Skip to content
Skip to content
Open navigation

ANA Membership Assembly opens with focus on evolving nursing issues

More than 350 registered nurses and others gathered for the 2023 American Nurses Association (ANA) Membership Assembly, the governing and official voting body of ANA, which commenced on June 16 in Washington, DC. Attendees discussed the ongoing nurse staffing crisis and efforts to enhance the visibility of nursing among other pressing issues.  

In the first Membership Assembly address of her term, ANA President Jennifer Mensik Kennedy, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, spoke on the significance of Membership Assembly as the way ANA members “ensure our policies, our programs, and our activism reflect—and do justice to—the more than 4.4 million registered nurses whose interests we represent.”

“The reason ANA is respected and taken seriously by policy makers is that they know our positions on issues are deeply held, deeply felt, and carefully considered by dedicated professionals with real experience up and down the line,” she said.

Mensik Kennedy reflected on nursing issues that the COVID-19 pandemic pushed to the forefront and noted that there are many problems that need urgent attention.

“The nurse staffing crisis is still with us,” she said. “It’s getting worse. And its impacts are felt far and wide—not just by nurses at the bedside but by health systems across the country and by the patients we serve.” Mensik Kennedy discussed how staffing is being addressed in multiple ways across the ANA Enterprise. For instance, the Nurse Staffing Task Force, which issued its report in May, and through a $3 million grant from the United Health Foundation in partnership with the American Nurses Foundation to pilot the Stress & Burnout Prevention Program.

Mensik Kennedy urged members to get a National Provider Number (NPI) to demonstrate the value of nursing by making it more visible in hospital data. She also commented on the progress made since the ANA Racial Reckoning Statement was adopted at the 2022 Membership Assembly.

“We have been intentional and diligent to make sure that the words in that statement will carry forth into action,” she said. “We made comprehensive diversity, equity, and inclusion work a priority in the ANA Enterprise strategic plan and have funded the ongoing work of the National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing.”

Noting the knowledge, wisdom, and insights that nurses bring to uplifting the profession, Mensik Kennedy said that her goal as ANA president is “to help all nurses see themselves as leaders.”

Nursing’s influence

In her report, Debbie Hatmaker, PhD, RN, FAAN, chief nursing officer of the ANA Enterprise, applauded the advocacy that has been vital to advancing nursing’s priorities and thanked members who participated in ANA Hill Day on June 15.

“Legislators and their staff, those who work in the White House and in key agencies, and other policy makers, need to hear from nurses often—so they can do the right thing,” she said.

“Doing the right thing means improving OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standards so that employers will do more to protect their employees from workplace violence,” said Hatmaker. “It also means permanently removing practice barriers so that APRNs can contribute fully and increase access to care.”

Hatmaker provided a report to the Assembly on progress made on last year’s dialogue forum recommendations on the topics of nurse staffing, workplace violence and the impact of climate change on health. For example, the public comment period on the proposed position statement, ‘The Nurse’s Role in Addressing Global Climate Change and Human Health,’ concluded in June. The public comments will be reviewed, and a final version is expected later this summer.

“Our advantage as nurses is that we are used to viewing situations from a holistic perspective,” Hatmaker said. “Let’s continue to leverage that in our efforts to create a healthier and safer country—and a better world.”

Voting members heard arguments regarding seven proposed amendments to the ANA bylaws and participants engaged in three dialogue forums.

What’s next

Watch for actions taken by the Assembly and election results on June 17.

Stay up to date and join the conversation
For news on ANA Membership Assembly and related activities, follow us on ANA’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram channels.

Item(s) added to cart

Go to cart Continue Shopping