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Board of Directors

The American Nurses Association (ANA) is dedicated to serving all 4 million registered nurses and harnessing their expertise, knowledge, and wisdom to protect, improve, and promote better public health and health care for all.

Consisting of four officers and five directors-at-large, the board is elected by the ANA Membership Assembly and accountable to the members of ANA. Its duties – fully defined in Article IV, Section 3 of the ANA bylaws – include oversight of corporate responsibility and fiduciary duties, strategic leadership, and the implementation of policies established by the ANA Membership Assembly.

Loressa Cole

DNP, MBA, RN, FACHE, NEA-BC

ANA Enterprise CEO

An accomplished health care leader who has more than 30 years of nursing and management experience, Dr. Loressa Cole became the ANCC Executive Director and Executive Vice President in 2016, and was appointed ANA Enterprise CEO in 2018.

An accomplished health care leader who has more than 30 years of nursing and management experience, Dr. Loressa Cole, DNP, MBA, RN, FACHE, NEA-BC, became the ANCC Executive Director and Executive Vice President in 2016. Dr. Cole was appointed as the ANA Enterprise CEO in 2018.

Most recently, she served as the Chief Nursing Executive for Lewis Gale Regional Health System in Salem, Virginia, where she directed system-wide clinical operations, partnering with other C-suite leaders on strategic and tactical planning, and execution.

Previously, she served as Chief Nursing Officer at Lewis Gale Montgomery Hospital in Blacksburg, Virginia, where she led the hospital to achieve its initial Magnet® designation in 2009 and its redesignation in 2013. Dr. Cole began her career as a staff nurse in medical/surgical and critical care settings.

Active in many professional organizations, Dr. Cole served as President of the Virginia Nurses Association from 2012 until 2014. She is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the Virginia Organization of Nurse Executives, and the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

She has presented at a wide range of conferences, including the 2011 and 2012 ANCC National Magnet Conference. She earned her DNP at Case Western Reserve University, her Master's in Business Administration (MBA) at Averett University, and her BSN at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is ANCC board-certified as a nurse executive, advanced, and is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Ernest J. Grant

PhD, RN, FAAN

President

A former nurse of the year award winner, Dr. Grant is the first man to be elected to the office of ANA president. Thanks to his world-class expertise in burns-related treatment and fire safety issues, Dr. Grant is a leading educator in this field and has lent this experience to various branches of the U.S. military as well as civilian fields.

Dr. Ernest J. Grant is the 36th president of the American Nurses Association (ANA), the nation’s largest nurses organization representing the interests of the nation’s 4 million registered nurses.

A distinguished leader, Dr. Grant has more than 30 years of nursing experience and is an internationally recognized burn-care and fire-safety expert. He previously served as the burn outreach coordinator for the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at University of North Carolina (UNC) Hospitals in Chapel Hill. In this role, Grant oversaw burn education for physicians, nurses, and other allied health care personnel and ran the center’s nationally acclaimed burn prevention program, which promotes safety and works to reduce burn-related injuries through public education and the legislative process. Grant also serves as adjunct faculty for the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing, where he works with undergraduate and graduate nursing students in the classroom and clinical settings.

Grant is frequently sought out for his expertise as a clinician and educator. In addition to being a prolific speaker, he has conducted numerous burn-education courses with various branches of the U.S. military in preparation for troops’ deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2002, President George W. Bush presented Grant with a Nurse of the Year Award for his work treating burn victims from the World Trade Center site. In 2013, Grant received the B.T. Fowler Lifetime Achievement Award from the North Carolina Fire and Life Safety Education Council for making a difference in preventing the devastating effects of fire and burn injuries and deaths within the state.

An active participant in professional organizations, Grant is a past chair of the National Fire Protection Association board of directors and served as second vice president of the American Burn Association board of trustees. He also holds membership in Sigma Theta Tau and Chi Eta Phi. Grant served as president of the North Carolina Nurses Association from 2009-11. In 2002, ANA honored Grant with the Honorary Nursing Practice Award for his contributions to the advancement of nursing practice through strength of character, commitment, and competence.

Grant holds a BSN degree from North Carolina Central University and MSN and PhD degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing in 2014. He is the first man to be elected to the office of president of the American Nurses Association.

 

Faith M. Jones

MSN, RN, NEA-BC

Vice President

Thanks to her many years’ experience across a range of health care related fields, Faith M. Jones has held leadership roles in a wide range of areas relating to public health – ranging from laboratory management to medical staff credentialing.

Faith M. Jones, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, began her health care career in the U.S. Navy nearly 30 years ago. She has worked in a variety of roles in clinical practice, education, management, administration, consulting, and health care compliance. Her knowledge and experience span various settings including ambulance, clinics, hospitals, home care and long-term care with a focus on rural health. In her leadership roles, Jones has been responsible for the operational leadership of all clinical functions, including multiple nursing specialties, pharmacy, laboratory, imaging, nutrition and therapies, as well as administrative functions related to quality management, case management, medical staff credentialing, staff education, and corporate compliance. In her role as director of care coordination and lean consulting at HealthTechS3, she implements care-coordination programs focusing on the Medicare population and teaches care coordination concepts nationally.


Jones received her initial nursing degree from Ventura College, a BSN degree from the University of Wyoming, and her master’s degree in nursing administration and education from the University of Phoenix. She is also a member of the ANA-PAC Leadership Society, which recognizes nurses who are pinnacles of political activism. Jones is designated as a Nurse Executive Advanced-Board Certified (NEA-BC) by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and currently holds certifications as a LEAN Instructor and Green Belt in Healthcare from LEAN Healthcare West.

Stephanie Pierce

PhD, MN, RN, CNE

Secretary

Stephanie S. Pierce, PhD, MN, RN, CNE is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing and Program Director of the accelerated (CARE) BSN Program and the Nurse Educator MSN Program at Louisiana State University Health Science Center (LSUHSC) School of Nursing in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Stephanie S. Pierce, PhD, MN, RN, CNE is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing and Program Director of the accelerated (CARE) BSN Program and the Nurse Educator MSN Program at Louisiana State University Health Science Center (LSUHSC) School of Nursing in New Orleans, Louisiana.  She received her undergraduate BSN from William Carey College, her Master of Nursing specializing in nursing administration from LSUHSC and her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree from Capella University specializing in leadership for higher education. She is certified as a Nursing Educator through the National League of Nursing. Dr. Pierce began teaching at LSUHSC School of Nursing in January 2000.      

Dr. Pierce is Project Director overseeing a HRSA grant that funds two nurse managed clinics providing primary care services to underserved elders in New Orleans. She is also the Program Coordinator for the LSUHSC Immunization Program. The clinics are run in partnership with the LSU Healthcare Network. Dr. Pierce is the Coordinator for the Cornerstone of Cultural Competency in the Disaster Cycle (C3DC) Program which includes face to face and online courses targeted to increase knowledge of cultural competency in health care leaders using best practices to improve responses in the four phases of the disaster cycle. She participated in designing the curriculum and developing the model for the C3DC Program which is also HRSA funded. Dr. Pierce is also the Program Coordinator for the LSUHSC Immunization Program, the nursing lead for Blood Borne Pathogens Program, the medical lead for the Point of Dispensing (POD) Program and serves on the Health Sciences Center’s Ethics committee. 

Presently Dr. Pierce serves the New Orleans District Nurses Association as Bylaws Chairperson, the Louisiana State Nurses Association as Education Council Chairperson and the American Nurses Association’s Political Advisory Committee-Board of Trustees and the Committee on Appointments.

Jennifer S. Mensik Kennedy

PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN

Treasurer

Jennifer S. Mensik Kennedy, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, is currently the division director of care management at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland Oregon and an instructor for Arizona State University College of Nursing and Health Innovation.

Jennifer S. Mensik Kennedy, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, is currently the division director of care management at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland Oregon and an instructor for Arizona State University College of Nursing and Health Innovation. Mensik Kennedy is a sought-after presenter and prolific author. Her books include Lead, Drive, and Thrive in the System and The Nurse Managers Guide to Innovative Staffing. She co-authored A Nurse’s Step-By-Step Guide to Transitioning to the Professional Nurse Role and The Power of Ten (Second Edition) and contributed a chapter to the book The Career Handoff: A Healthcare Leader’s Guide to Knowledge & Wisdom Transfer across Generations.

 

Mensik Kennedy has held numerous high-profile leadership positions within the nursing profession. She served as president of the Arizona Nurses Association 2007-2010. Nationally, Mensik Kennedy has served as both second vice president and director-at-large on the American Nurses Association board of directors. Additionally, she held the role of governor of nursing practice for the Western Institute of Nursing in 2010-2014.

 

Mensik Kennedy earned a PhD from the University of Arizona College of Nursing with a focus on health systems and a minor in public administration from the Eller College of Management. Mensik Kennedy's MBA degree is from the University of Phoenix, while her BSN degree is from Washington State University. She also holds an ADN degree from Wenatchee Valley College-North. Mensik Kennedy was inducted as a fellow to the American Academy of Nursing in 2014.

Tonisha J. Melvin

DNP, CRRN, NP-C

Director-at-Large

Currently serving as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, Tonisha J. Melvin began practicing as a registered nurse in 2009. Passionate about equipping the next generation of front-line nurse leaders with the training and mentorship they need, Tonisha is also an active volunteer on a host of issues in her home state of Georgia.

Tonisha Melvin, DNP, CRRN, NP-C, is a nurse practitioner at the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center (CNVAMC) in Augusta, Georgia. At CNVAMC, she serves as an environmental health registry specialist and specialty examiner for compensation and disability claims in addition to managing the disability benefits questionnaire claims clinic at the Veterans Affairs. Melvin participates on numerous CNVAMC committees for quality improvement and ethical and clinical compliance.

 

She is a contributing author of The Charge Nurse Leader Program Builder: A Competency-Based Approach for Developing Frontline Leaders, a comprehensive curriculum and roadmap for developing nurse leaders and ensuring charge nurses are trained, mentored, and supported in their roles.

Melvin is an active volunteer. In addition to conducting annual community health screenings, she is a vocal advocate for nursing issues, such as safe staffing and nurses’ work environments. Recently, she began efforts to prevent adult and childhood obesity and promote nurse health and wellness. Melvin also co-founded the Melvin Family’s Meal Donation, which feeds families during the holiday season.

 

An active member in professional organizations, Melvin serves on the audit panel for the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses, is the governance chair to Sigma Theta Tau International’s Georgia chapter, and is an active member of the Georgia Nurses Association. In addition to her director role, Melvin sits on a number of ANA board committees, including the committee on honorary awards, the committee on appointments, the employee relations committee, and formerly, the committee on planning and budget. In 2015, she served as vice president of the Concerned National Black Nurses Association.

Melvin earned her DNP degree from Georgia Baptist College School of Nursing of Mercer University and was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi multidisciplinary collegiate honor society in 2017. She is certified as an Adult Nurse Practitioner (NP-C) by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and as a Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse by the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.

MaryLee Pakieser

MSN, RN, BC-FNP

Director-at-Large

MaryLee Pakieser, MSN, RN, BC-FNP, has remained true to clinical nursing practice for over four decades. She has worked in a variety of clinical settings including acute care, home care /hospice, rehabilitation coordination, and in a transitional home for patients with brain injury.

MaryLee Pakieser, MSN, RN, BC-FNP, has remained true to clinical nursing practice for over four decades. She has worked in a variety of clinical settings including acute care, home care /hospice, rehabilitation coordination, and in a transitional home for patients with brain injury. She is currently a family nurse practitioner at the Traverse Health Clinic providing integrated care that includes primary care and mental health services to an underserved population.

 

Pakieser has long been an advocate for vulnerable populations within her community, including pregnant teens, the uninsured, and the working poor. She worked as a nurse practitioner at the Traverse City VA Clinic from 2007 to 2014. Prior to that, Pakieser was clinical director and nurse practitioner at the Northwest Michigan Health Services Migrant Health Clinic.

 

Pakieser’s advocacy extends to the public policy realm; she has provided testimony to the Michigan legislature on two occasions: to promote support for nursing education and to promote safe and healthy working conditions for nurses. As president of the Michigan Council of Nurse Practitioners (MICNP), she helped push for a bill to allow nurse practitioners to practice independently from physicians. She remains an active member of MICNP.

 

She has extensive volunteer experience. In addition to being a member of the Michigan Department of Community Health Task Force on Nursing Practice, Pakieser served on the boards of directors for the Michigan Center for Rural Health as well as the Traverse Health Clinic. She is a founding member and past president of ANA-Michigan and also held numerous leadership positions in the Michigan Nurses Association, including president from 1999-2003.

 

The recipient of many honors, Pakieser was named the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners’ 2013 Nurse Practitioner of the Year (Michigan). In 2006, she received the Carol E. Franck Nursing Leadership Award from the Michigan Center for Nursing for her advocacy on behalf of the state’s nursing profession. In 2005, Pakieser presented with the Michigan Nurses Association’s Bertha Culp Human Rights Award for her service to vulnerable populations.

 

Pakieser received her initial nursing diploma from St. Francis School of Nursing, her BSN degree from Ferris State University, and her MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner specialty from Vanderbilt University. Pakieser is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Family Nurse Practitioner and is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society.

Varsha Singh

DNP, APN, RN

Director-at-Large

Varsha Singh, DNP, RN, APN is an Adult Health Nurse practitioner licensed with prescriptive privileges in New Jersey. She works for OPTUM as a complex care APN and St. Joseph Health as the Neuroscience Nurse Practitioner and teaches Neurology at Trintias School of Nursing.

Varsha Singh, DNP, RN, APN is an Adult Health Nurse practitioner licensed with prescriptive privileges in New Jersey. She works for OPTUM as a complex care APN and St. Joseph Health as the Neuroscience Nurse Practitioner and teaches Neurology at Trintias School of Nursing. Dr. Singh has her RN degree from Trintias School of Nursing and her master’s and doctoral degrees from Seton Hall University.

Her expertise is in adult health, geriatrics, end-of-life care, stroke, and the self-management of chronic diseases. She practiced integrative and alternative medicine in India prior to her immigration to United States.

A member of the New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA) for past ten years, Dr. Singh has assumed many leadership positions within the state. She is current president of Forum of Nurses in Advanced Practice (FNAP/NJSNA), Past President of NJSNA Region-3, Past President of the New Jersey Stroke Coordinators Consortium, Past President of American Association of Indian Nurses NJ2, and is a member of State of New Jersey Stroke Advisory Panel.

Dr. Singh is actively engaged as a speaker in educating the South Asian community about strokes and is key advisory member of South Asian Total Health Initiatives (SATHI) where she is also part of the research team. She is also active in population health and supports the Shri Krishna Nidhi (SKN) Foundation, the South Asian Mental Health Initiative and Network (SAMHIN), and the India Health Camp of New Jersey. She continues to educate the community about health prevention and life style changes that can improve quality of life. She advocates to use of ‘Purple Prescription’ towards self-care and manage variety of stressors to promote personal wellbeing.

Presently, Dr. Singh serves on the American Nurses Association Committee on Honorary Awards and Committee on Appointments.

Amanda Buechel

BSN, RN

Director-at-Large, Recent Graduate

Amanda Buechel currently practices on the surgical trauma intensive care unit at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, IL.

Amanda Buechel currently practices on the surgical trauma intensive care unit at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, IL. In 2017, she was named by the Illinois Nurses Foundation as one of its “40 under 40” Emerging Nurse Leaders and as a Pinnacle Nurse Leader for her outstanding contributions to nursing. Buechel leverages her passion for public policy and advocacy by speaking to nurses and nursing students throughout the state about the importance of nurses’ participation in political advocacy.

 

Buechel has a long history of board service. She served as both first vice president and as elected executive consultant of the Student Nurses Association of Illinois (SNAI). Since 2016, Buechel has acted as the ANA-Illinois-appointed co-consultant to the SNAI Board of Directors. She continues to work with SNAI to develop future nurse leaders. Buechel served on the ANA-Illinois board of directors from June 2016 to November 2017.


Buechel earned her BSN degree from the University of St. Francis, Joliet in 2015.

Jennifer Gil

BSN, RN

Director-at-Large, Staff Nurse

Jennifer Gil currently practices as a critical care nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in their Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit in Boston, MA.

Jennifer Gil currently practices as a critical care nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in their Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit in Boston, MA.

Jennifer was first introduced to nursing leadership when she was elected to the Board of Directors for the Student Nurses’ Association of Pennsylvania (SNAP), where she served as a Regional Coordinator from 2011 to 2013.

Inspired by her experience as a student, Jennifer decided to become a member of ANA Massachusetts and was elected to the Board of Directors as their New Graduate Director in 2015-2017. Jennifer has also been an active member in their Career Connections, Technology, and Health Policy Committee where she has had direct experience with inspiring nurses to become advocates in health policy, safe staffing, and legislation. Committed to the organization and it’s mission, Jennifer was re-elected onto the Board in 2017 as a Director and will finalize her term in 2019. She is excited about her new role as ANA’s Director-at-Large, Staff Nurse and hopes to continue to advocate for nurses to remain in the forefront of health policy and legislation.

Jennifer is a graduate of the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing at Villanova University, where she earned her BSN and was recognized as a Connelly-Delouvrier International Scholar.

Jennifer also has a strong passion for global health and addressing health disparities. She has travelled internationally to South Africa, Peru, and Ecuador to provide nursing care and education to vulnerable populations.

Jennifer was inducted into the Alpha Nu Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society in 2013.

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