Nearly 300 nurses from around the nation gathered this morning to attend the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) Lobby Day breakfast briefing and awards ceremony, where three long-time advocates were honored for their work in the policy arena.
Recognized for their tireless efforts on behalf of nurses and patients are:
- Edward Briggs, DNP, ARNP-C, a family nurse practitioner at St. Anthony’s Hospital in St, Petersburg, FL, and Florida Nurses Association member who promotes advocacy among his nurse colleagues through education and mentoring.
- U.S. Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), a nurse, co-chair of the House Nursing Caucus, and original co-sponsor of the Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act (H.R. 1821).
- U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), the original sponsor for the Home Health Medicare Improvement Act, which will allow nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and certified nurse-midwives to certify Medicare patients for home health benefits.
“I can’t tell you what this award means to me,” Capps said. “I’m one of you, so it’s an honor to receive this recognition from you, my peers.”
She also thanked Lobby Day participants for their commitment.
“Your presence will be felt [on Capitol Hill], Capps said. “That’s how we change the face of health care and the issues you care about.”
In a video speech, Walden spoke of the importance nurses play in providing access and care to people within his rural district.
“Thank you for the work you do for patients and your communities,” he said.
Florida Nurses Association Executive Director Willa Fuller, BSN, RN, accepted the award for Briggs, who was expected later today.
Lobby Day participants are now heading for Capitol Hill to meet with Congressional members and their staff – some 900 visits are planned — to seek support for RN safe staffing, home health care planning and other crucial issues. Additionally, nearly 1,000 nurses are expected to participate in Lobby Day virtually via e-mail, social media or by calling their federal lawmakers.
Meanwhile, representatives of ANA’s 30 organizational affiliates are meeting today to discuss a wide range of issues, from workplace violence to the development of competencies for oncology nurse navigators.
ANA’s inaugural Membership Assembly begins tomorrow, June 28. Events are being held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in the Washington, DC-area.