Washington, D.C., government relations directors Ilisa Halpern Paul and Jodie Curtis co-authored an article in the Journal of the Dermatology Nurses’ Association titled, “The Evolving Healthcare Landscape: Nurses Cultivating the Profession of Nursing, Healthcare Reform, and Health Policy Advocacy.”
In the article, Ilisa and Jodie discuss the affects that current political policy issues have on the nursing profession and suggest avenues in which nurses can become familiar with the world of political advocacy. They note a fiscal year 2012 request made by President Obama to fund nursing workforce development programs and expand research on cost-effective healthcare practices that promote the patient’s well-being. According to the article, this is a prime example that the opportunity is now ripe for nurses to engage in activities that build on the professional nursing workforce.
Ilisa and Jodie explore steps that nurses can take to increase their comfort with political advocacy, including identifying and researching local politicians, joining professional nursing organizations, attending political science courses, and reading journal articles, books, or local newspapers for political news.
Another step toward political advocacy is to attend the NIWI program offered annually in Washington, D.C., by the Nursing Organizations Alliance. The three-day program provides training on how nurses can engage in health care advocacy and it includes a day of real-world advocacy experience on Capitol Hill. Ilisa and Jodie discuss their own experiences at the NIWI and outline the lessons they learned that may help a nurse in their advocacy role.
The article also includes a section on why nurses make excellent advocators and outlines civics topics that could prove crucial to a nurse’s understanding of how federal policy works.