The power of many voices with one message.

Advocacy is simply the process of influencing people to create change. Its lifeblood is good strategic communications – educating people about a need and mobilizing them to meet it. Thousands of voices speaking independently can be ignored or dismissed. But by working together to deliver a message with one voice, nurses can make a real difference in the care patients receive and the health of our communities.

Legislators are elected officials who come from many walks of life with widely varying experience and knowledge of the health care system. You are the expert when it comes to the nursing profession and the health of your patients and communities. Policy makers care what you think. Your point of view is important to legislators as they craft the laws and regulations that affect your profession and patients.

Key Points

The Delaware General Assembly is comprised of 21 Senators and 41 Representatives. In the 2018 election, there was one nurse, Melissa Minor-Brown (D) , elected to the House of Representatives.

The legislature convenes on the second Tuesday of January and meets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays until June 30 of each year.

A General Assembly meets for 2 years, the first year being the first session and the second year being the second session. All bills carry over from the first year to the second year. Legislation not passed by the end of the second session is not carried over to the next General Assembly.


Find Committee dates and times

Effectively Connect with Legislators

Direct communication with decision-makers can be a powerful, cost-effective advocacy tool. This may be done through letters, telephone calls, and emails – but personal meetings are often the most effective way to communicate.

Be Prepared

Just as your time is limited, so is a legislator’s. Know the bill number and issues. Have facts ready.

Identify Yourself

Introduce yourself as a nurse and a voter from a specific city or county. Keep in mind, you are speaking on behalf of yourself as a nurse, not as a lobbyist for any organization.

Keep it Simple

State your position clearly and succinctly. Expect questions and be responsive, not argumentative. It is alright to say “I don’t know the answer” and offer to get the information as quickly as possible. Always follow up with the legislator.

Stay on target. Restrict yourself from bringing up other issues and focus on the issue at hand. If possible, get a commitment.

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Facts and Figures

Facts and figures are useful, but use numbers carefully – using too many it can overload and confuse your audience. Balance statistics with stories that convey the message.

Using Research

Using action-oriented and up-to-date research is a crucial way of showing decision makers and the broader public why an action is needed. It helps with credibility and confidence, and adds weight to your argument. You may use your own research, DNA or ANA provided research,  or that of others. It is often beneficial to use research to make positive recommendations and proposals, and to cite examples of good practice.

Research produced by your audience, such as a government or health body, will be a particularly powerful way of strengthening your messages and arguments.

Real-life Stories

Remember that you are competing for attention in order to create support for change. It is often crucial to capture hearts first, then minds. Real-life stories and your messaging are key ways to achieve this.

I think one's feelings waste themselves in words;
they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results.
~Florence Nightingale



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