2020 has been deemed ‘Year of the Nurse’, but it is also an important election year. The results announced (hopefully!) November 3 will determine the course of our country for the next four years. Nurses have important topics to vote on this year, and making sure you get your vote counted is undeniably important.
Now, more than ever, nurses need to get our collective voice heard.. The experiences that nurses have been through this year have highlighted significant gaps in our healthcare system. There are some critical issues that the American Nurses Association (ANA) highlights that will have impacts on our profession. The ANA top concerns for nurses this election year are:
- COVID-19 pandemic and adequate supply of resources/PPE
- Safe staffing
- The opioid epidemic and its burden on healthcare
- Transformation of the federal healthcare system and effect on nursing profession
- Development of nursing workforce and profession’s role in efficiency of healthcare
- Home health and addressing critical access to healthcare
- Workplace violence and bullying
More information can be found on these topics at nursesvote.org
Travel Nurses and Voting
Despite being away from their home state, travel nurses CAN still vote!! Don’t let being away deter you from casting your important vote in your state of permanent residence. Many states offer online voter registration, or you can ask the county clerk to mail a registration form to your mailing address. Be sure to check your home state’s deadline for voter registration
How to Vote as a Travel Nurse
- Register to vote by your HOME STATE deadline
- Request absentee ballot by state deadline. You CANNOT receive a ballot if you are not registered to vote
- Keep an eye out in the mail for you ballot and mail back ASAP with your vote
Once a travel nurse is registered, they can then request an absentee ballot be forwarded to their residence while on assignment. EVERY state offers mail-in absentee ballots. Some states will require that you fill out a form to request an absentee ballot, and some will be automatically sending them this year due to the pandemic. Again, you MUST be registered to vote to receive an absentee ballot. Details on absentee voting can be found at usvotefoundation.org and at usa.gov
If you are unsure if you are registered to vote you can use this tool to check your registration status, party affiliation, address on record, and other voter details.
Excited about the election? The ANA has many ways to get involved and ensure nurses’ voices are heard!