Political competence defining characteristic: Opportunities created through networking.
Networking is a skill that comes easily to some and less easily to others. As nurses, we often tend to undervalue our position in society which brings strength via advocation to others. Realizing our strengths, especially in numbers we can create political capital and implement change. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) prepared nurse should be an active participant in professional groups. Active participation includes lobbying for political change that will affect our professional roles and our patient’s needs.
By becoming a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) I can donate to their political action committee (PAC) as well as be an active member in lobbying at the State and National levels with my ‘group’ to help voices be heard. Membership should be much more than simply paying annual dues and accessing continuing education credits, it is seeking and participating in the organization at multiple levels of involvement and seeking to find the best membership opportunity there is. Networking with peers to help educate community members and elected officials will create buy-in and support. By speaking to the elected state representatives and local leaders I can speak firsthand and answer questions in real-time. Seeking these opportunities out we can lobby with our AANP peers to advocate for full practice authority (FPA) in all 50 states.
Another way to network with leaders in the community is to simply be an active participant in local groups and events. I am a member of the Junior League of Pensacola and found that there are many local and state leaders in my local chapter. By simply creating friendships, and keeping friendships, we can open the door to opportunities and situate ourselves at a place to create change through networking (Warner, 2003). Being an active member of the Junior League positions me to do just that. Networking with other healthcare professionals, including physicians, I can discuss the importance of FPA in the State of Florida. By addressing the benefit of opening patient access to care and removing the financial burden of paying a physician for unnecessary oversight by citing the many studies available, we can work to create smoldering change at the local level and bring it forward with allied support.
Warner, J. (2003). A phenomenological approach to political competence: stories of nurse activists. Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice, 4(2), 135-143. https://doi.org/10.1177/1527154403251855
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