Media Relations

AACN Mourns the Loss of a True Nursing Champion, Senator Daniel Inouye

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Washington, D.C., December 18, 2012—The American Association of Colleges of Nursing President Jane Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, and CEO Geraldine “Polly” Bednash, PhD, RN, FAAN, issued the following statement following the death of former Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye:

The late Senator Daniel Inouye

“The nursing profession has lost a tremendous and inspiring champion. Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI), was a true statesman who advocated tirelessly throughout his career to advance nursing education, research, and practice. He attributed his profound respect for the profession to the nurses who cared for him after the loss of his arm during combat in WWII. We fondly remember hearing the story of how the nurses provided him “tough love,” which he noted led to his ability to adapt to his injury. AACN had the pleasure of working with his office since our doors opened over 40 years ago. Our longstanding collaboration began with efforts to recognize the important role of nursing research in improving healthcare delivery. Senator Inouye was the lead advocate who helped establish the National Center for Nursing Research and later championed its transition to the National Institute of Nursing Research. As the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, he understood the critical importance of federal funding for nursing and healthcare programs and worked across the aisle to ensure these programs received increased funding. In recent years, he advanced legislation and implored the Federal Trade Commission to help ensure that advanced practice registered nurses are able to practice to the full extent of their education and training.  As a symbol of our appreciation, AACN recognized the Senator in 2007 with our Congressional Appreciation Award. AACN is honored to have joined forces with Senator Inouye who was a dedicated advocate for nursing and a great American. He will be deeply missed.”