2020 Annual Report The American Academy of Nursing (Academy) serves the public and nursing profession by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of nursing knowledge.

A Message from President Eileen M. Sullivan-Marx, PhD, RN, FAAN and Chief Executive Officer Suzanne Miyamoto, PhD, RN, FAAN

At the beginning of 2020, the American Academy of Nursing (Academy) committed to championing wellness and celebrating the nursing profession as part of the World Health Organization’s Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. Little did we know, 2020 would be a year that tested the profession and each of us as individuals in unimaginable ways. Throughout the year, we grieved deeply but we celebrated the small wins. We were isolated yet we learned how to connect with each other in innovative ways. The global coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing effects of systemic racism called upon our profession to raise our voice, use our full talents, and advocate on higher levels.

Over the past year, we have come to understand more fully the extraordinary impact of the Academy’s Fellowship – as leaders, we came together to solve problems, share our expertise, and address structural barriers to advance health equity and champion wellness. We are confident that through trusted partnerships and heightened engagement, the Academy will continue on this path to promote, advance, and achieve better health through nursing knowledge and leadership.

We are pleased to share the American Academy of Nursing’s 2020 Annual Report (January-December). It is a reflection of our collective perseverance and commitment towards a brighter, healthier future.

Impact of the Academy

January — December, 2020


  • Civility
  • Diversity and Inclusivity
  • Leadership
  • Stewardship
  • Transparency
  • Interdisciplinary & Evidence-Based Approaches to Policy
  • Health as a Basic Human Right
  • Respect

(View 2021-2024 Strategic Plan, Vision, Mission, and Values, enacted January 1, 2021.)

Board of Directors

The Academy is governed by a 10-member board of directors that provides strategic direction and financial oversight. Elected by the Fellows, board members serve for two years.

Eileen M. Sullivan-Marx, PhD, RN, FAAN, President, New York University

Kenneth R. White, PhD, AGACNP­-BC, FACHE, FAAN, President-Elect, University of Virginia

Mary E. Foley, PhD, RN, FAAN, Secretary (Through October 2020), University of California San Francisco

Karen Drenkard, PhD, NEA-BC, FAAN, Secretary (Starting October 2020; Board Member January-October 2020), The George Washington University

Kathleen Chavanu Gorman, MSN, RN, FAAN, Treasurer, Children’s National Health System

Jose Alejandro, PhD, RN-BC, MBA, CCM, FACHE, FAAN, University of California Irvine Health

Angela F. Amar, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN, (Started October 2020), University of Nevada Las Vegas

Debra J. Barksdale, PhD, FNP­-BC, ANP-­BC, FAANP, FAAN, Virginia Commonwealth University

Nelda Godfrey, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, FAAN, University of Kansas

Mary Magee Gullatte, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, AOCN, FAAN, Emory Healthcare

Pamela R. Jeffries, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN, The George Washington University


Fellowship in the American Academy of Nursing is designated to nurse leaders whose exceptional contributions to improving health have made real and lasting impact locally and around the globe. In 2020, the Academy inducted 230 Fellows representing 38 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. territory of Guam, as well as 13 countries (Canada, China, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Hong Kong, Liberia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom).

The Academy’s Fellows are experts who serve as the nation’s leaders in government at all levels, hospital and health systems, and policy; academic provosts, deans, and professors in the most prominent education institutions; as well as nurse scientists who have received competitive research funding. The Academy’s over 2,800 Fellows represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the US territories of Guam and the Virgin Islands as well as 35 countries. This includes the Academy's current 71 Living Legends and 58 Honorary Fellows. These leaders are inducted into the organization for their extraordinary contributions to improve health locally and globally.

Want to know how many Fellows are in your state? Contact Claire Holland, Member Engagement Coordinator, at cholland@aannet.org.

The Academy has 202 Fellows from the following countries: Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Lebanon, Liberia, Malawi, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Peru, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.


COVID-19 Policy Priorities

Protect our most vulnerable populations.
Support nurses and healthcare providers.
Increase access, speed, and accuracy of testing.

Read the full list of the Academy's policy actions during the pandemic here.

Fellows on the Frontlines of the Pandemic

In March 2020, the Academy launched a new email communication, COVID Digest, to share Academy actions, stakeholder news, and federal updates relating to the pandemic. We also featured the efforts our Fellows made to increase equitable access to COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, and care; inform their communities and the public on the virus; create innovative solutions in a novel pandemic; and further the science of the nursing profession.

Learn more about our Fellows' efforts in COVID Digest.

COVID-19 Courage Awards

The COVID-19 Courage Awards, made possible through the generous support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), honored the incredible contributions four nurses made to save lives, advance health equity, and protect communities during the pandemic in the categories of innovation, leadership, policy, and science.

International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

American Academy of Nursing Places a Focus on Wellness During the 2020 Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

View more from the Academy's Nurses Month Celebrations, including additional resources for each of the four weekly themes: Self-Care, Recognition, Professional Development, and Community Engagement.

View all of the Academy's Nurses Month videos. (Click each image to enlarge.)
Art is a powerful medium for storytelling and provides inspiration, hope, and healing. The Academy invited Fellows to submit artwork that showcases the courage, care, and compassion the nursing profession exemplifies.


In 2020, the Academy reaffirmed our commitment to supporting actions that eradicate racism and promote equitable health. We cannot have a truly healthy and equitable society without first eliminating all forms of discrimination and hate.

Statement: Racism Affects Health and Wellness and It Must Be Addressed (June 1, 2020)— The Academy reinforces our firm commitment to reducing health inequities and eradicating disparities. As a profession, nurses heal through science, evidence, and compassion. We must not only work to eliminate systemic and institutional racism, personal racism, and unconscious bias, but we must also work to increase the diversity within our own profession and not succumb to the institutional structures and processes that can block openness and prevent change.

Joint Statement: American Academy of Nursing and the American Nurses Association Call for Social Justice to Address Racism and Health Equity in Communities of Color (August 4, 2020)— For far too long, communities of color have been disproportionally suffering as a result of persistent inequities and biases that exist in society. The current unrest worldwide in response to unjust killings of Black and Brown people as well as higher rates of COVID-19 within these communities, has emphasized more clearly the need for social justice reform that addresses racism and realigns structures to enable the attainment of better health regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, social group, or geography. The nursing profession, as leaders of compassionate care, upholds the highest commitment to achieving health equity and combating discriminatory actions.


The Academy has three signature initiatives focused on science, innovation, and leadership: the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science, Edge Runners, and Institute for Nursing Leadership.

Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science

CANS, which celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2020, is the science initiative of the Academy. As the national voice of nursing science, CANS is responsible for formulating and advancing goals related to nursing and healthcare research, scientific training, learning opportunities, and career development.

CANS advocates for increased support of nursing science to benefit all people and the good of society by enhancing communication among nursing scientists and the public, as well as supporting the development, dissemination, and utilization of nursing research. Membership to CANS is open to any individual interested in promoting nursing science and currently consists of over 500 nurse scientists.

CANS shares partnerships with the regional research societies (Eastern Nursing Research Society (ENRS), Midwest Nursing Research Society (MNRS), Southern Nursing Research Society (SNRS), Western Institute of Nursing (WIN), Sigma, the American Nurses Foundation (ANF), and the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR).

State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research

The 2020 State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research, held virtually on September 17-18, 2020, focused on the impact of the environment on health and nurse scientists’ contributions to this expanding field with the theme, The Environment’s Impact on Health.

The 2020 State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research increased participants’ knowledge of the different ways individuals’ and families’ health and well-being can be influenced or changed by their environment, from the impact of climate change to the implications the environments that we live in have on our daily life, and examines the global, national and local effects of environment on the determinants of health.

Read more about the CANS Award Winners.

CANS Special Section of Nursing Outlook - Advancing Sensor Technology in Research

Thank you to the 2020 CANS Leadership & Committees

Edge Runners

Edge Runners are innovative models of care and interventions designed by nurses, which improve patient health, lower costs, and influence policy. These evidence-based solutions bring a new way of thinking to a wide range of health care challenges. The Edge Runner initiative provides a platform to identify and showcase nursing’s remarkable innovative successes to consumers, policymakers, the media, health providers, and business leaders. The Academy, through its Edge Runner program, is mobilizing its Fellows, health leaders, and partner organizations to recognize nurses who are leading the way with novel ideas to transform the health system.

National University Nurse Managed Clinic (NUNMC)

The NUNMC Project sought to shift the paradigm for the provision of healthcare services by taking the interprofessional healthcare team directly to the community to deliver primary care services onsite at designated locations throughout underserved neighborhoods in south Los Angeles County, at no cost to the patients served. This novel approach is in direct contrast to the existing healthcare system, which expects patients to travel to the healthcare facility and to have the finances to pay for the services rendered. The NUNMC team has been providing comprehensive primary care services and monitoring trending healthcare outcomes since 2016.

Thank you to the 2020 Edge Runner Review Committee

Institute for Nursing Leadership

The Academy’s Institute for Nursing Leadership (INL), which launched in 2014, focuses on supporting and promoting the role of nurse leadership in key decision-making positions at the local, state, and national level.

One of the key activities led by the INL is a signature event held prior to the Academy’s annual policy conference. This event brings together thought leaders within healthcare practice, policy, and research to offer strategies and advice that bring a new lens to complex challenges. The Academy partnered with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support the INL signature event in 2020.

Critical Conversation on Racism and Health Equity

Offered in partnership with the American Academy of Nursing’s Diversity and Inclusivity Committee and with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

This critical conversation provided participants with insights and reflections that can be translated into actionable strategies that promote health equity and racial justice within their community through authentic nursing leadership.

Thank you to the 2020 INL Leadership


In Crisis and Calm: Leading With Purpose

The 2020 Transforming Health, Driving Policy Conference, held virtually October 29-31, 2020, titled In Crisis and Calm: Leading with Purpose, featured timely discussions from nurse leaders. This conference provided participants with knowledge and insights that can be translated into innovative, creative, and sustainable change in the individual, team, and organizational environments for policy impact.

2020 Academy Award Winners











2020 Policy Priorities

The following actions show the depth and breadth of the Academy’s work. From policy makers to the public, the goal is to share these priorities with those that seek to learn more about the Academy, help advance strong partnerships, and increase the impact we make in the health policy landscape. In 2020, the Academy had 52 direct policy actions.

Advance Health Equity & Champion Wellness

The Academy advances policies that closely consider the social determinants of health. Where individuals were born, live, work, attend school, or travel, all impact their wellness. Moreover, the need grows to reduce the impact of violence, toxic stress, and other environmental factors, on the individual, the family, and the community. The Academy believes to truly improve health, policies must expand access to quality care through innovative approaches, aimed at eliminating health disparities. To safeguard our future, the Academy champions the wellness and safety of not only children and vulnerable populations, but of every individual in any location during all health stages.

Promote Innovation & Sustainability

The Academy advances policies that adopt modernizations which are sustainable and effective over time. This includes technologies, treatments, and models of care. Policies that recognize providers for their expertise, education, and clinical training amplify patient choice. Competition in the healthcare provider market increases access and reduces cost while improving quality. Moreover, innovation in the health care industry, as well as emerging practices, must be tested and advanced for heightened impact and outcomes. This includes necessary investments in research and scientific careers.

Reduce Patient, Provider, & System Burden

The Academy advances policies that provide patients, providers, and systems, the ability to give and receive optimal care. This requires efforts to reduce regulatory burden on daily practice while balancing patient privacy protections. In order to achieve the goal of placing the patient at the center of care delivery, policies must equally support providers and systems.

Jonas Policy Scholars

The Academy continues its partnership with the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare in the form of its Jonas Policy Scholars Program. The current cohort has presented thought-provoking Peer-to-Peer on Policy webinars, received mentorship by highly recognized policy leaders within the National Policy Mentoring Council, and attended a virtual policy immersion program.

National Academy of Medicine Distinguished Nurse Scholar-in-Residence Program

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Distinguished Nurse Scholar-in-Residence, supported for nearly 30 years by the American Academy of Nursing, the American Nurses Association, and the American Nurses Foundation, is a year-long opportunity for a Fellow of the Academy to engage with other scholars at NAM while helping to develop health policy at the federal level.

The 2020 Scholar, Ashley Darcy-Mahoney, PhD, NNP, FAAN, is a tenured Associate Professor at the George Washington University (GWU) School of Nursing and the Interim Director of the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute at GWU. She also continues to practice as a neonatal nurse practitioner with Mednax. As a neonatal nurse practitioner and researcher, she has incorporated a neonatology, infant health, and developmental pediatrics lens throughout her career to promote optimal outcomes for infants and children.

Expert Panels

Expert Panels are one of the major forces within the Academy for developing new knowledge, promoting collaboration, and shaping policy. Fellows leverage their expertise in developing outcomes that provide the critical knowledge, analysis, summary, and integration for transforming health policy and practice. The Expert Panels advance evidence-based innovations in health care delivery to address the health needs of populations, including diverse, at-risk, and disenfranchised populations. These take the form of policy proposals, testimony, manuscripts, policy briefs, and position statements.

EXPERT PANEL LEADERSHIP (Through October 2020)


  • Chair: Judy Verger, PhD, CRNP, CRNP-AC, FCCM, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Lola Coke, PhD, ACNS-BC, RN-BC, FAHA, FPCNA, FAAN


  • Chair: Pamela Z. Cacchione, PhD, RN, CRNP-BC, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN-BC, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN


  • Chair: Deborah Kenny, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Elizabeth Peter, PhD, RN, FAAN


  • Chair: Elizabeth Reifsnider, PhD, WHNP, FAANP, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Joann Silbert-Flagg, DNP, CRNP, IBCLC, FAAN


  • Chair: Kimberly S. Glassman, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Maureen McCausland, DNSc, RN, FAAN


  • Chair: Julia Snethen, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Eileen Fry-Bowers, PhD, JD, RN, CPNP-PC, FAAN


  • Chair: Cathy Meade, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Patricia K. Bradley, PhD, RN, FAAN


  • Chair: Jeanne Pfeiffer, DNP, MPH, RN, CIC, FAPIC, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Sharon Vanairsdale, MS, APRN, ACNS-BC, NP-C, CEN, FAAN


  • Chair: Paul Kuehnert, DNP, RN, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Teddie Potter, PhD, RN, FAAN


  • Chair: Wendy Henderson, PhD, MSN, CRNP, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Joachim Voss, PhD, RN, ACRN, FAAN


  • Chair: Allison P. Squires, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Karen Moore, DNP, APRN, ANP-BC, FNP-C, FAANP, FAAN


  • Chair: Sharon J. Tucker, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Theresa Beckie, PhD, MN, RN, FAHA, FAAN


  • Chair: PJ Haylock, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Katheren Koehn, MA, RN, FAAN


  • Chair: Mollie Cummins, PhD, RN, FACMI, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Rosemary Kennedy, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN


  • Chair: J. Craig Phillips, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Sheldon Fields, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, AACRN, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN


  • Chair: M. Cynthia Logsdon, PhD, WHNP-BC, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Seonae Yeo, RNC, PhD, FAAN


  • Chair: Kelly Wolgast, DNP, RN, FACHE, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Alicia Rossiter, DNP, FNP, PPCNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN


  • Chair: Jane M. Flanagan, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, ANP-BC, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Marlaine Smith, RN, PhD, AHN-BC, FAAN


  • Chair: Harleah Buck, PhD, RN, FPCN, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Sharon Kozachik, PhD, RN, FAAN


  • Chair: Lusine Poghosyan, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Phyllis A. Solari-Twadell, PhD, RN, MPA, FAAN


  • Chair: Ukamaka Oruche, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Elizabeth Bonham, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN


  • Chair: Eileen T. Lake, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: AkkeNeel Talsma, PhD, RN, FAAN


  • Chair: Marie Ann Marino, EdD, RN, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Annie Lewis O’Connor, NP-BC, MPH, PhD, FAAN


  • Chair: Versie Johnson-Mallard, PhD, ARNP, FAAN
  • Vice Chair: Elizabeth A. Kostas-Polston, PhD, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN


From 2019 to 2020, email communications sent by the Academy almost tripled — 186 in 2020 vs 68 in 2019. At the same time, the average open rate for emails sent by the Academy increased to 39.4% — the industry average is 25.5%.

The Academy's social media presence also grew over the past year — we have more followers than ever on our Facebook (up 1%), Twitter (up 19%), and LinkedIn (up 39%) platforms.

The Academy has four newsletters that are centered on membership updates, policy news, COVID news, and quarterly updates from the Board of Directors.

2020 President's Messages in Nursing Outlook, the official journal of the American Academy of Nursing:
2020 Policy Briefs Written by Academy Expert Panel Members and Published in Nursing Outlook
Excellence in Education (tie)

Projections of Progress Toward the 80% Bachelor of Science in Nursing Recommendation and Strategies to Accelerate Change, Joanne Spetz, PhD, FAAN

A Model to Evaluate Data Science in Nursing Doctoral Curricula, Kimberly D. Shea, PhD, RN, Barbara B. Brewer, PhD, RN, FAAN, Jane M. Carrington, PhD, RN, FAAN, Mary Davis, PhD, RN, Sheila Gephart, PhD, RN, FAAN, Anne Rosenfeld, PhD, RN, FAAN

Excellence in Practice

Ethical Principles and Guidelines of Global Health Nursing Practice, Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, Jeanne Leffers, PhD, RN, FAAN, Jackline Mayaka, MSN, RN

Excellence in Research

Sexual and Gender Minority Health Research in Nursing, Kasey B. Jackman, PhD, Jordon D. Bosse, MS, Michele J. Eliason, PhD, Tonda L. Hughes, PhD, RN, FAAN


Thank you to our Academy Fellows who volunteer their time and expertise by serving on one or more of the organization’s committees.

2020 Financial Report

Actuals as of May 2021


Gifts to the Rheba de Tornyay Development Fund and the Academy’s restricted funds support the organization by bolstering our national impact. The Academy is able to meet its vision of transforming health policy and practice through nursing knowledge and leadership through each Fellow’s generosity of time and philanthropic donations. These gifts ensure that the collective voice of the Academy is represented during key policy conversations and helps to advance our mission.

The Academy recognizes and sincerely thanks the following donors who made gifts in 2020.

Please note that donors have the option to provide an unrestricted and/or restricted contribution. If a donor opted to provide a gift for a specific restricted fund to support one of the Academy’s initiatives – the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science, Edge Runners, Institute for Nursing Leadership, and/or the NAM Distinguished Nurse Scholar-in-Residence – it is indicated next to the donor’s name to demonstrate their support. (See legend below.) Amounts reflect the cumulative contribution by a donor over the specified giving period and if the donor designated the gift (partial or full) towards a restricted fund. The American Academy of Nursing is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and all contributions are tax-deductible.

* CANS Restricted Donation

** Edge Runners Restricted Donation

*** INL Restricted Donation

****CANS, Edge Runner, and INL Restricted Donations

For any questions on the development work of the Academy, please contact our Chief Advancement Officer, Caroline Kane, at ckane@aannet.org.

Academy Staff

Suzanne Miyamoto, PhD, RN, FAAN, Chief Executive Officer

Caroline Kane, MS, Chief Advancement Officer

Christine Murphy, MA, Senior Director of Policy

Elena Romick, Senior Events Manager

Rachael James, BSN, Science and Program Manager

Ellie Cook, Strategic Outreach Manager

Claire Holland, Member Engagement Coordinator

Austin Hunte, Program Coordinator

Tawanna Barnes, Accounting and Office Assistant

Sonya Desai, Policy Assistant