The American Nurses Association (ANA), the largest nursing organization in the U.S, has named Norma M. Lang, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee distinguished professor of nursing, the first recipient of the newly established ANA President’s Award. The award was established to honor an individual or group for significant contributions to the advancement of nursing and aims to increase the public perception of the value of nursing.
The ANA board of directors voted to give the inaugural honor to Lang, whose research and advocacy has contributed to the establishment and expansion of nursing standards and performance measurement as a way to improve nursing services, patient outcomes and the quality of care.
Lang, a pioneering researcher in the field of health-quality improvement through the use of electronic health records, received the award at ANA’s biannual House of Delegates meeting held June 16-19 in Washington, D.C.
“I’ve seen Norma Lang working on the cutting edge in the nursing profession for years. The health care strategies that command her focus and benefit from her leadership, such as development of nursing-sensitive indicators and health-information technology, will continue to expand and prove to be vital for the future quality of health care and every nurse in this country,” said ANA President Rebecca M. Patton. “She keeps on giving to nurses and the patients we serve through the profession and has never slowed down. I call her the ‘Energizer Bunny of Nursing.’”
Lang currently serves as the University of Wisconsin Regent distinguished professor and the Aurora distinguished professor of Healthcare Quality and Informatics at UWM. She leads the Knowledge-based Nursing Initiative, a public-private partnership to accelerate and expand the use of knowledge and evidence in nursing practice through information technology systems.
Lang has held a long list of distinguished roles in nursing education, research and service to the profession. She has served on the ANA board of directors and as the president of the American Nurses Foundation. She participated on ANA panels that helped establish the first Social Policy Statement and the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI), the nation’s premier database of nursing performance measures. NDNQI now works with more than 1,500 participating hospitals.
Lang is a senior fellow in the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics and the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania, where she serves as professor and dean emeritus. She also is a senior research fellow with the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and a former dean at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.
Lang has served on numerous health care and nursing-related boards. She is a recent member of the board of the National Quality Forum (NQF) and currently is the vice president of the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS). She also was recently appointed to Wisconsin’s newly established Wisconsin Relay of Electronic Data (WIRED) for Health Board.
Lang received her BSN from Alverno College in Milwaukee and her MSN and PhD from Marquette University, and holds several honorary degrees.