Advocacy


As the most trusted profession in the country, PCNA believe that nurses have a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of their patients through public policy. PCNA Advocacy Central helps nurses have a voice, grow personally and professionally, and impact public policy. You can learn about recent advocacy activities that our members are involved in and contact your representatives about bills that impact you through the PCNA Action Center

The PCNA Advocacy Committee identifies important issues that impact nursing and our patients. This is a fraught time in our country and politics is increasingly contentious, and while we are not all bound to agree on everything, but that is a part of our great, messy democracy.

Thank you for being an advocate for CVD prevention and nursing. Together we can do more.

Take Action

Expanding Cardiac Rehabilitation Services
From our partners at the American Heart Association

Cardiac rehabilitation is an essential Medicare benefit that reduces mortality, hospitalizations, and use of medical resources while improving the quality of life following a cardiac event. However, in order be covered under Medicare, programs must have a Medical Doctor who ensures programs are safe and medically appropriate for patients. Unfortunately, this requirement creates an unintended roadblock to cardiac rehab services by placing a more stringent staffing requirement on these services than it does for similar outpatient services.

To address this problem, we support legislation that would allow physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse specialists to supervise cardiac rehab programs. Additionally, non-physician practitioners are already used in a number of other critical care environments, including emergency rooms, intensive care units, and health centers. They are highly trained to respond should emergencies arise.

Will you ask your legislators to cosponsor this legislation today?


 
Take action on current issues in our Action Center>

Nominations Now Open for PCNA's Advocacy Award

The Advocacy Award recognizes a member’s leadership in advocacy at the local, state, or federal level in the areas of cardiovascular disease prevention or advancing the nursing profession. The winner of this award works strategically to bring awareness and support to initiatives through direct interaction with legislators, grassroots or the media. The Advocacy Award will be given at the PCNA Annual Symposium.

Learn more>

Recent Issues

Oppose Research and Nursing Workforce Cuts in the Budget

April 2017 - President Trump released his proposed budget blueprint, which includes sweeping and devastating cuts to programs that ensure health across the country. Contact your legislator to ask them to oppose the following cuts in the budget.

Unprecedented Cuts to the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The budget proposes a 20% reduction to NIH funding and would end the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. These cuts would be devastating to our ability to find treatments and cures for cardiovascular disease. At a time when the burden of cardiovascular disease is growing, we should be increasing this funding, not cutting it.

Debilitating Reductions to Nursing Workforce Programs

The budget proposal also includes a $403 million cut to the health profession and nursing workforce programs. These cuts would hurt efforts to address critical faculty shortages and recruit new nurses into the profession. And at a time when our leaders are debating how to lower health care costs and increase access, these cuts are counterproductive.
Ten Commandments of Lobbying

  1. Do your homework
  2. Tell the truth
  3. Know your opponents
  4. Build coalitions
  5. Work at the local level    
  6. Start early
  7. Keep it simple
  8. Take your friends where you find them
  9. Think big, but always know your bottom line
  10. Thank people that help

Frequently Asked Question

If I start lobbying or advocating my representatives, will I have to register as a lobbyist? 
No. Registration as a lobbyist is not required if you are advocating, educating and raising awareness. A private citizen acting on their own or as a volunteer with an organization does not have to register.   
Remember…Your voice counts and together we will do more!

Experiences in Advocacy by Alethea Hill

Alethea Hill, PhD, ACNP-BC, ANP-BC, received PCNA's first ever Advocacy Award for CVD Prevention. Here, she recounts her experiences and shares her advice for how to get started with advocacy.

Advocating for the care of patients, families, communities, and populations is rewarding, yet hard work. It allows me to make incremental strides toward preservation of health and wellness for each person I encounter.
 
In previous years, I demonstrated my support for various initiatives by way of electronic petitions and local community engagement. Time went on, some issues changed while others stayed the same, so I began to wonder what else could be done.  My participation in the Call to Congress, Stop Diabetes with the American Diabetes Association was an experience that changed my perspective on advocacy forever. During the experience, we walked across the lawn of the Capitol urging policymakers in the House and Senate to support federal funding for diabetes research and prevention programs at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  In face-to-face meetings with legislative aides in Senator Shelby's and Rep. Byrne's office, I arrived equipped with powerful infographics demonstrating the current impact of diabetes on the state of Alabama.  The statistic that resonated most with them was the burden of cardiovascular disease as an associated risk of diabetes, as most are not aware of the connection.

Advocacy serves as a conduit to be vocal and take action on issues at the local, state and national level. I got involved in advocacy work as a means of having an individual and collective impact on issues that matter most to me.  The complexity of being a community resident, mother, advanced practice nurse and educator made me acutely aware of the ability, that not only I, but we all have to effect change at some level.   Over the years, risk awareness, wellness, and health promotion related to diabetes and cardiovascular disease within the community has been my focus. Given diabetes is a CVD risk equivalent, I prefer to direct my efforts toward the prevention/risk identification/risk awareness aspects of care as it relates to CVD.   
 
To a person that has never been involved in advocacy, I would encourage you to find the one thing you are most passionate about and begin to inform yourself.  Find a way to get involved locally and network with the individuals that influence decisions related to the movement, as well as persons/families affected by it.  Advocacy work can be hard, and on occasion, lack immediate reward so work-life balance is important if you are going to stay energized and complete the course your passion leads you on!