Meet Mary Behrens, WCN Board Chair
We’d like you to meet Mary Behrens, MS, BS, FNP-BC, FAANP, our Advisory Board Chair. Mary is received her BS in Nursing at the University of Wisconsin Madison, her MSN from University of Colorado, and her Post Masters Certificate from the University of Wyoming as a Family Nurse Practitioner.
Mary Behrens has been a nurse for over 55 years practicing in many roles as staff nurse, clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Educator, consultant and Family Nurse Practitioner. She worked in an all Nurse Practitioner Clinic for several years.
She has enjoyed politics and policy a great share of that time. She was elected to Casper City Council and was Mayor of Casper, as well as Representative to the Wyoming State Legislature and Chairwoman of the Natrona County Commission. She served eight years on the American Nurses Association Board of Directors elected as director at large, Second and First Vice President of the Board. In addition she served on the ANA/PAC Board of Trustees and was elected President of the Board of Trustees. She also was District 2 President of Wyoming Nurses Association and President of WNA. She is currently working on the 8th edition of Policy and Politics in Nursing and Health Care. The vignette is entitled, “From Sewage Problems to the Statehouse—my life as and elected official.”
She has been a frequent speaker at local, state, national and international meetings. Brief examples include: A Symposium at International Council of Nurses (ICN) “Building Bridges for Collaboration in Nursing Education: The Friendship Bridge Nurses Partnership in Vietnam”, testifying on Capitol Hill on behalf of Children’s Health Insurance (CHIP) and testifying at the World Health Assembly in Geneva on the international nursing shortage. She will be traveling to Rotterdam Holland to do a poster presentation at the International Nurse Practitioner meeting this August 2018.
Mary currently serves on many boards. Besides her work with the Wyoming Center for Nursing she is active on the Friends for the Fay Whitney School of Nursing in Laramie and a member of the University of Wyoming Health Science Advisory Board. In addition, she is on the Board of Visitors for the University of Wisconsin School of Nursing, WNA board, and the National Historic Trails Board.
In her spare time she is part of the ANA GOVA Political Leadership Institute (ANAI), which trains nurses to be more politically active in their state. There is intensive training in Washington, D.C. and work for one year by phone. She is the American Association of Advanced Practice nurses representative on Movement is Life Caucus. This national group focuses on Health Care Disparities in Woman (all woman, African American and Latino Woman) and the viscous cycle of lack of movement—obesity—musculoskeletal problems, heart disease, diabetes, and depression. The focus is to break that cycle through education, cultural sensitivity and programs.
Mary also enjoys mentoring new nurses for leadership. We’re very fortunate to have this very busy advocate as our Board Chair for the Wyoming Center for Nursing!