D.C. Council member Charlene Drew Jarvis (D-Ward 4) received the endorsement of an influential nurses group yesterday, providing an additional boost to her mayoral campaign.

Citing what they said is Jarvis's demonstrated commitment to health care, members of the 3,500-member D.C. Nurses Association said they intend to back her campaign with money and other resources. The nurses association's political action committee interviewed the top five Democratic primary candidates during the last two months.

In an afternoon endorsement speech outside Capitol Hill Hospital in Northeast Washington, committee President Valerie Gonzalez said the group chose Jarvis because she helped win council approval of family and medical leave for workers and has lobbied for pay equity for women and increased pay for nurses.

Gonzalez said Jarvis "understands the complexities of the problems and supports both a stronger public health system and new ways to help our private hospitals meet the financial burdens of caring for the uninsured and the underinsured."

The group will field volunteers to work telephone banks, raise money and provide other assistance, according to Evelyn Sommers, executive director of the group, the largest association of health care professionals in the District.

Last week, Jarvis garnered the endorsement of the American Federation of Government Employees. She also was endorsed by the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club.