Nursing students see political side of healthcare at legislative day

Nursing students in undergraduate and graduate programs at Mount Mercy University attended Iowa Nurses Association Legislative Day at the state capitol in Des Moines February 16. The visit offered a new perspective, showing how legislative decisions affect the healthcare industry.

Assistant Professor of Nursing Sharon Guthrie accompanied the students, who engaged in discussion with state legislators on current state health policy issues and public policy. The group was also invited to attend a subcommittee meeting and hear a bill introduced to legislators.

Guthrie said having her students observe the process of moving health care initiatives through the senate provides a better understanding of the importance of how government policy and procedures work.

“This is a great learning experience,” Guthrie said. “Students have the opportunity to see how they can have influence on public policy. Without taking action, nurses are at the mercy of whoever is making decisions. That can mean people who haven’t been to nursing school are deciding what nurses should do.”

Guthrie was also accompanied by Assistant Professor of Nursing Kim Bro and Lecturer of Nursing Becky Lewis. This year was especially unique as it was the first time Mount Mercy graduate nursing students also attended. Guthrie hopes seeing the government processes unfold will encourage her students to take interest in the process and use their knowledge in the nursing field to help influence the future of healthcare.

Nursing legislation

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