You’ve set up the meeting … now what do you say?
The short answer is: Let them know the important role Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners play in our community.
Tell them what you do in your work. Your personal story will help them understand that psychiatric ARNPs are a vital part of mental health care. From that understanding, they can utilize AAPPN as a resource and make it easier for AAPPN lobbyists to get their ear when bills are being drafted.
Whether you are meeting your legislator in your community at their district office, heading to Olympia on your own, or joining your colleagues for AAPPN’s Lobby Day on Jan. 22, 2020, here are steps to preparing to meet with your State lawmakers:
- If you don’t know who your legislators are, look them up at http://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/.
- Call or email to schedule your meeting. When calling, ask to speak to the person responsible for scheduling and let them know you are a constituent. The purpose of the meeting is “informational.”
- You can expect to be scheduled for a 5-15-minute meeting.
- Call the office a week before your meeting to confirm the date and time.
- Spend a few minutes researching your legislator—read their bio, find out which committees they sit on, and if they hold a leadership position in the legislature.
- If you are attending Lobby Day, our lobbyists will provide you with handouts for your legislator and information to share with them about bills which are important to our profession.
- If you are visiting outside of Lobby Day, please contact the AAPPN office at 360-734-3166 so we can inform you about legislation which might be of interest.
- At the meeting:
- Share your story of how being a PMHNP improves the lives of your patients and community.
- Share your perspective on a pertinent issue.
- Introduce AAPPN as a resource regarding mental health issues.
- The lawmaker will be interested in establishing an ongoing relationship with you and with AAPPN as a resource.
- Be sure to get a picture of yourself with your legislator!
- After the meeting:
- Send a thank-you email to the legislative aide and lawmaker and restate how AAPPN can be a resource for them.
- Email a brief summary of how your meeting went to Chris Crosser at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include any photos taken at the meeting.
- Post a message on the AAPPN listserv and/or Facebook page letting other members know how your meeting went. The more members who visit, the greater the impact, and your positive message could spur others to take the time. Be sure to include your picture with your legislator.