Ep 175: Why More Nurses Need to Be Elected to Congress

As we approach another round of midterm elections, we wanted to introduce you to one of the few nurses around the country that hopes to represent her state in Congress. Renee Ellmers is running again in North Carolina after previously serving three terms and she’s doing so with the goal of improving access to healthcare in our country. We’ll also discuss why it matters to have nurses representing our profession as elected leaders and how it might have made a difference in a recent ruling in Tennessee. 

Click the timestamps below to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

On This Episode:

Another critical election season is upcoming and regardless of how you feel about the candidates, we can all probably agree on one thing: we need more nurses in office.

It’s something we stress quite a bit on this show but for good reason. Nurses, with their skills and personality traits, would make great representatives for their district. Plus, having more people in office that can speak from experience on the issues in healthcare would benefit us all.

That’s what Renee Ellmers is trying to do in North Carolina. This former Congresswoman is running for office again this year and one of her goals is to help improve the access to healthcare that is plaguing our country. Today she joins the podcast to talk more about why she’s motivated to return to Washington and why it’s so important for more nurses to join politics. Plus we’ll talk about some of the big issues in our profession right now and get her thoughts on how to improve things.

If you want to learn more about her or her campaign, you can visit Renee online at ReneeEllmers.com.

As you get started on the episode, keep an ear out for these topics:

  • Why healthcare has pushed her to run on multiple occasions.
  • The reason why nurses make really good elected officials rather than the traditional candidate.
  • The issue of allowing advanced practice nurses to practice to the top of their license.
  • The takeaways for nurses after restrictions were during the COVID pandemic.
  • Solutions that she feels could help solve these access to healthcare problems.
  • Why don’t more nurses decide to run for office?
  • What did she learn once she was on the inside in Washington?
  • Her feelings about the nurse in Tennessee who was convicted in death.
  • Would representation have helped in that situation and is this a bad precedent that has been set?
  • What can other nurses do to help Renee in her campaign?

Check it out the interview at the top of the page and use the timestamps to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

2:18 – Renee’s view of healthcare and why she’s running  

5:45 – Why nurses make good elected officials

7:06 – Getting full practice authority

9:08 – Quality of care

11:57 – Restrictions lifted during COVID

13:59 – What can be done?  

16:57 – Current nurses in politics

19:03 – Why are nurses elected more?

21:58 – Surprises in Washington

23:24 – Nurse in Tennessee convicted

27:54 – Did the lack of representation impact the ruling?

29:35 – The precedent set

32:05 – How nurses can help her

35:23 – Advice for nurses

37:09 – Lightning Round  



“I look at this as a market issue and really a provider issue and an access to care issue, not a government-run solution. As we all know, when the government gets involved with something, many times it does not go well.”

-Renee Ellmers, North Carolina Congressional Candidate





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J. Cross CRNA
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