PROGRAM INTRODUCTION LETTER FROM CARLA KIRKLAND, TNA PRESIDENT

Dear TN Nurse,

As your new President for Tennessee Nurses Association, I want to thank you for being a TNA member! TNA would not be able to be the voice for professional nursing in Tennessee without your membership, involvement, financial support, and energy.

One of my goals as President is to try to simplify legislative advocacy for nurses. I often have nurses tell me they don’t know where to start advocating the needs of our profession, our patients, and health care in our state to our state elected officials. Most of our state representatives and senators have no health care background, and need your expertise to help educate them regarding health care issues. I truly know how one might feel awkward or intimidated when it comes to communicating with elected officials. I felt that way just a few years ago, when I started reaching out to legislators regarding Full Practice Authority for APRNs. The more I emailed and met with them, however, the more comfortable I became.

Last year TNA began working to pair nurses with legislators, to build those extremely important relationships. This year we would like to take that a step farther. I’m asking that our TNA members choose one or two legislators for whom you would like to be a health care resource. TNA will help mentor you in this effort, sending you emails at least monthly with ideas to engage with your legislator(s), and resources to educate you on do’s and don’ts for communication. Ideally you would pair with your LOCAL Tennessee state Senator or Representative.

Find your local legislator at: http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/Apps/fmlv3/districts.aspx

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