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Although elected officials frequently are tasked with taking positions on various healthcare proposals, it is nurses who understand healthcare issues and are trusted by patients and the public.
It is important that they prepare themselves to take legitimate seats at the various tables where healthcare decisions are made so they can incorporate experiences and insights into the healthcare dialogue.
We will note in conclusion that the public needs the voice of nursing in public policy and that now is the time to move forward to advocate for our patients in these various arenas.
When nurses have the ability to share experiences and insights with public and elected officials, they can advocate for patients and families effectively and become a powerful force in the policy-making process.
Indeed a small amount of effort on the part of the nurse can pay enormous dividends in terms of helping patients obtain the healthcare resources they need.
One example in which the broader community has already addressed inadequate healthcare funding is that of prescription drug costs.
Advocacy involves the process of persuading someone to at least consider one’s point of view.