Inspiring Leaders

Inspiring Leaders offers insights on the career and leadership paths of members of the Board of Directors and other volunteer leaders.

George D. Velianoff

George D. Velianoff, PhD, RN, FACHE, ANEF

September 2020 - Meet one of AAACN’s dedicated volunteers who worked behind the scenes to give his colleagues the best education program possible.The inspiring thing about people who volunteer is that they often do so without the need for thanks or admiration. They just put their heads down and work. George D. Velianoff, PhD, RN, FACHE, ANEF, is one of those people.

Read the article: George D. Velianoff - Dedicated Leader

Sana Savage

Assanatu (Sana) Savage, PhD, DNP, FNP-BC, RN-BC

April 2020 - Nurse leaders are essential to bringing the nursing industry forward, especially during tumultuous times like the present. With a global pandemic disrupting life as we know it, nurse leaders are needed to advocate for the safety and health of nurses and those they care for. Sana Savage recently shared her thoughts on the importance of nurse leadership to the profession as a whole, as well as patients, the health care industry, and our communities.

Read the article: Why Leadership Matters for Nurses

Kristene Grayem, MSN, CNS, PPCNP-BC, RN-BC

Kristene Grayem, MSN, CNS, PPCNP-BC, RN-BC

June 2019 - There aren’t many people who would interview for one job, then ask during the interview for a second job. And then get both. But Kris Grayem did. She made the request in 2011 when she was interviewing for a quality job at Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron. She wanted the second position – an ambulatory care director role – not for her own advancement, but because she knew the ambulatory care nurses there needed a voice and a leader who understood their needs.

Read the article: Meet Kris Grayem, AAACN’s 2019-20 President

Liz Greenberg, PhD, RN-BC, C-TNP, CNE

Liz Greenberg, PhD, RN-BC, C-TNP, CNE

April 2019 - If you meet Liz Greenberg in the lady's room, she'll make you laugh. You'll also notice how tall she is. But she's more than height and humor. She has that quality that makes you feel happier and more energized than you were 5 minutes ago, before you washed your hands next to her and shared a spontaneous silly joke...

Read the article: The Line that Connects Us


Kathy Mertens, DNP, MPH, RN

Kathy Mertens, DNP, MPH, RN

November 2018 - "As I sat with the patient, I thought, 'Please don't die while I'm here.' I knew what hospital nurses do, but being in the patient’s home was different. It was more about listening and understanding how this patient dealt with her illness.”

Read the article: Driven by Curiosity, Fueled by Courage


CAPT (Ret) Wanda Richards, PhD, MPA, MSM, BSN

CAPT (Ret) Wanda Richards, PhD, MPA, MSM, BSN

February 2018  - Wanda Richards is one of AAACN's most admired and respected leaders. From serving in Kuwait and Iraq to mentoring new military nurses, CAPT Richards has had a long and storied career, influencing many and inspiring more.

Read the article: Nursing Without Limits

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