WNA member attends ANAI

Marianne Madariaga, MS, RN, Casper, was selected to represent WNA at the American Nurses Advocacy Institute (ANAI).

Twenty-two nurses from across the country came together in Washington DC October 23 – 25th representing their state’s nurses’ association to begin a year-long journey in becoming stronger advocates for the profession. ANAI was designed to develop nurse’s political competence, thereby expanding nursing policy leaders and grassroots capacity for the profession and health care.

Endorsed by their state nurses association (SNA), each ANAI Fellow is preparing to provide counsel to the SNA in establishing legislative and regulatory priorities with recommended strategies to achieve, as well as contribute, to execution of actions to advance policy. Fellows will also serve as mentors to other SNA members.

Sessions in DC included conducting a political environmental scan in order to navigate the legislative arena more successfully. An interview with MN State Representative Erin Murphy RN who has been in the House for ten years and a lobbyist for the state nurses association prior, helped us gain a greater appreciation for both sides when trying to advance policy. Inspiration was also garnered from two dynamic leaders: Mary Behrens, RN, MS, FNP-BC former Wyoming Legislator, Mayor, and County Commissioner and Dr. Irene Trowell-Harris, RN, Ed.D. Major General USAF, Retired, the former Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Women Veterans who shared their paths to involvement in policy making and public office.

Time was dedicated to developing and controlling advocacy messages for differing audiences: media, legislators, reporters, and colleagues followed by effective use of digital advocacy. During the remainder of the year, an example of topics to be explored will be bill analysis, preparing for and delivering testimony, and lessons learned in building and / or participating in a coalition. ANA staff, Janet Haebler, MSN, RN Senior Associate Director for State Government Affairs and state mentors provides support in the application of the new knowledge and skill throughout the year. The experience was capped off with a “Day on the Hill” seeking support for two ANA priority bills prior to the conclusion of the 114th Congress.