What is Advocacy?
Advocacy is the deliberate process of influencing those who make decisions.
Imagine what could happen if every school nurse across our state decided to spend some time introducing themselves to their state senators and representatives. Because our practice is directly impacted by recent legislation, NOW is the time to ACT and make your VOICE heard!
If you want to brush up on advocacy in more detail, please refer to this webinar
School Nurses in Action: The Compelling Why - March 2018
Good news: Representative Frederica Wilson has introduced new federal legislation that would result in having a nurse in every school: H.R.8220 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): One School, One Nurse Act of 2022. We are asking ALL school nurses across the state to send an email to their representative in Congress about this important legislation. We need co-sponsors for this bill!
Templates for H.R. 8220 TBA
How to prepare for a visit with a legislator:
- Identify your legislators and visit their website to find out more about them and what they support (interest in or personal connections to education and public health)
- Contact their local office to request an appointment
- Dress professionally and bring business cards if you have them
- Introduce yourself, shake hands, make eye contact, and smile!
- Explain who you are, describe your role and responsibilities (be sure to include the number of schools and students you serve) and why you are reaching out
- Thank the senator or representative by name for having the courage to be a public office holder and for the service they provide to your community.
Key points to consider during your visit:
- Make the connection between you and school nurses across the state of Florida
- State clearly what you want
- Share a short personal story and combine your story with data
- Be concise and to the point
- You do not need to provide many details but be sure to share your expertise and let them know how to contact you for more information
- Never attack; always attract. Be positive and persuasive. Remember that nurses are seen as trusted professionals.
Please don’t forget to speak to your local superintendent, school board, school health advisory committee (SHAC), and PTA/PTO.
And don't forget the media – a very powerful tool! Consider writing a letter to the editor for your local newspaper.
If you prefer not to schedule a face-to-face visit – USE SOCIAL MEDIA! – Send an email, post on Facebook or Twitter and tag your representative. Remember your personal visit has the most influence!
NASN has many advocacy tools and resources. Visit the NASN advocacy website to access resources on:
- NASN Legislative Priorities
- National School Nurse Day
- Professional Practice Documents including Position Statements
- White Papers
- Fact Sheets & Infographics
- Other advocacy resources