Forensic nursing practice is sometimes dictated or influenced by health or public policies. The passage of bills, amendments to current bills, and allotment of financial appropriations may require solicitation of letters from private citizens including forensic nurses. Politicians need to know the facts and rationale for bills and the impact that they may have within their districts and among their constituents. With respect to forensic health care policy, there is very likely no one who can speak better to the issues at hand than a forensic nurse. View the current Public Policy Agenda
Current Issue Briefs
As an organization, we have partnered with the Nursing Community, which collectively represents over 850,000 registered nurses in 59 organizations all committed to improving the health of our patients.
We also joined the National Health Collaborative on Violence and Abuse whose mission is to bring health organizations and societies together to advance health policy related to violence and abuse through judicial, budgetary or regulatory processes at the state and federal level. Finally, we are also a member of Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations.
Members of Government Affairs Committee have created sample documents that may help members to voice their professional opinions with confidence when testifying on behalf of health policy issues at public hearings or writing letters to seek the support of local, state or national policy makers. When testifying at legislative hearings or when writing letters in support of or against a policy issue, the following steps are suggested:
Begin by stating their name, title (forensic nurse, SANE, place of employment, organization/institution you represent) and the issue that your letter/testimony supports or opposes.
Keep in mind that there is usually a set time limit when offering verbal testimony and briefly tell why the Act/Bill is important. When writing a letter, limit to one page and include your contact information for follow up.
Based on your knowledge of the issue, provide a short case in point or statistical information about the issue.
Politely encourage the committee to consider passing/rejecting the Act/Bill #.
Thank them for their interest and support.
After testifying, remain seated or standing at the microphone in case the panel or committee members have questions for you.
Please consider using the suggested templates when either you or your state Chapter decides to write a letter or testify before a legislative committee. Download and save the attached templates for letters and verbal testimony. Contact the GAC Chairperson if you need further assistance. With the guidance of fellow members, you will feel stronger and more confident when exercising your voice on behalf of your patients and professional practice.