American Nurses Foundation Announces New Washington-Based Fellowship Fund
The American Nurses Foundation, the charitable and philanthropic arm of the American Nurses Association (ANA), recently announced a new effort to fund a Washington, D.C.-based fellowship focused on maximizing nurses' placement at the highest policymaking tables and engaging and fostering nurses' policy activism. The effort was inspired by the publication of the book Nurses Making Policy: From Bedside to Boardroom by editors Rebecca M. Patton, MSN, RN, CNOR, FAAN; Margarete L. Zalon, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, FAAN; and Ruth Ludwick, PhD, RN-BC, CNS, FAAN.
The foundation's new Public Policy Fellowship Fund is being launched with contributions from nurse leaders and the editors' royalties. More than $25,000 has been contributed to date. Nurses Making Policy: From Bedside to Boardroom is a practical, how-to book written to help advanced nursing students and nurse leaders develop health policy skills to advocate for patients from the bedside to the larger political arena. It also describes the requisite steps for facilitating policy change-from understanding the political system through activating a plan and beyond. Woven throughout the book are the major themes of ethics, leadership, safety and the quest for high quality care.
Editor and author Rebecca Patton believes nurses must be engaged in and supportive of advocacy work. "The Fellowship Fund will ensure that nursing influence through policy development extends to every level of government-including the Executive Branch," Patton said. She challenged every nurse to support the fund and get involved in advocacy within their community. "It is an investment in our future as nurses, Patton said. "We must ensure individual nurses can participate in policy discussions and decisions."
"The future is in our hands. It's critical as nurses that we ensure our voices are part of every health-care policy discussion," said Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, PhD, RN, MBA, FAAN, chair of the American Nurses Foundation and one of the fund's first donors. "The Fellowship Fund will help enable that to happen if nurses support it."