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Leadership in Nursing: Shaping the Future of Healthcare

As the largest profession within health care, with 4.4 million nurses across the nation, nurses are key drivers of the future of the industry. For an impressive 21-year running, nursing was rated as the most trusted profession once again in 2023, according to Gallup's annual poll rating honesty and ethics in various professions. As both the largest and most trusted profession, nurses are ideally positioned to push innovation and improvement within the field.

American Nurses Foundation, American Nurses Association, and American Nurses Credentialing Center work both with and in service of nurses to bring their ideas to life. Through the following programs and opportunities, we encourage nurse leadership as they improve the culture and environment within their own workplaces and the outcomes, efficiency, and accessibility for their patients and communities.

  • Nurses and Board Leadership
    The Foundation is a founding member of the Nurses on Boards Coalition (NOBC) and hosted the Coalition in its infancy. NOBC is a national partnership of organizations committed to the mission of improving the health for communities through the service of nurses on boards of directors. After achieving our initial goal of 10,000 nurses appointed to boards of directors by the end of 2020, we are now focusing on continued leadership training and opportunities for nurses on boards.

  • National Academy of Medicine Fellowship Nurse Scholars
    Initiated in 1992, The Distinguished Nurse Scholar-in-Residence program provides a year-long residential health policy opportunity in Washington, DC, for outstanding nurse leaders. Each year, this immersion experience at the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) supports the engagement of the scholar in a prominent role in health policy development at the national level. The program seeks individuals who have the capacity and skills to generate policy for issues of special interest and the ability to promote greater public understanding.

  • Washington Policy Fellowship
    In 2015, the Foundation announced a plan to fund a Washington, DC-based fellowship, focused on getting nurses a seat at the highest policymaking tables. By maximizing the participation of nurses on Capitol Hill committees, the Washington Policy Fellowship engages more nurses to realize the impact that policy activism can have – and the part that every nurse can play.

  • Jeannine Rivet National Leadership Award
    Established in 2018 in partnership with United Health Foundation, the Jeannine Rivet National Leadership Award enhances community health and healthcare delivery by supporting emerging nurse leaders who integrate their health expertise with new civic and professional opportunities.

  • Tim Porter-O’Grady National Leadership Award
    The Tim Porter-O’Grady Nurse Leader Award, bestowed in 2022, recognizes a mid-career nurse with a proven track record for leading a project with national implications for the nursing profession.


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