The International Association of Forensic Nurses leads on advocating for forensic nurses and patient access to medical care in Congress. Everyday, we are working towards our goal of having a forensic nurse in every emergency room, every time a patient needs specialized medical care.
IAFN’s Government Affairs Committee, open to all members all the time, consists of forensic nursing leaders with their pulse on current needs, gaps, and opportunities for forensic nurses. We constantly discuss and inform decisions that impact the future of forensic nursing.
Annually, IAFN offers a member’s only Advocacy Day in Washington, DC in Feb. Reach out for more information.
Public Policy Agenda
- Support funding of the Violence Against Women Act.
- Increase access to forensic nurses in the United States and globally.
- Monitor and comment on policy developments that impact access to forensic nurses and comprehensive care and safety for their patients.
As an organization, we have partnered with the Nursing Community, which collectively represents over 850,000 registered nurses in 59 organizations all committed to improving the health of our patients. We also joined the National Health Collaborative on Violence and Abuse whose mission is to bring health organizations and societies together to advance health policy related to violence and abuse through judicial, budgetary or regulatory processes at the state and federal level.
Members of Government Affairs Committee have created sample documents that may help members to voice their professional opinions with confidence when testifying on behalf of health policy issues at public hearings or writing letters to seek the support of local, state or national policy makers. When testifying at legislative hearings or when writing letters in support of or against a policy issue, the following steps are suggested:
- Begin by stating their name, title (forensic nurse, SANE, place of employment, organization/institution you represent) and the issue that your letter/testimony supports or opposes.
- Keep in mind that there is usually a set time limit when offering verbal testimony and briefly tell why the Act/Bill is important. When writing a letter, limit to one page and include your contact information for follow up.
- Based on your knowledge of the issue, provide a short case in point or statistical information about the issue.
- Politely encourage the committee to consider passing/rejecting the Act/Bill #.
- Thank them for their interest and support.
- After testifying, remain seated or standing at the microphone in case the panel or committee members have questions for you.