Ambassadors Program

2019 FNINR AMBASSADORS PROGRAM


February 8, 2019, Washington, D.C. - The Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research(FNINR), are pleased to announce the selection of their fourth cohort of Ambassadors. This unique advocacy program began in 2014 and has grown to include over 30 Ambassadors. The 2019 selection includes five nurse scientists to join the ranks of others currently filling this role.

Ambassadors are selected from a national pool of applicants based on their abilities to advance public, health professions, and policy-maker awareness of the critical research agenda linked to the National Institute for Nursing Research (NINR).

These highly-qualified individuals, many of whom function in the scientific community, will focus specifically on educating Congressional leaders as to the high-impact and cost-effective treatments and quality-of-life enhancements that emanate from nursing science. Ultimately, the goal is to increase research funding to ensure the training of scientists at a time of major scientific breakthroughs and to promote the NINR mission and strategy.

NINR goals include improving the health of individuals, families, and communities through developing nurse scientists of the 21st century, and conducting research on health and illness, symptom management, wellness, chronic conditions, end-of life and palliative care, and innovation.

New Ambassadors include:

Kristin Ashford, PhD, WHNP-BC, FAAN
University of Kentucky College of Nursing

Laden Eshkevari, PhD, CRNA, L.A.c, FAAN
Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies

Linda Flynn, PhD, RN, FAAN
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, School of Nursing

Hurdis M. Griffith, PhD, RN, FAAN
Emeritus Professor
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, School of Nursing

Lusine Poghosyan, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN
Columbia University School of Nursing

FNINR President Connie White Delaney commented that all of our Ambassadors “Are exquisitely positioned to use science powered by highly-trained nurses to reduce symptoms and side-effects, support self-management of chronic conditions, and promote health and wellbeing aimed at individuals, families, and communities.”

We look forward to continuing our conversations with key Congressional leaders who are understanding and valuing how nurses’ function as scientists, individually and on integrated research teams.

The current 2019 Ambassadors are:

Kristin Ashford, PhD, WHNP-BC, FAAN
University of Kentucky College of Nursing

Dianne Morrison-Beedy, PhD, RN, WHNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN
The Ohio State University

Donna Z. Bliss, PhD, RN, FAAN, FGSA
University of Minnesota School of Nursing

Rosina Cianelli, PhD, MPH, RN, IBCLC, FAAN
University of Miami, School of Nursing and Health

Mollie Cummins, MSN, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI
University of Utah College of Nursing

Jean Davis, PhD, RN, FAAN
Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes Jewish College

Patricia M Davidson, PhD, MEd, RN, FAAN
Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Laden Eshkevari, PhD, CRNA, L.A.c, FAAN
Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies

Linda Flynn, PhD, RN, FAAN
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, School of Nursing

Hurdis M. Griffith, PhD, RN, FAAN
Emeritus Professor
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, School of Nursing

Ellen Hahn, PhD, RN, FAAN
University of Kentucky College of Nursing

Phyllis Hansell, EdD, RN, FNAP, FAAN
Seton Hall University

Tracie Culp Harrison, PhD, RN, FAAN, FGSLA
The University of Texas at Austin

Kathleen T. Hickey, EdD, FNP-BC, ANP-BC, CCRN, APNG, FAHA, FAAN
Columbia University

Deborah J. Kenny, PhD, RN, FAAN
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

Usha Menon, PhD, RN, FAAN
University of South Florida College of Nursing

Victoria Menzies, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing

Pamela H. Mitchell, PhD, RN
University of Washington School of Nursing

Jennifer E Moore, PhD, RN, Executive Director
Institute for Medicaid Innovation

Cindy Munro, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, FAAAS
University of Miami, School of Nursing and Health Sciences

Linda D Norman, DSN, RN, FAAN
Vanderbilt University School of Nursing

Cheryl A. Krause-Parello, PhD, RN, FAAN
Florida Atlantic University

Lusine Poghosyan, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN
Columbia University School of Nursing

Nancy S. Redeker, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN
Yale University School of Nursing

Victoria Rich, PhD, RN, FAAN
University of South Florida School of Nursing, Tampa

Susan Carol Saladino PhD, RN
SUNY Downstate College of Nursing

Laureen Smith, PhD, RN, FAAN
The Ohio State University College of Nursing

Angela Starkweather, PhD, ACNP-BC, CCRN, FAAN
University of Connecticut

Cheryl Taylor, PhD, RN, MN, FAAN
Southern University and A&M College

Diane M Twedell, MCHS, DNP, RN, CENP, CNML
Mayo Clinic Health System

Linda S. Weglicki, PhD, RN
Medical University of South Carolina

FNINR Hosts Capitol Hill Briefing and Reception
“The Power and Impact of Nursing Research”

The Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR), welcomed Members of the 115th Congress and their staffs to two Washington DC events in 2017.

A Capitol Hill Briefing, held in the Capitol Visitors Center, highlighted the impact of research being done by nurse scientists in three critical areas:


  • Improving Care and Quality of Life for Dementia
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Building a National Network for Palliative Care
President Karen Drenkard, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, welcomed attendees to the briefing and focused on FNINR’s role to educate the public and Congress about the value of nursing science and the impact nurses make in contributing to life-altering interventions through science.

“The impact of nursing science directly affects people in every community. Sharing the importance of this work with our legislators is critical in assuring that the science advances,” said Drenkard.

Dr. Patricia Grady, Director of the National Institute for Nursing Research spoke about NINR and its role among the 26 other institutes under the National Institutes of Health. Adding that much of the work being done by nurse scientists crosses over into many critical areas of research helping to shape health outcomes for the entire population.

FNINR’s chosen panelists presented their critical findings which has influenced health outcomes in their respective areas of research – TBI, Dementia, and Palliative Care.

A lively discussion around how research saves money in health care costs and improves the nation’s health concluded the successful briefing.

FNINR Ambassadors spent the rest of the day meeting with their congressional members where they focused on our 2017 policy goals and shared information about NINR and nursing research.

Later that evening, FNINR hosted a reception to continue the discussion about how nursing improves health care and impact lives. Reception sponsors and Co-Chairs of the House Nursing Caucus, Representatives’ David Joyce (R-OH) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) were recognized along with Senator Roger Wicker who sponsored the morning event/briefing.
The Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR) celebrated
its 24th Annual NightinGala on October 4 in Washington D.C.

Alongside the amazing nurse scientists that received recognition for their research, FNINR Ambassadors were on hand to discuss their work as advocates on behalf of NINR.

The day began with an extraordinary event entitled “Breakfast with a Message.” Suzanne Ffolkes, Senior Vice President of Communications for Research! America presented everyone a truly eye-opening, fact-finding message about the economic impact of research. (More from Suzanne’s presentation can be found on this website).

Armed with research data and FNINR’s policy ask for NINR, Ambassadors stormed the Hill and met with their Congressional delegations to push for more funding for research!

Ambassadors have been active at home and in Washington throughout the year -sending the message that research must remain a critical part of the health care discussion.

Some of their stories include:

Ambassador Ellen Hahn, PhD, RN, FAAN, and representatives from the University of Kentucky met with eight of Kentucky’s legislators highlighting what nurse scientists at UK College of Nursing are providing in health research that impact their constituents.

Ambassador Linda Weglicki, RN, PhD of Florida Atlantic University, met with Senator Marco Rubio and his staff and has attended District Town Hall meetings with others to inform congressional members about the importance of nursing research and its impact on improving the lives of Florida’s population.

Ambassador Cheryl Taylor, PhD, RN, FAAN, from Southern University and A&M College in Louisiana was invited to participate in a roundtable discussion with Senator Bill Cassidy and leaders from NINR. The discussion was prompted by Senator Cassidy and his staff wanting more information on how to build research programs in nursing science.

Ambassador Victoria Menzies, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN, of Virginia Commonwealth University, met with Senators’ Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, as well as Congressman McEachin. She spoke passionately about how nurse scientists strive to conduct research that extends into all areas of patient care, from symptom management interventions to research having to do with quality and safety throughout the health care system. She went on to mention that this is only a small part of what nursing research and its outreach to patient care and to nursing education has done, can do, and will do.

Ambassador Susan Carol Saladino, PhD, RN, from SUNY Downstate discussed NINR research and the grant process with Senators’ Schumer and Gillibrand in their Washington D.C. offices.

These are just a few of the many outreach efforts that Ambassadors have made throughout the years. They continue to educate policy leaders, health care leaders, and the public about the powerful impact of nursing research. This is the focus and the primary goal of FNINR’s Advocacy Program.

FNINR President Karen Drenkard, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, in her remarks to Gala attendees reminded everyone of the importance of being focused on our role to educate the public and Congress about the value of nursing science and the impact nurses make in contributing to life-altering interventions through science.
“The impact of nursing science directly affects people in every community. Sharing the importance of this work with our legislators/ health care leaders and the public is critical in assuring that the science advances,” said Drenkard.
We hope you will join us in our efforts this year by helping us bring research and science to the forefront of the conversation about health care for the future.
The Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR), an independent nonprofit group that advocates for and advances nursing science in the name of promoting the health and well-being of all Americans, now includes an elite list of Ambassadors who are using their influence and knowledge to help advocate for the advancement of critical nursing research priorities linked to the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) agenda.

These highly-qualified individuals, many of whom function in the scientific community around the country, focus specifically on educating Congressional leaders and those who make policy decisions, as to the high-impact and cost-effective treatments and quality of life enhancements that emanate from nursing science. Ultimately, the goal is to advance research funding to ensure the training of scientists at a time of major scientific breakthroughs and to promote the updated NINR strategic plan that specifies how nurse scientists improve the well-being of Americans across the human lifespan.

FNINR AMBASSADORS PROGRAM
REPORTING GUIDELINES