Member Spotlight: Heather M. Ross, DNP, PhD

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Heather M. Ross, DNP, PhD, chair of the ACC CV Team Advocacy Committee, is running for U.S. Congress in Arizona’s 6th district. Combining her passion for cardiology and the personal conviction that nurses have a responsibility to participate in professional organizations, Ross was one of the first 100 nurses to join the ACC. She urges nurses to not be afraid to start with local chapter involvement, volunteer for state and national committees or work forces, and pursue political health care activities.

Serving as cardiac nurse practitioner with an active practice in outpatient management of electrophysiology and cardiac device issues, Ross is also an Arizona State University professor of health policy and health technology. As an international research scientist exploring the use of technology for addressing security and health issues globally, her latest project provides solar powered libraries to remote villages in Vanuatu. Ross advocates that we share similar values globally and notes that “we all want to lead better lives, be healthy, provide for our families and live in safety.”

Ross holds an undergraduate religion degree from Yale, a master’s degree in nursing from Boston College and two doctoral degrees from Arizona State University — a Doctor of Nursing Practice and Doctor of Philosophy in Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology. Acknowledging outstanding mentors throughout her career, she credits her passion for electrophysiology from the late Dusan Z. Kocovic, MD.

Ross developed her pragmatic global view of politics when she served as an intern for Senator John McCain, who she describes as a deeply moral person, focused on service to his country and constituents. Multiple members of Congress now serve as mentors and role models for her on how to thrive in public service despite the intense political scrutiny and personal criticism that comes with stepping up to run for public office.

As a Congressional candidate, Ross encourages nurses of both genders to step up and get involved in today’s political arena, where women and nurses are disproportionately underrepresented. “It is our moral responsibility to be advocates for our patients,” she states.

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This article was authored by Elizabeth Ann Davis Lee, PhD, APRN, ACNS-BC, CNE, assistant professor of nursing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in Little Rock, AR.