Nurses have a unique and important role in healthcare, as they provide direct care to patients, use their clinical expertise to assess patient needs, and advocate for the best possible health outcomes for those under their care. As such, nurses are often called upon to lobby Congress on a range of policy issues that affect patient’s wellbeing. From advocating for improved access to quality healthcare and better pay for nurses themselves, to pushing for more effective regulations surrounding prescription drugs or medical devices, nurses can play an important role in shaping public health policy. This paper will explore some of the most pressing policy issues on which nurses might lobby Congress and discuss strategies they could employ in order to have their voices heard.
One issue nursing may consider lobbying Congress is the regulation of drug prices. The rising cost of prescription medications has become one of the leading drivers of rising healthcare costs in recent years (Kesselheim et al., 2019). By lobbying Congress on this issue, nurses could help ensure that all Americans have access to affordable medications regardless of income level or insurance status. Nurses may also wish to push for legislation requiring pharmaceutical companies disclose information about how much they spend on research and development when setting drug prices (Kesselheim & Avorn., 2018). Disclosure laws would enable consumers and policymakers alike make informed decisions regarding pricing based on evidence-based data rather than marketing campaigns designed by pharma companies specifically targeting vulnerable populations (Kesselheim & Avorn., 2018).