NEW YORK NURSE: May 2008
By Liz Dedrick, Grassroots Organizer, NYNSA Governmental Affairs Program
The long-awaited NYSNA Lobby Day 2008 took place at the Capitol on April 8. Nearly 1,800 NYSNA members, activists, and students swarmed the halls of the Capitol and Legislative Office Building making it clear, without a doubt, that legislators must take action on NYSNA’s priority legislation to help protect patients and advance the nursing profession.
Participants met with legislators to urge support for four priority bills: Ending Mandatory Overtime for RNs (A1898-B/S6342), Establishing Safe Staffing Ratios (A6119/S1551), Promoting Educational Advancement for RNs (A2480/S294), and Preventing Workplace Violence (A6186/S3441).
Students from 37 schools of nursing added their enthusiasm to Lobby Day 2008 by donning the red NYSNA t-shirts.
John Rivera, a student from Suffolk County Community College, noted that he and his colleagues found the Lobby Day briefing to be good preparation for their meetings with legislators in the afternoon. “The skit performed during the briefing acted out exactly what we experienced in our lobby visits,” he said. “It was very helpful for us to know what to expect.”
To recognize the integral role that today’s nursing student leaders will play in advancing the nursing profession over the coming decades, NYSNA held a luncheon with student leaders from each of the schools in attendance.
For those who were in attendance, don’t forget to send a follow-up letter to the legislators you visited thanking them for the meeting and reminding them of the commitments they made. If you were not able to attend Lobby Day in person, it’s not too late to contact your legislators about these bills – they need to hear your voice on these pressing issues!