Nursing Faculty Member Selected to Attend Policy Session

mary garnicaUniversity of Central Arkansas nursing professor, Mary Garnica, has been selected to attend the inaugural Faculty Policy Intensive (FPI) program of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) scheduled for March 18 to March 21.

During the four-day event in Washington D.C., faculty members have the opportunity to enhance existing knowledge of policy and advocacy through sessions that will strengthen understanding of the legislative process and the dynamic relationships between federal departments and agencies, national nursing organizations, and the individual advocate.

“Policy makers can make a difference if they understand what it is that nurses bring to the table. But policy makers can’t know everything about every issue. That is why a program such as the AACN Faculty Policy Intensive is so important. The eight of us who complete this program will be able to serve as liaisons to better inform policymaking in our states, and at the federal level,” Garnica said.

AACN is a nonpartisan organization that serves to educate and advocate for nursing education, research, and practice. Garnica was one of only eight nurse educators across the country chosen for the FPI.

Director of Government Affairs at AACN, Suzanne Miyamoto, said in an email announcement to Garnica, “AACN’s government affairs committee had the difficult task of deciding among the many qualified applications we received. However, your policy interests and dedication to the program stood out among your colleagues.”

Garnica currently serves as Health Policy Chair for Arkansas Nurses Association, and she leads the “practice pillar” group in the Arkansas Action Coalition–a group whose purpose is to advance nursing in the state.

“I want to use the information to broaden my current focus on practice issues and engage with nursing education policy development at the state level. I also want to provide nursing graduate students with a perspective on health policy that is both relevant and current,” Garnica said.

Dean of the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Neil Hattlestad, said, “Congratulations on your selection for the participation in this conference. As one of only eight nurse educators nationally who will engage in charting the future of nursing education, this is a distinct honor.”