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 issues is an important attribute of nurse leaders. In your interactions with lawmakers you want to be positive and nonpartisan, personal, persistent, patient, focused on your message, and provide accurate information. (THIS IS specific FOR CALIFORNIA)
- Determine the issue or message (e.g., telehealth impact on your practice) you wish to discuss with your legislator(s). Resource: The American Nurses Association Federal Legislative Priorities for 2019.https://www.myamericannurse.com/bipartisan-legislative-solutions/
- Identify your legislator and contact information from his or her website. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/CA
- Compose 3 “messages” to their identified legislators. THEY ARE IDENTIFIED as Alejandro “Alex” Padilla, Dianne Feinstein, and Gavin Newsom. Legislators read correspondence. The following guidelines should be used:
- 1-2 pigs
- Begin with the appropriate heading and address.
- Be specific: State the specific bill number and issue and state your opinion in the 1st line.
- Relate your experience with the issue. Use personal examples when possible. Your interest and concern about the issue is important.
- Ask the legislator to specifically commit to supporting or opposing the legislation you are addressing
- Ask for specific reasons they are supporting or opposing the proposal.
- Cite any references at the end of the message in APA
- Thank him or her for considering your opinion.
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