Publish Date: March 16, 2016
Perioperative nurses must advocate not only for their patients but for the profession. Because nurses are the nation’s most trusted profession, legislators rely on them to help understand the countless clinical and health policy issues that come across their desks during legislative sessions. It is important for nurse constituents to get to know legislators. One way to meet your legislators, learn the important policy issues affecting nursing practice in your state, and offer your expertise in perioperative nursing and patient safety in the operating room is to attend your state’s nurse lobby day.
Lobby days are days when individuals gather en masse to collectively communicate positions and opinions on legislative issues to legislators at the Capitol. In many states, it is not too late to sign up for your lobby day. Some states even have student nurse days at the Capitol, so if you know student nurses, encourage them to attend. If your state’s lobby day has already passed or you cannot attend, there are still many ways for you to get involved. Reach out to your state nurses association to see how to get involved in their legislative or policy committee. Contact your state or chapter legislative coordinator to find out what is happening in your state and how you can help or invite a legislator to speak to your chapter.
You may also work with AORN Government Affairs and your AORN state council to schedule your own perioperative nurses lobby day.
North Carolina Nurses Association, Night at the Legislature—May 17
New York State Nurses Association 2016 Lobby Day—April 13
American Nurses Association Illinois Nurse Lobby Day—April 13
American Nurses Association Student Nurse Political Action Day—April 12
Connecticut Nurses Association Legislative Educational Days—April 13
Tennessee Nurses Association Nurses Day on Capitol Hill—March 23