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6 Step Guide to Get Your Elected Official to Advocate with Us for our #NursePlatform

Pennsylvania’s nurses have shouldered tremendous responsibility and risk to heal COVID-19 patients and keep our commonwealth safe. That’s our job and we’ve done it, despite inadequate testing and PPE.

Nurses are standing up and telling our elected officials what it means to support nurses. We don’t need hollow statements of support or politicians making decisions about our patients without us. We need them to listen TO us, and work with us to implement the #NursePlatform: The Nurse Plan for Pennsylvania’s Recovery.

Nurses’ are patient advocates. We are the experts. We need a say in Pennsylvania’s Recovery Plan.

1. Invite your legislator to join a virtual meeting with nurses + let us know!

Invite your legislators to hold a meeting with you over a video conference call. If you let us know the time and date in advance by emailing us at info@nursesofpa.org, we can setup the video meeting and get you the tools to invite other nurses in your district who’ve been active in our organizing.

The plan for Pennsylvania’s recovery must be guided by real medical expertise and experience with the COVID virus. And that means EVERY legislator needs to meet with nurses.

2. Ask them: Will you work with nurses to implement The Nurse Plan for Pennsylvania’s Recovery?

Click below to see the next steps of the guide to follow, based upon your legislator’s answer (or lack of response).

3. Use the platform and public trust we have as nurses to publicly call on them to go beyond empty statements of support and appreciation, and implement the #NursePlatform.

Nurses can:

4. Step It Up: Start a physically distanced vigil outside their office mourning the patients, coworkers, and loved ones lost to insufficient action and reckless disregard of nurses’ needs and expertise.

People died unnecessarily because politicians and companies chose not to listen to nurses and other experts on the frontlines of the pandemic.

And as we mourn those we’ve lost, we must be clear that more people will die if we continue to act recklessly and put profits over patients.

To push for needed legislation, nurses can

  • Initiate a public display of mourning at the office of a legislator who won’t listen and who is threatening our lives
  • Create a physically distanced vigils with candles and flowers, and with signs explaining who we are mourning and why
  • Invite other nurses, friends, and community neighbors to add notes and mementos to their physically distanced vigil

Be sure to post pictures on social media to share with others, and send pictures and videos to share@nursesofpa.org so we can help others see as well.

5. We will continue to go back to them with more nurses, more public support, more pressure.

We can and will win the support of legislators who don’t support us at first by being persistent, by sharing our experiences and helping them understand why this matters, and by continuing to ramp up the pressure in the months to come.

3. Ask them to use their public platform to call on their colleagues and the public to listen to nurses and implement the #NursePlatform. No more stopping with statements of support and appreciation.

Supportive elected leaders can:

  • Submit op-eds to their local paper
  • Put out a press release
  • Communicate with constituents by email or newsletter
    Post on social media
  • For questions and help with talking points they can contact info@nursesofpa.org

4. Step It Up: Ask them to join us in mourning the patients, coworkers, loved ones and community members we’ve lost due to insufficient action and not listening to workers on the frontlines of the pandemic.

People died unnecessarily because politicians and companies chose not to listen to nurses and other experts on the frontlines of the pandemic.

And as we mourn those we’ve lost, we must be clear that more people will die if we continue to act recklessly and put profits over patients.

Supportive elected leaders can:

  • Join us in mourning by hosting or adding to public displays outside their office with candles and flowers, or whatever feels appropriate, and with signs explaining who we are mourning and why
  • Invite others to add notes and mementos to their physically distanced vigil
  • Use their social media, newsletters and public speaking engagements to call for moments of silence

5. We need legislators to work with nurses as partners. Supporting us does not mean saying yes right now when the attention is on. It means working with us to implement the #NursePlatform, including that we need an ongoing say in PA’s recovery plan as the situation changes.

We’re busy saving lives, and we’ll do our best to keep advocating for patients. But passing laws takes more than saying yes to nurses, and more than signing onto bills. We need champions to push for public hearings, ask for our input, and collaborate with us.

6. We’re keeping score on the #NursePlatform. We will fight for the measures Pennsylvania needs to be safe in the pandemic, and we will remember in November. Who stood with nurses to implement the #NursePlatform? Who prioritized politics over our patient advocacy?

Before November’s election, we will grade every Pennsylvania Senator and Representative as well as non-incumbent candidates, on how they measured up around our priorities and values. We want lawmakers who we can count on them to be there for nurses now and in the future.

If legislators don’t make time to meet with nurses, we will remember. If they don’t support the #NursePlatform, we will remember. And we will make sure nurses and voters in their districts remember too.