Publish Date: November 6, 2012
North Carolina perioperative nurses Karen Lemmons, BSN RN CNOR, and Lady Sue Bell, BSN MBA/MHA RN, joined 17 other nurses from 14 states to participate in the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) fourth annual American Nurses Advocacy Institute (ANAI) in Washington, DC, from September 30 through October 2, 2012. All ANAI Fellows were endorsed by their state nurses association for their grassroots experience and demonstrated commitment to support the association.
ANAI is a year-long mentored program designed to develop political leadership skills for growing a cadre of nurses who will influence policy decisions at the state and national levels. The program begins with a three-day training in Washington, DC, that includes education sessions, networking opportunities, and the opportunity to visit the U.S. Capitol to meet with members of Congress and their staff on important nursing topics.
After the face-to-face portion of the program, each participant is asked to identify a project or goals they intend to address for their sponsoring state nurses association over the remaining months of the program. Additionally, ANAI Fellows will participate in regular calls to explore related issues and share projects and activities with each other. Lemmons and Bell have begun work with the North Carolina Nurses Association on identifying a project. Bell said “my experience at the ANAI was so exciting and I learned so much. I am really looking forward to starting the process of building relationships in North Carolina.”
In addition to advocating for nurses outside of AORN, both Lemmons and Bell are active in the North Carolina State Council of periOperative Registered Nurses (NCCORN) and have been working to advance registered nurse circulator legislation in North Carolina. “As chair of NCCORN’s legislative committee, I am looking forward to taking the new tools I acquired at ANAI and using them to better advocate for North Carolina nurses,” said Lemmons.
Lemmons and Bell’s attendance at the Advocacy Institute was sponsored by AORN Government Affairs. AORN will have funding available for two AORN members to attend the Institute in 2013. The program is highly competitive, limited to no more than 24 participants per year. If you are interested in attending in 2013, please contact AORN Government Affairs.