By Shawn Kennedy, MA, RN, AJN interim editor-in-chief. (She e-mailed Off the Charts this post at the end of the day yesterday.)
There were no surprise guests today at the American Nurses Association (ANA) House of Delegates meeting here in Washington, DC. Today the House got down to business—Rebecca Patton addressed the House, reminding attendees that current accomplishments were built on work that began long before her presidency. This segued nicely into the insightful panel presentation by past presidents of the ANA, from Jo Eleanor Eliot through to Barbara Blakeny (Beverly Malone was absent). These past presidents reviewed their accomplishments with candor, noting accomplishments as well as regrets. For instance, Eliot noted that in retrospect, she wished that the ANA had developed an implementation plan to go with the proposal for basic educational preparation at the baccalaureate level. Barbara Nichols noted that the “elephant in the room” was collective bargaining, and that the ANA’s work in this area, whether one agreed with it or not, “forced the discussion” on what role and rights and influence nurses should have in their workplaces.
The threads of basic nursing education and collective bargaining ran through all the presidencies. After the distinguished panel and the standing ovation accorded to them, the House turned to resolutions and bylaws changes and clarifications of procedure . . . and this reporter was very grateful for the chocolate distributed by some of the candidates for ANA president.