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All in the family at the Capitol

Wisconsin Nurses Association hosted the 2017 Nurses Day at the Capitol in which nurses from across the state traveled to Madison to meet with their legislators. It also provided attendees with an opportunity to become informed and discuss national and state health policy issues that impact nursing practice, education, and health care delivery. Nurses Day at the Capitol is designed to help nurses in Wisconsin appreciate the importance of their role in influencing health policy and affecting change in their practice. The intent is for nurses to take the information learned at Nurses Day and use it to advocate for better nursing practice and better patient care in their work environments and communities, and ultimately to advance the profession of nursing. About 500 RNs, APRNs, student nurses, and nursing faculty participate each year.

Kristin Brunsell, a UW-Eau Claire junior nursing student, attended Nurses Day at the Capitol with family members. She stated the the day "was a brief, but information-filled event that really broadened my view of the nursing world. It was a pleasure to see so many nurses sharing their thoughts and ideas from so many different realms of the nursing world. As a student who thinks she is interested in specializing in health care policy and politics, I can tell you that the experience was inspiring. Seeing representatives from different areas of the profession, from law, to education, to critical care, to public health, was informative and encouraging. I learned about different roles that nurses play in the health care system, from discussing issues in our food supply, particularly antibiotics in the food, to being active in legislation and voicing our opinions and the importance of being involved in nursing organizations. I learned about particular issues in legislation regarding nurses, namely full practice authority, and the importance of organizations in advocating for nurses as a profession."

Kristin also commented on the experience, "it was amazing, being able to attend it with such well renowned nurses in the profession was a privilege, but being able to spend this day learning along side my family leaves me without words. My dad, grandma and aunt, are all practicing or retired nurses. My grandma was a nurse educator, my dad is a cardiac nurse and my aunt is a DNP. They offer so much insight to me as a student, and have helped me to round out my views of nursing. I am indescribably lucky to have my personal and profession role models also be family."