Wednesday, Jun 26, 2019

A Few Clouds, 76 °F

Southern Campus representatives are seen on the steps of the Statehouse.

Southern Campus representatives are seen on the steps of the Statehouse.

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Southern Campus represented at Nurses Day at the Statehouse

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sixteen faculty members and graduating BSN students traveled to Ohio’s capital on March 22 to represent the Southern Campus at Nurses Day at the Statehouse. The event, sponsored by the Ohio Nurses Association, welcomed more than 400 nurses and nursing students who spent the day meeting and speaking with legislators about key topics impacting nurses statewide. 

The experience was also part of a course called Nursing Excellence (NRSE 4600), which focuses on the relationship between professional nursing and healthcare policy. The course emphasizes the nurse's role as a patient advocate in healthcare policy and politics.  

For senior Carleigh Munn, the trip was eye opening. Munn said, “I understand now that nurses statewide are experiencing the same problems we are in our small towns of Ironton, Ohio, and Ashland, Kentucky. I have never been involved in a meeting with legislators, nor have I been around that many nurses in one room. It was a very interesting experience, and I felt very privileged to be there.” 

This year, a primary focus was the need for legislation that would ensure safe staffing levels and that would limit mandatory overtime for nurses working across Ohio – to ensure patient safety and quality of care. Also, participants were introduced to new ways to reach out to their representatives. 

Jeb Ory, CEO and co-founder of Phone2Action, led a presentation about the impact that nurses can have by utilizing tools like social media to engage with lawmakers at the state and federal level.  

Senior Sharnece Smith felt the day was a valuable experience. “I felt that it gave me more insight into what lobbying is about and more about the process that it takes to get laws introduced into legislature,” Smith said. “When the legislators were on stage and talking about the issues that they want to get passed or changed for their district, I was happy to learn that they actually cared about the issues that nurses deal with on a daily basis such as understaffing, grants to further education and nurse turnover percentage.”

For more information about the Ohio University Southern BSN program, click here.