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Professor’s Comment:

The referencing and citing of scholarly work is mandatory to support the idea that is being presented in the participation discussion. ALL peer responses require an in text citation, a reference, and 6 or more sentences. References should be between 2018 to 2022.

Post 1:

Phara Souffrant Forrest is an assembly member in District 57 in NY. Forrest grew up in Brooklyn and attended SUNY schools where she eventually obtained her RN degree at CUNY City College of Technology. Forrest is very aware of the issues that New York residents face both health care-wise and community-wise. Forrest worked as a maternal-child nurse before becoming an assembly member. Forrest’s work continues as she is in charge of her building’s tenant association and is involved in her community of Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Her involvement in tenant organization has led to NYS legislature passing the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (“Phara Souffrant Forrest—Assembly District 57,” n.d.). Forrest’s role as a nurse is prominent in the community as well as on the statewide level. Forrest has introduced a few bills that aim to improve wellbeing, safety, and health. For example, bill A00109 was introduced to prohibit drug or alcohol testing and screening of postpartum patient’s and newborns unless consent is provided or is within the scope of care provided. Another bill introduced includes bill A00049, which addresses the licensing of genetic counselors and establishes the genetic counseling statewide board (BillTrack50, 2023). Forrest was elected in 2020 and her bills are now being introduced and addressed. Her nursing background allows her to approach NYS legislature differently, as she offers an alternative perspective on what facets need to be addressed and focused on. Nurses are always advocates and continue to advocate for improve health care systems. Nurses abide by state and nationwide guidelines and refer to the ANA when learning or discussing key issues in the field. ANA initiatives address safe staffing, nurse education, and nurse abuse which is why “The Safe Staffing for Nurse and Patient Safety Act” was passed in 2021 (Helbig, 2018). The passing of this act is due to nurse advocacy, determination, and willingness to achieve all goals in order to advance the nursing profession and improve quality and safety standards. 


BillTrack50. (2023). State Assemblymember Phara Souffrant Forrest. BillTrack50.

Helbig, J. (2018). Influencing Health Care Through Advocacy. Trends in health care: A nursing perspective.

Phara Souffrant Forrest—Assembly District 57. (n.d.). New York State Assembly.

Post 2:

Today nurses practice in many arenas, from hospital bedsides to executive office suites to research laboratories to the halls of the United States Congress. The Code of Ethics allows all nurses involved in the political process to influence policies affecting the nursing profession and the health and well-being of all people (Helbig, 2018). The national professional organization, American Nurses Association (ANA), encourages all nurses to be politically active to ensure safe and effective care for all patients, to elevate the profession, and to work to eliminate health disparities across our country. 

Many early nursing leaders were suffragists and some even went to jail for advocating for women’s right to vote. As soon as the 19th Amendment passed in 1920, nurses were elected to local and state offices. Texas nurse Eddie Bernice Johnson became the first nurse to win a national office in 1993 when she was elected to serve the 30th Congressional District of Texas in the United States House of Representatives. She brought her professional experiences, ethics, and commitment to caring into the political arena. Johnson is widely recognized as one of the most effective legislators in Congress. She is credited with authoring and co-authoring more than 120 bills that were passed by the House and Senate and signed into law Johnson introduced the National Nurse Act of 2019 through, H.R. 1597 bill which would elevate the importance of the Chief Nurse Officer of the United States Public Health Service and appoint a National Nurse to work with the Surgeon General to promote wellness and health literacy. This act would empower a medical professional to focus on critical issues, such as promoting healthier practices, improving health literacy and decreasing health disparities. She is also passionate about improving mental health and increasing federal funding for women pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math education (Nurse minority, 2020). 

Helbig, J, (2018). Influencing Health Care Through Advocacy. In Grand Canyon University (Ed.). Trends in Health Care: A Nursing Perspective 


Nurse minority, (2020). Nurses in Congress: Eddie Bernice Johnson



Post 3:

Karines Reyes has been a Registered Nurse since 2013. She describes herself as being of both Latina and African-American descent. Ms. Reyes has been an assembly member since January 1, 2019. Not only is she a nurse, she is a mother of 2 and works as an oncology nurse at a New York City hospital. She has advocated for nurses and patients in a multitude of ways. As a Latina of Puerto Rican descent, she has participated in many demonstrations in both the U.S. and Puerto Rico for health equity and human rights issues (Reyes, n.d.). As an active leader, she served on the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) Executive Committee at Einstein Hospital as vice chair of the bargaining unit. Additionally, she has lobbied for safer nurse-to-patient ratios. Further, she has traveled around the U.S. attending conferences as a representative for NYSNA to speak about issues concerning the health of communities (Reyes, n.d.).

Ms. Reyes has sponsored bill # NY A01401, which, “Requires anti-bias training for every medical student, medical resident and physician assistant student in the state, and requires the department of health to make an annual report on the implementation and effectiveness of such training” (Legiscan, 2022). I find this notable because one of the barriers that underserved individuals face is being mistreated by medical providers. If someone has a bad experience of being judged or being otherwise treated poorly, it is often unlikely they will return to that same provider. If it happens repeatedly at different locations, the patient may not seek medical care at all. All this creates distrust in the entire medical system. This discourages needed medical care for illnesses, possibly leading to catastrophic results. It is unlikely a patient will seek any preventive care either if they feel demoralized.


Assemblymember Karines Reyes. (n.d.). Biography.

Legiscan. (2022). New York Assembly Bill 1401.

Post 4:

When Shirley Nathan-Pulliam was elected to the Maryland General Assembly in 1994, she made history as the state’s first African American registered nurse. She has been an outspoken supporter of healthcare for all and has introduced multiple measures to improve the system. One of these was the receipt of $2.6 million in 1998 to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer among low-income women. Not long after that, she also raised half a million dollars to help uninsured and homeless men get checked for and treated for oral cancer.

House Bill 86, which she sponsored, established the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (MHHD) under the Maryland Department of Health in response to the state’s racial and ethnic communities’ dire need for medical attention. The program targets certain populations, such as African Americans and other minorities, in an effort to improve their health, prevent disease, and lower mortality rates. A bill of this nature would have far-reaching effects on healthcare, demonstrating equity and promoting health across all demographics.

Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, in an interview, bragged about the 2003 legislation she authored. A strategy for reducing racial and ethnic inequalities in Maryland has resulted from this. As a person of color and a healthcare advocate, she pushed to get the bill included so that it may be used to promote healthcare for African Americans and other minorities regardless of which governor or political party is in power (Campaign for Action, 2022).

Here is the summary of plans covered and stipulated in the bill.

1. MHHD develop a plan to reduce healthcare services disparities for minorities in the state

2. MHHD collects and analyzes data

3. MHHD increases racial and ethnic minorities among health professionals

4. Develop a strategic plan for public services

5. MHHD reviews existing laws to ensure that they facilitate adequate care for Blacks and other minorities

6. MHHD work with health professional schools to include courses on health disparities

7. MHHD work with all advocacy groups to reduce healthcare disparities

8. Provide grants to community-based organizations and HBCUs with programs to reduce disparities


Campaign for Action. (2022, November 21). Future of Nursing: Campaign for action homepage. Campaign for Action. Retrieved January 2, 2023, from

Helbig, J. (2018). Influencing Health Care Through Advocacy. Trends in health care: A nursing perspective. Retrieved January 2, 2023, from

Post 5:

American health care has tremendously changed for the better, it is important for nurses to work together to ease the need for healthcare providers. The IOM report is a road map to the improvement of health care system and elevating the nursing profession this can only be achieved through nurse participation and supportive legislation (Helbig, 2018). The bill   H. 3682 was sponsored and introduced in the South Carolina General Assembly 124th session of 2021-2022 by on January 14, 2021, by Reps. Collins, Bailey, Gilliard, Henegan, Ott, Hill, Allison, Murray, Bennett, Newton, Burns, Elliott, Jefferson, R. Williams, Jones, Brawley, Haddon, McGarry, Matthews, Anderson, and Taylor (South Carolina General Assembly, 2021). 

This bill amends portions of the Nurse Practice Act by allowing APRNs to perform specific medical acts in accordance with approved written guidelines. It removes the requirement that approved written guidelines for APRNs and CRNAs be developed by supervising licensed physicians or dentists and also requires CRNAs to have completed at least a master’s level accredited program. This bill repeals the requirement that the physician or dentist are responsible for the supervision of a CRNA be identified on the anesthesia record before administration of anesthesia and gives CRNAs the responsibility to administer anesthesia independently. An APRN may perform those activities considered to be the practice of registered nursing or advanced practice consisting of nonmedical acts, such as population health management; quality improvement or research projects within a health care system; and analysis of data and corresponding system recommendations, revisions, developments, or informatics (South Carolina General Assembly, 2021). APRNs are independent practitioners who can perform their nursing duties without the supervision of other health care professionals but can collaboratively work with other professionals for best patient outcomes.


Helbig, J, (2018). Influencing Health Care Through Advocacy. In Grand Canyon University (Ed.). Trends in Health Care: A Nursing Perspective 

 South Carolina General Assembly, (2021).2021-2022 Bill 3682: Advanced practical nurses practice amendment bill 


Post 6:

Legislative changes occur when nurses unite and address key issues that impact nurse and patient wellbeing. Nurses advocate for patient safety and wellbeing on a daily basis and also must act as advocates for themselves. Nurse leaders and managers are supposed to protect and advocate for staff nurses however due to understaffing, and other external and internal influences, upper management may not be able to adequately support nurses and effectively address all concerns in the workplace. Workplace violence is a serious issue in healthcare and violence can occur in a variety of facets. Physical violence, verbal abuse, sexual harassment, and racial discrimination are examples of violence that is observed in the nursing environment (Bernardes et al., 2021). Verbal abuse is the most common and inhibits nurses from providing effective care. Nurses who experience verbal abuse or other types of violence do not feel safe in the workplace and need additional support and advocacy from other nurses and upper management. Nurse safety is prioritized, and nurses need to feel safe in the workplace while providing patient care. “H.R.1309 – Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act” was a bill passed in 2019 that addressed the need for the Department of Labor to address and acknowledge workplace violence in the healthcare setting. This bill allows for the further investigation of violence incidents and risks to violence, as well as provide training and education to healthcare staff members if violence is experienced. In addition, the bill prohibits discrimination and retaliation against a healthcare worker who reports an incident or concern relating to workplace violence (Courtney, 2019). This legislative act is beneficial because it helps support staff who have experienced or are at risk for workplace violence, which again can take effect in various forms and in various settings. Education and occupational safety standards are currently present however more action is needed to continue advocacy for this issue. The Department of Labor has established standards however further enforcement is needed in the healthcare setting as some healthcare facilities are not regulating or requiring compliance (Kim, 2020). Awareness regarding this issue needs to increase along with education regarding this critical issue. When nurses and other healthcare staff are aware of legislation that is in place but not enforced, discussions can occur which can lead to continual improvement. When this occurs, improvements in safety and quality standards for nurses can present. 



Bernardes, M. L. G., Karino, M. E., Martins, J. T., Okubo, C. V. C., Galdino, M. J. Q., & Moreira, A. A. O. (2021). Workplace violence among nursing professionals. Revista brasileira de medicina do trabalho : publicacao oficial da Associacao Nacional de Medicina do Trabalho-ANAMT, 18(3), 250–257.


Courtney, J. (2019). H.R.1309 – 116th Congress (2019-2020): Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (2019/2020) [Legislation].


Kim, L. (2020). Federal legislative agenda. American Nurse.

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