United Advanced Practice Registered Nurses of Georgia

Please be Mindful and Act Now!!

Posted over 4 years ago by James F. Lawrence

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Members and Non-members who follow us:

As I predicted at the end of last year, the legislative culture to date on the state and federal levels have been additionally interesting. CAPRN continues to represent UAPRN and all of Georgia's APRNs. If your UAPRN Chapter has not made its annual donation to CAPRN, I very, very, very strongly encourage the chapter to do so,NOW!  If you are a UAPRN member and reading this announcement and you do not know if your home chapter has made a financial commitment to CAPRN, I want you to notify your chapter president or your chapter treasurer this week to inquire about your chapter's status !!

Your state executive board made its donation to CAPRN last month and I am personally asking that each UAPRN chapter do the same ! The work of lobbying, politically networking and building effective professional relations in the political arena is extremely important. Furthermore, it is not free nor is it cheap and as a health care professional it is an expectation that your UAPRN chapter support CAPRN and the legislative work they do on our behalf.

If you are an AANP member, you may have already received this attachment. If you have not, I strongly encourage you to what I am constantly asking each of you to do. This is to establish an ongoing relationship with your state and federal legislators. A simple example of rapport building is simply put. How would you feel if a new patient of yours on their first visit, after examining him/her immediately states to you that he/she is suffering from chronic pain and the ONLY thing that works for him/her is Percocet? This brand new patient begins your initial visit in this manner.  Most of us would react similarly with the hair on the back of our neck beginning to stand up, or the temperature to our face beginning to feel warm, or we hear warning sirens going off, or lastly, we might even hear the "danger, danger Will Robinson" voice begin to go off. Most likely, we would all become suspicious of this brand new patient based on his/her actions and the lack of history we have with that patient. Furthermore, we don't  have any rapport established or relationship built up. Now, change one element of this scenario with one of your patients whom you have known for a couple of years. That patient always makes his/her appointments, never misses his/her dates despite your office often having to reschedule several times, and your patient is forthcoming and confides in you about any new medical problem that arises.

Do each of you see how much easier it is to meet that patient's needs when that patient is established, trustworthy, maintains open communications with you?  So put yourselves in the similar situation but replace it clinically with a political twist. Is it not much easier to approach an established patient/peer/colleague/legislator when you have established an effective open relationship between yourself and the other individual ??  

Members, this is not rocket science, right? Yet, so few of you who are reading this annoucement have done the homework and expect it all to fall into place. Well, my colleagues..."it ain't going to happen"! Did each of you meet your significant other/husband/wife and immediately commit to him/her? The majority of us invested time, energy, and efforts in getting to know our mates. Yet, none of us view our state and federal legislators in similar ways when it comes to the principles of relationships. Why is that ?

Because I truly attempt to practice what I preach, last year I began establishing my relationship via principles establishing rapport of with my new federal congressman.  I would send him email notes and thank him for the great job he was doing. I thanked him when he voted on federal legislation that supported NPs and I would send him brief materials-always educating him about NPs. When federal sessions were on hiatus, I purposely and methodically made appointments with him at his Roswell office and when I was in DC for various reasons, I always made a conscious effort to see him in his DC office. All of this was done in order to establish relations with him. In return, I supported him personally by showing up at his town hall meetings and donating to his campaign to show that relationships are a two-way street.

Four months ago I was speaking to him at his Roswell office and mentioned to him that Georgia really needed a representative at this summer's White House annual conference on aging. Being a geriatric NP, I asked him how did the White House establish its VIP invitation list as this conference's attendees were by invitation only. He stated he had no idea. Three weeks ago, in an official Presidential sealed envelope, I received my invitation from President Obama inviting me to the White House to attend this very special conference.

I say these things to each of you not to boast, but to give you an example of how a small amount of effort put forth never goes unnoticed when its genuine, sincere, and done in a professional manner. So, in closing, I ask each of you to review the attachment, and allow me to be quite blunt and even more direct by asking- "What have you done lately in establishing (or maintaining) a relationship with your state and federal legislator?

Its time that the girls become women and the boys become men. UAPRN Georgia does not need children as its members. We need members who are men and women to do what is politically and professionally expected of them!


James F. Lawrence, Ph.D. APRN BC CHPN CPS FAANP

UAPRN State President