Planning Your Visit
Compare the business culture of two different countries and evaluate the importance of cultural knowledge to international business success.
Worksheet #2 (ungraded)
1. Review what has been done in the past by others regarding your chosen healthcare policy issue. What was the result of their actions related to this policy issue? Why is this issue important to nursing?
2. Who are the federal, state, and local policymakers involved in your chosen policy issue? How can you contact your policymaker? Be sure you single out a policymaker whom you know is interested in your issue.
3. What will be the plan for your presentation to the policymaker? When, where, and how?
4. What is the message you want to give to your selected policymaker/legislator? Can you present a compelling story? Can you convey your passion and experience with the policy issue? Can you present basic research data in an easy-to-understand and interesting way? What are you asking? What are you recommending? Please review the examples of a policy brief in your text or on the American Nurses Association website. What are your expectations of the policymaker and for your visit/presentation in general?
5. How do you plan to convey your message? What considerations must you have in place with respect to time constraints, availability of policymaker, and contingency plans?
6. Can you include a presentation using PowerPoint, flip chart, or overheads in some way (email or mail ahead of the call)? Include the actual presentation slides (max of 5 slides) in your final course presentation due week 7 (total 15 slides). What information (i.e. handouts) will you leave with the policymaker?
Guidelines for Policymaker/Legislative Visits
Most nurses are uncomfortable approaching policymakers, regardless of how prepared they are and how knowledgeable or passionate they are about their policy issue. Nurses tend to grossly underestimate their power and dont initially understand that policymakers are receptive and anxious to have their input.
After you have selected your healthcare policy issue and have thoroughly researched it, develop a message or proposal that is clear and succinct. Be sure that you know the appropriate policymaker and the staff that you approach for your issue. Most students in this course will select a local-level policymaker such as a member of their city council or their local school board.
Student Y is enrolled in NR506: Healthcare Policy. This student has worked for several years as an emergency department nurse at a local hospital and also volunteers his time at the local community teen center. Student Y is passionate about preventing motor-vehicle accidents in the teen population. He has adolescent children of his own and has seen firsthand the tragic results of careless/distracted driving among teens. Of special interest to student Y is the issue surrounding using cell phones and especially text messaging while driving. Student Y believes this to be a significant and growing problemboth locally and nationally.
After carefully researching the issue, Student Y identified his local city-council representative(s) as a policymaker to plan a meeting with. He is interested in proposing a city ordinance that will stop the use of handheld cell phones while driving within city limits. He has analyzed this policy issue, researched what has been done in other parts of the country, and has also researched nursing organizations websites in order to assess/track any legislation related to this issue. Student Y carefully strategizes his plan for approaching his policymaker(s), and constructs a compelling story and proposal for change He schedules the meeting as soon as possible, given time constraints of all parties, and prepares for all aspects of the meeting prior.
Student Y uses his experiences from the emergency department to illustrate and describe how devastating and common these accidents are, especially among teens (this adds credibility). He mentions in his presentation that he himself has adolescent children and that he also volunteers at a teen center, which shows personal involvement and commitment. His research data is simple and easy to follow, and his presentation discusses how other regions of the country have passed legislation and the outcomes of that legislation. He also identifies in his presentation material that his nursing organization (Emergency Nurses Association) is stepping up lobbying efforts at both state and national levels regarding this issue, which adds professionalism and strength to his message. He makes a clear recommendation and then asks for feedback and suggestions for his continued advocacy efforts.
While it may take months or possibly years for this issue to be satisfactorily addressed, student Y has done a fine job in preparing for his advocacy efforts. He can continue to track legislation via websites and email alerts, and he can make calls and write letters- at all phases of this process. Perhaps these policymakers would have suggested that he also make this presentation to the local school board. Perhaps, he may also want to ask his state lawmakers to introduce a bill targeting this issue. He can also prepare to address his nursing organization at a meeting or conference and even publish this project. In the meantime, he can also address teens at the community center, as well as in their schools.
There are countless ways to make change happen!