The legislative drop: an easy way to advocate for patients & our profession
From the Massachusetts Nurse Newsletter
April/May 2012 Edition
By P. Karen Duffy, RN
|MNA members at a State House “legislative drop” get face time with Governor Patrick …|
|… with Rep. Denise Garlick (D-Needham) …|
|… and with Sen. Daniel Wolf (D-Harwich).|
Have you been looking for a new way to get involved with the MNA? Are you looking for a rewarding experience that will help the nursing profession? If you are, then you might want to consider volunteering with the MNA’s Division of Legislation and assist in supporting its legislative agenda.
Right now, there are bills going through the legislative process that will greatly improve the profession of nursing, and the MNA regularly conducts what are called “legislative drops” in support of these bills.
The process starts when an email message goes out to nurses requesting their help with the next legislative drop day. A legislative drop is the process of delivering a one-page educational leaflet to every senator and representative at the State House. These leaflets typically highlight a pending bill and explain why it is important to patients, health care workers and the state. The goal is to convince legislators that a bill should become a law.
During these visits, one of which I participated in in March, nurses typically speak with legislative aides, but occasionally they get face-to-face time with a senator or representative. Our volunteers have talked to legislators in the hallways as they head to meetings and even to the governor as he heads for the elevator. Anywhere is fair game when it comes to these visits.
The process might sound intimidating, but the MNA preps its nurses and supporters for the visits and a staff member accompanies people during the actual drops. Participants receive a free MNA T-shirt or scrub top to wear during the drop, as well as a complimentary lunch. In addition, the MNA offers reimbursement for travel expenses.
It is a rewarding day—a day when you have a chance to meet new people while advocating for patients and the nursing profession.
Karen Duffy is an RN with Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital.