UM School of Nursing Students, Faculty Engage Lawmakers
|University of Maryland School of Nursing
students and faculty got a glimpse into what it's like to be a state lawmaker when they traveled to Annapolis on Feb. 20 for
the School's annual Advocacy Day. The group also promoted
interprofessional collaboration among health care providers and
discussed the prominent role that nurses play.
Approximately 20 students, accompanied by Dean Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN,
and several members of the faculty and staff, had the chance to meet
members of the General Assembly, including School of Nursing alumnae
Adelaide Eckardt, MS '81, BSN '78, and Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, MAS, BSN
'80. Students were also able to shadow a legislator.
Jay A. Perman, MD, University
president, spoke with the group in Annapolis.
"You are a very diverse group of students and I think legislators
appreciate professional diversity," Perman said. "We want to let our
legislators know the importance of health care delivery by a team.
Let's help them understand."
Delegate Keith Haynes, JD, MPA, of Baltimore's 44th District, said he
understands the importance of collaborative efforts in health care and
the role nursing plays in the health care equation.
"As we look at the transformation of health care and
the new initiatives coming from the federal level, it's important that
all health care providers are involved with patients. There has to be
greater interaction between nurses, pharmacists, dentists, and
physicians," Haynes said. "In order to get a full diagnosis and proper
care, all health care professionals need to be involved."
Students accompanied legislators for about an hour while they met with
constituents and listened to a variety of concerns.
"While it's important that nurses have a voice in how health care is
shaped, this experience made me want to hear more of what everyone has
to say," says Johnny Gayden, a
nurse anesthesia master's student. "In health care reform, everyone has
to work together with the patient being the focus."
Later, Kirschling, who came to the University in January, was formally introduced to the House of Delegates and
briefly spoke on the importance of a well-prepared nursing workforce.
"It's truly an honor to serve the citizens of Maryland as the dean of
the School of Nursing," Kirschling said. "I hope that we can continue
the long tradition of preparing well-educated nurses for all of the
areas that you represent so they can receive high-quality health care."
Students ended the day with a brief question-and-answer session with
To view a video of 2013 Advocacy Day, click here.
|Posting Date: 02/22/2013
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