Monday February 8th 2016

ANA reorganizes staff leadership structure

Congruent with its transformation, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has implemented a new staff leadership structure to enhance strategic integration and operational efficiency across the ANA enterprise of organizations. The new structure, which took effect on Jan. 6, provides for three executive directors reporting to the enterprise CEO. ANA CEO Marla J. Weston, PhD, RN, FAAN, will lead operations for the ANA enterprise, which includes the American Nurses Foundation (ANF), ANA’s charitable arm, and the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC), an ANA subsidiary that promotes excellence in nursing and health care globally through credentialing programs.

“As we design our road map for continued success, we will migrate to a new staff structure that meets the boards’ expectations and effectively leverages our talent in service to our missions, members, customers and the nursing profession,” said Weston.


Debbie Hatmaker, PhD, RN, FAAN, previously the chief professional practice officer, is now ANA executive director. In this role, Hatmaker will oversee several ANA departments, including Communications, Government Affairs, a newly configured Nursing Programs, Leadership Services and Membership.

Cheryl Peterson, MSN, RN, previously the director of Nursing Practice and Policy, now serves as the senior director for Nursing Programs, a role which includes oversight for the Department of Practice and Work Environment, Department of Health Policy, Center for Ethics and Human Rights, and the Nursing Alliance for Quality Care.

Mary Jo Assi, MS, RN, NEA-BC, FNP-BC, joins ANA in a new position as director of Nursing Practice and Work Environment, in the Nursing Programs Department. Assi previously served as director of Professional Practice and Magnet® program director for the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System in Richmond, VA. A member of the Virginia Nurses Association, Assi will report to Cheryl Peterson.


ANCC Executive Director Karen Drenkard, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, took a new position and left the organization in early January. ANCC Business Director Nancy Robert, PhD, MBA, BSN, who will serve as interim ANCC executive director, also assumes a new enterprise role as chief product and marketing officer.


Kate Judge will continue as the executive director for the foundation.

Enterprise Operations

Additionally, other changes will facilitate internal operations of the enterprise. Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, MM, CAE, is now chief operating officer. In addition, she has oversight for leaders of ANA’s pilot programs, including the four multistate division leaders. Furthermore, the ANA and ANCC departments involved in business development, products and services, and marketing will be transitioned into enterprise-level departments.

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