Covington represents nursing in North Dakota at regional conference

Chandice Covington, dean of the College of Nursing, was a panelist at the August 2007 Council of State Governments’ Midwestern Legislative Conference in Traverse City, Mich. An invitation to present was extended by North Dakota Sen. John Warner and Kansas Sen. Vicky Schmidt, co-chairs on the Conference Health and Human Services Committee.

Dr. Covington spoke on North Dakota efforts to educate a new generation of healthcare professionals, as well as strategies to recruit and retain doctors and nurses, especially in the rural areas of North Dakota.

"I was so inspired by this conference where North Dakota legislators met to share with and learn from their peers in the Midwest region concerning their constituents’ needs,” said Dr. Covington. “These dedicated elected officials spent long hours in meeting rooms talking about critical needs in human services, such as the nursing shortage and how the state legislatures can help ease the crisis. It was an honor to present the new work of the North Dakota Nursing Consortium voted in by Senate Bill 2349 in the last biennium. The Consortium is comprised of all nursing programs in the state and will address needs such as faculty shortages, student financial concerns, and accessing clinical resources for quality education of nursing professionals."

Sen. Warner shares that "we frequently adopt the attitude, in North Dakota, that we are too small or that we have too few resources to take a leadership position in national health policy, but in many ways North Dakota's small size is our greatest asset.”

“We can be a great laboratory for innovation,” stated Sen. Warner. “If something works it can be polished and perfected before it is presented to the larger community, and if an experiment fails we can turn North Dakota's relatively small health and medical establishments quickly to move in a new direction. Dr. Covington has developed a reputation for innovative ideas and creative approaches to problem solving. I was delighted with the opportunity to show off one of North Dakota's brightest and best to this regional forum."

This annual conference focuses on those issues of greatest interest to policymakers in our nation’s heartland – providing state leaders with the resources and tools they need to effectively address today’s public policy challenges. Other topics on this year’s agenda included a keynote session from innovation expert Daniel Pink titled "Technology & Society, a Preview of the Congressional Agenda and Campaign 2008" and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David M. Kennedy giving the closing address, "Learning from Crises: The Great Depression and World War II."

North Dakota legislators attending the conference included Senators Arthur Behm, Dick Dever, Dave Nething, Jim Pomeroy, Rich Wardner, and John Warner; and Representatives Wesley Belter, Rick Berg, Donald Clark, Mark Dosch, David Drovdal, Pam Gulleson, Matthew Klein, Kim Koppleman, William Kretschmar, Gary Kreidt, Ken Svedjan, and Steve Zaiser.

The Council of State Governments (CSG) was founded in 1933 with the sole purpose of pursuing excellence in state government. As the only nonpartisan, nonprofit association representing all three branches of government, they are committed to helping put the best ideas and solutions into practice.