Because our government is playing an increasingly greater role in health decisions, it is necessary for nurses to become involved in policy and lawmaking. Governing bodies will enact laws regardless of whether nurses are present or not (Cherry & Jacob, 2017); consequently, it is advantageous for the healthcare system to have nurse representatives in legislation.
One such nurse is Lois Capps, a democrat from California. When Lois graduated from nursing school in 1959 with a BSN, she had no idea she would one day win the 1998 California 23rd District election to Congress! In 2001, Capps helped to introduce the Nurse Reinvestment Act (NRA). Among other things, the NRA helps fund educational scholarships, loans, and grants. Stipends that encourage the development of nursing school faculty are also included in this bill (McKean & Reed, 2001). Laws such as these have great impact on the upcoming nursing shortage and dwindling nursing faculty population.
Capps is responsible for helping to pass legislation that prevents domestic violence, improves mental healthcare, and provides emergency defibrillators in community settings. Among her many accomplishments, Capps has also founded and co-chaired the Congressional Nursing Caucus (Jimenez, 2015). After the announcement of her retirement in 2015, the American Nurses Association presented Capps with the distinguished President’s Award. Capps’ leadership and commitment has truly impacted not only healthcare professionals, but patient care and the community as well.
Cherry, B., & Jacob, S. (2017). Contemporary nursing, issues, trends, &
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Jiminez, S. (2015). ANA honors US Rep Lois Capps, RN. Retrieved from
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funds. Retrieved from https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2009
McKeon, E., & Reed, S. (2001). Nurse education bills introduced: the ANA
endorses bills designed to combat the nursing shortage. American Journal