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Professional Issues

Voices of Oncology Nursing Society Members Matter in Advocacy and Decisions Related to U.S. Health Policy

Marlon Garzo Saria
Alec Stone
AnnMarie Lee Walton
Gean Brown
Vicki Norton
Margaret Barton-Burke
CJON 2014, 18(6), 719-721 DOI: 10.1188/14.CJON.719-721

The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), a member of the Nursing Organizations Alliance, invests in advocating for health and public policy decisions by sending members to the Nurse in Washington Internship (NIWI) program annually. NIWI provides a forum to educate nurses on the legislative process, giving attendees a better understanding of political, legislative, and regulatory issues facing nurses. The 2014 ONS delegation participated in training and lobbying focused on federal funding issues, nursing education, workforce oversight, and funding for nursing research. The three-day program ended with a Capitol Hill visit where nurses met with their respective legislators or their staff, using skills learned at NIWI briefings to influence policy for nurses and the patients they serve. Critical health and public policy decisions affecting nurses, their practice, and their patients require participation in and understanding of the legislative process. This article provides a glimpse into the three-day experience of the delegates attending the 2014 NIWI.

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