What are the mechanisms by which a nurse could become involved or influence the decisions made by the board or council that you attended?

NURSING ADVOCACY

Assignment Instructions

Contact legislator, professional organization, and/or attend a community meeting to support a public health or safety issue

Advocacy assignment-

Research and select a health issue or nurse advocacy issue. (For example, the opioid epidemic – local, state, or national, barriers to advanced nursing practice …) Then choose between one of the following three options.

Option 1

This option involves contacting your federal or state legislative representative. Based on your assessment of healthcare/nurse advocacy issue, decide on the questions you would like to ask your legislator.

Contact the office of your state or federal Congressional representative (your choice). You can use email or phone to initiate this conversation. If you live in or near your state’s capitol city, you can even go to the Capitol and make personal contact. If your legislature is in session, you may even have the opportunity to sit in on a session, especially if a healthcare bill is being discussed.

If possible, make an appointment to speak to the legislator directly. Most of them are happy to talk with constituents if their schedule allows it. If you can’t arrange that, ask to speak with one of the staff members, who are also very helpful and knowledgeable. The purpose of your conversation will be to determine their position on healthcare issues in the country or your state. Be sure to include the name of the person to whom you spoke, and whom they represent if you did not speak to the legislator directly.

The links below will assist you in contacting your Congressional representatives.

http://www.consumer-action.org/take_action/articles/make_your_voice_heard

http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

http://www.congressmerge.com/onlinedb/ This site has good link for tips on communicating with your Congressman

http://www.ncsl.org/?tabid=17173 Individual State legislature information and links. Need to allow pop-ups.

Option 2

Based on your assessment of healthcare/advocacy issues, research the agendas of local community meetings of your choice, such as a school board or city council. This option may only work if there is a pertinent agenda item or if the timing is correct in relation to your course. Consider the issues you would like to learn more about at this meeting and how you might like to see them addressed. Then, attend the meeting.

Option 3

Identify an advocacy issue/ health initiative important to a professional nursing organization. (Note – you don’t have to be a member of the organization to explore this option).

The nursing organization can be national (e.g. ANA), state, or local. The national organization for your practice specialty is also a good source (e.g. AORN, AACN, AWHONN etc …).

Follow the guidelines for Option 1 (except that you will be contacting someone associated with the health/advocacy issue as opposed to an elected representative).

 Step 3: Your paper should be written in a scholarly format (e.g. title page and correct APA) and should include the following elements:

  • 1-2 pages outlining the advocacy/health initiative issue and introduce your geographic area.
  • Resources that were used in your research
  • The option you selected and your reason for selecting that option, then:

Option 1 and 3

write 2-3 pages about your experience. Include at a minimum, the following elements in your paper:

  • What questions did you prepare to ask?
  • Describe any barriers you encountered in arranging this meeting.
  • Discuss the actual conversation and what you learned about your representative’s position on the healthcare issues?
  • What did you learn from this experience? If you could meet with him/her again, are there additional questions that you wish you could have asked?

Option 2

write 2-3 pages about your experience. Include at a minimum, the following elements in your paper:

  • Were there items on the agenda that related to community health and safety? Describe these issues and the action(s) that were proposed or taken.
  • Consider the advance research that you did in preparation for this assignment. Did any of the items on the meeting agenda validate your research? If so, please explain.
  • Did you discover another health or safety issue that you were previously unaware of? If so, please describe.
  • What are the mechanisms by which a nurse could become involved or influence the decisions made by the board or council that you attended?
  • What did you learn from this experience?
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