NEW YORK NURSE: February 2008
by Nancy Webber
“Sure, I know that state laws and regulations have a big impact on nursing practice,” said a registered nurse recently. “But is it really worth taking a day off from work and traveling all the way to Albany for Lobby Day? What difference will it make?”
It can make a difference in the State Legislature.
And it can make a difference in how nurses feel about themselves.
At Lobby Day 2008 on April 8, more than 1,000 nurses and nursing students are expected to speak with one voice about issues that affect their profession and their patients. Priority legislation includes:
Pat Kane, chair of the NYSNA Council on Legislation, believes that face-to-face meetings with legislators are essential. “Lawmakers see professional lobbyists in their offices day after day,” she said. “But they pay close attention when nurses tell them what’s happening on the front lines of health care.”
More than 1,000 RNs and students attended Lobby Day in 2007. “There is such value in being all together, at one place and time,” Kane said. “Lack of control within our own practice environments can leave us feeling vulnerable and discouraged. Lobby Day gives us a sense of our collective power, which opens up new possibilities.”
Some of the nursing students who attended last year’s event had similar opinions:
“It was a wonderful experience. It was amazing to be part of something with so many other students.”
“I see now that each individual can make a difference, but when we come together we speak with a more powerful voice.”
In addition to the usual legislative briefings and lobbying appointments, Lobby Day will again feature a $40-per-person fundraising luncheon hosted by the NYSNA Political Action Committee.
Free bus transportation will be available to members from the downstate area, including Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Long Island, and Westchester County. If you want to travel by NYSNA bus, you must indicate that on your Lobby Day registration form. Buses will be canceled if there are not enough participants.
A special briefing session will be held for nurses employed by New York City, who will be updated on legislation that would add registered nurses to the list of jobs considered by the city to be “physically taxing.” More information will be mailed to HHC nurses.
Nurses Lobby Day — April 8, 2008
Empire State Plaza Convention Center, Albany, New York
Pre-register online at www.nysna.org or call 800-724-NYRN(6976), ext. 277
Participants who pre-register by March 28 will receive confirmation notices. Schools of nursing are asked to use group registration forms. If you represent a school, call 800-724-6976, ext. 283 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for information about subsidies.