Social Justice is a Nursing Responsibility Pamela S. Robbins MSN, RN ANA-Illinois Legislative Chair
Social Justice • Social Justice is acting in accordance with fair treatment regardless of economic status, ethnicity, age, citizenship, disability or sexual orientation. • Nurses promote Social Justice with: o Fair nondiscriminatory delivery of nursing care o Support for Universal access to healthcare o Legislation and policy of nursing healthcare
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) • • • • • • •
Advocate for patients and nurses Utilized evidenced based data in social stats Equalitarian beliefs Founder of professional nursing Formulator of public health policy Holistic approach to nursing Healthcare Reformer
Lavinia Dock (1858-1956) • • • • • •
Pioneer of American nurses (disciple of Flo) Disagreed with “subservient” role of women Believed women were “legitimate knowers” Public health nursing and education Feminist, Suffragist, Social & Union Activist Believed social evils included lack of poverty, malnutrition, overcrowding, health disaparities • Empowered nurses to be patient advocates and POLITICALLY ACTIVE
AIM for Social Justice through Political Advocacy
• ACTIVATE - your leadership role in social justice • INITIATE - contact with your legislator • MAXMIZE - political power by joining with others
Locating your State Elected Officials/Legislators The State Board of Elections web site:
http://www.elections.il.gov/Districtsearch.aspx • • • •
Enter your 9-digit zip code in search box Click “Find Address” Click “Confirm Your Address” Results of state and federal officials appear
How to Locate a Legislative Bill’s Text Illinois General Assembly home page: www.ilga.gov • Search for bills by number and their status • Search for legislators under House and Senate headings the chose “Members” • Located under each Chamber (House/Senate) locate “Audio/Video” to watch hearings live
Grassroots Lobbying of Legislators • • • •
Are you a registered voter – the first step! Do you know your legislator or how to find them? Do you know the legislative issue – from where? Aware of the elements for effective communication? • Which is the most powerful communication process to use with a legislator? • Personal visit – written one page letter – call?
Use Your Voice • Nurses must realize no one but nurses can truly inform the public about nursing. • Nurses must make public communication and education about nursing an integral part of their nursing work. • Nurses - overcome the internal obstacles that silence you!
ANA-Illinois state professional nursing association • ANA-Illinois members work together through the legislative process on issues of social justice amplifying political voice and visibility.; • Professional associations such as IANA and ISAPN work together with ANA-Illinois pooling political nurse resources; • The ANA-Illinois is affiliated and supported by the American Nurses Association, our national organization who lobbies on federal healthcare policy. www.ana-illinois.org
Four Spheres of Political Influence Government
Professional Organization ANA-Illinois
SOCIETY’S HEALTH Health System and Social Determinants of Health Health and Social Policy Four Spheres of Political Influence: Nurse is central in all spheres
Health System and Social Determinants of Health • The ultimate goal for advancing nursing’s interests must be to promote the public’s health. • Health & Social policy social factors: income, education and housing. Social policies play a big role in influencing health. • Social determinants: Policies are needed to address the social and economic conditions that make people ill. Universal care is one social determinant of health.
Who Votes on Policy? • Legislators vote on ALL regulation – health policy as well as nursing. They are your elected representative in the democratic process. • Legislators require experts on health policy –that should be their nurse constituent. • If you are not speaking to your state legislator on health policy issues – someone else will. • Political Clout: One in 48 adults in Illinois is a licensed nurse.
Political Advocacy for Social Justice • Access to affordable healthcare – Full practice authority for Nurse Practitioners • Maintain access for patients in pain to continue to utilize Nurse Anesthetists • Funding for Nurse Scholarships • Health care benefits in the state Exchange • Expand Medicaid for the vulnerable poor
What does Nurse Political Advocacy accomplish? Promotes and Protects:
Promotes the nursing profession
Protects the public’s safety
Promote and Protect • 6,000 legislative bills are proposed in the Illinois General Assembly each session. • Legislators sponsor bills representing the concerns from their constituents. • Laws/regulations impact everyone – nursing practice is regulated by laws.
Promote and Protect Professional nurse association laws include: • • • •
No Mandatory Overtime in acute care setting RN Circulator in the Operating Room Nurse Practice Act Staffing by Patient Acuity
Promote and Protect • Dozens of poorly designed legislative proposals DEFEATED by intense nurse lobbying! • Healthcare Economics: Legislators need to hear from their nurses on the reality of healthcare today so they can vote appropriately on health policy issues. • The MECHANISM to protecting the public and promoting the practice of nursing is astute monitoring and strategic political action!
Promote and Protect • Silence on proposals of health policy is interpreted as “consensus” to such bills. • If nurses fail to discuss bad policy with their legislators – how do you think they will vote? Legislators are not EXPERTS on nursing – Nurses are Experts on Nursing! • 164,000 licensed nurses in Illinois:177 state House of Representatives and Senators. • Nurses to legislators is a ratio of 1000:1
Illinois RN and State Advocacy • Marie Lindsey, PhD APN/CNP member of ISAPN • Using political action through state nursing organization improved access to care: • 1997 Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) language in the Nurse Practice Act • 2007 Prescription Authority for APNs in Illinois • 2013 - APNs seeking full practice authority!
Massachusetts RN & Federal Advocacy • Karen Daley PhD MPH, RN currently serves as ANA President • Massachusetts Emergency Room Nurse stuck with a needle in 1999 • Sero-converted six months later with HIV, Hepatitis C. • In 2002 through the ANA political process won federal "Needle Stick Safety and Prevention Act“. • Today - all health workers’ health safety is improved through federal law!
How do you see achieving Social Justice in your nursing career? • • • • •
Be a registered voter; Begin a professional relationship with legislators; Join your professional organization :ANA-Illinois; Stay informed on the issues; Grassroots organize your colleagues, family, friends on the issues and encourage them to become politically active as well; • NEVER GIVE UP THE FIGHT FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE!
Be Active in Social Justice • • • •
Nurses cannot hide behind patients and charts; Nurses do not work in a vacuum; Ignorance is no excuse. If societal relationships based on racial, ethnic, gender, and economic status are more equal, population health indicators between diverse groups become more stable nationally and globally. • Nurses who are supportive of a social justice agenda highlight the need to balance benefits and burdens in society, to promote equal living and health conditions. Nurses - be insistent in our demand - Social Justice for all!
Johann Wolfgang van Goethe “Knowing is not enough, we must apply.
Willing is not enough, we must do.” “To think is easy. To act is hard. But the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thinking.” Scientist, Author, Statesman, Poet, Botanist, Critic
Thank You! Pam Robbins MSN, RN ANA-Illinois Legislative Chair 708-258-9088 [email protected]
Join ANA-Illinois at www.ana-illinois.org