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Dartmouth College

The 2022 Nursing Leadership Webinar Series: When Nurse Leaders Speak, Legislators Listen

Dartmouth College via Independent


Dartmouth Health Continuing Education for Professionals Home, The 2022 Nursing Leadership Webinar Series: When Nurse Leaders Speak, Legislators Listen, 5/10/2022 12:00:00 PM - 5/10/2025 1:00:00 PM,

We know that legislation affects healthcare costs, decision-making, and overall health-related choices for our patients and ourselves. Politicians must often make decisions on proposed bills with limited knowledge of the impact they can have on patient populations, healthcare, and healthcare organizations. Based on Gallup poll results, nurses have been chosen as the number one trusted profession for twenty years in a row. As respected health care professionals, we are able to draw on our expertise – and reputation - to support appropriate legislation. We can contribute personal experiences as professionals in healthcare to address any number of proposed bills by making calls, writing letters, or providing written or in-person testimony. Nursing organizations, such as the New Hampshire Nurses Association (NHNA), not only serve as guides in this work, but offer opportunities to help us learn more and take action. As nurse leaders, we have a significant role to play in the future of healthcare. We encourage you to join us and learn more about the importance of all nurses becoming more aware and involved in legislation that can affect their profession and practice. 


Polly K. Campion, MS, RN

About our Presenter

Polly is a registered nurse and former two-term New Hampshire State Legislator, having served as Vice-Chair of the Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs Committee. She is an experienced professional with extensive leadership experience and diverse background in continuous healthcare improvement. Beginning her nursing experience in inpatient oncology, Polly demonstrated progressive leadership and responsibility for clinical improvement, patient safety, and regulatory accreditation over twenty-plus years at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Alliance. Following her retirement from DHMC, she worked as a Healthcare Quality Consultant with the Foundation for Healthy Communities and the Home Care Association of New Hampshire.

During her time in the Legislature, Polly sponsored or co-sponsored over 40 bills, addressing a wide variety of topics, primarily related to public health. Polly currently serves as the Chair of the NH State Commission on Aging, a comprehensive body formed due to legislation she introduced.  She also continues to serve on the State Health Assessment/State Health Improvement Plan Advisory Council (SHA/SHIP), the Medical Advisory Committee of the NH Crisis Standards of Care Committee, and the NH Nurses Association Commission on Government Affairs.

A fierce advocate for nurses, patients, and system improvement, Polly has spoken widely on topics addressing system redesign to reduce harm, measuring adverse events, ethical review of quality improvement, reliability in health care, learning from adverse events, pathways and protocols, and creating best practices. She has published articles in the Journal of Nursing Administration, Journal of Nursing Care Quality, Nursing Quality Connection, and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons Bulletin and co-authoring a cookbook.

Pamela P. DiNapoli, Ph.D., RN, CNL

About our Presenter

 Pam is the Executive Director of the NH Nurses Association, which represents the nurses of New Hampshire in advocacy efforts through legislation, political action, and education. Before becoming Executive Director, she held various positions with the association, including Chair of the Government Affairs Council, Chair of the Commission on Education, and Secretary. In addition, she has been a member of the New Hampshire Nurses association since 1989.

Carol A. Townsend, MSN, RN, CNML

About our Presenter

Carol is the Director of Nursing for the Community Group Practice in Ambulatory Care within Divisional Administration at Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinics in Nashua, NH. She met Polly Campion in November 2019 when she was in a Healthcare Policy class. Polly spoke so well about legislation and the importance of a nursing voice. Carol joined as a guest for a CGA (Commission of Government Affairs) meeting of the NHNA. From that point on, she was hooked. She signed on as a member shortly after and spent the first year learning more about legislation and action. Recently, Carol has been able to be part of calls with senators, written testimony, and any other way to share her knowledge on how nurses can have a voice in legislation that affects the care of patients in our community.

Learning Outcome
At the conclusion of this learning activity, (at least 75% of) participants will be able to discuss the important role of the nurse as an active participant in the legislative process in New Hampshire.  

Bibliographic Material

  1. The General Court of New Hampshire. (2021). The General Court of New Hampshire.
  2. House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs (02/08). (2022, February 8). [Video]. YouTube.
  3. Join Us. (2022). New Hampshire Nurses Association | Nursing Network.
  4. LegiScan | New Hampshire State Dashboard. (2022). LegiScan.
  5. The New Hampshire House of Representatives. (2021a). The New Hampshire House of Representatives.
  6. The New Hampshire House of Representatives. (2021b). The New Hampshire House of Representatives.
  7. Senate Health and Human Services (04/06). (2022, April 6). [Video]. YouTube.


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