Skip to content
Skip to content
Open navigation

About the Center


CEHR advocates for and provides the vocabulary, framework, and a moral space to activate the Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements through ever-evolving circumstances. We enable and partner with nurses in all roles and settings so that they may act on the values of the profession to shift systemic challenges affecting the health and well-being of populations we serve, including individual nurses, and the nursing profession.


  • Advance practical strategies grounded in the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements to address ethical issues encountered in practice, education, public policy, and health care;
  • Deliver timely analysis and guidance on ethics and human rights issues to advise, challenge and advance the profession in fulfillment of its intrinsic relational commitments to patients, self, others, the
    profession, and society;
  • Ensure integration of ethics and human rights concerns in all facets of the ANA Enterprise.


Please direct questions and/or comments about The Center for Ethics and Human Rights to:

The American Nurses Association Center for Ethics & Human Rights

8515 Georgia Avenue
Suite 400
Silver Spring, MD 20910 
(301) 628-5000 

The Center's Staff

Liz Stokes




Liz Stokes is the Director of the American Nurses Association Center for Ethics and Human Rights and demonstrates expertise in writing public policy on ethical issues including medical marijuana, assisted death, intellectual disabilities, and women's reproductive health.

She completed her Bachelors of Science in Nursing at the University of Virginia and worked several years as a critical care nurse focusing on end-of-life care issues. Liz received her Juris Doctor from the University of Richmond and worked as a Discipline Consultant for the District of Columbia Board of Nursing interpreting and conferring professional ethical provisions in nursing. Her expertise and leadership is also demonstrated through various charitable roles in the health and legal communities.

She is a member of the Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity and currently serves on the board of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities Nurse Affinity Group. Her areas of expertise include bioethics, nursing ethics and substance use disorder in nursing. She is an international speaker on the Code of Ethics for Nurses is published in the Journal of Nursing Regulation and the Journal for Nurse Practitioners. Liz also serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry.

She is an active volunteer with the District of Columbia Bar Association and has received national recognition for her pro bono efforts. Liz's sphere of influence as a nurse-attorney combined with her education in bioethics enables a unique contribution to nursing ethics, law and policy.

Kara Curry


Senior Policy & Ethics Advisor

Senior Policy & Ethics Advisor

Kara Curry, MA, RN, HEC-C is a Senior Policy and Ethics Advisor at the American Nurses Association Center for Ethics and Human Rights.  She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish at High Point University. She also graduated from Duke University after completing the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program.  Her clinical practice experience includes surgical oncology, forensic nursing, perioperative nursing, and travel medicine.  After spending years at the bedside, her participation as an inaugural member of a hospital-wide nurse ethics committee led to her interests in healthcare ethics.  This interest led her to pursue graduate studies in bioethics and completing her Master of Arts in Bioethics from Loyola University Chicago.  She has served as a pediatric clinical ethicist in Washington, DC developing a true passion for the ethical complexities and challenges experienced in the field of pediatrics. She is published in the American Journal of Bioethics and the American Academy of Pediatrics Journal, Hospital Pediatrics. Her ethical interests are in ethics education within the nursing profession, pediatric ethics, as well as exploring intersectionality and the role it plays in the health outcomes of black women.

Advisory Board

The Center for Ethics and Human Rights Advisory Board is a deliberative body of experts who focus on providing guidance to the Center concerning issues of current ethical concern to nursing practice, education, research, administration, and other matters of concern relating to the Center's mission and goals. The Board recommends policy about issues of concern in Ethics and Human Rights to the ANA Board of Directors.

Advisory Board Members

Nelda Godfrey


Board Chairperson

Term of Appointment 2023-2026

Nelda Godfrey, PhD, ACNS-BC, FAAN, is currently Professor and Associate Dean for Innovative Partnerships and Practice at the University of Kansas School of Nursing.  She has a long history of involvement with ethics, including serving for more than 10 years as a public member of two health system ethics committees. She has taught ethics courses in nursing and in liberal studies, and helped create a liberal arts capstone course entitled “Birth by any Means:  The Ethics of Reproductive Technologies.” 

Dr. Godfrey and colleague Nancy Crigger co-authored the book, “The Making of Nurse Professionals: A Transformational, Ethical Perspective” as a response to the Carnegie Foundation study on Preparing the Professions. Since that time, Dr. Godfrey and her colleagues have been developing a nursing perspective of professional identity formation and expanding the view within nursing to include formation as an important education, practice and policy consideration.

A recent contributor to American Nurse Today, Dr. Godfrey has written widely on ethics, nursing leadership, professional identity and innovative organizational approaches to nursing education.  Her BSN and PhD are from the University of Missouri and her MSN is from the University of Kansas.  She is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Care.

Jennifer Bartlett


Term of Appointment 2021-2024

Dr. Jennifer L. Bartlett, an Associate Professor of Nursing at Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University, earned her PhD in Nursing (focus in Nursing Education)  from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dr. Bartlett has a background in intensive care nursing and has been a nurse educator since 1999. She currently teaches medical-surgical nursing at the undergraduate level, as well as ethics at the graduate level. Dr. Bartlett is third author on the Fundamentals of Nursing: The Art and Science of Person-Centered Care textbook (9th and 10th editions). Dr. Bartlett is a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) with extensive experience in the development, implementation, and evaluation of simulation across the nursing continuum.  Her expertise in nursing education, curriculum development, and assessment and evaluation informs her work in nursing education.

Dr. Bartlett completed a formal two-year ethics consultation training program at Bon Secours Virginia. She has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on nursing ethics and participated in the annual National Nursing Ethics Conference (NNEC) as a planning committee member for almost ten years.  She served as a member of the EAB Ethics Education subcommittee 2016-2018, and has chaired that subcommittee since 2019.. 

Teri Chenot


Term of Appointment: 2021-2024

Dr. Teri Chenot is a Clinical Professor at The Ohio State University College of Nursing. She received her ASN degree from Broward State College. She received her BHS and BSN degrees from Florida Atlantic University. Her graduate education includes an MSN from Florida Atlantic University, an M.Ed. from the University of North Florida (UNF), and an MS in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Thomas University. She received her Ed.D. In Educational Leadership with a cognate in Adult Learning and Patient Safety from UNF. Her three primary areas of research interest include patient safety, quality, and health outcomes.

Dr. Chenot’s clinical nursing background is in women’s, children’s, and community health. She has served in various healthcare leadership positions that included as a Patient Safety Officer at an academic medical center; as a nurse leader for two women’s centers; and as a Nursing Program Specialist for a CDC federal grant for a Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. She has worked in clinics, hospitals, and academic settings.

Dr. Chenot was the Co-Investigator of A Statewide Initiative Integrating Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) Through Academic/Clinical Partnerships to Improve Health Outcomes which was a $45,000 three-year Florida Blue Foundation grant – funded January 2014 – December 2016.

She is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, American Nurses Association, American Organization for Nursing Leadership, Florida Association for Healthcare Quality, Florida Nurses Association (former board member), Florida Organization for Nursing Leadership(former board member), National Academies of Practice, National Association for Healthcare Quality, Northeast Florida Association for Healthcare Quality (former president), Northeast Florida Organization for Nursing Leadership, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, and the Southern Nursing Research Society.

Jess Dillard-Wright


Term of Appointment 2023 - 2024

Jess Dillard-Wright, PhD, MA, RN, CNM (she/they) lives and works in Western Massachusetts. Jess is a fat, queer, genderqueer, feminist, nurse dissident, parent, partner, and activist-scholar. She/they are an Assistant Professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst Elaine Marieb College of Nursing. Before moving to Massachusetts, Jess and family lived in Augusta, Georgia. Jess's BS in Science, Technology, and Culture is from Georgia Institute of Technology; her/their MA in women's history is from Sarah Lawrence College. Jess has MSNs from Medical College of Georgia and Frontier Nursing University. Her/their PhD is from Augusta University where she/they were a Jonas Scholar. Her/their vision for health liberation invites nurses and others to embrace the sociopolitical dimensions of nursing, activating a radical imagination for the profession in order to secure a more just, equitable future for all people. Her/their scholarship resides in the confluence of healthcare, activism, history, and philosophy. Jess works in collaboration with folks across the country and around the world to first imagine and then build worlds that are just, equitable, sustainable, radical. Examples of this work include Nursing Mutual Aid, Call to Action for Health + Liberation alternate nurses week actions, and an ongoing collaborative project on Nursing Futurities.

In addition, Jess was the 2021-22 University of California Irvine Center for Nursing Philosophy fellow. Her/their fellowship focused on the historical ontology of nursing and their implications for nursing ethics. Jess is one of the editors of a recent anthology, Nursing a Radical Imagination: From History and Theory to Action and Alternate Futures, published by Routledge. Jess is interested in community-led, community-accountable health ethics for nursing. Because thinking is communal, Jess is also part of a scholarly collective, the Compost Collaborative. You can find Jess's manuscripts in Nursing Philosophy, Nursing Inquiry, Witness, and Advances in Nursing Science.

Heather Fitzgerald


Term of Appointment 2023-2026

Heather Fitzgerald is a clinical nurse ethicist at Children’s Hospital Colorado. In this role, she provides ethics education, consultation and policy review and development in clinical settings throughout the hospital. Heather co-chairs the Ethics Committee and chairs the Ethics Liaisons Committee at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Her clinical background is in the neonatal intensive care unit, where she frequently encountered ethical issues in the care of patients and families. Participation in both unit-based and hospital-wide ethics committees led to a Master of Science in Healthcare Ethics. Heather is currently pursuing a doctorate in Organizational Ethics.  Prior to her nursing career, Heather produced theatre for 17 years.  Her background in both the humanities and the sciences supports her well in her role.

Danisha Jenkins


Term of Appointment 2021-2024

Danisha Jenkins is a Director of Critical Care and Emergency Services, and is a PhD Candidate at the University of California, Irvine where she studies biopolitical forces in nursing and the implications of nurses as arms of law enforcement.

Annmarie Muñana


Term of Appointment 2023 - 2024

Dr. Annmarie Muñana received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing degrees from Georgetown University. She achieved her Master of Jurisprudence in Health Law from Loyola University Chicago, School of Law. Most recently, she received her Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership from the University of San Francisco. Dr. Muñana is also member of the Circle of Scholars of the Nurses’ Educational Funds, Inc.

Dr. Muñana brings together her love of nursing, passion for education, legal background, and enthusiasm for leadership to advance academic nursing practice and influence regulatory oversight. As a Certified Nurse Educator, she is dedicated to preparing, educating, and promoting nurses and nurse leaders to benefit population health and wellbeing.

As an academic nurse leader, she is focused on efforts to support nursing education to graduate safe, competent, and ethical nurses to become members of a dedicated and caring profession. Looking to the future of nursing, Dr. Muñana’s commitment to nursing leadership and education informs her vision of a diverse nursing workforce that is prepared to meet the needs of the complex and evolving global healthcare landscape.

Stacy Smith


Term of Appointment 2021-2024

Stacy Smith is the Senior Director for Integrated Ethics and Conflict Transformation at Children’s Health in Dallas, Texas. In this role, she leads the Resilience, Integrated Ethics, Staff Support, and Engagement Programs, known collectively as the RISE Programs, at Children’s Health. Stacy Co-Chairs the Institutional Ethics Committee and leads the Children’s Health Ethics Consultation Service. Stacy earned her BSN from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Stacy’s clinical nursing background is in pediatrics, primarily pediatric palliative care and hospice. Her work in this area sparked an interest in bioethics and supporting team members experiencing moral distress.  She completed a Masters of Liberal Studies in Bioethics at Southern Methodist University (SMU) and developed a moral distress consultation program within her institution. Stacy also obtained a Masters in Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management from SMU.

Stacy completed the certificate program in Pediatric Bioethics from the Children’s Mercy Center for Pediatric Bioethics in 2017 and has served as adjunct faculty for that program since. Stacy also holds a graduate certificate in Healthcare Collaboration and Conflict Engagement from SMU. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Nova Southeastern University. Stacy is a Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Pediatric Nurse (CHPPN) and a Healthcare Ethics Consultant – Certified (HEC-C). She joined the Ethics Advisory Board in 2021.

Lucia Wocial


Term of Appointment 2023 - 2026

Dr. Wocial has been a registered nurse since 1985. Her clinical background is neonatal intensive care, including 10 years as a neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist. She has conducted research focused on family decision making in the NICU around withdrawing or withholding treatment. Her current research focuses on moral distress of professional caregivers, with a particular interest on clinicians who practice in the in-patient setting. She is currently the senior clinical ethicist at Medstar Washington Hospital Center (MWHC) in Washington DC. She is the former nurse ethicist and program leader in Nursing Ethics for the Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics (FCME) at Indiana University Health) in Indianapolis, Indiana and remains a senior affiliate faculty member with FCME. She chairs the ethics consultation service sub-committee and is an active member of the ethics consultation service at MWHC.

Dr. Wocial is a certified Healthcare Ethics Consultant and serves on the Commission for Healthcare Clinical Ethics Consultation Certification. She was the project director for the Woltman Inter-professional Communication Project with the Indiana University School of Nursing where she was an adjunct assistant professor and taught applied ethics to undergraduate nursing students. She will be joining the Georgetown University School of Nursing as an adjunct faculty member in 2023, teaching ethics to graduate students. She is a senior associate faculty for Vital Talk. She led the “IMPACT” program at Indiana University Health. IMPACT is a communication skills training program specifically designed to help direct care nurses develop skills in conversations around palliative and end-of-life care.

Dr. Wocial has expertise in ethics and in difficult communication that takes place in the ICU setting, particularly around surrogate decision making. She has been a part of the ethics advisory board’s ethics education subcommittee since 2019. All of her nursing degrees (BS, MS, PhD) are from the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon.

Ian Wolfe


Term of Appointment 2021-2024

Dr. Ian D. Wolfe, staff clinical ethicist at Children’s Minnesota and adjunct faculty at the University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics, earned his PhD in Nursing-with a focus in bioethics, and his MA in Bioethics-with a minor in Public Health and focus on health equity- from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Wolfe has a clinical background in burn, trauma, and pediatric critical care nursing. Dr. Wolfe completed a post-doctoral fellowship in pediatric bioethics at Children’s Mercy Kansas City. Dr. Wolfe has authored a broad range of journal articles that support his main interest which is how social, political, and cultural systems issues affect clinical ethics and care at the bedside.

Dr. Wolfe is the current chair of the Pediatric Ethics Affinity Group at the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. He has chaired and participated in other volunteer activities with state and national nursing organizations such as the American Association of Critical-care Nurses, and Society for Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Wolfe’s current areas of research focus on preventative and integrated ethics, parent-clinician interactions, and the relationship of hospitals to the community.

Code of Ethics for Nurses With Interpretive Statements

(View Only for Members and Non-Members)


Consultation and Clearinghouse

Constituent Member Associations (CMAs), individual nurses, nurse administrators, educators, journal editors, lawyers, physicians, human rights organizations and other health professionals frequently contact the Center. Issues of interest include the creation and participation in ethics committees at the institutional and state level, clarification of ANA position statements, policies and guidelines of the Code for Nurses With Interpretive Statements.

The Center regularly receives calls from nurses seeking advice on specific cases, references, citations and summaries of current literature. Information and guidance related to the implementation of the Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA), advance directives and development of ethics courses and programs are often sought. ANA Organizational Units receive consultation, dissemination of pertinent information on an ongoing basis, as well as, assistance in ensuring that ethical and human rights issues are addressed throughout the organization.

Policy Development

End-of-Life Issues

The former Task Force on the Nurse's Role in End-of-Life Decisions developed position statements on assisted suicide and active euthanasia which were approved by the ANA Board of Directors in December 1994. The Center continues its work on end-of-life issues through activities with the Robert Wood Johnson funded programs such as the Last Acts Campaign. We have participated in curriculum development and teaching activities for the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) offered by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the City of Hope Medical Center. We are a member of Nursing Leadership Academy in End-of-Life Care created by the Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing and supported by the SOROS Foundation. Joan Laurie, a member of the New Jersey State Nurses Association, is coordinating a series of articles that will appear in the American Nurses (TAN). Contact the Center for more information.

See Ethics and Human Rights position statements

Genetic Advances

In the mid 1990s, the Center developed a publication, through a grant program funded by the National Institutes of Health, entitled"Managing Genetic Information: Policies for U.S. Nurses." This publication provides guidance to nurses as they confront the challenges related to handling increasing amounts of genetic information. The Center has applied (in collaboration with other organizations) for additional NIH funding to develop genetics education programs for health professionals.

Through the Center, the ANA along with the American Medical Association and the National Human Genome Research Institute created the National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics. This coalition aims to provide an organized, systematic and national approach to the provision of genetics education for all health care professionals. The Coalition is comprised of leaders from approximately 100 diverse health care professional organizations, consumer and voluntary groups, government agencies, private industry, managed care organizations and genetic professional societies.

Health Care Issues

Using Nursing's Agenda for Health Care Reform as a basis, the Center is tracking the human rights and ethics issues in health care initiatives (e.g. organizational ethics, confidentiality, and privacy, managed care, changing provider mix, health services, for undocumented persons) and the impact on the profession of nursing.

Education and Outreach

The Center maintains contact with the 54 Constituent Member Associations (CMAs) to provide an opportunity for identification and discussion of priority issues within the states and exploration and development of professional and ethical nursing practice. On-site consultation and presentations are provided to CMAs and other organizations such as the Oncology Nursing Society, the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association of Practical and Professional Ethics, and the Association of Law, Medicine and Ethics.

The Center has established liaisons with national bioethics centers and human rights organizations. It has participated in developing and conducting seminars and ethics courses for nursing programs.

The Center promotes dissemination of information on issues of ethics and human rights through the website and its newsletter Issues Update and other articles produced by the Center.

You May Also Like

Know the Code Poster
Presented by Ana
Price from: $21.95
Member Price: $16.95

Item(s) added to cart

Go to cart Continue Shopping