The American Nurses Foundation, the charitable and philanthropic arm of the American Nurses Association announced a new effort to fund a Washington-based fellowship focused on maximizing nurses’ placement at the highest policymaking tables and engaging and fostering nurses’ policy activism, according to a news release. The effort was inspired by the publication of the book “Nurses Making Policy: From Bedside to Boardroom” by author and editor Rebecca M. Patton, MSN, RN, CNOR, FAAN, and editors 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.
The book was 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.
“The fellowship fund will ensure that nursing influence through policy development extends to every level of government — including the executive branch,” Patton said in the release. “It is an investment in our future as nurses. We must ensure individual nurses can participate in policy discussions and decisions.”
Patton challenges nurses to support the fund and get involved in advocacy within their community, according to the release.
“The future is in our hands,” Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, PhD, RN, MBA, FAAN, chairwoman of the American Nurses Foundation and one of the fund’s first donors, said in the release. “It’s critical as nurses that we ensure our voices are part of every healthcare policy discussion. The fellowship fund will help enable that to happen if nurses support it.”
Contributions can be made to the foundation’s Public Policy Fund through www.givetonursing.org. The book can be purchased through Springer Publishing Company or Nursesbooks.org.