Identify 1 public health issue that you think it is important for nurses to advocate for. Why do you think it is important, what change woudl you like to see take place, and who would you direct your advocacy efforts to in order to make that change?
Preparation for writing the Advocacy Letter
1. Choose a topic that interests you.
2. If you are unsure what to advocate for or against, look at professional organizations for inspiration:
c. Maryland Public Health Association
3. Look for advocacy groups that are working on the issue. We don’t have to recreate the wheel. See what strategies the advocacy groups are supporting. For example: Brady and Gifford non-profits focus on gun policy.
4. Decide if you want to make change within an agency, at the local, state or federal level. Find the decision maker appropriate to that level. Click here to find your elected official.
5. If you are writing to a legislator, look at that person’s website to see their position on the issue. Please do not ‘preach to the choir’—that is, if they already support the issue, it does no good to throw more facts at them.
6. If you are addressing a national issue, and your legislator aligns with your proposed action, consider looking at the committee that would hear a bill about your issue.
a. If there is a proposed bill that has not been active, you can ask the chair of the committee to bring it back up in committee.
b. Click here to check for federal bills.
7. If you are addressing a state issue, the Maryland General Assembly meets January- April of each year.
a. You can see if state bill on your issue was unsuccessful in 2018, and ask your legislator to re-introduce it in 2019.
b. Click here to check for state bills.
8. For evidence to support your proposed action, use the One Search through HS/HSL for the broadest results. If you are still having trouble finding articles, the premier journal for public health research is called The Nation’s Health.
9. Reminders from the rubric:
a. Include your ‘Ask’ clearly and concisely in the first paragraph. In busy offices, staff may not read the entire letter.
b. In the same vein, keep the letter one page. References can be on a second page.
c. Include your credentials. All of you are BSN Candidates (and add whatever other credentials you have). This adds a professional weight to your voice.
10. As always, please let me know of any questions. KGR
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