Federal Healthcare Issues
identify a local, state, or federal healthcare issue that affects the nursing profession. These issues can be from newspaper articles, publications from ANA, PSNA, AJN, Nursing2019/2020 & other RN magazines.
Identify the individual who is to receive your letter. You can learn who your state & local legislators are by calling the county office or the local league of Women voters at 1-800-692-7281. This information can also be found online at https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials/
Make sure you choose the correct â€œsalutationâ€ e.g. though you may begin your letter to a Congressperson with Mr. or Ms., the letter should include their formal title in the address section to the left above the salutation. This web site gives you examples: http://www.formsofaddress.info/Congressman.html
Guidelines for letter writing:
Letter may be sent electronically according to the guidelines on the legislatorâ€™s web site.
Your name & address should be on the letter
Identify yourself as a student nurse & state why your entry into the profession of Nursing makes this a significant issue for you.
Limit your letter to one subject/issue-if you are referring to a specific bill include the bill number
Be brief. Limit letter to one page.
Be specific. Provide facts & figures to support your views or give anecdotal data on how your clients or families have been or may be affected.
Emphasize the positive or negative impact if proposed legislation and what the proposed legislation will mean to the legislatorâ€™s constituents in terms of healthcare.
Be polite & reasonable. A positive-sounding letter is usually an effective tool even if you asking the legislator to oppose a piece of legislation.
Letter to be submitted through the assignment Dropbox on Blackboard
Helpful hints for completing the assignment:
Make sure you are addressing YOUR local, state, or federal representative
Make sure you are using the current session bill number. If a bill does not make it out of committee or is not voted on during the two-year congressional session it is considered dead. If the bill is reintroduced in the next congressional session the bill number and/or identifying title will be different. Pay attention to this! Your letter will not get any attention if you are using an incorrect bill number. In the past few years students addressing the issue of nurse:patient ratios have used an old bill number to request help from their legislator. The bill number they are using has been reassigned to a bill protecting wild salmon for predators! Consider how this looks to the representative you are addressing.
If you are referencing a statistic e.g. lives saved with lower ratios, provide your reference. In the case of ratios, your reference might be a published article from a journal. Provide the representative with your source.
Make sure you have addressed each required element.