Writing a professional letter to a legislator
Odds are good that at some point you have thought to yourself, "Somebody should tell Congress about that! You can make change happen; it's as easy as writing a letter. Writing to your Senator or Representative is not as daunting as it may seem.
These people want to hear from you! It's been said that one letter from a constituent represents the thoughts of hundreds. Although there's no trick to writing a letter to your legislators, there are some rules to follow to give your letter the most impact. In this article, I will describe these rules and show you a sample letter that I sent to my federal Congressional Representative about the nursing faculty shortage.
Writing a to professional letter legislator a because academic
Tips for Letter-writing to Influence Your Legislators 1. Always be factual and respectful. Address your legislator as Senator or Representative capitalized and present your requests, positions and opinions thoroughly yet concisely and factually. Your emotions may run high on an issue, but remember to be factual rather than passionate most of the time.
Remember that the legislator may have received letters or met with lobbyists who oppose your issue; don't demonize these people. They are as sincere as you are. Make legislaror argument water-tight. Present factual information that will help your legislator see why your position is the right one.
Use click sources, such as peer-reviewed journal articles, white papers by government and private agencies, and demographic information from universities and federal agencies.
When possible, include a link to the source within your letter. The more easily your legislator's staff can access the facts, the more likely they are to read them. Appeal to the legislator's interests as a member of Congress and as an American. Nurses are respected as advocates for public health, justice in the allocation of health care, and the prevention of disease and disability; mention these and the other worthy goals of our profession in your letter. Legislators who are on education committees will be interested in learning about the crisis in nursing education; the sample letter below was written to my own Representative, who chairs a federal community college committee.
Find your legislators here: Federal Legislative Branch USA. Make a specific request of your legislator. Stay up-to-date writing a professional letter to a legislator legislation that continue reading impact nursing and tell your legislator about it. Do remember, however, that many bills never reach the floor for a vote, so it's wise to write to a legislator at the right time.
You can receive timely alerts about nursing-related bills from the American Nurses' Association here: One does not have to be an ANA member to take advantage of these services. Include a personal link to the request you are making. Tell your legislator a story from your nursing practice. Help your legislator recognize you as a concerned citizen and a professional.
If you have met with this legislator writing a professional letter to a legislator the past, or written letters in the past, mention those. Jog the legislator's memory about your prior interactions to show him or her that you are committed to nursing issues and are willing to take the time to research his or her record of support for nursing. Do remember that legislators want your vote, and will work to meet your requests, particularly if you show that you are watching their activities. Use your full credentials in signing your letter.
Legislators pay attention to letters that clearly come from educated, dedicated professionals. Your licensure, degree, and certification s establish you as an authority on health care. Don't worry about appearing to self-promote; this is a formal communication in which showing your full credentials is completely appropriate, even essential.
Not all legislators allow you to include your title if appropriate and create your own signature; follow the instructions on the website of your individual legislator carefully. I also mention two private schools of nursing in Portland for comparison. Notice inclusion of my prior interactions with Congressman Wu, links to the Oregon Center for Nursing's document on the nursing faculty shortage, specific information about writing a professional letter to a legislator experiences as an educator at OHSU, and specific requests made of the legislator.
I tried to keep the letter concise and clear, emphasizing the major point: Although I know that some people oppose better funding and writing a professional letter to a legislator education for nurses, I avoided that contentious issue to simply present the lettsr. This is not the only valid approach, but it lettwr the one I chose in this particular letter.
In fact, a handwritten letter has a tremendous impact. In the absence of stable funding, qualified nursing educators to train these willing future nurses are in short supply. Recurrent nurse shortages are brought on by undesirable working conditions, the financial and personal strain of rigorous training programs, and disproportionately low earning potential and power over our own practice. Include a personal writing a professional letter to a legislator to the request you are making. Do remember that legislators want your vote, and will work to meet your requests, particularly if you show that you are watching their activities. You can make change happen; it's as easy as writing a letter. Many legislative offices screen e-mails for address information identifying the sender as a constituent. Send your letter as soon as you hear about an issue or bill.
Finally, I ended the letter with a thank-you writing see more legislator for supporting the nursing profession in the past and signed it with my full credentials. Dear Congressman Wu, You may recall discussing the nursing shortage with me last December during the holiday celebration click here by my colleague Dr.
We discussed the dire situation in my profession where unstable funding and inappropriate resource allocation have caused cyclical shortages that have set back the health of Americans, the efficiency of professional letter care, and the nursing profession itself.
These people want go hear from you! Even if OHSU were able to find and hire the faculty we need, we would not have professiona, money to pay them. We receive applications yearly for each of of our two undergraduate programs, admitting only about students in total of those applicants. We cannot squeeze more out of our existing nursing education structure. Although I have read reports of your position in the newspapers, I realize this may not fully represent your viewpoint. We discussed the dire situation in my profession where unstable funding and inappropriate resource allocation have caused cyclical shortages that have set back the health of Americans, the efficiency of health care, and writing a professional letter to a legislator nursing profession itself. Now get busy and start writing! I am primarily concerned about describe major specific concern within the larger issue because state reasons or examples briefly, with only as many relevant details as necessary to make your point clearly.
I'm writing now to ask you to consider attacking the root of the problem: Recurrent nurse shortages are brought on by undesirable working conditions, the financial and personal strain of rigorous training programs, and disproportionately low earning potential and power over our own practice. The average entrance GPA at the OHSU School of Nursing where I teach is 3. Tuition at OHSU rivals that of private universities such as Linfield and U of Portland. We receive applications yearly for each of of our two undergraduate programs, admitting only about students in total of those applicants.
Many of our students have prior careers and prior college degrees from baccalaureates in liberal arts to PhDs in neuroscience. In short, nursing students are amazingly talented people with a commitment to serving the public and to making a difference in health care policy and practice.
There are many well-prepared individuals who want to study nursing. At least 30, qualified applicants are turned away from nursing schools every year because the nursing profession lacks the funds needed to retain and recruit faculty. In the absence of stable funding, qualified read article educators to train these willing future nurses are in short supply. Even if OHSU were able to find and hire the faculty we kegislator, we would not have the money to pay them.
According to the Oregon Center for Nursing, 'Oregon's writing a professional letter to a legislator programs have more than doubled enrollment sincebut the number of nurse faculty has increased by professionak 14 percent. The State Board of Nursing has been forced to set limits on student: This is the bottom line: We cannot squeeze more out of our existing nursing education structure. The United States is in dire need of stable funding for nursing education. Thank you for your attention to this critical health care issue and for your past support of the nursing profession.
Letter to a legislator professional a writing key points
Goodnurse, RN, CNS, PhD, CCRN, ACNS I hope you find these tips helpful. Now get busy and start writing!
Last edit by Joe V on Jan 12, '15 Do you like this Article?