The Nurses Running for Elected Office (NREO) Training Academy, built by nurses for nurses, was launched on January 7, 2023. The six-month training academy provides training and resources for nurses interested in running for elected office at the local, state, and federal levels.

Again in 2024, we will welcome a diverse group of nurses from around the state into the inaugural class of the training academy. The 2024 Academy will begin in January and will meet virtually the first Saturday of every month through May, with in-person graduation in June.

Sessions will focus on building the skills to develop a clear and cohesive communication strategy necessary for a successful campaign, connect participants with community resources, and provide information on election finance regulations and fundraising dos and don’ts.

Mission and Goals

Our mission is to educate nurses interested in running for office and give them the skills necessary to run for elected office and serve as elected leaders.

We know that nurses recognize the impact on healthcare in all policies when they are at the table. Our goal is to increase the number of nurses seeking and winning elected positions up and down the ballot.

ANA-Illinois President and Nurses Running for Elected Office Founder, Dr. Liz Aquino

“Nurses are well suited to serve in public office due to their understanding of public health, experience advocating for patients and communities, awareness of social determinants of health, strong interpersonal skills, and readiness to take action to serve others. The NREO training academy intends to help support nurses in running for elected office at local, state, and federal levels. If we want to see positive changes in healthcare happen, we must have nurses in roles where decisions are made! The NREO training academy will provide nurses with tools to help them feel more confident in running for elected office. If you want to learn more about what it takes to run for elected office, are considering running for elected office, or have already decided to do so, please apply to participate in our 2024 Training Academy.”


  • Have you ever considered running for an elected office?
  • Do you wonder if being an elected official is right for you?
  • Do you wonder if you have what it takes to run?
  • Are you planning to seek an elected position sometime in the future but want more information and resources on how to do it?

Applications open in July of each year, with cohort announcements in September.  Watch for further information.


Applications will be accepted from August 1-August 31.




Levels of Government
Civics 101
Various elected positions – roles, scope & responsibilities
Candidate responsibilities
Panel – Nurses who have run for office


Creating Your Platform

Identifying a need
Policy work
Using a health equity lens to create policy change
Panel – “I’m a Bill on Capitol Hill”


Your Brand/Message

Telling your story and connecting to your platform
Speech training
Interviews and pivoting
PR/Messaging: media, flyers, signs
Activity: Deliver your speech
Panel: Running Against All Odds


Your Team & To-Dos

Building your team (roles & responsibilities)
Petition paperwork, signatures, filing, challenges
Types of Endorsements
Panel: Endorsements – How to get them & who to get them from



Panel: Running a Grassroots Campaign
Tracking and reporting
Rules and finance law
Building your list
Making the “ask”
Activity – Make the call for fundraising