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Public Policy and Advocacy Report - Feb. 2019

Respectfully submitted by Bernie Rock, RN, CWON

Since my Report of September 2018 at the MARWOCN Regional Conference, the following has occurred/is occurring:

Hot Topics

Latest Hot Topic: December 2018:
Tell Congress to Pass Nursing Workforce Programs and the Lymphedema Treatment Act

The Nursing Workforce Program encourages, & pays for (via grants) Advanced Practice Nurses to work in underserved areas of our country; nurses to attain to the Clinical Nurse Specialist designation; provides loan money for Nursing Education in those areas with critical staffing needs and depressed salaries; facilitates the setting up of Nurse Practitioner run Clinics in rural and underserved areas of our country.

Presently H.R. 959 – Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2018 has passed the House. It needs to pass the Senate. Please contact our State Senators, Ben Cardin (D) and Chris Van Hollen (D) by phone, letter, or email, and ask them to support this Act, and reauthorize these programs, as they benefit our overall Nursing Profession, our Patients, and the Communities in which they live.

A Form Letter is available at; click on the Public Policy & Advocacy Tab; click on Sample Letters and Emails; click on Senate Nursing Workforce Program; form letter will Download; open, fill out, Send.

Please follow the same process (above) for H.R. 930/S. 497 – the Lymphedema Treatment Act. This has not yet passed, so repeat phone calls, letters, and emails are still needed to our Representatives in Congress (will vary from District to District, so please determine in which district you live, & contact that Representative) & to our 2 State Senators.

Behind the scenes, the Public Policy and Advocacy Representatives from all our various States/Regions/Affiliates convened via Conference Call in October 2018, to re-look at some of the Processes being followed with regards to Public Policy and Advocacy:

  • Our Grass Roots Toolkit
  • How we communicate information to our members
  • What is our Job Description

We learned that some Affiliates have Public Policy and Advocacy Reps, and some do not. There’s uncertainty about Roles; and where (in the respective States) to obtain healthcare policy information pertaining to WOC Issues (if any) in said States. These behind the scenes Conference Calls hope to shed some light, and increase confidence.

Respectfully submitted,
Bernie Rock, RN, CWON