Geraldine “Polly” Bednash announced she will retire
next year after 28 years as CEO and executive director of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
Bednash joined the Washington-based advocacy organization in 1986 as director of government affairs and assumed leadership in 1989. Her retirement will be effective in June, and the association plans to celebrate her career during its Spring Annual Meeting in March.
Since Bednash took over as CEO, the association’s membership has grown from 411 member schools to 742. A registered nurse, she taught nursing
at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., before joining AACN. She earned a doctorate in higher education policy and law from the University of Maryland and a master’s in nursing from the Catholic University of America.
“Nursing education in this nation has been forever changed thanks to the visionary work and enduring legacy of Dr. Polly Bednash,” said AACN President Jane Kirschling, who is dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing. “Dr. Bednash has worked, and often times fought, to ensure that nurses have a seat at the table in the national dialogue about the future of healthcare and nursing’s connection to ensuring quality care.”
Bednash serves as chair of the Nursing Alliance for Quality Care. She appeared five times on Modern Healthcare’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare, most recently ranking 97 in 2010. Follow Ashok Selvam on Twitter: @MH_aselvam