Date of Award

January 2021

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Yale University School of Nursing

First Advisor

Lisa Summers


Background: The nursing profession is underrepresented in local, state, and federal legislatures. While the profession desires to increase nurses’ political participation, there has not been a structured, comprehensive program to recruit, train, motivate, and support nurses to pursue elected office.Purpose: This project sought to identify the barriers to and facilitators of nurses’ pursuit of elected office and to use this information to develop methods to recruit, train, motivate, and support registered nurses to run for elected office at the local, state, or federal level. Methods: Maximum variation sampling was used to select a sample of 22 nurse candidates to be interviewed. An emergent design approach was used to do a preliminary analysis of nine interviews. The team planned to use this information to build a curriculum, then develop and pilot a 3-day, in-person candidate training program for nurses and midwives. The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated revising the plan. Instead, a two-hour educational webinar was developed and conducted to engage, inspire, and motivate registered nurses to run for elected office. Results: The nurse candidate interviews revealed information that supports the barriers and facilitators found in the literature. In addition, many new themes were discovered. The webinar findings confirmed that two hours is not enough time to teach nurses to run for office, but it is enough time to impact their decision on whether or not to pursue elected office in the future. Conclusion: Nurses, because of their skills, knowledge, experience, and expertise have much to contribute to the creation of public policy. Nurses must better understand the power they have to create change at all levels of government; a candidate school for nurses and midwives will help them do that.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access