AACN Honors Nurse Leader Ernest J. Grant

Apr 11, 2023

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Grant served as a two-term president of the American Nurses Association, representing the nursing profession and advocating for nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. – April 11, 2023 – The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) will present Ernest J. Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN, with its AACN Pioneering Spirit Award.

The AACN Pioneering Spirit Award, one of AACN's Visionary Leadership awards, recognizes significant contributions that influence progressive and critical care nursing and relate to the association's mission, vision and values. The presentation will occur during the 2023 National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, Philadelphia, May 22-24.

Grant served two terms as president of the American Nurses Association (ANA), the nation's largest organization for nurses representing the interests of more than 4.3 million registered nurses in the United States. In 2019, he became the first man to be elected ANA president, leading the organization and its members through the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges of a healthcare system in crisis.

He receives the AACN award in recognition of his leadership and service to the nursing profession.

"When nurses faced some of the biggest challenges in recent history, Dr. Grant provided careful guidance, thoughtful solutions, and professional expertise and composure," said AACN President Amanda Bettencourt. "He continues to be a vocal advocate for the nursing profession and for our patients."

In addition to his leadership role with ANA, Grant is an internationally recognized burn care and fire safety expert. He has worked with the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals, Chapel Hill, for more than 40 years.

He also serves as adjunct faculty for the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill School of Nursing, where he works with undergraduate and graduate nursing students in the classroom and clinical settings.

Grant has long advocated for greater diversity in the nursing profession to ensure quality and culturally competent care for patients. As part of this work, he led the formation of the National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing and boldly condemned racism and injustices against communities of color.

For the past four years, Modern Healthcare magazine has recognized Grant as one of 50 Influential Clinical Executives in Healthcare and as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare.

In 2002, President George W. Bush presented him with a Nurse of the Year Award for his volunteer work treating burn victims from the World Trade Center site after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper presented him with the state's highest award for a citizen in 2019, the Order of the Long-Leaf Pine – Ambassador Extraordinaire.

He was inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2011. The American Burn Association and National Fire Protection Association have also recognized the impact of his work.

Grant started his nursing career as a licensed practical nurse before earning a BSN from North Carolina Central University and MSN and PhD degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

About the AACN Pioneering Spirit Award: The annual AACN Pioneering Spirit Award recognizes significant contributions that influence progressive and critical care nursing regionally and nationally, and relate to AACN's mission, vision and values. Recipients of this Visionary Leadership Award come from business, academia and healthcare. Other Visionary Leadership awards, AACN's highest honor, include the Lifetime Membership Award and the Marguerite Rodgers Kinney Award for a Distinguished Career.

About the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition: Established in 1974, AACN's National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI) represents the world's largest educational conference and trade show for nurses who care for acutely and critically ill patients and their families. Bedside nurses, nurse educators, nurse managers, clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners attend NTI.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: For more than 50 years, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has been dedicated to acute and critical care nursing excellence. The organization's vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution. AACN is the world's largest specialty nursing organization, with more than 130,000 members and over 200 chapters in the United States.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 27071 Aliso Creek Road, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656; 949-362-2000; www.aacn.org; facebook.com/aacnface; twitter.com/aacnme