1. Kennedy, Maureen Shawn MA, RN, news director

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Citing a major threat that could dismantle the ANA, President Barbara Blakeney urged delegates at this year's house of delegates in Minneapolis in June to pass resolutions that would strengthen the organization.


According to Blakeney, "irrefutable evidence of a credible threat to the association" comes on the heels of last year's house, when the ANA underwent extensive reorganization (see AJN Reports, August 2003).


Blakeney, who was reelected president of the association at this year's house, was referring to the California Nurses Association (CNA), formerly affiliated with the ANA, that is mounting an aggressive campaign to get nurses throughout the country to join CNA-affiliated unions. The CNA split from the ANA in 1995.


"It is the expressed goal of the CNA to encourage as many states as possible to leave the ANA," Blakeney told the delegates. "There is no bigger challenge we face than stopping the CNA's effort to destroy and replace ANA as the voice of nursing."


Urging the approximately 600 members of the house of delegates to vote in favor of an automatic dues "escalator" (which will allow the ANA to raise dues in keeping with changes in the Consumer Price Index until 2010), Blakeney said a dues increase, designed to fund programs that will benefit the constituent member associations (CMAs), was essential to strengthen the association.


The dues increase was approved by more than 70% of the members. Delegates from small CMAs were vocal, however, about their fears of losing members because of the increase.


Also, the ANA now stipulates that a CMA will be responsible for dues payments unless two-thirds of its members vote to disaffiliate.



Other actions by the house of delegates included passing resolutions that direct the ANA


* to encourage initiatives for modifying work environments that are based on the Institute of Medicine's report Keeping Patients Safe: Transforming the Work Environment for Nurses.


* to oppose political or ideological interference in scientific inquiry and research.


* to develop a model of "clinical privileging" that supports the professional autonomy of advanced practice nurses.


* to urge meat and poultry producers to stop the nontherapeutic use of antibiotics.


* to condemn the incarceration and death sentences of Bulgarian nurses by the Libyan government.




The November presidential election was a major focus of the meeting, as was fund raising to support the ANA-endorsed Democratic candidate Senator John Kerry (D-MA). During the opening session, Kerry phoned into the meeting, greeted attendees, reiterated his support for nurses, and discussed his ideas "for building a stronger America that works for everybody." Kerry received a standing ovation.


U.S. surgeon general Richard Carmona, a former nurse, was a keynote speaker and told nurses "we must become a nation that embraces prevention and moves away from our treatment-oriented system." Carmona said during his tenure he will focus on prevention, preparedness, and elimination of health disparities, all areas in which nurses' involvement would be key.

FIGURE. U.S. surgeon... - Click to enlarge in new windowFIGURE. U.S. surgeon general Richard Carmona addressed the ANA convention, explaining his focus on preparedness, prevention, and health disparities.


Honors went to Luther Christman and Imogene King, who were inducted into the ANA Hall of Fame. Christman was recognized for creating the practitioner-teacher role while dean at Rush University College of Nursing in Chicago (which he also founded). King was acknowledged for her many contributions to advancing nursing theory and practice.