Public policy has a major impact on your practice and your patients

Public policy has a major impact on your practice and your patients

Public policy has a major impact on your practice and your patients. Advocacy is an expectation of the advanced practice nurse. Elected officials care about what their constituents have to say. To make a difference, you need to be informed and engaged. Contacting your legislator and discussing the issues you care about is an important attribute of nurse leaders. In your interactions with lawmakers you want to be positive or nonpartisan, personal, persistent, patient, stay on message, do not give inaccurate information and

Directions

  1. Determine the issues or message (e.g., telehealth impact on your practice) you would to discuss with your legislator(s). American Nurses Association Legislative Priorities (http://goo.gl/clSgyT )
  2. Identify your legislators and contact information. Open-State (https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/ ) and/or United States Congress (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members ).
  3. Choose ONE method of Advocacy: Face-to-Face, Letter, or Email.
    • A. Face-to-Face: The student may be asked to meet with the legislator’s assistant (especially for a federal legislator) – that’s OK. Making an appointment might be time-consuming (especially for a federal legislator), so need you to start the appointment-making process early in course. Students in the same legislative district may go together.  Remember you are becoming an Advanced Practice Nurse and we recommend you NOT say you are students and this is a course homework! This is REAL advocacy!!!
      • Once you have completed the visit, the student will write a simple summary (one page) and thank-you note (even if visited with other students, must write own summary and note).
      • Summary questions to consider may include: Was legislator/assistant: — knowledgeable about APN practice and topic or at least willing to become informed — willing to express legislator’s support or opposition — cordial or merely civil; helpful or confrontational; or informative about the political process
      • Post summary and a copy of thank you note (letter or email) are submitted in D2L assignment.

–OR–

  • B.Letter or Email: The student must choose three (3) different legislators. The student must write three (3) letters or emails or combination of letter/emails to their identified legislators (State and/or Federal). Legislators read correspondence, especially when it is personalized and clearly from a constituent. The following guidelines should be used when writing to your representative:
    • Be brief (one page or less), and use your own words.
    • Begin with the appropriate heading and address.
    • Be specific: State the specific bill number and issue and state your opinion in the first sentence.
    • Relate your experience with the issue. Use personal examples when possible. Your interest and concern about the issue is what counts, not your expertise.
    • Ask the legislator to specifically commit to supporting or opposing the legislation you are writing about.
    • Ask for specific reasons they are supporting or opposing the proposal.
    • Sign and print your name and include your address and other contact information.
    • If you have pertinent materials and/or editorials from local papers, include them.
    • Avoid form letters/emails if possible. If you are using a sample or form letter, be sure to adapt it, especially in the first sentence and paragraph! Legislators and their aides recognize form letters and are less likely to be swayed by them.
    • Thank him or her for considering your opinion.
    • Post the Letters and/or Emails in the D2L Discussion Board and provide a one-page reflection on your experience in D2L assignment.

Note:

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