ONL History, Milestones & Past Presidents

The Organization of Nurse Leaders as we know it today has evolved and grown in many significant ways throughout the years. We are grateful for the efforts, achievements, and milestones that have shaped the organization and our work. 

We are especially appreciative of the incredible contributions and leadership of our Past ONL Presidents. View Past Presidents >>

1976

  • Planning committee of nursing administrators discussed formation of the Massachusetts Society of Nursing Service Administrators (MSNSA).

1977

  • Purpose of MSNSA: to advance the development of effective administration in nursing in health care agencies.
  • MSNSA endorsed by Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA) and formally affiliated with American Society of Serviced Nursing Administrators (ASSNA)
  • Initial goals of MSNSA:
    1. Provide united voice for nursing administrators
    2. Seek representation on MHA committees and councils
    3. Develop positions on relevant legislation
    4. Educate and support nursing administrators
  • By-Laws established and adopted at first annual meeting at UMass Hospital in Worcester
  • First Board of Directors elected:
    1. President: Pauline Fahey, Emerson Hospital
    2. President-Elect: Sonya Healey, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital
    3. Secretary: Persephone Agraflotis, Union Hospital
    4. Treasurer: Jane Woodward, Framingham Union Hospital
  • Board Members: Herman Amelotte, Athol Memorial Hospital; Geraldine McQuoid, Harrington Memorial Hospital; Joyce Scudder, Newton Wellesley Hospital; Lois Hall, Burbank Hospital
  • Staff support provided by Mary B. Conceison RN, MHA, Director of professional services
  • Members: 56

1978

  • Worked with state-wide rate setting commission on analysis of nursing hours per patient day to start development of benchmarks
  • Members: 145

1979

  • Debate over “entry into practice” credentials (ADN vs BSN) began
  • Members: 180

1982

  • Mary B. Conceison Award established for outstanding nursing service administration and awarded to Mary posthumously; accepted by her family at annual meeting
  • MSNSA supports the BSN as entry into practice standard, in opposition to AHA’s support for associate’s degree

1983

  • First MSNSA resource directory published
  • On recommendation of Planning Committee, Massachusetts Council of Nurse Managers (MCNM) established.
    1. Chairman: Pricilla Velardo

1984

  • First MCNM annual meeting
  • Members: 360

1985

  • MSNSA named changed to Massachusetts Organization of Nurse Executives, an affiliate of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE)
  • Combined MONE and MCNM members: 650
  • Completed first annual MHA/MONE state-wide nursing supply survey

1986

  • MONE 10th annual meeting
  • MCNM 2nd annual meeting
  • MONE members: 321

1987

  • President-Elect Karen Kirby led MONE’s first strategic planning process

1988

  • With MNA, MACN, and MARILN, MONE formed Tri-Council to work on professional development issues
  • MONE collaborated with MHA on annual nursing workforce survey.

1989

  • Jane Nosbush hired as first MONE executive director
  • MONE logo developed
  • First “Who’s Who in Nursing Leadership in Massachusetts” Membership Directory published

1990

  • AONE added graduate school faculty to membership

1991

  • Maura Mitchell hired as second MONE executive director
  • Legislative Committee established, beginning MONE’s public policy advocacy
  • Developed Mission, Vision and Values as part of the strategic plan

1992

  • MONE and MCNM develop single corporate structure
  • MONE members: 286

1993

  • MCNM President has full vote on MONE Board
  • MONE President has full vote on MCNM Board
  • Linda Lutey hired as third MONE executive director
  • Service Recognition Award established
  • MONE issued white paper opposing expanding role of unlicensed assistive personnel

1994

  • MONE and MCNM began to merge
  • MONE President: Eileen Sporing
  • MCNM President: Jane McCarthy
  • Mary Ann Mulligan from Governmental Strategies hired as legislative consultant and MONE lobbyist
  • Service Recognition Award renamed the Elaine K. Sherwood Award after one of its first recipients, posthumously
  • MONE part of Tri-Council in MA that included MONE, MNA, MACN & MARILN

1995

  • MONE and MCNM fully integrated
  • Co-Presidents: Marge Powers and Nancy Dineen

1996

  • MONE hosted AONE annual meeting in Boston
  • MONE President, Maureen Sroczynski publicly debated MNA-sponsored “Sufficient nursing care” bill with Suzanne Gordon and Dr. Judith Shindel-Rothschild on radio and NECN

1997

  • MONE President, Gail Kerwood met with Mary Manning, MNA Executive Director, to discuss the use of HPPD (hours per patient day) as a measure of nurse staffing.

1998

  • MONE received AONE Chapter Achievement Award for legislative advocacy
  • MONE initiated Nursing Leadership Group to improve communication among MNA, BORN, MACN, and MONE
  • MONE participated on BORN Task Force to develop Standards of Conduct
  • Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors established: Connie Crowley Ganser appointed co-chair

1999

  • MONE established joint meetings with nursing school leaders to address the nursing supply
  • MONE President, Connie Crowley Ganser, elected President of the Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors

2000

  • Elaine Souza served as MONE interim executive director
  • MONE launched first website

2001

  • Kathy Sobczak hired as fourth MONE executive director
  • Nursing Summit-MONE supported establishment of Massachusetts Center for Nursing to address recruitment and retention issues and centralization of information and data

2002

  • MONE celebrated 25th Anniversary at annual meeting in Brewster
  • First Annual Leadership Workshop for new nurse leaders

2003

  • Sharon Gale hired as fifth MONE executive director.
  • Sharon A. Smith Scholarship established for MONE members and family members provided financial support.
  • Massachusetts chief nursing officers supported MONE strategic plan.
  • MONE participated in the Career ladder Initiative through the Commonwealth Corporation.
  • MONE’s Management of Practice Committee developed resource guide on Creating a Healthy Work Environment.

2004

  • MONE received AONE Chapter Achievement Award for legislative advocacy for second time
  • MONE finalized comprehensive three-year strategic plan
  • MONE Research Committee established

2005

  • In collaboration with MHA, MONE unveiled Patients First, a five-part, first-in-the-nation leadership agenda to address quality and safety initiatives. All acute care hospitals and many rehabilitation and psychiatric hospitals sign on
  • MONE honored MHA with first Partnership Award
  • Management of Practice Committee released results of study on Safe Scheduling Practices

2006

  • Creativity and Connections Conference, co-sponsored by the Board of Higher Education and MONE, held in collaboration with schools of nursing deans to address nursing education and transition into practice
  • Staffing plans for every unit in every hospital in the state are posted on the Patients First website
  • MONE participated in formal negotiations on nursing staffing legislation with MHA, MNA, and state legislators
  • MONE established Academic-Practice Integration Committee
  • Second MONE Partnership Award presented to Dr. Judith Gill, BHE Chancellor
  • MONE President appointed full voting member of the MHA Board
  • MONE Members: 580

2007

  • First national educational conference, “Patients First, a National Model: Transparency, Staffing and Safety” held in Boston with 160 attendees
  • MONE received AONE Chapter Achievement Award for Patients First initiative
  • MONE began developing second three-year strategic plan
  • 30th Anniversary Celebration at the MONE Annual Meeting in Newport, Rhode Island
  • MONE Members: 623

2008

  • Members voted Rhode Island to become the 7th MONE Region. Elaine Souza elected first Rhode Island regional representative
  • MONE welcomed new MHA President Lynn Nicholas as the MONE/MHA Partnership continued
  • MONE partnered with the MA Department of Higher Education on state-wide Nurse of the Future initiative
  • MONE named in legislation as member of the Statewide Workforce Advisory Committee
  • Management of Practice Committee released survey of best practice on patient fall prevention. Results presented at state-wide Fall Coalition Symposium
  • MONE website redesigned with member features added
  • Membership surpassed target goal with 652 members

2009

  • MA Office of Health and Human Services presented 2009 Betsey Lehman Patient Safety Recognition Award to MONE and MHA for demonstrated commitment to transparency in patient care with the Patients First initiative
  • MONE representatives appointed to several state-wide committees and task forces, including: Workforce Development Advisory Council, End of Life Task Force, and Boarding and Diversion Task Force
  • MONE conducted chief nursing officer forums, continuing roundtable dialogue to focus MONE’s strategic priorities
  • MONE and MA Department of Higher Education led “Nurse of the Future” initiative to develop a seamless progression through all levels of nursing education
  • Management of Practice Committee released white paper, “Nurse Manager Effectiveness toward Establishing an Ideal Nursing practice Environment: Recommended Best Practices”
  • Research Committee presented findings on performance improvement at fall and spring quarterly meetings
  • Academic Practice/Integration Committee began research on state preceptor initiatives
  • Membership surpassed target with 706 members

2010

  • Initiated partnership with the MA Center for Nursing
  • Finalized strategic plan for 2010-2013, incorporating leadership initiatives and strategies to elevate the profile of MONE as the nursing leadership organization in Massachusetts and Rhode Island
  • Patients First revised, improved, and renamed PatientCareLink
  • MONE collaborated with MHA on state-wide pressure ulcer initiative
  • Research Committee created liaison with MACN to promote research dialogue
  • Management of Practice Committee held best practices webinar, “Strategies to reduce the use of Sitters”
  • Management of Practice IT Subcommittee conducted Nursing Management Informatics survey
  • Membership surpassed goal with 658 members

2011

  • Name of organization changed to Organization of Nurse Leaders, MA-RI (ONL MA-RI) to more accurately reflect the eligible membership at all levels and in all settings, including practice and academia
  • Executive Director title changed to Chief Executive Officer
  • Nursing Leadership Coalition (NLC) convened by the Department of Higher Education (DHE) to advise the Nursing and Allied Health Initiative. Co-chaired by ONL president and MACN President
  • The Nursing Leadership Academy established after a three-year planning process to provide a Leadership Education Program directed at experienced nurse leaders as an advancement strategy in their leadership development.
  • Metro West and Central Regions consolidated through by-law change voted by the membership
  • PatientCareLink initiative, a MHA/MONE partnership, received 2011 Lamplighter Gold Award from the New England Society for Healthcare Communications (NESHCo)
  • Online voting for annual ONL election
  • ONL appointed to a seat on the Subcommittee of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) advisory council to the governor

2012

  • ONL, MA & RI engages Saltwater Hill Communications, a public relations firm to assist with marketing and promoting the organization’s new identity
  • Massachusetts designated as an Action Coalition State by the Future of Nursing Campaign for Action as a result of the Institute of Medicine report on the Future of Nursing (released October 2010)
  • Created new ONL, MA & RI website: www.oonl.org
  • Membership voted to approve two new ONL Appointed Board Seats: Home Care and Non-Acute Care
  • ONL approved new position statement “Patient Safety and Work Hours for Nurses”
  • APIC worked with NOF Group to develop Statewide Usage Survey for Practice and Education settings
  • Conducted two-day RWJF/AARP site visit with Susan Hassmiller, RN, PhD, FAAN
  • ONL Board approved creation of 501(c)(3) Charitable Organization: “The ONL Association for Nursing Science and Education”
  • Membership exceeded 700

2013

  • Re-named the annual Leadership Seminar to the “Joyce C. Clifford Annual Leadership Seminar”
  • Finalized the strategic plan for 2013-2016
  • Endorsed a new policy to allow past presidents, upon retirement and the age of 65 a free membership
  • The Management of Practice IT Sub-Committee initiated the 2012- 2013 Nursing Informatics Competencies for Nurse Leaders/Managers (Delphi Study)
  • The Management of Practice IT Sub-Committee was invited to collaborate on the TIGER (Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform) Leadership Collaborative Report
  • ONL leads effort to preserve DHE Nursing Initiative Funding in State Budget
  • ONL leaders and members provided outstanding testimony at the Public Hearing at the State House Chapter 224 Health Care Cost Control Law
  • ONL revised the Nurse Staffing Ratio Position Paper
  • ONL co-leads of the MA Action Coalition and the Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) grant from RWJF
  • “The ONL Association for Nursing Science and Education” established as a 501(c)(3) Charitable Organization

2014

  • Membership 760
  • Endorsed a new two-year membership option
  • The ONL Association for Nursing Science and Education received a MA Workforce Transformation Fund Planning Grant
  • MNA withdrew Ballot initiative requiring ratios in all hospital units and caps on CEOS compensation and hospital margins
  • Participated in negotiating staffing legislation passed into law known as Chapter 155 of the Acts of 2014 requiring 1:1 or 1:2 nurse to patient ratio, adoption of an acuity tool and reporting of outcome measures
  • ONL provided oral and written testimony to the Health Policy Commission on implementation strategy
  • Awarded as co- lead of the MA Action Coalition the 2nd Academic Progression in Nursing Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • NHONL membership voted unanimously to merge with ONL, MA-RI
  • CT-ONE in active discussion to merge with ONL, MA-RI
  • Leadership Academy graduated its 7th cohort bring total number of graduates to 137
  • CEO Sharon Gale announced her plan to retire in June 2015 after serving the organization for 12 years

2015

  • Hired a new CEO, Amanda Stefancyk Oberlies
  • New Hampshire merges with ONL
  • Membership exceeded 850
  • Connecticut merges with ONL
  • The ONL Association for Nursing Science and Education was a recipient of the Cummings Foundation Grant, “$100K for 100” beginning June 20, 2015
  • ONL became a tobacco-free employer
  • The Academic Practice Integration Committee developed a white paper on the current status and best practices for transitions across a variety of settings and levels of practice
  • The Department of Higher Education nursing line item was restored in both the House and Senate budgets thanks to sustained advocacy
  • ONL received the AONE Chapter Achievement Award for providing leadership that resulted in the passage of legislation regarding staffing for intensive care units
  • ONL leaders accelerated their advocacy efforts in 2015 sharing ONL testimony and expertise and engaging in meeting with state legislative leaders; the Health Policy Commission; Department of Public Health; and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services
  • ONL leaders provided powerful testimony in support of new ONL/MHA legislation to promote patient care transparency and nursing advancement and in opposition to legislatively mandated nurse staffing ratios

2016

  • Membership exceeded 1,000 for the first time
  • Rolling membership implemented
  • New Bylaws are crafted
  • Announced a new strategic plan
  • Added appointed seats to the ONL Board of Directors to increase diversity
  • Launched a new logo

2017

  • ONL hires Ashely Waddell as Director of Government Affairs and Educational Programs
  • ONL hires Priscilla Almeida as Executive Assistant
  • Vermont merges with ONL as the fifth state
  • ONL creates a multi-state legislative agenda
  • Launched newly designed website
  • Launched social media (Facebook and Twitter)
  • New technology used to hold Board meetings remotely

2018

  • ONL welcomes Vermont as its fifth member state - Welcome VT!
  • ONL defeats the MNA’s Ballot Question 1 which would have mandated the maximum number of patients a nurse can care for at any time.
  • Conflict Engagement and coaching training is offered in Vermont and Massachusetts.
  • Record set for membership - 1,079 members
  • Record attendance at Annual Meeting
  • Video conferencing takes off at ONL allowing for stronger member connections despite physical distance.

2019

  • Membership reached a new record – 1118
  • All time attendance records were achieved at each ONL quarterly meeting in 2019, as well as the Annual Meeting
  • ONL’s Leadership Academy broke all previous attendance records
  • ONL hosted the first Joyce Clifford Leadership Seminar in Vermont
  • Strategic Plan created for 2019-2022
  • First ONL Annual Report printed
  • First regional Nursing Summit held in Worcester, MA
  • Nursing Summit report published
  • Nursing Summit Follow-Up report published
  • Podium presentation delivered at AONL’s Annual Conference in San Diego, CA
  • Article published in AONL’s Voice of Nursing Leadership, titled Advocating for Autonomy over Nursing Practice: ONL’s Role in the Massachusetts Staffing Ratio Ballot Campaign
  • Podium presentation delivered at NYONEL’s Annual Conference; All About Advocacy
  • ONL continued to build its library of policy position statements
  • ONL received the Promoting Diversity in Leadership through Nursing Collaboration award at the National Association of Hispanic Nurses Western Massachusetts 6th Annual Gala and Scholarship event in Western Massachusetts
  • During the Annual Meeting in Newport, RI, ONL presented the Janet Madigan Advocacy Award to the six nursing organizations that publicly supported the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety

2020

  • Membership breaks another record in February with 1141 members
  • The COVID-19 pandemic begins
  • ONL celebrates the Year of the Nurse
  • ONL and NERBNA partner to create a position statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity, and create the Nurses’ Pledge to Champion Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity
  • The new Karen Kirby award is created to honor nurses who lead outside traditional roles, demonstrate an entrepreneurial approach, and are recognized for innovation. Karen Kirby, ONL past President, becomes the first recipient.
  • ONL partners with Laudio to create the Outstanding Nurse Manager/Director Scholarship
  • ONL and MARILN collaboration results in new nurse support groups and a report: Supporting New Nurse Transition into Practice during the COVID-19 Pandemic Opportunities for Academic and Practice Nurse Educator Collaboration
  • ONL moves educational programs to an online platform
  • Two new programs are introduced – the Leadership Lunch Series and the Nurse Leader Master Class
  • Senior nurse leader COVID calls are introduced to convene leaders throughout the region
  • The second ONL Annual Report is released
  • The 2020 Nursing Summit report: The Power of Our Stories – Moving from Story to Action to Influence is introduced
  • New ONL LinkedIn page is launched
  • New ONL Foundation webpage is created
  • The ONL Foundation is reorganized and a fundraising campaign is started
  • ONL reaches its target of 750 MA license plate orders
  • ONL celebrates ANA-MASS’ advocacy success designating a seat for a registered nurse on the MA Health Policy Commission’s board
  • Following more than a decade of advocacy, APRNs now have full practice authority in Massachusetts
  • ONL’s policy priority on advancing telehealth practices advanced significantly during the pandemic

2021

  • ONL launches a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion taskforce co-chaired by board members Nadia Raymond and Lauren Tronsgard-Scott, and President, Justin Drew (liaison to the Board of Directors)
  • ONL and NERBNA partner to co-present Nurses Taking a Stand: The Intersection of Racism and Health to the Connecticut Nurses Association
  • ONL and NERBNA partner to co-present our work on the Nurses’ Pledge to Champion Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity to the Iowa Hospital Association
  • Two new ONL reports are released: Paid Family Medical Leave Act: A Policy Analysis and The Nursing Workforce: Challenges and Solutions during the COVID Era
  • ONL leaders provide policy consultation to several nurse and policy leaders in different states on the topic of mandatory staffing ratios
  • More than 1,100 nurses from 45 states plus the District of Columbia sign the Nurses’ Pledge to Champion Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity
  • ONL adds three leadership development programs: The Nuts and Bolts of Nursing Leadership; Become the Boss No One Wants to Leave; Leading Evidence-Based Practice Program
  • ONL’s programs expand to reach leaders outside the region and country
  • ONL pilots a new membership / program bundle approach to increase engagement between an organization and ONL
  • ONL supports the work to stand up the Nursing Council on Workforce Sustainability in Massachusetts
  • ONL successfully creates a RN license plate that hit the road in October 2021
  • ONL serves as a convener for pandemic-related nurse leadership challenges. Regional leaders come together in an open format to share solutions and best practices within the rapidly changing landscape
 

 

 Patient Care LinkAmerican Organization for Nurse LeadershipCummings Foundation