Goal: Raise at least $100,000 before December 31 to support Financial Aid and overall Foundation work.
First step to challenge achieved! Generous friends and members have helped us reach Lisbeth Votruba's challenge.
Second step to challenge achieved! Thank you to everyone who helped make it possible to meet the challenge set by Dr. Mary Ann Fuchs, past president of AONL, her husband, Dr. Herbert Fuchs, members of the AONL and AONL Foundation boards of directors, past AONL presidents, and board alumni.
We raised more than $97,200 toward the $100,000 total goal. Thank you!
If you would still like to help, you can give today?
In 2019 the AONL Foundation launched our Financial Aid Program. As of today, five managers and directors have been able to participate in the AONL Nurse Manager or Nurse Director Fellowship Programs.
We want to do more.
The AONL Foundation set a goal to provide financial aid opportunities to at least 20 nurse leaders by the end of 2025.
These fund will make is possible for nurse leaders from small, rural, critical access, or from diverse backgrounds to participate in professional development programs.
General, or unrestricted, gifts give the Foundation the most flexibility and allows your gift to be used where needed most. Generally, these gifts support Foundation operations, but they can be allocated to a specific program by the Board of Directors.
Your gift of any amount is truly appreciated and will make a difference. Below are several examples of how gifts at different levels can support the Foundation's Financial Aid and general operations.
$100 can invite a financial aid recipient to the AONL Foundation Soiree at the Annual Conference or help support efforts to build awareness of the Foundation's work.
$500 can send one person to the AONL Finance and Business Skills for Nurse Managers program or help offset the cost of printing promotional materials.
$1,000 can allow a new nurse manager to participate in the AONL Transition to Nurse Manager practice program, or help cover the Foundation's office expenses.
$2,500 can send one person to the AONL Annual Conference with an allowance for travel or help support travel to a Foundation program.
$5,000 can send one person to the AONL Annual Conference or help support travel to a Foundation program or help support the Foundation's database services.
$10,000 can send one person to the AONL Nurse Manager or Nurse Director Fellowship Program or help offset the cost of producing a Foundation mailing.
$17,250 can send a new chief nurse to the AONL Nurse Executive Fellowship program.
$25,000 will create a fund in your name, or in honor of someone special, to support financial aid for nurse leaders or general Foundation programs.
Impact of Financial Aid
Previous financial aid recipients share their stories.
The fellowship has been a life-changing experience. I have met a great group of peers who are not just part of my network but really are sources of support and encouragement. Sometimes as a director, it feels very lonely and to hear that others have the same struggles and insecurities, it validates what I’m going through.
The program has exposed me to new ways of looking at health care safety and quality concerns. While at the AONL Conference, I attended a session about a DYI behavioral health programs. One of my fellowship peers is involved with that program and she was able to work as a subject matter expert with my team on adapting 2 of their tools to be used in my market. We have rolled out a new patient safety companion handoff tool and a purple folder containing resources for our patient safety companions monitoring high-risk behavioral health patients. Both concepts are gaining some interest in my company and some of the education in our crisis prevention training has been updated in a way that can be used as part of the handoff tool. I would not be surprised if both tools are rolled out across the organization.
The Capitol Hill day in Washington, DC, exposed me to healthcare policy advocacy. I learned a little about this in college but it was a very different experience to actually meet with representatives and to explain how they can help. One of the reasons I became a healthcare leader was to make a difference. I felt so empowered by the experience and know that policy advocacy can make a big difference in the lives of millions. The training prepared me well to be able to converse with the aides and representatives in the short time we had with them. I shared my experience with other nursing leaders in my market of how easy it was to advocate for policy changes. Although I don’t think any of them are ready to meet with legislators, the seed has been planted and they know that I am a resource when they are ready.
One of the most influential speakers we had some about diversity, equity and inclusion. She really challenged me to re-examine the people who surround me. I had always thought that I am a pretty inclusive person. But it turns out that I have a lot of work to do to surround myself with a variety of people. I used her exercise with a group of nurse leaders in my market and the experience was just as eye-opening for them as it was for me. I feel like I’ve made a different in their lives by calling out the shortcomings in their sphere of influence. Our market is onboarding international nurses from several ethnic background and I was able to correlate lessons from the exercise to next steps as leaders to support these nurses as they join our team.
The fellowship is an experience that I would not change for anything. This is just a few examples of the lessons I have taken with me and shared with others.
This program was a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience. I am so grateful for this opportunity, and thankful that leadership development is a priority at St. James Parish Hospital. I'm also so incredibly grateful for the financial aid from the AONL Foundation that made it possible for me to participate.
I was the only one in my fellowship from a critical access hospital, and this program provided me with valuable information and tools to address challenges and adapt in the ever changing world of health care, especially during this pandemic.
I made professional friendships and developed a network of diverse leaders from around the country who have become a great resource to me. I cannot thank the AONL Foundation and the donors who made this possible enough.
Thanks to financial aid from the AONL Foundation, I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the 2020 AONL Nurse Manager Fellowship program. Working in a small community rural hospital at the time, my organization didn't have the funds to send me.
The experience was life changing! Although my fellowship group met only once in person due to covid, we were in touch almost daily through emails and group chats, and monthly through zoom calls. Everyone in the fellowship agreed that those calls were the highlight of the month.
Personally, I have benefited so much from these connections. I could write volumes on what this opportunity and what this fellowship means to me. I cannot say enough about the nurses who have shared their expertise, friendship, and support with me. They are truly an amazing group, and we're still in touch today.
Professionally, both myself and my organization benefited from this opportunity. 2020 was not a normal year in health care or anywhere. But to have nurse colleagues across the country at different stages of the pandemic sharing their knowledge, policies, failures, and successes was priceless. Our patients benefited from true collaboration across the country. I wish every nurse had the opportunity and ability to experience this.
How do I say thank you for a gift that has changed my personal and professional life, and will continue to affect and influence me for the rest of my life? There are now words. "Thank you" doesn't seem near enough, but it may have to do.
I have been a nurse for more than 30 years, and have never seen anything like the covid-19 pandemic. I'm the director of nursing at Uvalde Memorial Hospital in Uvalde, Texas, a 25-bed critical access facility about an hour and a half outside of San Antonio.
This program is invaluable. It's something that I hope continues well into the future. While I do wish I could have experienced the "normal" fellowship program, I cannot tell you how important it was to be part of this during the pandemic.
My group met in person once, in March 2020, right before the pandemic. In that one meeting, this group really connected. Friendships were established, and they continue to this day. We still keep up with each other, and look forward to getting together again in the future.
Instead of our five in-person meetings, we had calls every Friday during our program. Even though I couldn't make every call, being able to talk to colleagues, share experiences, be vulnerable, and share both grief and support helped both me and my team. Being part of this program helped me and our facility get through some of the problems that came up during the pandemic when best practices did not exist.
I just want to say again, this program is invaluable. Leaders get better because of this program, and great leaders will come out of this fellowship. I feel very appreciative to have been a part of it, and I wanted to say, "Thank you" again.
Lisbeth Votruba, MSN, RN is chief clinical officer at AvaSure, a member of the AONL Foundation board of directors, and co-chair of the Foundation's Fund Development Committee. She is an outspoken advocate for the Foundation, and is always looking for ways to positively impact nursing leadership through research and financial aid.
Lisbeth comes from a long line of nurses. Both her mother and grandmother were nurses, and she keeps a photo of them in their nursing capes and caps in her office.
She is passionate about all aspects of the Foundation's programs. Evidence drives her practices, so the research that the Foundation undertakes and funds is especially important. However, when really pushed, she says:
"There's something about the Foundation's financial aid program that really speaks to my heart. We're paying it forward. We're preparing the next generation of nursing leaders. We're making it possible for people to have these life changing experiences when they might not have had the opportunity without our support.
Being a nurse leader can be really hard. Throw in this global pandemic, and the challenges facing the health care system overall, it's easy to get overwhelmed. This is one way I can make a difference. Making it possible for a nurse leader to experience the continuing education they need is an easy decision.
Will you join me?"
Drs. Fuchs' Challenge
Help meet the goal set by Drs. Fuchs, and members of the AONL and AONL Foundation Boards of Directors, past AONL presidents, and alumni of the boards.
"I believe every nurse can be and is a leader. One thing we, as leaders need to do is to invest in the future of our profession. Nursing as an entire discipline has to advance science. The AONL Foundation with its focus on research is really important to be able to accomplish that.
Supporting the AONL Foundation is making an investment in a very successful and dedicated organization. It is investing in advancing nursing. You are making an investment in the future of nursing leadership."Mary Ann Fuchs, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, AONL Immediate Past President, Vice President of Patient Care and System CNE, Duke University Health System, Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs, Duke University School of Nursing