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Sharon Brigner, MS, RN

Sharon Brigner is a senior health policy analyst for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, based in Washington D.C. She works for senior citizens and future Social Security recipients by lobbying lawmakers and government officials on issues that affect Medicare, long-term health care, quality of care issues and nurse staffing.

Sharon spends many hours analyzing legislation, tracking legislative proposals, attending Congressional hearings and participating in meetings on Capitol Hill. She frequently gives media interviews and makes presentations for the committee at meetings and conventions. She also writes for various nursing journals, textbooks and other publications.

Sharon began her career in health care as a nursing student at Texas Woman's University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in nursing. Guided by a mentor, she soon decided to become involved in policy-making decisions affecting the health care industry. She served as president of the Texas Nursing Student Association and as an ex-officio board member of the National Student Nurses' Association. During her senior year, Sharon was elected president of the National Student Nurses' Association.

To become more active in the public policy arena, Sharon enrolled in the Health Systems Management graduate program at George Mason University. During this time, she interned for various government agencies, including the General Accounting Office and the office of former U.S. Sen. Chuck Robb of Virginia.

Sharon has had several memorable career moments. While working as a neurology nurse at the National Institutes of Health, she delivered a speech about Social Security and Medicare at a White House event before introducing then-President Bill Clinton. Another highlight was making a presentation about Medicare to Sen. Robb and his staff. She credits her success to having strong role models and mentors throughout nursing school and within the nursing profession.

Sharon is one of the nurses featured in an advertising campaign for Nurses for a Healthier Tomorrow. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the American Nurses Association, Women in Government Relations, and a sustaining member of the National Student Nurses' Association. She currently is enrolled part-time in law school at George Mason University and plans to seek a Ph.D in nursing after completing her law degree.