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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).

Another key area where nurse can exert influence is in promoting legislation that increases access to quality mental health services across all communities (Mason & Brownson, 2018). Mental illness affects individuals from every corner of society yet too often remains undertreated due increased stigma around seeking out treatment (Mason & Brownson, 2018). Nurse lobbyists can work with members congressional representatives from both parties who represent diverse communities affected by mental illness by raising awareness and emphasizing the importance improving access mental health services nationwide (Maue et al., 2017). When lobbying legislators it is essential that advocates emphasize not only practical solutions like expanding Medicaid coverage but also address broader social barriers preventing people from receiving care (Maue et al., 2017; Mason & Brownson 2018)

Finally, nurse should be sure consider a variety other policies that impact patient safety such as mandating an increase minimum staffing levels hospitals ICUs or family practices throughout America’s rural regions (Liu et al., 2020). Lower staffing ratios force clinical workers bear heavier caseloads while compromising overall quality care given patients leading burnout amongst staff higher rates preventable errors occurring during treatments procedures (Liu et al 2020; Shiobara et al., 2019) . Thus advocacy efforts must focus not just narrow economic concerns but instead strive create legislative frameworks support safe working conditions equitable wages across disciplines – something many states already attempting within state legislatures but requires federal action create uniform standards governance nation-wide(Shiobara et al.. 2019)

There are several tactics nurse can embrace when trying gain traction among lawmakers serve constituents interests these include: 1.) Participating organized demonstrations rallies calling attention major concerns 2.) Meeting directly with elected officials aides vocalize grievances outlining clear solutions 3.) Organizing coalition groups leverage collective influence raise awareness educate wider public 4.) Writing correspondence social media post letters editor local newspapers 5.) Joining community forums debates offer insights relevant topics 6.) Attending conferences workshops gaining knowledge stay abreast current developments 7 ) Crafting comprehensive fact sheets manuscripts demonstrating rationale behind positions 8 ) Creating online petitions garnering signatures 9) Offering expert testimony legislative hearings 10 Taking advantage platforms introduce bills debate passage 11 Utilizing existing associations networks join existing coalitions advocate common causes 12 Forming strategic alliances politicians political organizations build relationships broaden scope outreach 13 Developing robust communication skills communicate effectively clearly various audiences 14 Incentivize supporters encouraging them contact representatives take part grassroots initiatives 15 Sharing success stories inspiring others continue contributing fight 16 Reaching consensus negotiating between stakeholders 17 Aligning oneself established values moral precepts 18 Tracking progress evaluating successes missteps adjusting course 19 Educate yourself conducting research consulting sources 20 Persist never give up showing resilience passion along journey .

Despite massive challenges posed lobbying elected officials there no denying tremendous potential advocacy holds further pressing cause Although individual actions ultimately determine ultimate outcome successful implementation goals changing larger political landscape also requires collective action thought leadership All told truly effective campaign involves practice patience perseverance staying focused long haul crucial so though road ahead fraught obstacles hope commitment tenacity ever present Herein lies strength move mountains With right tools determination anything possible good luck future endeavors

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Kesselheim A S Avorn J How Should Pharmaceutical Companies Set Prices? Evidence Regulation Disclosures N Engl J Med 376:1268–72 doi:10347/nejmhq1803229

Maue M Shugarman P R Moser L Cimellaro G P Donohue M K Linder S E Tanjasiri S P Policy Interventions Improve Community-Level Mental Health Access Rural US Communities Updating Evidence Practices 24(2):175–185 doi:101007/s11261-01712899y

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Liu Y Fang X Zhang Y Li Q Wang X Effect Minimum Nursing Staffing Levels Intensive Care Unit Outcomes Systematic Review MetaAnalysis Nurs Outlook 68(4):338–354 doi : 101016/jjnus201905041 Shiobara D Rossiter E Grubenhoff L Ogino B Kaneko F Littlefield D Impact Regulation Safe Staffing

Registered Nurse Workforce Japan Nurs Outlook 67(3):243–253), DOI : 101016/jjnus201901025


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