Skip to main content

American Academy of Nursing Designates Six Leaders as Living Legends

Analysis  |  By Carol Davis  
   August 16, 2022

The academy's highest nursing honor will be presented at its annual Health Policy Conference in October.

The American Academy of Nursing has designated six extraordinary nurse leaders as Living Legends for their indelible impact on policy and public health and their tenacity and vision for how the nursing profession can lead system change.

Drs. Jane Barnsteiner, William L. Holzemer, Jeanette Ives Erickson, Norma Martinez Rogers, Joyce Newman Giger, and Franklin A. Shaffer will be honored at the Living Legends Ceremony during the academy’s annual Health Policy Conference October 27-29 in Washington, D.C.

“Each year, the academy honors a select few of nursing’s most accomplished leaders as Living Legends for their exemplary efforts to improve health and health systems nationally and globally. I am delighted to celebrate these incredible titans of the profession and the countless accomplishments they have made throughout their careers,” said Kenneth R. White, PhD, RN, AGACNP, ACHPN, FACHE, FAAN, president of the academy’s board of directors.

“Recognizing their work and the continued impact their legacies have on the profession will inspire many nurses and, in particular, our Fellows to continue to follow in their footsteps,” White said.

These Living Legends have “leveraged innovation, science, and leadership to take nursing to new heights,” according to the academy.

Jane Barnsteiner, PhD, RN, FAAN

Jane Barnsteiner, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor emerita at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing and Editor of Translational Research and Quality Improvement for the American Journal of Nursing (AJN), has dedicated her career to improving the quality and safety of healthcare.

She has worked to ensure that practice is evidence-based and that education is relevant to practice. She is known as an early thought leader in developing and implementing innovative programs to improve quality and safety, particularly through the establishment of Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN).

William L. Holzemer, PhD, RN, FAAN

William L. Holzemer, PhD, RN, FAAN, has made profound contributions and advancements in HIV/AIDS care and research that has transformed the quality of life for individuals living with this disease.

Holzemer’s internationally recognized work has focused on clinical care and research to improve the quality of life for people and families living with HIV/AIDS, with an aim to eliminate health disparities for patients challenged by stigma, symptom management, and medication adherence. His work has been recognized and supported by numerous institutions, including the World Health Organization and US Department of State.

Jeanette Ives Erickson, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN

Jeanette Ives Erickson, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, has had an extensive career improving health outcomes, mentoring nurse leaders, and advocating for patients. As the former chief nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital, she led the system’s 10 chief nursing officers in advancing the professional care environment, training programs, and the role of nurse leaders on boards.

Her strong practice, research, and education outcomes are implemented nationally and internationally. Notably, her efforts to establish a field hospital at the Boston Convention Center early in the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates her dedication and leadership to advancing the public’s health.

Norma Martinez Rogers, PhD, RN, FAAN

Norma Martinez Rogers, PhD, RN, FAAN, has made extraordinary contributions as a nurse leader, policymaker, and advocate for the underserved, and especially Latina populations. As the first full-tenured Latina professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, she founded a peer-to-peer mentoring program for nursing students to increase retention and graduation rates.

A dedicated mentor and advocate for Latinos in nursing, she also founded the International Association of Latino Nurse Faculty, which hosts the Cultural Inclusion Institute, and serves as president. She previously served as president of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses.

Joyce Newman Giger, EdD, APRN-BC, FAAN

Joyce Newman Giger, EdD, APRN-BC, FAAN, a trailblazer in transcultural nursing, has made a profound impact in raising awareness of the unique health factors and outcomes impacting patients of color. A professor at Florida International University College of Nursing, she was the first African American nurse appointed as a tenured professor at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Nursing.

Newman Giger’s numerous publications on strategies to incorporate culturally appropriate care have transformed nursing standards. Her groundbreaking research has helped lead the way toward investigating social determinants of health, promoting health equity, and eliminating racism within the profession.

Franklin A. Shaffer, EdD, RN, FAAN, FFNMRCSI

Franklin A. Shaffer, EdD, RN, FAAN, FFNMRCSI, has made incredible global efforts to transform the nursing workforce through his leadership. Shaffer is president and CEO of CGFNS International, Inc., the world’s leading standards-setting and credentials evaluation organization for nursing and allied health professions.

For 60 years, Dr. Shaffer has led a progressive nursing career that has interconnected clinical practice, administration, education, research and consultation, regulation, credentialing, standards and quality, and global collaboration. His career trajectory has improved the lives and image of nurses, whether through academics or work in sectors outside of mainstream nursing.

Carol Davis is the Nursing Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.


Get the latest on healthcare leadership in your inbox.