Susan Foley Pierce, PhD, RN , Professor Emeritus and alum was there when the American Nurses Association (ANA) proudly welcomed President Barack Obama as a guest speaker to its biennial House of Delegates on June 15, 2010. The president spoke to an estimated crowd of more than 1,000 nurses and guests during the opening session. “Nurses are the beating heart of our health care system,” the president commented. He thanked the nurses and the ANA for their staunch support during the health care debate. The president also revealed a series of investments in the health care workforce, just announced by the Department of Health and Human Services. This new funding will serve to encourage registered nurses to attend school full time to become nurse practitioners. Additionally, the funds establish nurse-managed health clinics to increase access to care and assist in the training of nurse practitioners as primary care providers. As he finished his remarks, the president reiterated the remarkable dedication of nurses and expressed his administration’s goal to “elevate and value the work that you do,” adding “our mission must be to live up to the values that you uphold every day.”
Dr. Pierce has served as Secretary of ANA for the past 4 years. As her term ends, she will continue as Secretary of the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Dr. Pierce retired from the School of Nursing after 30 years and also served as Interim Dean at the UNC-Wilmington School of Nursing. She is a 1975 alum of our masters program as well.