AMSN Recognizes 16 Nurses Elected to State and Federal Office

With so much counting on health in America, more nurses should consider public service including elective office, says AMSN President Robin Hertel, EdS, MSN, CMSRN

PITMAN, NJ – With health care commanding a growing share of national and state policy agendas, a review by the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) has found that 16 registered nurses serve in state and national elective office in 2019, 14 in state legislatures and two in Congress.

“These nurses are vital leaders in our communities, states and our country,” said AMSN President Robin Hertel. “With health care on the agenda everywhere, nurses should seriously consider public service including running for and winning elective office.”

Two states host elections this November. In 2020, 48 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico host state and national elections.

“A 2018 poll by Gallup Organization found for the 17th consecutive year that nursing ranks as America’s most honest and ethical profession,” said Hertel. “Now is the time for nurses to consider this important leadership step of running for elective office.  A first step can be opening a relationship with the local political party organization.”

The review by the AMSN Legislative Team, chaired by Yalanda Comeaux, MSN, MJ, RN, CMSRN, found:

  • Nine states have elected nurses to their state legislatures.
  • North Carolina and Oregon are the states with the most nurses elected to their state legislatures, with three each.
  • Nurses elected to state office represent both major political parties. Of 14 total, six are Republicans and eight are Democrats.
  • Both U.S. Representatives who are nurses are Democrats. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30) chairs the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) began her first term in Congress on Jan. 3.
  • The highest-ranking nurse in state elective office is Linda Upmeyer (R-IA-54), speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives.
  • All of the nurses in elective state and federal office are women.

See the full list of nurses elected to state and federal office at this link.

ABOUT AMSN: The more than 12,000-member Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) is the only specialty nursing organization dedicated to developing medical-surgical nurses personally and professionally. Medical-surgical nurses are the type of nurse that provide care to people in the hospital. AMSN fosters the highest standards of practice, advances nursing practice guidelines, and promotes excellence in medical-surgical nursing.