SILVER SPRING, MD – The American Nurses Association (ANA) will present Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), RN, founder and co-chair of the Congressional Nursing Caucus, with the 2015 President’s Award on Thursday, July 23 during ANA’s Membership Assembly meeting. Capps, who recently announced her retirement from Congress, is being honored for being a champion for nurses during her career as a lawmaker.
“Rep. Capps’ tireless advocacy on behalf of nurses is greatly appreciated and will be sorely missed,” said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “Lois is truly a special leader who brings the voice of nursing to Capitol Hill in a way that fosters a better understanding of health care policy decisions and their impact on health care professionals, individuals and the broader community. This award is ANA’s way of honoring her significant contributions.”
Prior to her tenure in Congress, Capps spent 20 years as a nurse and public health care advocate for the Santa Barbara School District. Capps founded and served as the director of Santa Barbara County’s Teenage Pregnancy and Parenting Project and the Parent and Child Enrichment Center. She also taught for 10 years as a part-time instructor of early childhood education at Santa Barbara City College.
In 2013, Capps was honored with the association’s inaugural Congressional Nurse Advocate award, which recognizes members of Congress who champion legislation that helps the nursing profession.
During Membership Assembly, ANA will also present the Year of Ethics award to a Navy nurse who refused to force feed prison detainees at Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp.
ANA supported the nurse as he faced dismissal from the Navy for following his professional ethical obligations. In May 2015, the United States Navy opted not to pursue further action against the Navy nurse. At the time, ANA President Cipriano noted the Navy’s decision “recognizes the registered nurse’s first duty is to the patient, regardless of the setting of care or the employment situation.” The nurse has chosen not to be identified. His attorney will accept the award on his behalf.
The award also reflects ANA’s year-long focus on ethics in nursing. Making decisions based on a sound foundation of ethics is an essential part of nursing practice in all specialties and settings. In recognition of the impact ethical practice has on patient safety and the quality of care, ANA has designated 2015 as the Year of Ethics, highlighted by the release of a revised code of ethics for the profession.
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ANA is the only full-service professional organization representing the interests of the nation's 3.4 million registered nurses through its constituent and state nurses associations and its organizational affiliates. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the rights of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Congress and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.