Nurse Leaders on Modern Healthcare's 100 Most Powerful Survey
Listed in order of rank on the 100 Most Powerful survey.p>
10. Linda Aiken, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, FRCN
Aiken is the Claire M. Fagin Leadership Professor of Nursing, a professor of
sociology, and director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at
the University of Pennsylvania in Pittsburg. She is also a senior fellow at the
Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics and Research Associate in the
Population Studies Center. Before joining the University of Pennsylvania faculty
in 1988, Aiken was vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Aiken
is a leading researcher on health workforce and heath care outcomes issues in
addition to teaching graduate and undergraduate courses. She is the first nurse
to receive enough votes to rank among the top 10 on the Modern Healthcare 100
Most Powerful survey.
25. Barbara Blakeney, RN, MS
Blakeney is president of the American Nurses Association, a professional
organization representing the nation's RNs. She is currently on a leave of
absence from her job as director of health services for the homeless at the
Boston Public Health Commission. Her prior experience includes working as
principal public health nurse for homeless services and addiction services at
the Division of Public Health, Department of Health and Hospitals in Boston,
Massachusetts. Blakeney also worked as a primary care nurse practitioner at
Amherst Medical Associates in Amherst, Massachusetts, and at Boston City
Hospital. She also appeared on Modern Healthcare's 100 Most Powerful list in
2003 and 2002.
35. Rose Ann DeMoro
DeMoro is executive director of the California Nurses Association (CNA), a
labor union representing 58,000 nurses at 165 facilities. While DeMoro is not a
nurse, the organization she leads has become a powerful force in the nation's
most populous state and has helped pass innovative laws such as mandatory
nurse-to-patient staffing ratios. DeMoro's background is as a union organizer
with the United Food and Commercial Workers, the American Federation of State
County and Municipal Workers and the Western Conference of Teamsters, where she
helped unionize Hollywood producers. She was hired by the CNA in 1986. DeMoro
was also appeared on Modern Healthcare's 100 Most Powerful list in 2003 and
37. Pamela Thompson, RN, BSN, MS, FAAN
Thompson is chief executive officer of the American Organization of Nurse
Executives (AONE), a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association. AONE is a
national organization of nearly 4,000 nurses who design, facilitate and manage
care. Prior to joining AONE, Thomson was vice president for the children's
hospital, obstetrics, psychiatric services and strategic planning at
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. She served as
president of the New Hampshire Organization of Nurse Executives and was the
first nurse ever elected chairman of the board of trustees of the New Hampshire
Hospital Association. Thomson served as a board member of AONE and she is a
board member of the National Patient Safety Foundation. Thompson appeared on
last year's list.
52. Geraldine "Polly" Bednash, RN, Ph.D., FAAN
Bednash has been executive director of the American Association of Colleges
of Nursing (AACN), which represents more than 570 schools of nursing nationwide,
since 1989. She has been with AACN since 1986. Before joining AACN, Bednash was
assistant professor at the school of nursing at George Mason University and a
Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Faculty Fellow in Primary Care at the University of
Maryland. Her experience includes development of resource policy for the
Geriatric Research, Evaluation and Clinical Centers of the Veterans
Administration; serving as a nurse practitioner and consultant to the family
practice residency program at DeWitt Army Hospital at Fort Belvoir, Virginia;
and service with the Army Nurse Corps in Vung Tau, Vietnam.
56. Cheryl L. Johnson, RN
Johnson is in her second term as president of United American Nurses (UAN), a
union that represents 100,000 RNs in 26 states. She has been a nurse for 30
years and is a veteran labor leader. Johnson is a working critical care nurse at
the University of Michigan Health Systems in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Johnson played
a critical role in the creation of UAN, the labor arm of the American Nurses
Association, in 1999, and was elected first president and chair of the
organization. In 2001, Johnson guided the UAN to its affiliation with the
AFL-CIO and was elected to the AFL-CIO Executive Council, the union's governing
body. She was elected president of the Michigan Nurses Association in October
2003, and she previously served in various leadership roles in the Michigan
60. Diane Mancino, Ed.D., RN, CAE
Mancino is executive director of the National Student Nurses Association. She
manages and directs all of the association's operations, programs, activities
and other affairs. Mancino also serves as executive director of the NSNA
foundation. This is the first year that Mancino appeared on the 100 Most
Sources: Interviews, University of Pennsylvania, American Nurses Association,
California Nurses Association, American Organization of Nurse Executives,
American Association of Colleges of Nursing, United American Nurses, National
Student Nurses Association.
By Robert Scally, assistant editor
Nurses are gaining a new level of respect and attention in the world of
health care in the United States, according to a recently released poll.
Six nurse leaders and one nurse labor organizer landed prominent places on
Modern Healthcare magazine's 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare list for
For the first time in the three years the popular poll of Modern Healthcare
readers has been conducted, a nurse, Linda Aiken, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, FRCN, ranked
in the top 10. Aiken ranked at No. 10 alongside the likes of David Brailer,
national health care information technology coordinator for the Department of
Health and Human Services-who was No. 1 on the list-Sen. Bill Frist (No. 2),
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (No. 3), President George Bush (No. 4) and Sen.
Edward Kennedy (No. 5).
Aiken's place in the poll is especially notable because she is an educator
and researcher who does not represent a major constituency such as an
association or labor union, isn't a powerful politician nor a prominent
corporate or health care executive.
Instead, Aiken is, professor of sociology and director of the Center for
Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania. She is
also Claire M. Fagin Leadership professor in nursing, a professorship named for
the dean emeritus of the University of Pennsylvania nursing school. She is known
for her highly regarded research into the relationship of nursing care to
patient safety and health care outcomes.
"It's pretty amazing because when people think of power in health care they
think of money," Aiken told NurseZone.
Aiken admitted that she was shocked to have received enough votes for
inclusion on the list and to rank ahead of the likes of politicos such as
senator and presidential candidate John Kerry (No. 12), Tom Ridge, secretary of
the Department of Homeland Security (No. 16) and corporate executives such as
Jay Grinney, chief executive officer of HealthSouth Corp. (No. 41) and Trevor
Fetter, president and chief executive officer of Tenet Healthcare Corp. (No.
"It's a wonderful statement about our profession to get the votes to be
included and that the other nurses were included too," Aiken said.
While Aiken's place in the top 10 of the 100 Most Powerful list is
impressive, so is the fact that six other nurse leaders made the list, the
highest number of nurses in the list's three-year history.
"Our readers have recognized that the true patient advocate is the nurse,"
said David Burda, editor of Modern Healthcare. "It's also a reflection of our
reader's interest in patient safety, too."
The 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare list was compiled from nominations
and votes submitted by the readers of Modern Healthcare, a weekly health care
industry trade publication with a circulation of 72,000, Burda said.
The magazine's readers nominated candidates for the Most Powerful list via
its Web site, submitting a total of 9,611 nominations.
The Modern Healthcare staff then placed 300 people who had received the most
nominations on a final ballot, which was posted on the publication's Web site.
From June 28 to July 23, readers voted via the Web site for the 10 candidates
who they believe should make the final list of the 100 Most Powerful People in
According to the Modern Healthcare Web site, 17,894 ballots were submitted
for a total of 178,940 votes cast. As a result of the balloting "the 100 people
who received the most votes made the final list with the ranking determined by
number of votes received," according to a statement on the Web site.
The final list of the 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare for 2004 was
published Aug. 23.
Besides Aiken, the other nurse leaders on the list included:
- No. 25, Barbara Blakeney, RN, MS, president of the American Nurses
Association, a professional organization representing the nation's RNs.
- No 35, Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the California Nurses
Association (CNA), a labor union.
- No. 37, Pamela Thompson, RN, BSN, MS, FAAN, chief executive officer of the
American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE).
- No. 52, Geraldine "Polly" Bednash, RN, Ph.D., FAAN, executive director of
the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).
- No. 56, Cheryl L. Johnson, RN, president of United American Nurses (UAN), a
- No. 60, Diane Mancino, Ed.D., RN, CAE, executive director of the National
Student Nurses Association.
"People are starting to realize how much power we [nurses] do have, but have
not yet exercised," said Cheryl L. Johnson, RN, president of UAN.
Johnson pointed to Aiken's placement on the list as an indication that the
health care industry is starting to recognize the importance of factors such as
proper staffing levels and nurses' critical role in improving patient safety and
achieving positive patient outcomes.
The increasing power of labor unions was also highlighted in the voting with
the inclusion of both Johnson and Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the CNA,
making the list.
Although DeMoro's background is not as a nurse but instead as a labor
organizer, she has made the list all three years it has been in existence.
DeMoro's union has grown rapidly and now represents 58,000 nurses. It has also
been behind significant, yet controversial, legislation such as California's
nurse-to-patient ratio law, which is having an impact on the national debate
over health care costs and quality.
Nursing education and nursing students were also represented in this year's
vote for the 100 Most Powerful People with the inclusion of Mancino, executive
director of the NSNA and Bednash, executive director of the AACN.
"I think this [inclusion on the list] is a validation of the work our
organization is doing ," Bednash said.
Bednash said that her inclusion on the list really speaks more about her
organization's achievements in t addressing some of the problems with health
care and focusing on changing the ways our nurses are educated.
Nurses voted onto the 100 Most Powerful list didn't just include those labor
and academic backgrounds.
Nurse managers and executives made the list as well, with the inclusion of
Pamela Thompson, chief executive officer of the American Organization of Nurse
"I see my being voted onto that [the 100 Most Powerful list] as a proxy for
the nurse leader," Thompson said. "My role as the CEO for AONE is really
representing nurses who are in leadership roles. I'm really happy to see that
there's a greater recognition of the role that nurse leaders play in the health
care arena right now."
All of the nurses on the 2004 100 Most Powerful list that were interviewed by
NurseZone commented that they think that the number of nurse leaders on list is
symbolic of a deeper shift in thinking in the health care industry.
"I think this is a recognition of the role of nurses as the representative of
the patient," Aiken said.
Modern Healthcare's 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare.
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