Marla is the CEO of the American Nurses Association. She was formerly the Program Director for Workforce Development for the Office of Nursing Services at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Marla earned a BS in Nursing from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, an MS in Nursing from Arizona State University, and a PhD in Nursing from the University of Arizona.
For more than 20 years, Marla has implemented, studied, and published about the nursing practice environment and has focused on professional nursing practice, staff nurse empowerment, and the multigenerational workforce. She has conducted several studies about the nursing work environment, control over nursing practice, and Magnet hospitals. Her recent work has focused on delineating the antecedents to control over nursing practice. Her research is founded on a complexity theory perspective. Her current position within the ANA is focused on implementing changes to improve the professional practice environment for nurses for the purpose of improving the quality of patient outcomes