Each election cycle, the American Nurses Association and its Political Action Committee (ANA-PAC) endorse candidates "who have demonstrated strong support for nursing and healthcare issues and will best serve the interests of nurses and their patients."
"Endorsing candidates allows nurses to stand up and support candidates who recognize nursing's pivotal role in the delivery and quality of care," said ANA-PAC Chair Faith Jones, MSN, RN, NEA-BC. "With issues such as the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, patients' rights, and access to care on the political agenda, having a seat at the table has never been more important."
For this year's Nov. 6 general election, ANA-PAC is throwing its support behind:
Lois Capps (D-CA-24): Having served for 20 years as a nurse and public health advocate for the Santa Barbara School District, Capps' extensive healthcare background informs her work, according to ANA. Capps founded and serves as the co-chair of the House Nursing Caucus.
Angus King (I-ME): The fact that the U.S. Senate candidate's wife is a nurse may not be cause for support alone, ANA-PAC says, but as governor of Maine, King removed barriers so that nurse practitioners could practice to their fullest capabilities.
Louise Slaughter (D-NY-25): Slaughter is not only leading the fight to protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare, according to ANA, but she also has been a tireless fighter to improve women's health by obtaining the first funding dedicated by Congress for breast cancer research and by creating the Office of Research on Women's Health at the National Institutes of Health.
ANA-PAC makes endorsement decisions based on candidate interviews, communication with ANA's constituent and state nurses associations, campaign information, and the candidate's voting record on ANA's priority issues.
ANA encourages nurses to volunteer for political campaigns of their choice, Democrat, Republican, Independent, or other, as part of Nurses Campaign Activity Night on Wednesday, Oct. 17.
According to ANA, volunteering on a campaign provides opportunities to advance some of nursing's core issues including safe patient handling, safe staffing, ensuring advanced practice registered nurses can practice to the full extent of their license and education, and securing access to safe quality healthcare for all.
For more information about ANA-PAC, click here.