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The Nursing Voice: Summer 2021 Edition - Vol. 59

The Nursing Voice Magazine is a quarterly publication produced and written by ANA\California members and staff.


Table of Contents


A Message From Your Executive Director

Don't miss these important updates about your association or these new member benefits coming soon. Dr. Marketa Houskova shares more about upcoming events and agendas for ANA\California.

New Mission Statement

"The mission of ANA\California is to optimize nursing's contribution to the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities. As nurses this primary commitment to our society gudies and shapes our efforts to foster nursing practice standards, promote professional and leadership development, infludence public policy, and enhance professional practice environments."

New Vision Statement

"ANA\California, a constituent member of ANA, shapes the future of healthcare in California by advocating for public policy and the nursing profession."

Read the Future of Nursing 2020-2030 Report here.


Welcome ANA\California's Board of Directors!


Dr. Anita Girard DNP, RN, CNL, CPHQ, NEA-BC


Dr. Christine "Chris" Tarver DNP, RN, CNS, NEA-BC

Vice President

Dr. Alice Martanegara DNP, RN


Dr. Jose Alejandro PhD, RN, FAAN


Laura Chechel MSN, RN, CNS, CCRN

Legislative Director

Dr. Liz Dietz EdD, RN, CS-NP, CSN

Nursing Practice Director

Dr. Robyn M. Nelson, PhD, MSN, RN

Nursing Education Director

Zack Huddleston BSN, RN, PHN

Membership Director


Advocacy Institute Fellowship 2022:

Growing the Next Generation of Nurse Advocates

The Advocacy Institute Fellowship is an immersive program designed to help nurses develop the skills and knowledge necessary to lead advocacy initiatives affecting legislation, regulations, and policies in California.

During their one-year commitment, Fellows will leverage ANA\California's network of coalitions, partners, media, and political contacts to engage new opportunities for creating sustainable change in nursing.

Here are updates from our Fellows:


Future of Nursing Recommendations Fellowship

By Make'da Traynum

The ANA/California Advocacy Institute Fellowship program provides a platform for minority nurses to advocate for the progression of inclusion, diversity, and equities in healthcare. This Fellowship is providing aspiring nursing leaders, such as myself, opportunities in health policy, by working with prominent nursing coalitions and stakeholders within California to advance healthcare.

The systematic disparities that are currently present in our society’s healthcare system can be corrected by educational intervention to the nursing force. According to the Future of Nursing 2020-2030, in order to achieve health equity, there needs to be a strengthened investment into nursing expertise, while expanding on the current restrictive healthcare barriers. My early learning has taught me that the Future of Nursing 2020-2030 is filled with viable information for the nursing community to take action and apply the findings into modern healthcare.

My fellowship program has partnered with HealthImpact, a nursing organization that focuses on shaping the future of the nursing and healthcare workforce through innovation and advocacy. Through this partnership, I will be working closely with HealthImpact staff and leadership, including the President & CEO, Dr. Garret Chan, as well as, my appointed mentor, Dr. Sharon Goldfarb.

It has been a profound learning experience, thus far, being able to understand how nursing leadership roles influence sustainable change. From my meetings, I am beginning to create interprofessional relationships that will not only be beneficial during this fellowship but also for the future to come.

By the end of my Fellowship, we hope to showcase a prototype database displaying California health organizations' progress on the Future of Nursing recommendations. This will be an innovative new approach to measuring organizations' productivity associated with the Recommendations. I am hoping that this project will not only be impactful but also serve as a sustainable resource for years to come.


Racism in Nursing Fellowship

By Carter Todd

During my Advocacy Institute Fellowship, I will be working with ANA\California's Racism in Nursing Task Force to assist with the rollout and dissemination of an evidence-based assessment for nursing staff and nursing management. The assessment will not only evaluate the barriers for nurses on their journey toward anti-racism, but it will also provide action plans to overcome these established barriers.

From my experience within healthcare - as a nurse and community organizer - I have both experienced and witnessed the impact that racism can have on nurses, patients, and colleagues. With the murder of George Floyd in 2020, there was a global call to action for many people to mobilize in the name of equality. Nursing has met this calling, holding their profession accountable as they learn to be a more inclusive and representative workforce.

ANA\California has been an incredibly supportive organization as we embark on this inaugural program. I have been brought into the fold of the workings of a statewide task force that is composed of some of California's leading nurse advocates. This opportunity has allowed me to lean on my network of nurse leaders to assist with media opportunities as well as contribute to strategic planning and forecasting.

By the end of my Fellowship, I hope to assist with the synthesis of data gathered from the ANA\California's Racism in Nursing Assessments. Personally, my goal is to learn coalition-building skills that will lead to building more momentum for this important work in the future.

Want to get access to our Racism in Nursing Assessment? Sign up here!


Amplifying the Voice of Nurses in the Media

A Recap of the Nurses in Media Project hosted by ANA\California & UCSF School of Nursing

By Dr. Monicka Eckfield and Dr. Sharon Goldfarb

Nurses understand important healthcare issues. Nurses are familiar with the “business case” for what should be done: saving dollars and resources while also improving quality of life and health outcomes for patients. Nurses also know how to get into “the room where it happens”—the board rooms and executive offices where ideas are discussed, and decisions are made. But is that enough?

The answer is no. While these are important, valuable strategies, there are additional avenues where nurses can amplify their voices and advocate for important issues. These avenues are ones that we encounter every day and rarely make use of, let alone maximize their potential. We are referring to the media.

In 1997, the Woodhull Study on Nurses and Media: Health Care’s Invisible Partner found that nurses were cited as sources in only 4% of health news stories in leading print media. Twenty years later in a replication of this study, it was determined that nurses were cited as sources in only 2% of health news stories. A 2018 companion study explored journalists’ experiences talking with nurses as sources to identify the factors that have made nurses nearly invisible in health news media. We explored this jaw-dropping reality during a two-day media training in June, co-sponsored by ANA/C and UCSF School of Nursing.

The media training was led by Barbara Glickstein, who is a public health nurse, health reporter, and media strategist, and is the founder of Barbara Glickstein Strategies, a training company in media, leadership, and advocacy skills. Barbara Glickstein also produces HealthCetera, a podcast that provides evidence-based health news, analysis, and commentary.

“There's an imbalance in the number of nurses’ voices in the media. Let's change that.” -Barbara Glickstein

The bottom line here is that there is an incredible untapped potential for nurses to make their knowledge, expertise, and perspectives known and more importantly, to influence healthcare news, policy, and public literacy.

Nurses who are expert practitioners, researchers, and educators, participated in the training. Discussed was the crucial question of how do nurses go from experts in our fields to being sought after for our opinions on healthcare practices and policies by the news media? The first step is crafting our message. A strong message is essential to a news story, and for that, there are some key strategic points. Our message is for the public, so we must use clear, plain language that everyone can understand. As Barbara Glickstein said, “Building confidence comes with building skill.”

The next step after clarifying your message is to identify who is the audience, what are their values and priorities, and what actions you are encouraging them to undertake. Your message should easily answer the questions: “so what?”, “why should I care?”, and “what can I do about that?” Nurses need to think of this as the message triangle—audience, values, and action. When this is clear then our message is honed to its sharpest and most important points. Next, to be most effective we need to connect our points to something relevant in the news cycle, a startling statistic, or to a brief, poignant story about the health of an individual, family, or community that brings our issues to life.

Now that our message is ready, how do we get the attention of journalists and policymakers?

Nurses need to develop a network and connections and consider television, radio, online, and print news sources. You may already have a favorite healthcare reporter that you follow (who doesn’t follow April Dembosky at KQED News?) and if you don’t, you might want to find one. Also, reach out to media sources that have opposing views. Take note of who is writing newspaper, magazine, and online articles about your topic, and comment on their articles, highlighting the perspective that nurses bring to the story.

Think about what local, state, or national policies are important to you or pieces of legislation that need to be pushed forward. With a little internet sleuthing, you will have the names and email addresses of lawmakers who sit on influential committees reviewing those policies and bills. Many of these elected officials have a staff member whose job is to track and inform them on health policies, and these staffers are waiting for you to reach out to them. Whether you call or email or even reach out on their social media platforms, they will hear you.

“Be ready. The time to speak out and speak up is today.” -Barbara Glickstein

We know we need the nursing voice, not just on nursing issues but on all issues.

Racial equity, global warming, COVID policies: you name it and there is a need for nursing expertise. The public, news media, and legislators need to hear the clear, reasonable points that come straight from someone very trustworthy and in-the-know… you, a nurse expert.

Nurses must raise their voices to address pressing health issues. As Barbara Glickstein says “Be ready. The time to speak out and speak up is today.”


ANA Hill Day 2021

Using Lived Experiences from COVID-19 to Advocate for Nurses and Communities

By Daniela Vargas, MSN, MPH, MA-Bioethics, RN, PHN

As nurses, it is our ethical responsibility to advocate for safe and equitable health care practices for nurses, our colleagues throughout the healthcare setting, and the communities we serve.

This past year in 2020, nurses had to face many extraordinary challenges and confront safety concerns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic including the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) across all settings, high infection rates of COVID-19, and health disparities that are rooted in structural racism that disproportionately affected Black, Brown and Indigenous communities and the need to innovate healthcare delivery services especially when “Stay at Home” orders were placed throughout California.

This year nurses from ANA\California had the opportunity to advocate and share their lived experience virtually through ANA Hill Day 2021 with their elected representatives in the House of Representatives and the Senate to share their experiences and be advocates on three bills:

  1. PPE in America Act (S. 308/H.R. 1436),

  2. CONNECT for Health Act (S. 1512/H.R. 2903); and

  3. Workplace Prevention for Health Care and Social Services Workers Act (H.R. 1195).

Two nurses, Daniela Vargas and Gilanie De Castro, had the opportunity to participate as returning and first-time attendees of ANA Hill Day respectively.

These are their stories:


ANA Hill Day Story from Gilanie De Castro:

"This was the first time I participated in ANA’s Hill Day and it was an awe-inspiring experience. The phrase “having a seat at the table” took on a different meaning to me as I realized that engaging in the opportunity to speak directly with legislators and their aides was the ultimate seat at the only table that matters.

"I experienced first-hand that participating in government is not just for a select few and advocacy at any level can make a difference."

As nurses, we have the responsibility to participate and speak up in government because we are the experts in nursing. To allow non-nurses to create policy without our input is not only a disservice to the profession but to the future of healthcare as well.

I was part of a group of 34-36 nurses with ANA\California on Hill Day. I was both humbled and emboldened knowing that we were the voice for the nearly 500,000 RNs in California. ANA\California provided a comprehensive course in nursing advocacy a few days prior to Hill Day and supported us every step of the way to make sure that we were able to communicate effectively with our legislators.

I was able to speak with Joseph Ciccone from U.S. House of Representative Grace Napolitano’s office during one of the scheduled sessions and discussed the bills on ANA’s agenda. The following day, I was absolutely thrilled when I received confirmation from Representative Napolitano’s office that she was going to sponsor the PPE in America Act based on the information I shared with Mr. Ciccone on Hill Day.

I experienced first-hand that participating in government is not just for a select few and advocacy at any level can make a difference."


ANA Hill Day Story from Daniela Vargas:

“I live in San Francisco, CA and work both in the Counties of San Francisco and Santa Clara as a Registered Nurse. I have the honor to have the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D- CA 12) as my Congressperson and was able to visit the Speaker’s office previously in person in 2019. This year I met with Speaker Pelosi’s office again virtually along with ANA President Ernest Grant and other ANA staff members.

I shared my story about the lack of PPE in health care settings especially at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in San Francisco. I advocated for the PPE in America Act (S. 308/H.R. 1436), which would boost domestic supply of PPE, support domestic manufacturing of PPE, and ensure that supply would be regularly rotated to ensure that PPE would not be expired should another national emergency would occur.

I shared with the Speaker’s office that my small FQHC did not have the funding to compete with large surrounding health care systems that could pay high prices for PPE during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and received minimal PPE supply from the Department of Public Health. Most of the PPE that our clinic had in stock came primarily from donations from the community.

I also shared that the exposure risks for COVID-19 were high among Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities and that the Mission District in San Francisco had among the highest cases of COVID-19 in the country. Despite high levels of COVID-19 infections, nurses and healthcare providers in the outpatient setting that were delivering direct patient care at the FQHC received a new single-use N-95 mask every 3 weeks and were issued a single-use surgical mask once per week.

By sharing my experience with the lack of PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic, I was able to share with Speaker Pelosi’s office how critical it is that nurses are protected with the proper PPE when serving our communities.”


The Nursing Voice Magazine is a quarterly publication produced and written by ANA\California members and staff.

© Copyright 2021 American Nurses Association\California

1107 9th St. | Suite 350 | Sacramento, CA 95814

Office: 916-346-4590 | Email:


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