There are 3 Million Nurses in the U.S.: Will We Vote in the 2016 Presidential Election?

By Patricia Cannistraci, DNS, RN, CNE

nursesvotebuttonThis week our country will elect a new president, along with many other officials at the local, regional, and national level. I can only imagine the impact that would be made following the election if all nurses voted.

Did you know that in 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Health Resource and Services Administration (HRSA) analyzed the nursing workforce for trends, supply, and distribution (Health Resources and Services Administration [HRSA], 2013)? It was noted that during the 2000s, the field of nursing experienced more than a 24 percent growth among registered and advanced practice nurses. The current estimate is at 3 million registered and advanced practice nurses. The U.S. Department of Labor identifies nursing as the largest health care profession (U. S. Department of Labor [USDL], 2010).

This means that 3 million nurses have the chance to advocate through their vote. Instead of our most common form of advocating—for our patients: to preserve dignity, promote equality, and prevent suffering—our vote can establish a position around the many policies (such as the Affordable Care Act) that will be impacted by the outcome of the election. Don’t let this opportunity to take advocacy to the next level pass by without your vote. Find time to vote tomorrow at your polling place!