What's it like to be a fellow?
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A m e r i c a n A c a d e m y o f N u r s i n g
AAN News & Opiniongenetics. For example, the SACGTAccess Work Group requested informa-tion from ONS on issues related to reim-bursement for cancer genetic counselingservices provided by advanced practicenurses. The SIG membership wassurveyed, and nurses across the countryprovided input to the work group.
The mission of the ONS Foundationis to generate financial resources toachieve the ONS mission of promotingexcellence in cancer nursing and high-quality cancer care. Since its inception,the ONS Foundation has distributedmore than $4 million in grants, scholar-ships, and awards. To date, theFoundation has funded one study thatfocused on determining the educationalneeds and knowledge of its membersabout cancer genetics. Informationgained from this study was used tosupport a grant submitted to the National
Cancer Institute requesting funding forregional workshops for advanced practicenurses in cancer genetics.4
In summary, ONS’s organizationalstructure and its members’ expertise areused to address this strategic issue ofcancer genetics through education, posi-tions, products, legislation, liaisons withother organizations, and research efforts.5Nursing organizations throughout theworld can use these strategies individuallyand collectively to educate their members.The increasing availability of onlineeducation will allow organizations with alarger membership base, such as ONS, toshare information and strategies withothers. Oncology nurses will remain at theforefront as the integration of new discov-eries into practice unfolds, and nursesworldwide will participate in the evolu-tion of practice.
ONS has been successful in getting
actively involved in health policy. Wehope other nursing associations will takeup the challenge of influencing healthpolicy. ■
1. Collins FS. The Human Genome Projectand the future of medicine. Ann N Y AcadSci 1999;882:42-55.
2. Rieger PT. The gene genies. Am J Nurs2000;100(10):87-90.
3. Oncology Nursing Society. Cancer predisposi-tion genetic testing and risk assessment coun-seling. Oncol Nurs Forum 2000;27:1349.
4. Rieger PT. Bringing oncology nursing frontand center. Nurs Outlook 2000;48:241.
5. Peterson SA, Rieger PT, Marani SK,deMoor C, Gritz ER. Oncology nurses’knowledge, practice, and educational needsregarding cancer genetics. Am J Med Genet2001;98:3-12.
6. Oncology Nursing Society. The role of theoncology nurse in cancer genetic coun-seling. Oncol Nurs Forum 2000;27:1348.
Becoming a fellow of the AmericanAcademy of Nursing typically is an
exciting experience, yet rarely do we sitback and reflect on the experience. Thiscolumn presents the experiences of oneof our newest fellows, Dr NancyLangston, along with the experiences ofone of our fellows, Dr StephanieFerguson, who was inducted into theacademy in 1999.Langston: During the mid-1970s, I hadthe privilege of working with one of theearly fellows. She described the academyas a think tank for significant social issues,including those of our own profession.She explained that the academy fellowswere nurses who had demonstrated theirability to contribute to dialogue aboutthose issues. I was quite impressed withthis idea and have therefore paid attentionto the activities of the academy throughthese soon-to-be 30 years. During all these
years, I have thought that perhapssomeday I would make contributions thatwould be deemed appropriate forselecting me to be a fellow.
The prominence of the academy in theintellectual life of nursing is so evidentthat new fellows feel especially honored bytheir colleagues. I believe that fellowship isalso a great responsibility. Fellowshipsignals a belief in our potential for extra-ordinary contributions on the basis of pastachievements. Those contributions willrequire that we move beyond our ownspecific realms of work and become states-persons for the greater good of society. Insummary, fellowship for me is a greathonor and a humbling responsibility.Ferguson: I have enjoyed my fellowship inthe academy, and I have made an effort tobe active in the work of the academy. Soonafter my induction, I was invited to serveon the Child Family Expert Panel because
of my research and other work related tochildren and families. I have enjoyed beinga part of this group and participating in theongoing dialogue that occurs on thepanel’s list serve. In addition to providingan opportunity to address the needs ofchildren and family from a strong nursingleadership perspective, membership onthis expert panel has proved to be aninvaluable networking and collaboratingopportunity.
I was also invited to join the MediaCommittee because of my expertise inpublic policy and health policy and myexperiences with the media while workingin various gubernatorial posts in Virginia,as a White House Fellow with theHonorable Secretary Donna E. Shalala in1996-1997, and as a leader in advocacy andpublic policy for the Association ofWomen’s Health, Obstetrics and NeonatalNurses (AWHONN). This year, I have
What’s It Like to Be a Fellow?
VOLUME 49 • NUMBER 6 NURSING OUTLOOK282
A m e r i c a n A c a d e m y o f N u r s i n g
AAN News & Opinion
283NURSING OUTLOOK NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2001
served as Chair of the Media Committee.My experiences as a fellow have been bothexciting and rewarding. I advise all newfellows to seek out leadership opportuni-ties. The success of the academy dependson the active participation of all fellows.
Both of these fellows remind us what
membership in the Academy means. Theybring enthusiasm and energy to the asso-ciation. The expert panels are one way tobecome more active in the association.Another way is to join the committeessuch as the Publication Advisory Com-mittee. For more information on the
academy’s expert panels or committees,please go to the academy’s Web site athttp://www.nursingworld.org/aan/ or con-tact Terri Gaffney at [email protected] formore information. ■
Nursing—One Strong Voice?
Carole Kenner, DNS, RNC, FAAN
In the early 1980s the American NursesAssociation (ANA) published a book
called “One Strong Voice.” It representedthe history of nursing in the UnitedStates. The message of that book stillholds true today. Yet does nursing haveone strong voice? Every nursing journaland newsletter has information about thedire straits of modern nursing, the nursingshortage, the lack of status, the low pay,the long hours, and the aging of theprofession. Special interest nursing groupsare marching to the “hill” to push theircause. But where is the one strong voice?Congress is allocating more monies tosupport nursing education and research.Historian Joan Lynaugh has reported thatresearch dollars came because nursinggroups united to call on Congress to createfirst a Center for Nursing Research that isnow the National Institute of NursingResearch. According to Lynaugh, thiseffort was a good example of how nursingacted in a very focused manner and shared
a common goal. Nursing exhibited onestrong voice to meet a goal to advancethe discipline. In a recent Nurses Week,Mark Jorgensen wrote an article called“Howling at the Moon.” He states thatnurses need to unite, to use their collab-orative/collective power to gain supportto improve working conditions, salaries,and status; instead we tend to “howl atthe moon.” The other key is that centralin our message is to improve the healthof the American public. Even messages ofthe shortage need to be framed in thecontext of the health of the nation.
Congress does not listen to nurseswhen individual groups bring forthinitiatives focusing on their singularbenefit instead of uniting for the cause ofnursing’s contribution to the health ofthe American public. Congress listens toconstituencies that represent large num-bers, deliver consistent messages, andbase their requests in evidence to supportthose requests. Nursing has trouble
doing that. Working together withinnursing, across specialties, is not easy. Butit is numbers and consistent messages thatearn the ear of Congress. No longer can weafford to sit back and play the victim role.No longer can we sit back and championonly a singular, narrowly focused cause fora specialty group. We must unite to bringforth one collective voice to aggressivelyaddress the problems of workforce issuesand professional status—yes, as they relateto nursing but for the goal of improvedhealth. The AAN is one vehicle to assist inbringing constituencies together. After all,many of its members are the leadership ofthe specialty and other nursing associa-tions. Does it not make sense that we linkthese leaders together and put forth ahealth care agenda to support strategiesthat will address the critical contemporaryissues of nursing to improve the health ofthe American public? We need one strongvoice. Are you ready to help champion thecause? ■
American Academy of NursingCall for Applications
OverviewThe American Academy of Nursing
(AAN), in partnership with other prestigiousorganizations, offers three Scholar-in-Residence programs. The programs are
designed to provide the opportunity andsupport for mid- or senior-level careernurse leaders and potential leaders to beimmersed in national health care policy,health services issues, and nursing research.
The ProgramsThe AAN/American Nurses Founda-
tion/Institute of Medicine (IOM) NurseScholar-in-Residence Program involves thenurse scholar in shaping health policy by