuss the importance of engaging with their communities and explain how a community-based perspective will improve the health of the nation, and the globe, moving forward.

  • Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, FAAN, 2019 Academy Living Legend, Former Acting Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Dean's Distinguished Fellow; Visiting Professor, School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin and Georgetown University
  • Ronald Hickman, PhD, RN, ACNP-BC, FNAP, FAAN, The Ruth M. Anderson Endowed Chair and Associate Dean for Research, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western University
  • Teddie M. Potter, PhD, RN, FAAN, Clinical Professor, Population Health and Systems Cooperative, Coordinator Doctor of Nursing Practice in Health Innovation and Leadership, and Director of Planetary Health, University of Minnesota School of Nursing

Mary Wakefield

Ronald L. Hickman

Teddie Potter