The Fourth Annual Nurse Anesthesia Lobby Day took place January 24, 2012, at the Kansas State Capitol Building in Topeka, Kan.
Twenty-four graduate nurse anesthesia students from University of Kansas Medical Center, Newman University of Wichita, Kan., and Texas Wesleyan University of Fort Worth, Texas, participated, along with faculty, representatives from the Kansas Association of Nurse Anesthetists and lobbyists from Hein Law Firm Chartered. This event was part of the National Nurse Anesthetist Week.
Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) administer more than 32 million doses of anesthetics annually, according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. CRNAs are the primary providers of anesthetic care in nearly 100 percent of America’s rural hospitals. CRNAs have also been the primary providers of anesthetic care on American military bases around the world since the Civil War.
Students and faculty pose for a group photo with Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (back row, center)
KU Nurse Anesthesia student Ron Hein (right) with Kansas Securities Commissioner Aaron Jack
After being briefed by Hein Law Firm, students posed for a group photo with Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. Students then proceeded to individual legislator meetings to educate Kansas policymakers on the role CRNAs play in caring for the citizens of Kansas. Nurse anesthetists provide cost-effective, high quality services to patients throughout the state.
During a lunch sponsored by the Kansas Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Aaron Jack spoke about the role of CRNAs in Kansas policy. Jack, Kansas securities commissioner and KU alumnus, said nurse anesthetists can impact policy decisions by donating to the CRNA-PAC fund and developing interpersonal relationships with the local representatives.
Following lunch, participants continued the legislator education sessions and observed a session of Kansas Senate.
Many first-time participants said they were thrilled with the positive feedback they received from the Kansas legislators with whom they met. More than 20 members of the Kansas Legislature received individual appointments. Students said they are looking forward to another lobby day next year to continue educating Kansas policy makers on the issues facing their industry.
National Nurse Anesthetists Week is celebrated the last full week in January on an annual basis. 2012 marks the 13th National Nurse Anesthetists Week, which began in 1999.