Ep 66: Nursing & Public Policy: Why Nurses Need to Be Involved with Lt. Governor of Delaware

Nursing continues to grow its presence in politics and no one represents those achievements better than Bethany Hall-Long. The Lt. Governor of Delaware became the first nurse in the country to hold that esteemed position and she joins the show today to talk about the importance of being involved and having a voice in policy-making.

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

On This Episode:

If you’ve listened to past episodes of this show, you’ve heard Sharon’s passion for getting involved and be a part of politics at any level.

That’s why we were very excited to welcome this next guest to the show. Bethany Hall-Long was sworn in as the Lt. Governor of Delaware in 2017 and that was a significant day for healthcare. By taking that office, she became the first nurse in the country to hold that position for her state.

And it’s no surprise that she’s risen this high. Bethany served in the U.S. Navy for nearly a decade before moving into healthcare, where she’s worked for more than 30 years. During that time, she has practiced in various areas. Now’s she’s focused on public health and education. Not only is she the Lt. Governor, but she also works as a professor at the University of Delaware. There she became the first nursing faculty at UD to receive University-wide excellence in teach award.  

That’s why we were thrilled when she agreed to join us on Beyond the Mask to talk about why it’s important for nurses to have a seat at the policy-making table. As we’re seeing first-hand with the Coronavirus, it’s crucial that nurses are helping determine what the profession needs most. She’ll take us through policy, politics, and how she ended up in this field.

There’s a lot to learn in this episode and beyond because Bethany will joining Sharon’s Candidate School for Nurses at Yale in some capacity, which we’ll share more information about in future episodes.

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

[1:44] – We’re excited to welcome Bethany Hall-Long on the show.

[2:19] – Bethany gives us a little background on herself and career.  

[4:15] – The Coronavirus shows why it’s so important to having the calming voices of nurses in the policy-making world.

[5:30] – Sharon begins the conversation with a story about connecting with Bethany.

[6:44] – Where did Bethany’s interest in a political career come from?

[9:32] – Take us back to your first election and what lessons you learned from that?

[14:09] – Why should nurses be involved in policy?

[16:11] – What are some of the risks when nurses aren’t at the table?

[19:02] – If no one is speaking for nurses, who will?

[20:04] – We’re seeing examples of this with COVID-19.  

[21:44] – Nurses seem to have the makeup to be strong leaders. Why don’t they run very often?

[25:31] – Bethany will be joining the candidate school for nurses at Yale.

[29:08] – If you could choose another profession, what would it be?

[32:19] – Bethany leaves us with one final message.


“What is the No. 1 profession that people trust? Nurses. So when I campaign, I don’t introduce myself as a politician. I’m a nurse.” 

-Bethany Hall-Long, Lt. Governor of Delaware

Share this episode with a friend: