The Academy celebrates its 40th anniversary
Post on 27-Dec-2016
and welcome Honorary Fellows who are non-nursesbering that the meeting was closed, with only insidersrecalled going to the first Academy meeting andthinking, I read all of these people and that everyonewas so welcoming; I was treated like royalty. A benefitfrom those days was that the group was small so thatpeople had an opportunity to really get to know eachother. Maggie McClure (1976) heartily agreed, remem-
Predictably, some things have changed over 40years. We now have 2,067 Fellows, representing 20countries. (In the early years, there was a cap of 500Fellows, which, asMaggieMcClure noted, caused us toworry that our lives were in danger as nursing leaderswaited for a vacancy). We now have 86 Living Legendson what an honor it was to have been selected. ShePresident
The Academy celebrat
Joanne Disch, PhD, RN, FAAN
40 YearsdOnApril 24, 1973, 36 charter Fellows of the American
Academy of Nursing held their first meeting. TenFellows were elected to the Governing Council, andRheba de Tornyay was elected the Academys firstPresident. Joan Shaver, former President of theAcademy (2003e2005), wrote descriptively of the Aca-demys early years while celebrating the Academys30th birthday, considering our age and stage as wehave progressed from early childhood to mature,productive adulthood (2004, p. 3).
I took the opportunity of speaking with a few of ourearly Fellows to get their perceptions of those first days.Muriel Poulin (1974) emphasized that the AmericanNurses Association can be thanked for starting theAcademy, which was a big step ahead for the profes-sion. She noted that the original charter memberswere the chairs of the American Nurses AssociationCommissions and developed the proposal for theAcademy. An interesting side note is that they allagreed not to have their names submitted for that firstcohort of Fellows because they were charged withselecting them. It was a fascinating experiencedall ofthese hard copies of their applications, piled high allover the room.it must have cost a fortune.
Margaret Reynolds (also of the 1974 cohort) reflectedattending.it was wonderfully small, you really got toknow these people.people Id only heard of and got toMessage
s its 40th anniversary
call by their first names. She noted that, from theearliest days, the meetings were structured as scien-tific sessions (all research) and that the expert panelswere eventually created because people were notcoming to the meetings; the intent was to providea place for people to meet and talk about whatshappening, to exchange information in a collegialenvironment.
1973 was a pivotal year in our countrys history formany reasons:
A cease-fire was signed, ending the involvement ofAmerican ground troops in the VietnamWar, and theUS bombing of Cambodia, officially ending 12 years ofcombat in Southeast Asia.
A little known burglar convicted of breaking intothe Watergate complex in Washington DC, wroteto the judge charging a massive cover-up of theburglary.
The Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Actof 1973 was passed, launching a trial federalprogram to promote and encourage the develop-ment of HMOs. The early HMOs were idealisticnonprofit organizations endeavoring to enhancethe delivery of health care to patients whilecontrolling costs.
Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion in the first trimester. Topics that nursing leaders were reading in theAmerican Journal of Nursing included the following:The Two Languages of Nursing and Medicine(Lynaugh and Bates), Primary Nursing Is Alive andWell in the Hospital (Manthey); The PhysiciansAssistantdToday and Tomorrow (Sadler, Sadler,and Bliss); Job-Related Back Injuries in a Hospital(Hoover), and Caring for the Aged (Schwab).
The median household income (in current dollars)was $10,512, and the cost of a first-class stamp was$0.08.
And, on a lighter note, Secretariat won the TripleCrown, and The Godfather won the Academy Awardfor Best Picture.recognized for their extraordinary contributions tonursing and health (N 34). Perhaps of most
importance is that we have also changed how weaccomplish the work of the Academy. Although stillemphasizing an evidence base to our policy work,we now rely heavily on work groups and our expertpanels to assist the board in accomplishing Academygoals. Although Dr. Shaver noted 10 years ago that ourexpert panels had once per year gatherings (Shaver,2004, p. 4), today they are vibrantly active, producingnumerous policy documents, conducting frequentconference calls, and making substantive policyrecommendations to the board on numerous issues.Many of these have been highlighted in my earlierPresidents Messages. Our annual meeting has furtheradvanced the Academys policy focuswith its tagline ofTransforming Healthcare: Driving Policy and withthe creation of the policy dialogues on controversialtopics with speakers from both within and outside theAcademy to explore contemporary issues and engagethe Fellows in critical conversations.
In conclusion, althoughmuch has changed, the corecommitment remains of transforming health care,leading change, and influencing policy with the ulti-mate purpose of improving health. It has beena distinct honor to serve as the Academy president forthese past two years and to have worked with suchextraordinary boards, staff, and Academy colleagues.Thank you all.
r e f e r e n c e
Shaver, J. (2004). AAN organizational age and stage: Reflections.Nurs Outlook, 52, 3e4.
Joanne Disch, Clinical Professor, University of Minne-sota School of Nursing, Minneapolis, MN.
Joanne Disch, PhD, RN, FAANUniversity of Minnesota
School of NursingMinneapolis, MN
Corresponding author: Dr. Joanne DischUniversity of Minnesota
School of Nursing6-101 Weaver-Densford Hall
308 Harvard St., SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455.E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
0029-6554/$ - see front matter 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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The Academy celebrates its 40th anniversaryReference