Dordt College News

Nursing students engage in the political process

February 27, 2012

Eighteen students in the Dordt College course, Nursing 390: Professional Practice Development in Society, journeyed to the Iowa State Capitol as part of the Iowa Nurse’s Association Legislative and Public Policy Education Day.

In Nursing 390, students examine and analyze political, economic, and psychosocial issues and trends affecting the nursing profession and healthcare. The trip allowed them to move beyond theoretical understanding to witnessing the political process in action.

Senior Dordt College nursing major Amanda Mahaffy of Sioux Center was inspired to become more engaged in the political process and help bring important improvements in the healthcare system.

“I realize that nurses need to be involved with or initiate bills that affect them, because, in some cases, change will not occur if we do not fight for it. If it does, as in the case of the healthcare reform, it is not beneficial to leave important decision-making up to people who are not directly involved in healthcare,” said Mahaffy. “Nurses have an educated, intelligent, and practical perspective on many issues. Therefore, we need to make sure we are using our experience to work with the government in order to make good decisions.”

During the morning conference, students heard from speakers Patricia Freeland, the president of the Iowa Nurses Association; Lorinda Inman, the executive director for the Iowa Board of Nursing; Amanda Reagen, Iowa Senator; Julie McMahon, director of the Division of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention of the Iowa Department of Public Health; and Dr. Mary Tarbox, nursing department chair at Mount Mercy University.

Following the conference students met with Representative Duane Alons of District 4 and Senator Randy Feenstra of District 2. The afternoon concluded with a tour of the capitol building and the capitol’s gold dome.

In five of the last six years, Dordt College nursing graduates have scored a perfect pass rate on the NCLEX-RN test, compared to an 85 percent Iowa average. Nursing graduates have also enjoyed an outstanding 100 percent employment rate. To learn more about the nursing program at Dordt, visit

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