Idaho nurses gathered at the Idaho State Capitol in Boise Feb. 19 for Nurses Day at the Capitol. During the event, Gov. Brad Little spoke briefly about various health initiatives after which the nurses were invited to attend and were recognized at the legislative session. In attendance, representing College of Western Idaho (CWI), were Allison Baker, Department Chair for Nursing; Kay Gregorio, Nursing faculty; Sarah Bingham, a Nursing student; and School of Health Dean, Cathleen Currie.
Sarah had the following to say about the event:
“My name is Sarah Bingham, and I am a first-year Professional Nursing student at CWI. Amidst the chaos and uncertainty of being a first-year nursing student, one of the first things I did was sign up to be a member of the Student Nurses Association (SNA). By doing so, I was hoping to gain some guidance and a chance to experience real-life issues nurses face in our community. Most recently, the SNA brought to my attention the opportunity to be able to attend Nurses Day at the Capitol along with this year’s Nursing Legislative Conference. This consisted of a morning spent at the Idaho Statehouse learning about the legislative process, followed by an afternoon spent at the Red Lion Downtowner listening to panel discussions regarding the current issues impacting nurses in the 2020 Idaho Legislative session. Topics impacting nurses include the opioid crisis, marijuana, mental health, Medicaid Expansion, and the overall shortage of nurses.
At the Statehouse, I was allowed to listen-in on a committee hearing regarding legislation to form a healthcare directive registry in Idaho (House Bill 436). With this proposal, Idaho healthcare workers would be able to access an advance care directives database at critical times in order to be able to carry out and honor the wishes of patients during times of a health crisis or end-of-life situations. As a student, watching and listening to this process put into motion by nurses and doctors of Idaho was very exciting to witness!
I want to thank the CWI Nursing faculty for allowing me to spend the day with them and other nurses in Idaho continuing to show their passion for nursing and what positive impacts, as patient advocates, we all can have on our healthcare system and the communities we live in. After all, being able to make a positive difference in the health and wellbeing of others is why I chose to pursue the honorable profession of nursing.”