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Alaska Nurses Association Celebrates 60 Years, Announces New President

Oct. 5, 2013 marked 60 years of operations for the Alaska Nurses Association (AaNA) as the professional organization representing thousands of nurses across the state. The association has come a long way since 1953 and continues to advance and support the nursing profession and health care industry in Alaska.

AaNA’s Articles of Incorporation were signed in Juneau when Alaska was still considered a territory. Back then, the association’s membership totaled about 123 members from Anchorage, Nome, Fairbanks, McGrath, Homer, Seward and Juneau. Today, AaNA serves 11,955 nurses across the state of Alaska through the professional organization as well as more than 1,200 nurses who are part of the association’s labor program.

Aside from coordinating special events, continuing education opportunities for nurses and maintaining an updated nursing career center on their website, AaNA has a professional practice committee that attends and monitors the activities and proposed regulation changes of the Alaska Board of Nursing and works on projects related to the scope of practice for nurses. AaNA monitors all legislation related to nursing and health care in Alaska and coordinates an annual legislative fly-in to Juneau where representatives from the association meet with elected officials and lobby on behalf of nurses statewide on matters such as safe patient handling, drug and alcohol legislation and more. In 2010, the Alaska Nurses Association successfully lobbied for the passage of House Bill 50 that prohibited mandatory overtime for nurses. AaNA’s bimonthly publication The Alaska Nurse delivers nursing and health care news to every nurse in the state. The labor program of the Alaska Nurses Association was established in 1974 to advance and support the profession of nursing in Alaska through its three bargaining units in Anchorage, Ketchikan and Soldotna.

On Oct. 15, 2013, AaNA members elected Jana Shockman, a Providence Alaska Medical Center critical care charge nurse, to president of the association’s board of directors. Shockman, previously a travel nurse based out of Oregon, now leads the association in its 60th anniversary year.

“I’m honored to take on the roll as president of this dedicated organization,” Shockman said. “Sixty years is a tremendous milestone and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can bring to the table for further advancements of Alaska’s nurses and the profession.”

AaNA will be wrapping up the celebration of its 60th anniversary with a statewide nursing conference on Oct. 3-4, 2014 and its annual General Assembly on Oct. 5, 2014.

About the Alaska Nurses Association
The mission of the Alaska Nurses Association is to advance and support the profession of nursing in Alaska. AaNA is a voice for and represents 11,955 nurses across the state of Alaska by working to improve health standards statewide; promoting access to health care services for Alaskans; fostering high standards for and the professional development of nurses; advancing the economic and general welfare of nurses; and empowering nurses to be dynamic and powerful leaders in health care and political communities.

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