We take every opportunity to engage and meet with elected representatives from all political parties. That includes government ministers, parliamentarians and local councillors, helping inform political debate and to keep nursing high on the agenda.
By attending events such as the political party conferences, we build relationships and influence national policy-making of the biggest Westminster parties. We work with other royal colleges and health charities to strengthen our cause and achieve change which benefits nursing, the health and care workforce and patient care.
We provide evidence to parliamentary inquiries and committees to influence changes to the law. We respond to public consultations on nursing, patient care and clinical topics so that our expertise is heard.
We develop and campaign on policy priorities, share nurses’ frontline experiences and provide local data for elected representatives to use in parliamentary debates. We share our knowledge and evidence so that parliamentarians can raise our issues in debates and make informed decisions.
We encourage and support our members to showcase the dynamic and skilled roles nursing staff have across our communities. This helps elected representatives understand how the decisions they make affect nursing and patient care.
My advice to other students is to get involved with politics – it affects all of us every single day. Not everyone will listen of course, and sometimes you will get a negative response, but it doesn’t mean you need to stop there.
One listening ear may just create action which will blow your socks off. We need to use our voices collectively and make it known when things aren’t right. It can be hard when you’re going through difficulties to speak up, but having someone who could make a difference stop and listen to me was a feeling I won’t forget.