You are here:--Extraordinary nurses paving the way

Extraordinary nurses paving the way

This year, the American Nurses Association has declared the theme for National Nurses Week to be “Nurses Leading the Way.”

As National Nurses Week approaches, let’s take a look at some of the dynamite professionals in nursing who demonstrate exceptional leadership on both a micro and macro level.

Congresswoman Lois Capps

Congresswoman Lois Capps

Congresswoman Lois Capps represents California’s 24th District. Her background as a nurse has informed her abilities as a healthcare and nurse advocate. According to her website, “Mrs. Capps serves on the powerful Committee on Energy and Commerce. She sits on the Health, Energy & Power, and Environment & the Economy subcommittees. From these posts, Capps focuses on Medicare reform, the nursing shortage, cancer, mental health, energy policy, and the protection of our air and water. Mrs. Capps’ extensive healthcare background informs her work in Congress; she founded and serves as the co-chair of the House Nursing Caucus.”

Melissa Craft, APRN, PhD, CNS, AOCN

A gifted speaker and storyteller herself, Melissa Craft, APRN, PhD, CNS, AOCN, is an oncology nurse, as well as a faculty member and researcher at The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center College of Nursing. She has worked with high-risk breast cancer patients for much of her career and conducts research surrounding the use of expressive writing as a therapeutic intervention for patients with cancer. In this inspiring talk that Craft gave at an Ignite OKC event, she explores the theme of storytelling as an important tool for finding meaning in difficult circumstances.


Mary Wakefield, RN, PhD

Mary Wakefield, RN, PhD

Mary Wakefield, RN, PhD, was appointed by President Barack Obama as administrator to the Health Resources and Services Administration. The agency’s purpose is to improve access to healthcare for those outside the “economic and medical mainstream,” according to the HRSA website.

Of Wakefield, President Obama has said this: “As a nurse, a PhD, and a leading rural health care advocate, Mary Wakefield brings expertise that will be instrumental in expanding and improving services for those who are currently uninsured or underserved,” President Obama said in announcing her appointment. “Under her leadership, we will be able to expand and improve the care provided and address severe provider shortages across the country.”

Wakefield also has been recognized as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and the Institute of Medicine.

Sandee McClowry, RN, PhD, FAAN

Sandee McClowry, RN, PhD, FAAN

Sandee McClowry, RN, PhD, FAAN, developed a program called INSIGHTS into Children’s Temperament. It’s a 10-week program aimed at high-risk kids in the African American and Hispanic communities who are labeled with disruptive disorders. Available to parents, teachers, school nurses and other school personnel, INSIGHTS provides tools and education that aim “to prevent the downward developmental cascade that often begins with minor behavioral problems that evolve into more serious social, behavioral, and academic problems.”

McClowry has her Doctorate in family nursing theory and has conducted extensive research in child temperament, including three clinical trials to assess the efficacy of the INSIGHT intervention. She has been a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing since 1995 and was recently named a Fulbright Scholar.


In every hospital and clinic and school across the country, around the clock, nurses lead patients through the healthcare system.

You coordinate care, make clinical judgments, catch early patient changes, orient and mentor new nurses, heal wounds (both physical and emotional), answer questions and reassure worries. You insert IVs, pull chest tubes, analyze labs and calculate medication doses. You recommend treatments to doctors and then carry them out. You hold a patient’s hand in silence after they’ve received a cancer diagnosis. You manage hundreds of children’s health needs, talk a child down in the midst of an asthma attack while administering nebulizer treatments, give insulin to diabetic students, monitor a seizing child. You bring your expertise into the patient’s home, you’re the lifeline, the communicator, the teacher, the expert.

Each of you, singly, contribute to an enormous and unstoppable wave that is the heart and breath of the healthcare system. On holidays and weekends, in the middle of the night, in patient’s homes, in malls and on airplanes. You show up and lead the way, minute to minute.

By | 2020-04-15T16:36:48-04:00 May 1st, 2014|Categories: Archived|5 Comments

About the Author:


Leave A Comment