Our experiences with this pandemic have made abundantly clear what school nurses have known for a long time. We need full time nursing representation at the policy making level in our state’s education department. That realization has provided clear direction for the Legislative Committee (see our previous blog, A Registered Nurse at ODE Will Support Optimal School Health). We are now well on the way to having a bill ready to present at the 2021 legislative session which will create a School Nurse Specialist at the Oregon Department of Education. At this point our idea is a Legislative Concept that will become a bill on January 11, 2021.
Quick side note, you are always welcome to sit in on our OSNA Legislative Committee meetings (monthly on the third Wednesday at 3:30… see the Upcoming Events tab on the OSNA website), or become a committee member. We encourage you to check out “How an Idea Becomes a Law ” and the legislation tab on the OSNA website.
What really boosts a legislative concept and gives a bill a good chance of making it to the floor of the Legislature to be voted on, is voter input. Legislators’ priority is to support the interests of their constituents. It is the voice of constituents that carries the most weight as they prioritize their decisions. Here’s where we need your help! Your stories about what you do in the schools to support students and their learning are extremely important and they can be used to illustrate why you believe it is important for the Department of Education to have a Registered Nurse, involved in policy and decision making.
During the next few weeks, please prepare to contact the legislators both where you live and work. First, use this link to find out who they are (Find your District and Legislators). Then begin to think about what you would want them to know about what you each day and why it is important. After the holiday break, stay tuned for talking points and communication etiquette! Have a great vacation.