"I recently contacted my state senator to express my concerns on the nursing shortage and how it would relate to unsafe care for the burgeoning elderly population, and found that he has an RN on his staff working on the issue. I talked to them at great length about why the shortage exists. I may never had taken the initiative if not for the perserverence of some great, well spoken nurses on this site."
ANOTHER RN ON THE MOVE TO EFFECT CHANGE!
Thats great!! Congratulations!
I was so glad to see this post. If we had anything to do with just one RN getting active to make her voice heard instead of just complaining, it makes all the bashing of our heads against the wall with so many other nurses worthwhile.
I once visited my state assemblymans office on my state association's RN Lobby Day at my state Capitol but he wasnt there. In his office, I left my card & an informative packet from our state associations legislative agenda explaining the laws RNs needed to solve the nursing crisis anyway. Although I never got the chance to speak with him, this lead to me being invited 2 months later to a round-table legislative forum in my community which he headed to discuss the nursing shotrage & find solutions to it. The only other people invited to this forum were hospital administrators, VNS administrators and one Nurse educator. I was the only bedside RN invited to discuss solutions for the shortage of bedside nurses in my community! Can you imagine that??? I brought 2 other bedside nurses with me & he got a ton of info he never would have heard. We dominated the discussion but where would the direct-care nurses voice have been if I hadnt taken 2 minutes to stop by his office that day at the Capitol?
At the end of the forum, he released a statement to the press that he vows to support our legislation to improve working conditions, our legislation designed to retain experienced nurses, & our legislation to provide funding for new students & expansion of nursing programs & recruitment efforts.... all of which were in the packet I had left in his office for his review.
And, The House which he is assistant minority leader of recently passed the whistle blower bill protection bill my state association wrote.
I expect you will be hearing from your legislator again!