A throng of 1,100 nurses and nursing students gathered on Halifax Mall for the 2019 Nurses Day at the Legislature. After hearing from a handful of lawmakers, the sea of lab coats made its way inside the legislative building to lobby for issues such as the SAVE Act and the need for funding for school nurses.
The day began with an advocacy-themed continuing education program at the Raleigh Convention Center where Dr. Ernest Grant, Ph.D. RN, FAAN, the president of the American Nurses Association delivered the keynote address.
The 2019 #NursesDay @NCLeg starts @Raleigh_CC Some 1,100 nurses, nursing students will rally on Halifax Mall & lobby lawmakers to care as much as they do when debating policy that affects patients. #ABC11 @NCNA pic.twitter.com/kRORY8v4PA— Andrea Blanford (@AndreaABC11) April 3, 2019
Grant said the SAVE Act, which would give more practice authority to the advanced practice registered nurse, would have a significant impact on North Carolina's rural areas where the nursing and physician shortage is taking a toll.
"In some cases, a nurse may have to wait on a physician signature or something like that in order to provide the healthcare for a patient- something they can easily sign for themselves and be on to the next patient, if you will," Grant said.
Rep. Gale Adcock (D), Wake, a family nurse practitioner of 32 years, is one of three nurses who also serves in the General Assembly.
She said she's confident the presence of 1,100 of her nursing peers in the halls of the legislative building will move the needle on pending legislation, including a bill she's sponsored to put at least one nurse in every school across the state.
"There are many districts where nurses have three and four schools they have to cover and that's untenable," Adcock said.
The North Carolina Nurses Association (NCNA) puts on the event every other year, encouraging nurses to take an active role, helping shape regulations that affect millions of people across the state.