More than 70 Brenau junior and senior nursing students attended the Georgia Nursing Association’s Legislative Day at the state Capitol Feb. 4. The annual Atlanta event offers GNA members, students and RNs opportunities to meet with legislators and discuss nursing-related topics.
“It was a great eye opener for us as students to see how nurses can make an impact and advocate for patients and legislation on a larger scale,” said Elizabeth Huff, a senior nursing student from Buford, Georgia. “I would not have realized the political influence nurses can exercise without the opportunity we had.”
Attendees heard presentations from District 45 State Sen. Renee Unterman, RN, who discussed how nurses can take a more active role in shaping public policy, and Georgia Board of Nursing President Brenda Rowe, who updated attendees on one of their biggest 2016 legislative priorities, board autonomy over nursing licensure fees. Students even had a chance to “page” their respective state senators and representatives and meet the men and women responsible for crafting the laws, rules and regulations that impact Georgia’s health care industry.
“We are teaching and encouraging our future nurses to have a voice in the policies that shape health care at the local, state and national level,” said Brenau School of Nursing Director Dina Hewett. “The opportunity to advocate for nursing at the state Capitol is just a start.”