AACN Recognizes Visionary Leaders

A highlight of every NTI is the ceremony honoring visionary leaders in the healthcare community. This year, AACN honored five individuals at a ceremony during Monday’s SuperSession.

Pamela Austin Thompson, chief executive officer emeritus of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), was presented with the 2017 Marguerite Rodgers Kinney Award for a Distinguished Career for her exceptional contributions advocating for nurses to become leaders in their units, in their facilities and throughout the healthcare system. Her nursing career spans more than 40 years. She served 16 years as AONE CEO and senior vice president nursing/chief nursing officer of the American Hospital Association. She continues to consult with leading healthcare organizations on issues related to leadership and nursing, and serves as national program director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Academic Progression in Nursing initiative. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Kathleen Puntillo, professor emerita and research scientist in the School of Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, and Judith Nelson, critical care physician and chief of Palliative Medicine Service at Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center in New York, were honored with a Pioneering Spirit Award for their collaborative efforts on research, writing and education related to the integration of palliative care with critical care. Their work has been instrumental in the shift from viewing palliative care as end of life care to being part of a patient-centered approach to care throughout the trajectory of serious or critical illness, including for patients pursuing aggressive treatments to prolong life, cure disease and restore health.

Kathy Douglas and Carolyn Jones were also honored with a Pioneering Spirit Award for their insightful documentaries about nurses, one offering an insider’s viewpoint, while the other presents an outsider-looking-in perspective. Both films showcase the valuable and varied contributions of nurses to patient care and the healthcare system. Douglas, a former critical care nurse, is chief clinical officer at ShiftHound, which is now part of ABILITY Network, a leading healthcare information technology company. She is also co-founder of the film production company Wise Women Circles. She is being recognized for her conceptual and directorial work on the documentary “NURSES, If Florence Could See Us Now,” released in 2013. Jones is being honored for her award-winning book “The American Nurse: Photographs and Interviews by Carolyn Jones” and follow-up documentary film, released in 2014. For the project, she spent five years interviewing over 100 nurses from across the United States to better understand the role of nurses in the U.S. healthcare system.