From the classroom to Capitol Hill, ResU faculty lobby for nursing education

Advocating for important topics in nursing education was the number one priority for Dr. Nancy Reese, DNP, RN, CNE, Interim Dean, College of Nursing, and ResU alumna Rene Thomas ’05 when they made the trip to Washington, DC for the 2018 American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Advocacy Day in March.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Deans of Nursing visit Capitol Hill twice a year to discuss key funding strategies, network and collaborate with colleagues around the country and to advance nursing higher education. Dr. Reese led a group that advocated for the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act to help ensure that rural and underserved communities have access to timely care through a diverse nursing pipeline. Another priority for advocacy was increased support in nursing education, research, as well as support for increasing access to treatment for opioid abuse. The advocates were also introduced to the Gun Violence Research Act which would enable researchers to study gun violence and share their findings in an effort to create a safer environment. “I was very honored to share our student story of the impact of gun violence on their lives,” said Dr. Reese. “Prevention strategies are key and research can unearth ones that can be successful.”  The group even had the opportunity to share their stories with Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth.

“I look forward to our students becoming more engaged in policy through the ResU Student Nurses Association (RUSNA) and ResU- United Nations Association (UNA), “ said ResU alumna Rene Thomas, “This is an inspiration to them.”

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for academic nursing education. AACN works to establish quality standards for nursing education; assists schools in implementing those standards; influences the nursing profession to improve health care; and promotes public support for professional nursing education, research, and practice.