Suzanne Miyamoto, CEO of the American Academy of Nursing, presented the most recent installment of the school’s policy series seminar, hosted by the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement.
In her talk, "Creating Policy with a Purpose”, Dr. Miyamoto discussed the importance of nurses engaging in policy and gave suggestions on how to most effectively influence policy.
Since health policy impacts nurses and their patients in so many ways, Dr. Miyamoto asked, “why would we let these decisions be made without our expertise?”
She acknowledged that political advocacy can seem daunting for many, due to the wide spectrum of differing political ideologies and values that surround most policy issues.
Nurses are uniquely situated to influence partisan politics and should always rely on their expertise, evidence, and stories to make their voices heard and to bridge political divides, she said.
Dr. Miyamoto also gave practical advice on how to begin engaging in policymaking. First, she advised that people use social media wisely and with caution. Second, to be effective, policymakers must be open to understanding new perspectives. Third, she reminded the audience that influencing policy is a marathon and to not be easily discouraged.
Effective political messaging frames a concept by using short words, repeating the message often and using stories to make fact-based issues memorable and personal.
When asked about her success in the field of nursing and health policy, Dr. Miyamoto quoted Florence Nightingale: “I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse.”