Reflection, reform, and resolutions were at the center of ANA’s House of Delegates’ (HOD) meeting Thursday.
ANA President Rebecca M. Patton, MSN, RN, CNOR, reflected on her presidency, a post she’s held for the past four years. She spoke about her many trips crisscrossing the nation and traveling abroad.
“I always tell everyone I have the best job in the world,” said Patton, whose term ends with the HOD’s closing. “It’s been the highlight of my career.”
She noted that her mother, strong nurse advocate Mary Ellen Patton, influenced her decision to participate in the Ohio Nurses Association and ANA.
“I grew up having no doubt – since I was witnessing it – that nurses could make a difference,” she said. She also spoke of the progress that ANA has made, from getting health care reform signed into law to fighting for nurses’ right to speak out against unsafe patient care.
In closing, she explained the symbolic meaning that an hourglass holds for her, which has nothing to do with running out of time.
“It symbolizes the need to take action now, because now is all we have,” Patton said. She implored nurses to not wait for tomorrow to pursue opportunities, but to take action today to do the best for nurses and patients.
She also presented the first-ever ANA President’s Award to Norma Lang, PhD, RN, FAAN, FRCN for her significant contributions to nursing and health care. Four other nurses received ANA awards, and others will be recognized throughout the HOD.
Seven former presidents of ANA shared their reflections on ANA’s and nurses’ ability to influence health care through policy efforts during their terms.
ANA’s advocacy around ensuring greater access to health care was a prevailing theme – from ANA’s effort under Jo Eleanor Elliott, BSN, RN, FAAN to support the creation of Medicare to the issuance of nursing’s first agenda on health care reform under Lucille Joel, EdD, RN, FAAN.
Past presidents further spoke of ANA’s strides in collective bargaining, advanced practice, safe staffing, funding for nurse education, and needlestick prevention.
And, ANA delegates passed resolutions focusing on preventing hostility, abuse and bullying in the workplace; addressing health literacy; and working toward the safety and effectiveness of reprocessed single-use devices in health care.