Kay Ball, PhD, RN, CNOR, CMLSO,FAAN
Advocacy in Politics
Advocacy is part of your role as a professional nurse. AORN has created an excellent Advocacy handbook that can be accessed by AORN members on the Governmental Affairs section of the AORN website at https://www.aorn.org/government-affairs/advocacy-tools. Here are some of the general tips of advocacy taken from this handbook:
· Be respectful. Address the legislator by their title (Senator, Representative, Assemblyman, etc.) and avoid becoming visibly or verbally upset.
· Create a buffer. Focus on the issue and not the politics. Do not feel as if you cannot communicate with a legislator because he or she holds a different political party affiliation.
· Be concise. Keep conversations short and simple. Stick to key messages provided to you by AORN or your state nurses association.
· Use everyday language. Avoid professional jargon.
· Use personal stories. Connect key messages and important facts with a short personal story about the issue at hand. Stories are what legislators will remember.
· Do not forget the ask. “Your ask” is what action you want the legislator to take. Are you asking them to support, oppose, or amend a bill? Do you want them to place a bill on the calendar? Do you want them to connect you with someone else? This is the most important part of communication with legislators, but it is often forgotten.
· Repeat, Repeat, Repeat. Reinforce the key messages, facts, and “your ask” by mentioning them several times.
· Thank the staff and elected official.