The American Nurses Association which represents the interests of the 2.9 million nurses in the U.S. has been endorsing presidential candidates since 1984. Last week, the ANA endorsed Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY).
According to the press release, ANA President Rebecca M. Patton MSN, RN, CNOR, stated, "Too many Americans must do without high quality health care, and this country deserves a president that will make health system reform a priority."
Last week, Patton criticized President Bush for giving so little focus to health care in his State of the Union Address.
Nurses have repeatedly said that health reform is one issue, but it will not succeed unless we have the workforce of nurses and physicians to support the increased need of an increasing and aging population. Senator Clinton has shown support for nurses, and states that she will "continue to support efforts to attract and retain qualified nurses, especially in rural and urban areas, and to improve working conditions."
One thing is for certain, no matter which candidates succeed in running for President, nurses need to continue to make health care and nursing major campaign issues for both parties and follow through to see that campaign promises become a reality in the next administration.