Getting a proclamation for National Nurses Week can be easy -- if you know how to go about it. In many areas, a mayor or governor can issue a proclamation without action from the city council or state legislature. Following are some tips on how to get a proclamation issued with or without legislative action:
A public official can issue a proclamation without legislative approval. Here's how:
- Call the office of your mayor or governor to determine how proclamations are issued. When you call, be prepared to learn that the process may take a few months. Also, have your materials ready, such as the sample proclamation in this packet. Localize relevant facts about nursing and explain why National Nurses Week should be recognized by your city or state.
- Try to elicit support for your proclamation from other leaders in your city or state. Your members can directly contact their mayors, city council members, or local and state officials by writing letters or by scheduling personal visits. Letters to the governor from district nurses associations will demonstrate statewide interest and support of a proclamation.
- When a proclamation is issued, express your thanks and appreciation. Include the governor or mayor in ceremonies planned for the week. Remember to inform the media about the official attention you have received. Finally, send a letter of appreciation to the official after the week's activities are over.
When legislative action is required to issue proclamations, follow these directions:
If you need to work through the city council or state legislature, start now. Again, begin by finding out what the official process is for getting recognition.
A resolution will need to be sponsored by a member of the appropriate government body. Find someone who is supportive of nursing or who has voiced an interest in health care matters. This would also be an opportunity to educate a government official who is not that familiar with nursing or health care issues.
Again, have materials prepared for a resolution or proclamation. Be ready to share your insights about nursing and the significance of National Nurses Week. For example, indicate how many nurses are in your city/state, the valuable contributions they make to the community, how much the resolution will mean to the (number of) nurse voters, and how this recognition might have a positive impact on nurse morale in the community.
Find out how you can help your sponsor ensure passage of the resolution. Like any bill you've ever lobbied, this will require a plan and some hard work.You may need to get other legislators to co-sponsor the resolution.You can start by writing your legislators about the resolution and soliciting their support.They may be in good positions to help your sponsor in moving the bill.
After the resolution is passed, show appreciation to your sponsor(s) and to everyone who supported the resolution (thank you letters, telephone calls, etc.). Let your members know who these people are and how they helped accomplish this feat. This information can be summarized in your newsletter. Invite your supporters to any activities that you may be sponsoring and see that they are recognized at these events.