DENISON, Texas (KTEN) — More than 600 nurses from around the state traveled to the State Capitol in Austin to participate in Texas Nurse Day, where they advocated for issues like staffing and healthier work environments. 

Six nurses at the event were from Texoma Medical Center, representing Grayson County. They spoke with state Rep. Reggie Smith (R-District 62).

"We were really grateful for Reggie for taking the time to speak with us and have excellent dialogue with us, and really showed that he cares about nurses," said TMC nurse and district manager Kandice Perez.

She believes additional resources should be invested to help nursing schools increase their applicant pools and hire more teachers. 

"Making sure that we do have safe staffing within hospitals and making sure that our nurses have a voice in a hospital setting as well," Perez said.

Baylor University School of Nursing professor and nurse Marie Lindley said more individual flexibility for nurses could also help.

"It is still something that is not universal across all states," she said. "Texas is one that where advanced practice registered nurses still do not have full practice authority, and that significantly impacts every single rural area in the country."

Oklahoma is next to have Nurse Day on March 7 at the State Capitol.