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Delivering the Message: Conversations with Policymakers & News Media

Registered nurses are the largest healthcare workforce nationally and statewide, consistently voted as the most trusted and ethical profession for more than two decades. Yet, nurses are still among the least represented in policy, politics, and news media.

Currently, not a single nurse serves in the California State Senate or Assembly. On the other hand, physicians currently hold two elected offices.

Nationally, nurses represent just 6% of all hospital board seats while physicians represent 20% (data valid through 2023).

Who makes policy decisions for nurses in California?

The reality is physicians, political analysts, financial consultants, and lawyers are the people who currently make decisions about nursing policy and legislation.

Are you confident they will make decisions that are in the best interest of your profession? Your practice? Your patients?

This begs the question: If nurses don't lead changes in nursing legislation, regulations, and policies, who will?

You don't need to become the next California Senator or Assemblymember, hold a hospital board seat, or launch a new campaign to create positive changes in nursing.

But, in order for you to effectively educate the public at large, policymakers and news media, you will need to learn how to communicate your message.

So, let's recap.

So far, the Advocacy Institute has covered:

  1. Barriers nurses face when advocating,

  2. Processes behind creating change for legislation, regulation, and policy in nursing,

  3. Five steps to creating your own advocacy campaign,

  4. How to determine the political will behind your topic, and

  5. Potential stakeholders you need to influence.

In the next two subsections, we will give you tools and tips on how to effectively write and deliver your message to both policymakers and news media.