The future growth and vitality of wound, ostomy and continence (WOC) nursing is largely dependent on the ability of our professionals to influence key decisions made in our nation's capital. These policy decisions are essential to preserving the future of our practices, our health care facilities, and the patient populations that we serve. To protect our field of nursing, we must develop and deliver effective messages from credible messengers to our elected officials about the quality of our patient care and its importance to the community. This is the essence of advocacy, which can be implemented on many levels and take many different forms.
Your elected officials need to hear from you. Between now and the end of the year would be a great time for you to reach out to your legislators. They hear from constituents and special interest groups about many diverse issues ranging from education to transportation to foreign policy. They need to hear from the nursing community as well. It is incumbent upon you to provide them with the information they need to fully understand and appreciate the vital role of WOC specialty nurses.