Reflections from today......
I wanted to post this announcement about by special day. Today, I took the morning off from seeing my patients and was the CAPRN's "APRN of the day" at the state capital.
I was met there by Drs. Mary Jane Lewitt and Molly Bachtel of CAPRN and our new state lobbyist, Julianna. To be honest, it was a bit overwhelming at first. In thinking about the day, I do want all of our members to consider taking 4 to 5 hours off from their clinical responsibilities and investing in fostering their professional development as an APRN political advocate ! Today's experiences reminded me that being an APRN includes this professional responsibility that every APRN shares. So I encourage each of you to do this by signing up for being CAPRN's "APRN of the day" at the state capital. Furthermore, I concluded that our new lobbyist is absolutely wonderful in representing our needs at the state level. Watching her move with grace, style, and a focused agenda was quite impressive to witness first-hand today.
I realize that my choice of "overwhelming" requires further explanation. I encourage you all to get to the capital 30 minutes before your 10:00 am meeting time. Parking, queing up, going through security, and finding my designated meeting place were somewhat laborious. This was the overwhelming factor as I was competing with 500 other individuals who were attempting the same tasks. Once I found the others, Julianna immediately calmed my tachcardia and racing respirations. Additionally, CAPRN very eloquently presented me with a "goody bag" and our signature blue scarf to show their appreciation of my efforts in serving as APRN of the day. The goody bag and the scarf matched beautifully with my Blue Ribbon Campaign ribbon that I wore so proudly on my lab coat. And, throughout my time at the capital, I was asked 5 separate times what my blue ribbon represented, thus, providing me with the opportunity to spread the "APRN gospel".
"Team APRN" as I referred to them, took me around and introduced me to key state senators and other lobbyists that continue to function synergestically in supporting our cause. As it was the birthday of Senator Renee Untermann who chairs the senate Health and Human Services Comittee, I presented her with a birthday card and plant on behalf of each of you. Despite her hectic schedule, she took the time to thank me for her gift, fed me lunch, and personally invited me to attend her afternoon senate committee meeting.
Attending the senate HHS committee brought additional insight in to the world of politics at the state level. As I knew in theory how these committees function, it was a sobbering and humbling experience to see upfront and in person. Just sitting in the audience and observing the dynamics of this extremely powerful committee was eye opening in itself. However, it also allowed me to meet other APRNs within the audience who came up to me and introduced themselves as CNSs amd CRNAs.
In conclusion, it was one of the most educational experiences that I have had in a long time, and it "connected the dots" for me toward reminding me of how health care policy and legislation impacts my day to day clinical practice. This is why we as individual APRNs and as UAPRN chapters must support the efforts of CAPRN and take full advantage of our influential lobbyist. Please, please cotact Dr. Molly Bachtel at CAPRN to register for being the "APRN of the day" . Our consistent and steady presence at the state capital during general assemby does have significant impact on us in a day to day clinical setting. Please do your part in advancing our political causes by serving in this role.
Thank you again "Team APRN,"