Nov 17, 2014

Wisconsin Nurse Selected as Recipient of National Leadership Award

Contact: Susan Lamontagne
(631) 899-3825 or

A Wisconsin nurse who has made extraordinary efforts to improve the diversity of the nursing workforce will be recognized as one of the 10 recipients of the new Breakthrough Leaders in Nursing award created by the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a joint initiative of AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Josie L. Veal, PhD, RN, APNP, FNP-BC, has worked as a sexual assault examiner, an advanced practice nurse in a correctional setting, a surgical nurse, and an operating room nurse in the U.S. Army Reserve. “Working as a sexual assault examiner was my most challenging nursing position,” said Veal, who is helping to improve workforce diversity as a member of the Wisconsin Action Coalition. “When someone has suffered a sexual assault, the nurse is not just dealing with health issues, but must consider problems that may surface years later as a result.”

Veal said the common thread that has linked her varied career is her efforts to give a voice to the underrepresented, such as minority nurses, underserved patients, or people who are incarcerated. As a member of the nursing faculty at Milwaukee Area Technical College, Veal wants her students to know that achieving a doctoral degree and assuming a leadership role is not insurmountable, no matter their background.

The Campaign for Action created the 2014 Breakthrough Leaders in Nursing award to celebrate nurse leadership and the importance of efforts by nurses to improve health and health care. The award recipients have worked to help victims of sexual assault, medically fragile children, and neurologically impaired individuals, among others. Their work is helping to improve the quality of medical care in Vermont, prevent bedsores and reduce Medicaid costs in Texas, and provide health care to women in rural Utah, to name a few.

“Josie has worked tirelessly to improve access to health care, especially for those people who are too often marginalized,” said Judith Hansen, executive director, Wisconsin Center for Nursing (WCN), Inc., and co-lead for the Wisconsin Action Coalition. “As a member of the WCN Board of Directors, Josie contributes scholarship and research excellence in addition to her strengths as a practicing professional. This award recognizes the incredible progress Josie’s leadership has made for the people of Wisconsin.”

Learn about the other recipients.