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Be a confident advocate: follow the Advocacy Jam video tips

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

As the clock ticks forward to the Kentucky General Assembly's 2022 legislative session in January, KANPNM members are encouraged to start laying the groundwork for successful connections to their members of the general assembly.

Kentucky's General Assembly is comprised of 38 Senatorial Districts and 100 House Districts. That means every citizen in the state is represented by a Senator and a Representative elected to serve as their public servant links to state government.

If you aren't sure which legislator represents you, use the link to get the names

and district numbers for your State Representative and State Senator.

KANPNM is hard at work crafting the bill language to carry forth the Association's policy goals for 2022. The great news for you as an advocate is the Association Advocacy team will make it really easy to be knowledgeable about the issues. When the time arrives to talk specifics with your elected officials, KANPNM will provide you with a bill draft and "Talking Points" to help make the bill language understandable and easy to present.

The Advocacy team will make every effort to anticipate opponent push-back or questions and to provide you with data and answers.

What you will need to bring to the table is your knowledge of how the legislation will affect patients in your community.

Legislators come from all walks of life and all sorts of careers to a role as a public servant in the general assembly. They may be business owners, educators, lawyers, ministers, retired military or law enforcement, insurance agents, realtors, pharmacists... and the list goes on.

What you will recognize there is that very few legislators have a health care background. That means you have a GREAT OPPORTUNITY to offer to serve as their "health care policy" advisor and a resource to help them understand how policy changes will really affect patients and people in their home districts.

The time between now and the start of the legislative session is a great time to reach out to your legislator and introduce yourself. Throughout the holiday season you may see your officials at public events -- go say hello and shake hands or "fist bump" and let them know you want to discuss some policy issues with them after the first of the year.

Other ways to connect with your legislator

Send them a Christmas card.

If they have a business or storefront -- think about dropping by or shopping with them

Invite them to your clinic, classroom or practice

You can also ask people in your circle of friends if they can help you with an introduction to the legislator.

The perfect scenario is to build a professional relationship with your elected official. Through respectful, honest and thoughtful interaction you can build a rapport where they trust and rely on your expertise on nursing and health care issues.

You can absolutely do this. Legislators will be thrilled to meet someone from their home district who is knowledgable and approachable on issues that they may not be familiar with.

In a way, it's like meeting a patient for the first time. You are the expert stepping up to help them make decisions that result in good outcomes. Legislators work for us all and welcome informative conversations and trustworthy connections.

Start taking advantage of ways to engage your local legislators and then view the "Advocacy Jam" video to learn the pro-tips about visits to the capitol to discuss APRN policy goals.

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