For more than 20 years Rice has been a family nurse practitioner in a private practice clinic in Lancaster, Calif., and since 1992 she has been a family medicine lecturer at the UCLA School of Nursing. In 1998 she was appointed by California’s governor to serve as a commissioner on the California Healthcare Workforce Policy Commission of the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. The commission, on which Rice continues to serve, allocates funds from the Song Brown Act – financially supporting family practice training programs in order to increase the supply of physicians, physician assistants, and family nurse practitioners, especially to medically underserved communities of California. Rice was also publicly elected to the Antelope Valley Hospital Board, serving two terms (1996 to 2004) and being elected board chair in 2001-2002. The board is responsible for the planning and provision of short- and long-term healthcare services. Antelope Valley Hospital has service areas that are designated as medically underserved. The hospital has an annual budget of more than $220 million, maintains a 334-bed facility and operates the second-busiest emergency room in the state.