NEW YORK NURSE: January 2008
by Patricia Kane, RN, Chair, NYSNA Council on Legislation
Have you ever heard a colleague say, “What difference could I possibly make?” As nurses, we recognize the impact we have on the lives of our patients. Yet we often feel powerless in the face of overwhelming problems we experience in our practice environment and the healthcare system.
Engaging in political action through grassroots activities empowers nurses to influence healthcare policy.
ANA President Margretta Madden Styles issued a charge to nurses at the 1988 ANA House of Delegates that remains true today:
“March! There are no bunkers, no sidelines for nursing today. We find ourselves the center of attention . . . Underpaid, overworked and overstressed nurses are in the midst of a conflagration. Nursing is in far greater demand than ever before. We must organize, unite, go on the offensive.”
Nurses are uniquely qualified to speak about the healthcare environment and to influence legislators. We recognize healthcare reform must address both access and quality. NYSNA’s Government Affairs Department provides the expertise, training, and resources needed to put our passion and commitment for our patients and our profession into action.
Here’s how to get involved:
Finally, I’d like to acknowledge the following members who were recognized at the Delegate Assembly brunch during the 2007 Convention for their contributions to our efforts to secure “physically taxing” legislation: Elizabeth Morgan Atkinson, Anne Bové, Joan Cumberbatch, Vanessa Hanley, Gloria Qualles, and Norma Wilson.
Through collective action, we do make a difference. To quote an Ethiopian proverb, “When spiders unite, they can tie down a lion.”