The American Nurses Association (ANA) believes that advocacy is a pillar of nursing. Nurses instinctively advocate for their patients, in their workplaces, and in their communities; but legislative and political advocacy is no less important to advancing the profession and patient care.
ANA offers the information, tools, and resources that nurses need to become effective advocates. Through championing the nursing profession, nurses give a voice to the essential role that they play in advancing access to high-quality, affordable care. With energetic participation in advocacy, every nurse can help the profession to improve and move to higher levels.
Championing nurse interests
ANA also amplifies the voice of nurses, by advocating directly with decision-makers. We represent nurses on Capitol Hill; provide support for state nurse associations as they advance their own advocacy agendas; empower nurses to share their perspective and expertise with policymakers; and foster political engagement among nurses.
ANA’s Federal Government Affairs
- Represents nurses on Capitol Hill - lobbying congress and helping both federal agencies and elected officials enact policies to improve patient care;
- Provides support for state nurses associations as they advance their own advocacy agendas. The State Government Affairs program tracks trends in nursing-related legislation; reviewing over 1000 bills in each session, on issues ranging from scope of practice to safe staffing;
- Empowers nurses to share their perspective and expertise with policymakers as policies are conceived, debated, and implemented. Through engagement and information tools on RN Action, nurses are always kept in the loop.
- Fosters political engagement among nurses. ANA’s Political Action Committee (ANA-PAC) identifies and builds relationships with candidates for federal office from all parties, who share ANA’s commitment to nurses and patients. ANA-PAC serves as the only vehicle by which ANA can directly support these candidates in their bids for office.
Stay informed and make your voice heard
Political Action Committee
The American Nurses Association Political Action Committee (ANA-PAC) supports federal candidates who share our concern about the challenges facing the nursing profession - and the patients they serve. ANA-PAC fights to make sure that the nursing community is heard in the halls of Congress, for the most positive outcomes for health care providers and patients.
We in government do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.
Why should nurses advocate?
For the past 16 years, the public has voted nursing the most trusted profession in Gallup’s annual honesty and ethics survey, and this is a testament to the dedication that nurses show every day. Nurses provide essential services, are knowledgeable about client needs, and interact closely with health care consumers across a variety of care settings and social groups. This gives nurses a broad appreciation of health needs and an understanding of the factors that affect health care delivery.
Growing your leadership skills
ANA is committed to helping nurses step up onto the ladder of political advocacy. By knowing how the system works and which strategies can effectively influence policy, any nurse can become an advocate at the local, state, or federal level. You can make phone calls to elected representatives about bills under consideration, testify before committees, become involved in practice councils or boards at the workplace, and even run for elected office.
ANA offer a range of resources to demystify the process and enable nurses to analyze and then share their opinion on legislation:
The American Nurses Advocacy Institute
The purpose of the American Nurses Advocacy Institute (ANAI) is to develop nurses into stronger political leaders and motivate change from the grassroots of nursing. Since its launch in 2009, ANAI has created a well-prepared and connected body of registered nurses who are equipped to influence policy at local, state, and national levels.
Program content is designed to accomplish the following:
- Introduce the relationship between the advocacy process and policy change;
- Identify criteria and methods to conduct a political environmental scan;
- Describe the effective strategies for creating and sustaining policy change; and
- Explore networking and coalition building for effective advocacy.
After the yearlong-mentored program, and with the continued backing of ANA and their ANAI colleagues, fellows will be able to use their political competence to provide support to their constituent/state nurses association (C/SNA). Actions include helping to establish their legislative and regulatory priorities, recommending strategies to advance policy issues, and educating members about political realities – as well as advancing ANA’s political agenda.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) believes that advocacy is the key to advancing nursing, and invites all members to unite to drive forward health care change.
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