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Friday, December 16, 2005

Nurses Running for the Hill

Nurses have always been a powerful force in healthcare, promoting the welfare of their patients. Now members of the nursing profession are flexing their political muscle by running for Capitol Hill. Running for their first term in the U.S. House of Representatives are Paula Hollinger (D-MD), John Russell (D-FL), and Sheila Sorensen (R-ID). Rosalind Kurita (D-TN) is running for the U.S. Senate, and if elected, she will be the first nurse to serve as a U.S. senator. U.S. Representatives Lois Capps (D-CA), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) are nurses currently serving on Capitol Hill, and are running for re-election in 2006.

Nurses can shape U.S. health care policies by financially supporting nurse candidates and by going to the polls to vote.

The Candidates:

State Senator Paula Hollinger Posted by Picasa

Maryland State Senator Paula Hollinger, a 26-year veteran of the Maryland state legislature, believes access to healthcare is one of America's most pressing issues. While in the Maryland legislature, Hollinger supported nurse practitioners, particularly in the community setting, and says she will continue to do so when she gets to Washington.

John Russell Posted by Picasa

Nurse practitioner, John Russell, says he is running for Congress because he can't stand by and watch what's happening to our nation's healthcare system. Russell favors national healthcare coverage and would support a bill to repeal the recently passed Medicare drug plan.

Sheila Sorenson Posted by Picasa

Former Idaho State Senator Sheila Sorensen believes her background as a nurse practitioner and state legislator has given her a greater understanding about healthcare issues. Sorensen supports medical care savings accounts and giving tax credits to small businesses that provide health insurance to their employees.

State Senator Rosalind Kurita Posted by Picasa

Tennessee State Senator Rosalind Kurita says she's running for the U.S. Senate because there are issues she wants to fight for. While serving in office, Kurita has taken the lead to improve nursing education, raised standards for nursing home care, and pushed for legislation that holds HMOs accountable when they harm patients.

U.S. Representative Lois Capps Posted by Picasa

Rep. Lois Capps, sponsor of the Nurse Reinvestment Act, is a co-founder of the Congressional Nursing Caucus, which educates Congress on the issues important to nurses. She believes that our nation is at a critical juncture in providing healthcare to all Americans. She is currently drafting a bill that would establish the Office of the National Nurse.

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson Posted by Picasa

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson was the first nurse elected to the Texas House of Representative, the Texas Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives. She believes the Medicare drug plan is a farce, and wants to overhaul current legislation. During the 107th Congress, she served as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy Posted by Picasa

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy says her understanding of healthcare, by way of her nursing career, helps her make informed decisions on pending legislation. Currently, McCarthy and her colleagues are working on the legislation that would help get more nurses into teaching and forgive loans for those going into nursing or for individuals advancing their nursing careers.

For further information about nurses running for national office, read "Running for the Hill" by Terri Polick here.

The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Friday, December 16, 2005  

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Anonymous Anonymous 
Petition congress for a progressive agenda.