Many nurses care greatly about health policy. We want a voice in Washington, both for the health and longevity of our profession, and the quality of healthcare for our patients and ourselves.
But most of us don’t even know where to begin. Or have never used our voice before and wonder if it will make any difference at all.
According to a report published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (2010), there are more than 3 million licensed RNs in the country. Put those voices together, and you’ve got yourself a lot of noise.
These four websites are a great place to start if you’re ready to become a nurse advocate and want to learn more.
4 Health Policy Websites Worth Visiting
Along with sample congressional testimony and action alerts that define some of the major issues related to nurse advocacy, the ANA also offers a newsletter, Nurses Strategic Action Team. N-STAT provides updates on bills that are making their way through the legislative process and notifies recipients when outreach to lawmakers will make the biggest impact. You can also learn more about the Congressional Nursing Caucus, a bi-partisan platform that will pave the way for critical nursing issues to come to the forefront in Congress. Check to see if your congressman and senators are on the list. If not, let them know you’d like to see them there.
The AANP is a rich resource for nurse practitioners wanting to seize the opportunity to influence healthcare policy. Their Advocacy Center includes directories for elected officials and a media guide, which leads you to all of the national and local publications in your area. You also will find issue briefs, as well as guidelines for becoming an NP advocate.
The AACN is a non-partisan organization dedicated to nurse education and advocacy. Included on their site is a list of the legislation it supports, with helpful descriptions of some of the proposed legislation currently garnering support in Congress. You can access a free guide, From Patient Advocacy to Political Activism, AACN’s Guide to Understanding Healthcare Policy and Politics. They also provide a list of legislative resources and federal agency websites, along with links to related resources.
Kaiser Health News defines itself as an independent, nonprofit news organization dedicated to health care policy news coverage. With categories that include health reform, medicare and Medicaid, the Supreme Court, and women’s health, Kaiser Health News offers a global view of the complex healthcare issues both nationally and beyond our borders. Checking in regularly will broaden your scope of knowledge and make you a better nurse advocate.