Care beyond the Bedside: Nurses’ Lobby Night 2016
Every year, our senators and delegates welcome nurses into their offices to discuss bills that are pending legislative action. Some of these are new bills and some are bills that need to be reintroduced so that they stay in effect. They want to hear from us! Nurses’ Lobby Night is a great opportunity to let your nursing voice be heard.
This year’s Nurses’ Lobby Night will be held on Monday, February 15. AAMC will be providing a shuttle from the hospital – no need to worry about parking downtown.
The care you provide at your patient’s bedside is critical to their health, well-being and recovery. Care goes beyond the bedside. Nurses are highly valued for their care, integrity, knowledge, and advocacy. Lobbying is another chance to advocate for patients and for nurses.
Some of the bills we have lobbied in the past involve stiffer penalties for workplace violence directed at nurses and better health programs for patients. Last year, we were instrumental in removing an unnecessary requirement for Nurse Practitioners that is saving thousands of dollars for the Board of Nursing.
Registration for Maryland Nurses’ Association Lobby Night will open sometime in January. There are only a limited number of tickets available, so it is important to register as soon as possible once it is open.
To register, visit www.marylandrn.org/, then click on Upcoming Events, then 2015 MNA Nurses Lobby Night. There is a small fee to register to guarantee your seat, which the hospital will reimburse for those who attend. Instructions for reimbursement will be provided at a later date. If you register for and are unable to attend Lobby Night, you will not qualify for the reimbursement.
The Professional Nurses Council and AAMC Lobby Committee will be holding an information session on Wednesday, Feb. 3 from 4-6 pm in the ED conference room for all attendees and anyone interested in learning more about the lobby process. All are invited to attend and we STRONGLY recommend that anyone who is registered for lobby night attend so that you can learn about the bills that will be presented this year.
Take a step out of your comfort zone of your patients’ rooms and into the halls of government offices where laws are passed that affect all of us and our patients. This is a great learning experience! This also counts as a criterion on the Clinical Ladder!
The American Nurses’ Association provides educational videos on establishing a relationship with lawmakers and materials to provide to your delegates. Also check out the Activist Resources in the Activist Toolbox. You will find information on lobbying and the legislative process: www.rnaction.org/site/PageNavigator/nstat_2013_cmf_video_series?ct=1&ct=1&ct=1
More information to follow in future blogs and on the January 6 Coffee Cart. -Cheryl Briggs, RN, and Brandy Brown, BSN, RN-BC