“A night I will always remember!” AAMC Nurses advocate for our profession at Lobby Night
As nurses, we not only advocate for our patients, but also our profession. As the single largest group of health professionals (over 3 million strong), nurses practice within a holistic framework that places a major emphasis on advocacy. By our sheer numbers, we have the ability to be an incredible force — and policymakers rely upon our expertise.
On February 17, about 30 AAMC nurses, including Sherry Perkins, CNO/COO, attended Maryland Nurses Association (MNA) Lobby Night in Annapolis. They joined over 200 Maryland nurses, using our collective voice to advise and influence our legislators.
Talking points on two bills were provided by MNA: House Bill 710, “Health Care Facilities Workplace Violence Protection Program, which focuses on workplace safety in all healthcare facilities in Maryland, and House Bill 856, “Task Force on Community Health Workers, which will develop standardized training and practice standards, reimbursement, and certification of community health workers.
Each attendee met with their district Delegates and Senator. The exchanges were positive and generated support for the two bills. Attendees were especially delighted to be able to meet with Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith and Delegate Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, both veteran nurses.
Attendee Janet Henery, RN, had this to say: “Lobby Night is a night I will ALWAYS remember! My ‘inner political self’ came alive!
“Prior to navigating the halls of the various legislative offices, MNA hosted a workshop and gave out talking points to use when meeting with the different delegates. Confidence levels were high and you could feel the excitement as we all went to the Capital building. The energy level was electric!
“I now know how to look up a bill and follow its course. I know now, as a nurse, we ARE the experts and our legislators are willing to meet and consider our input… AND we are a powerful voting bloc. Discover your inner political self. Get involved and do your part… you won’t regret it!”
Thanks to all who came out for this fantastic event. Increasing awareness and attendance at Lobby Night was a goal of the Professional Nurse Council (PNC). If you couldn’t make it this year, we hope to see you next year.
Follow the legislative process on the Maryland General Assembly website: mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frm1st.aspx?tab=home -Brandy Brown, BSN, RN-BC