As a nurse you have a role in increasing the public visibility and credibility of your profession. You are developing the skills and knowledge to influence public opinion and actions related to issues of the health and well-being of society. All nurses have some responsibility to be “leaders” and to influence the thinking and action of others on matters of health in a positive way.
The goal of this assignment is to give you an opportunity to practice some of the key skills of effective nursing leaders such as communication, advocacy, and negotiation. In other words the goal of this assignment is to give you practice at becoming influential.
1. Before you begin, review Chapter 12 (Telling Nursing’s Story) in Becoming Influential (Sullivan, 2013).
2. Decide on your message. Chose an issue, quality, concern, or characteristic related to the profession of nursing about which you would like the public to know more. You might get inspiration from your experiences in the program or from reading you have done.
3. Determine how you could best share your message with the public and which sector of the public would be most appropriate to share your message with. Who is the most appropriate target for your message? For example, is your message about a particular concern related to health care that you could share with your MP or a national lobby group in order to influence legislation or public policy? Is your message related to a local health issue that might be most appropriately shared through a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper?
4. Based on your thinking from point 3 write your message in an appropriate form to the agency or person you have selected.
5. Summarize your process in a 3-4 page double-spaced paper, excluding the title and reference pages, that includes the following headings:
Deciding on My Message
How did you select the issue, quality, concern or characteristic about the profession of nursing that you wanted the public to know more about? What is the theme of your message? Why do you think this message is important? What do you hope to accomplish by sharing your message?
Deciding on How to Share My Message
How would you share your message to have the most influence? Describe how you would choose an appropriate target for your message. What person, agency, or institution would you select and why? What considerations would influence the format, timing, and follow-up of your submission? What obstacles might you face and how would you overcome these? What negation and advocacy skills would you need to get your message out?