Nurses Serving in Congress
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30)
Congresswoman Johnson studied nursing at St. Mary's College at the University of Notre Dame. She returned to Texas when she successfully passed the National Board Examination in Nursing. She later became Chief Psychiatric Nurse at the VA Hospital in Dallas and received a bachelor's degree in nursing from Texas Christian University in 1967. She received a master's degree in public administration from Southern Methodist University in 1976. Congresswoman Johnson is the first nurse to be elected to the U.S. Congress.
Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14)
Congresswoman Lauren Underwood serves Illinois’ 14th Congressional district and was sworn into the 116th U.S. Congress on January 3, 2019. Congresswoman Underwood is the first woman, the first person of color, and the first millennial to represent her community in Congress. She is also the youngest African American woman to serve in the United States House of Representatives.
Prior to her election to Congress, Congresswoman Underwood worked with a Medicaid plan in Chicago to ensure that it provided high-quality, cost-efficient care. She served as a Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), helping communities across the country prevent, prepare for, and respond to disasters, bioterror threats, and public health emergencies. As a career public servant at HHS, she helped implement the Affordable Care Act — broadening access for those on Medicare, improving healthcare quality, and reforming private insurance. Congresswoman Underwood also taught future nurse practitioners through Georgetown University’s online master’s program. Congresswoman Underwood is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University. She graduated from Neuqua Valley High School and is a lifelong Girl Scout. She resides in Naperville, Illinois.
Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-MO-1)
Cori Bush was elected in 2020 to serve Missouri’s 1st Congressional district and was sworn into office on January 3, 2021. She is the first Black woman and first nurse to represent Missouri and the first woman to represent Missouri’s 1st Congressional District. She received a nursing degree from Lutheran University of Nursing in 2008 and spent the next decade serving the community as a nurse, ordained pastor, community organizer and childcare worker.
She became more politically active during the civil unrest of Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. There she worked as a triage nurse and an organizer. Similarly, Cori Bush is a Nonviolence 365 Ambassador with the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change. Her advocacy work has earned her recognition from the Emmitt Till Legacy Foundation, the Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards, and the Jefferson City NAACP. She was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri and still resides there today.
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