Constance McMenamin, MSN, APN-C, RN

Candidate for Colorado State Representative

Campaign Message:

I would be honored to represent Colorado as the AANP state representative. I have participated in political advocacy for the NP profession both in Nevada and Colorado. My first advocacy was in the late 1990s to get Class II prescriptive authority for NPs and eventually full practice authority for Nevada NPs with successful legislation passed in 2013. After returning to Colorado, I participated with my Colorado Nurses Association and SIG 30 colleagues to reduce the mandatory 3,600 hours for prescriptive authority to 1,000 hours. During 2020, this hourly burden was further reduced. I continue to advocate for access to care for all Coloradans. I enjoyed meeting my AANP colleagues for advocacy in Washington, D.C., and have continued to be active within our state capital. If elected, I would actively participate on behalf of the NP profession within our national organization.

Respectfully,
Constance (Connie) McMenamin

Biographical Statement
Curriculum Vitae

Current Professional Position

Senior Instructor at University of Colorado, Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology.

AANP/ACNP Leadership Experience

No formal leadership roles with AANP, although several trips to Washington, D.C., for "AANP Capitol on the Hill."

Professional health care leadership positions within Colorado Nurses Association, including secretary Colorado Society Advanced Practice Nursing (SIG 30), legislative liaison, Government Affairs Public Policy (GAPP) and Nurse for Political Action (NPAC). Current nursing advocacy/initiative '100 Nurses for 100 Legislators.'

Successful legislation in Colorado (Senate Bill 15-197) concerning reducing the barriers to care for prescriptive authority. In Nevada, prior to 2012, carried the momentum in rural Nevada (Elko) for several years, which was important in connecting rural/frontier and urban support for the ultimate successful legislation in Nevada in 2013 with passage of full practice authority (Assembly Bill 170).

Conference planning: Five years as co-chair for nationally attended Pediatric Advance Practice conference for the advancement of education with evidence based practice and timely state and federal health care topics. Currently committee member for annual Advances in Pharmacotherapy, which is a joint effort between University of Colorado College of Nursing and College of Pharmacy.

Past leadership positions include participation on the State of Nevada Retention and Recruitment Committee for health care providers, and board member of Bright Path Adult Enrichment Center.

Biggest Challenge Facing NPs and How AANP Can Help

The need for inclusivity is the the biggest challenge for health care. Inclusion. This is an ongoing effort both within our profession to support NP colleagues as well as working to reduce legislative and insurance barriers that attempt to limit our ability to provide high-quality, cost-effective care. This can be done by increasing our power through membership and activism. The goal is to be a role model or mentor. My previous advocacy supported this when in a professional role and it can be done one-on-one when precepting student or when onboarding experienced NPs into our organization/practice setting. In addition, the recent technical explosion that allows telehealth and telecommunication within our clinical settings has provided an opportunity to reduce the barriers of travel for education and health care access. Diversity. There is need for inclusiveness for all genders, races, socioeconomic and geographic groups. With the tragedies to many Americans in 2020, both related to BLM and COVID-19, the disparity in health care came to the forefront. Many of us have taken opportunities to expand our worldview through marches, expanded reading and specific diversity training. NPs continue to be at the forefront of providing cost effective, high-level care to everyone.

Example of Initiative or Outcome of Leadership

Communicating and networking are key components in my skill set that will allow me advance AANP's mission. I see the mission as having clarity of our goals, consistency of language to advance our goals and promoting inclusiveness within the larger organization. The AANP already has the organizational structure for goal setting and a united message. My goal would be to excite and energize the newer members to our professional organization. My passion for advancing legislation for patient-centered care and for our profession is contagious. The outcome of my communication/networking efforts carried the momentum in rural Nevada (Elko) for the successful passage of Assembly Bill 170 in Nevada in 2013 for Full Practice Authority. My efforts were important in connecting rural/frontier to urban support for the ultimate successful passage of this legislation. Although I left Nevada in 2012, I was still credited with my efforts to mobilize rural support. In 2012, the population of Elko was approximately 40,000. I provided care to 4,000 distinct patients. It was because of this connection with my patients, and my community presence, that I was able to provide handwritten accounts of patient's stories highlighting quality health care provided by NPs.

If Elected, I Propose to Advance the AANP Mission as Follows:

Look at my past efforts to see how I will participate in advancing AANP's Mission and Strategic Plan. I would highlight clinical practice, education, advocacy and leadership. In my clinical role, I participate in research for Disease Modifying Therapy (DMT) for Multiple Sclerosis patients but this is currently not an area of focus.
-Legislative efforts to reduce barriers to care in Nevada (2013) and Colorado (2015).
-Effort to increase Nurse/NP presence on board. Plan to reduce FTE and plan to look into an additional board presence as we work on the initiative to have more Nurse/NP on community boards.
-Examples cited above regarding inclusivity/diversity.
-AANP media. While living in rural Nevada, I frequently highlighted my role as an NP to educate and inform the public of our profession through talks and newspaper articles. In a larger city, this is less available, but through the AANP leadership, I would hope to develop greater proficiency in providing the AANP message for outreach.
-Political presence/advocacy. I have attended AANP on the hill for two to three sessions. I have my federal legislators on speed dial and I participate in advocacy of local/state representative. Relationship building with my state and federal legislators.