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Nursing Policy

“The function of the TNA is to initiate and influence legislation, 
governmental programs and health policy at the state and national levels.”

- TNA Bylaws, Article I, Section 3c

Since the Texas Nurses Association was founded in 1907, one of its primary purposes has been to represent and support all segments of nursing practice by working with the state legislature and stakeholders through its Government Affairs and nursing practice committees.

In 2015, TNA first appointed a Policy Council and policy committees to explore nursing concerns and develop policy positions. In 2017, we added Expert Advisor groups and a Policy Fellowship program for DNP students. TNA also strives to engage nursing students at all levels of education in its policy and legislative advocacy efforts with resources to support and encourage student policy advocacy.

TNA held its first Policy Summit in April 2018, inviting Texas nurses throughout the state to review the committees’ work and offer feedback and resources. Keep checking TNA’s calendar of events for information on the next summit in the summer of 2019.

In addition, TNA has hosted Nurse Day at the Capitol biennially since 1999, welcoming nurses and nursing students throughout Texas to come to Austin for education on issues the Texas Legislature will examine during the session. Nurses and students have the chance to discuss those issues and proposed legislation with their state legislators and staff. 2019 Nurse Day at the Capitol will be Feb. 18 and 19, 2019.

Nursing Policy

APRN (coming soon)

Nursing Education (coming soon)

End of Life (coming soon)

Maternal Mortality and Morbidity (coming soon)

Mental Health (coming soon)

Nursing Regulation

  • Health Care Technology 
  • APRN Issues
  • Peer Review Committees
  • Just Culture

Workplace Advocacy (coming soon)

Policy Council

The Policy Process: How TNA Develops PositionsThe 2017-2019 Texas Nurses Association Policy Council was appointed by TNA’s Board of Directors in July 2017 and met that fall to determine the committees it would need to address the nursing and healthcare issues facing Texas over the next two years.

The seven established Policy Council Committees are:

  • APRN
  • Nursing Education
  • End of Life
  • Maternal Mortality and Morbidity
  • Mental Health
  • Nursing Regulation
  • Workplace Advocacy

View Policy Council and Committee Members

Over the past six to seven months, these groups explored and developed policy on some of the most pressing issues related to each committees’ area of professional practice, with input from hundreds of its members through the Expert Advisors. TNA's Expert Advisors for each of the above committees were instrumental in assisting with the research that helped the committees fully explore the topics put before them to consider.

DNP Policy Fellowship

Congratulations to the 2018-2019 Texas Nurses Association Policy Fellows!

Thank you for your interest in the Texas Nurses Association DNP Policy Fellowship Program.  The application submission period is now closed. Learn more about our current policy fellows by clicking the tab above.

The next opportunity to apply is the Summer 2019.

TNA offers this program to motivated DNP students who wish to work on nursing education and policy development throughout their DNP coursework.

At TNA, policy development happens through the Policy Council, specifically through the Policy Council’s committees.  The committees generally meet once a month by conference call to discuss policy development and research on specific topics.  DNP Policy Fellows will engage with the committees and be assigned a mentor to help guide and track their progress during their work with TNA.

Program requirements and expectations:

  • Policy Fellows must be TNA members to participate
  • Fellows must attend assigned committee meetings
  • Fellows are expected to remain in close contact with their assigned mentor throughout the process.
  • Faculty members of Policy Fellows should be engaged and willing to intervene if expectations are not met.
  • Fellows must make a one-year commitment to TNA in order to properly understand and research policy development.

TNA can work with your school and your faculty to develop the fellowship into course credit, if

If you believe that you can fulfill the expectations above, the next opportunity to apply will be in summer 2019.  In the meantime, please consider the following program requirements below for application. Click the first tab above to learn about the Association's policy positions, and consider becoming an Expert Advisor to the policy committee(s) of interest in order to share resources and experience with virtually no time commitment.

Application requirements:

  • Resume/CV
  • Recommendation by faculty member
  • Course Syllabus
  • Statement of Interest – Please tell us why you would like to become a Policy Fellow and what policy issues interest you

2018 Fellows

Kristy Aleman, DPA, ACNP, APN, RN

Kristy is interested in reducing barriers to affordable, high quality care and increasing funding to the Nursing Faculty Loan Repayment Program.

Advisor: Jessica Peck, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC, CNE, CNL, FAANP

Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi

Raquel Armstrong, MBA, BSN, RNC-NIC, NE-BC

Raquel is interested in how professional nursing organizations impact change and policy reform as well as maternal mortality and opioid use.

Advisor: Nancy Crider, DrPH, RN, NEA-BC

University of Texas at Houston Health Science Center

Emily Carder, MSN, RN, WHNP-BC

Emily is interested in women’s health and access to postnatal care for behavioral health issues, especially postpartum depression and opioid use.

Advisor: Gayle Acton, PhD, RN

University of Texas at Austin

Barbara Chapman, MSN, APRN, FNP-C

Barbara is interested in increasing access to health care especially in underserved or rural areas across Texas.

Advisor: Ellen Fineout-Overholt, PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN

University of Texas at Tyler

Chiquesha Davis, MSN,

Chiquesha is interested in health policy and ways to decrease nurse anxiety while working with patients who are terminally ill.

Advisor: Colleen Marzilli, PhD, DNP, RN-BC, CCM, PHNA-BC, CNE, NEA-BC

University of Texas at Tyler

Gabrielle Davis, MSN, RN, CNE

Gabrielle is interested in reducing student attrition, improving graduation rates and developing a mentoring program for new nursing faculty.

Advisor: Ellen Fineout-Overholt, PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN

University of Texas at Tyler

Sonya Grigsby, MSN, APRN, AGACNP-BC

Sonya is interested in health care regulation and scope of practice.

Advisor: Ellen Fineout-Overholt, PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN

University of Texas at Tyler

Melynda Hutchings, MSN RN-BC

Melynda is interested in decreasing rates of childhood obesity and development of health care policy.

Advisor: Aimmee Dunnam, DNP, MSN, APRN, NNP-BC

University of Texas at Arlington

Cyndi Kelley, MSN, RNC-LRN

Cyndi is interested in helping develop or adapt policies focused on the improved care of infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.

Advisor: Ellen Fineout-Overholt, PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN

University of Texas at Tyler


Sha is interested in interdisciplinary approaches to management for HIV and Hepatitis C patients and treating mental health disorders.

Advisor: Eileen Giardino, PhD, RN, MSN

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Susan McKee, MSN, BSN, MeD, BS

Susan is interested in education issues including nursing shortage, faculty issues and the nursing school experience of students.

Advisor: Beth Mastel-Smith, PhD, MS, RN

University of Texas at Tyler

2017 Projects

Coming soon.

Become an Expert Advisor!

An expert advisor is a TNA member who engages in nursing policy, with zero time commitment and travel requirements, by agreeing to receive periodic emails from TNA about the selected committee meetings’ agendas. We will ask expert advisors (via email) to submit any comments, questions, or thoughts you may have on the topics set out in the agenda that you think the committee should consider or discuss. It’s TNA’s no-nonsense way of crowdsourcing discussion on nursing topics that matter to you.

The 2018-2019 TNA Policy Positions were just finalized, but there is still work for the committees to do. If you are a TNA member and you would like to be an expert advisor for any of the TNA Policy Council committees, please fill out the Policy Expert Advisors Form below.

Texas Nurses Association

Texas Affiliate of ANA | 4807 Spicewood Springs Rd., Bldg 3, Austin TX

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