Kiggans Honored with National Health Leadership Award

May 01, 2024

WASHINGTON, DC: Last week, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) was awarded the National Health Leadership Award by the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) in recognition of her advocacy efforts on behalf of nurses in Congress.

“Representative Kiggans has been a long-time champion of CRNAs at both the state and federal level, working for increased access to anesthesia care for patients and our ability to practice at the full scope of our education and licensure,” said AANA President Dru Riddle, PhD, DNP, CRNA, FAAN. “We are pleased to have recognized and honored Representative Kiggans for her service and her support.”

“Nurses are invaluable members of our communities who truly understand what it means to serve others,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “As the only nurse practitioner in Congress, I am proud to be a voice and advocate for my fellow nurses. Supporting the more than four million Americans who make up our nation’s nursing workforce directly impacts the health of our country. I am honored to receive the AANA National Health Leadership Award and will continue to work across the aisle to pass legislation to improve nursing recruitment, education, and retention.”

Congresswoman Kiggans serves as a Vice Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Nursing Caucus and has introduced several pieces of legislation aimed at supporting America’s nurses and improving recruitment and retention efforts to bolster the nursing workforce. Some of the bills she has championed include, but are not limited to:

  • the Nurse Overtime and Patient Safety Act to target and correct mandatory overtime requirements for nurses;
  • the I CAN Act, which allows more healthcare providers, including nurses, to provide additional services under Medicare and Medicaid;
  • the Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Reauthorization Act to equip healthcare professionals with resources to protect their mental health; and 
  • the Nurse Corps Tax Parity Act of 2023 to amend the Internal Revenue Code to ensure tax-status parity between the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and Nurse Corps programs.

After serving in the U.S. Navy for 10 years as a helicopter pilot, Congresswoman Kiggans used her GI Bill benefits to go back to school and become a board-certified Adult-Geriatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. A graduate of Old Dominion University’s Nursing School and Vanderbilt University’s Nurse Practitioner program, she has worked in several long-term care and nursing facilities in Virginia Beach and Norfolk in addition to serving as a primary care provider for a small private practice in Virginia Beach.


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