Advocacy

Advocacy Toolkit

Mission of the MSNO and
an Overview of Our Organization.

Pending Bills of Concern

Board Members, Standing Committee
& Regional Chairs

Advocacy Toolkit

Advocacy Infographics/Flyers
Find Your Legislator
Mass. Legislature Bills / Committees
How to Write a Letter to your Legislator

Address the letter with proper titles:

  • The Governor: “His Excellency Charlie Baker.”
  • The Lieutenant Governor: “The Honorable Lieutenant Governor Karen Polito”.
  • Your state senator, state representative, U.S. Senator or U.S. Congressman: “The Honorable.”

Salutations: “Dear Governor, Senator or Representative…” Address: State House Boston, Massachusetts 02133

Helpful Hints:

  • Always identify yourself as a nurse and a constituent.
  • Make reference to the bill or act you want them to support.
  • Include brief reasons.
  • If possible give examples.
  • Ask for a response.
  • When signing, include your complete name, title, organizational membership, address and telephone number. Remember that it can take just a few contacts from constituents to influence a vote in the legislature.
Sample Letter

The Honorable Representative/Senator: (Name)
Room (Room #) State House
Boston, Massachusetts 02133

Dear Representative or Senator: (Name)

I am one of over 2,100 school nurses in Massachusetts who is concerned with the safety and health care of the children in Massachusetts. Children attending schools today are faced not only with the usual common infectious diseases; they face the threat of other major health problems not always well understood by teachers, parents, and the communities. Special needs children integrating into the classrooms of every town have significant health and nursing needs. The administration of medication and monitoring their effects, coupled with the needs of children from dysfunctional families, further complicate the picture of school health.

Please watch for upcoming legislation for expansion of Chapter 71, Section 3, M.G.L. or bill #. We urge you to support an act/or Bill # of providing a minimum of one school nurse for every public and non- public school building in the Commonwealth.

Thank you for your attention to this important issue.

Sincerely,

Your name, RN (other credentials)
Address and telephone number

Telephone Protocol

Senator Lobby: 1-617-722-2000

House of Representatives: 1-617-722-2800

  • Hello, my name is:
  • I live in (town):
  • May I speak to the legislative staff person?
  • I am a school nurse in (school town):
  • I am urging Senator/Representative to vote for (Bill # or Act#)
How to Write for Testimony
  • Name the title of Bill or Act.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • Use personal experience. Your expertise is valued.
  • “I am a registered nurse. I have….years experience in….”
  • State your purpose. Know your argument. Are you for or against?
  • Support arguments with facts. Every fact should be related to the argument. Don’t go off on tangents or try to make too many separate arguments. Keep it simple. Have one central idea in mind.
  • Give examples.
  • Avoid quotes from someone else. They are just quotes. It does not really help to support your argument.
  • Use short sentences. Avoid overly technical or “fancy” words.
  • You should acknowledge the other side. Let the reader know you are aware of arguments on the other side. If you can rebut them, do so.
Testifying at the State House
Similar to written testimony and you can leave your speech.

You will have only THREE minutes to speak….be concise, make eye contact and speak slowly!

  • Introduce yourself.
  • Name the title of Bill or Act.
  • Use personal experience. Your expertise is valued.
  • “I am a registered nurse. I have….years experience in….”
  • State your purpose. Know your argument. Are you for or against?
  • Support arguments with facts. Every fact should be related to the argument. Don’t go off on tangents or try to make too many separate arguments. Keep it simple. Have one central idea in mind.
  • Give examples. Use short sentences. Avoid overly technical or “fancy” words.
  • If they ask a question, tell them you appreciate the question, if you definitely know the answer you can reply. If you don’t know, tell them you will find out and get back to them…then get back to them!
  • You should acknowledge the other side. Let the committee members know you are aware of arguments on the other side. If you can rebut them, do so.
  • Thank them for their attention and for keeping the students in Massachusetts safe in school.

Pending Bills of Concern

Bill Search / Find Your Legislator
MA Legislation – April 2021
Senate HB2335 An act to update postural screening in schools
filed by Representative Kay Khan

SB1401 An act to update postural screening in schools
filed by Senator Julian Cyr

The Massachusetts School Nurse Organization has filed 2 Bills related to Postural Screening in the MA House and Senate with the same title and language.

These are the same bills that MSNO filed in the last legislative cycle starting 2019 when 71 MA legislators signed up to co-sponsor them. Here is a summary of the postural screening bills and reasons for filing. We are asking to decrease the state requirement of postural screening to once for students in grades 6, 7, 8, or 9 from the current requirement to screen all students in grades 5
through 9 (MGL Section 57 of Chapter 71).

We support this legislation to reduce postural screening frequency in schools because:
● Routine postural screening is not recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force,*
● Critical time on learning is lost over 5 grades,
● Many parents/guardians opt-out each year,
● Most Primary Care Pediatric Providers oversee postural screening as part of the physical exam,
● School Nurse time is better used for other screenings, such as the universal SBIRT
substance use screening in two grades as required by the 2016 STEP Act, and
● 93% of MSNO members polled in December 2018 (42% of all members, 365 school
nurses) support filing this postural screening legislation.
● There are only 7 states, including Massachusetts, that require Postural Screening by
law and in 1 grade only.
For more information, please contact a member of the MSNO Advocacy Team:
Doreen Crowe, MSNO President, president@msno.org
Jenny Gormley, MSNO Immediate Past President, pastpresident@msno.org
Cathryn Hampson, MSNO President-elect, president-elect@msno.org
Carilyn Rains, NASN Director for MSNO, nasndirector@msno.org

References:

Jakubowski T, Alexy A (2014). Does School Scoliosis Screening Make the Grade? NASN School Nurse , 29(5), 258-265.
Jinn J (2018). Screening for Scoliosis in Adolescents. Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) , 319(2),202.
Magee J, Kenney D, Mullin E (2012). Efficacy of and Advocacy for Postural Screening in Public Schools .Orthopaedic Nursing , 31 (4), 232-235.* https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/RecommendationStatementFinal/adolescent-idiopathic-scoliosis-screening1

 

Find your legislator here: https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator

Sample Postural Screening Letter to Ask for Legislator Co -sponsorship

School Nurses’ Script to Call Legislators to Co-Sponsor MSNO’s Postural Screening Bill. March 26, 2021

2. Call and introduce yourself: “Hi, I’m __ name_ ___, a school nurse from town or city, resident of___ town you live in, and I wish to speak with the Representative/Senator about co-sponsoring a bill.” Your legislator may not be available, and you should ask for the legislative aide, and if this person is not available,give the information to the person answering the phone.

3. Say that you are calling to request that the Senator or Representative co-sponsor the Postural Screening bills,An Act to update postural screening requirements in schools, filed by Senator Julian Cyr in the Senate
(SB#1401) and Representave Kay Khan in the House (HD #2355) on behalf of the MA School Nurse Organizaon (MSNO).
HB2335 An act to update postural screening in schools
filed by Representative Kay Khan
SB1401 An act to update postural screening in schools
filed by Senator Julian Cyr

4. Share that these bills were filed by the same legislators in 2019 with a total of 71 legislators (senators and representatives) signing on to co-sponsor the bills in the House and Senate.

5. Explain that MSNO and school nurses are asking to decrease the state requirement of postural screening to once for students in grades 6, 7, 8, or 9 from the current requirement to screen all students in grades 5 through 9 (MGL Secon 57 of Chapter 71).

6. As time allows, you can explain to the legislative aide, why you are joining MA school nurses in asking for this change in the law:
● Routine postural screening is not recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force,
● Critical time on learning is lost with screening students in 5 grades,
● Many parents/guardians opt-out each year,
● Most Primary Care Pediatric Providers oversee postural screening as part of the physical exam,
● School Nurse time is better used for other screenings, such as the universal SBIRT substance use screening in two grades as required by the 2016 STEP Act, and
● 93% of MSNO members polled in December 2018 (42% of all members, 365 school nurses) support filing this postural screening legislation.
● only 7 states, including Massachusetts, that require Postural Screening by law for 1 grade only.

7. You may offer to email the legislative aide and Senator or Representative your request for them to co-sponsor the bills.

8. Thank the aide and Senator or Representative for considering co-sponsorship. Share your contact info if they have follow-up questions.

9. After your call, please email Jenny Gormley, MSNO Immediate Past President, pastpresident@msno.org, to share who you called and what their response was to your request. We are keeping track so that we can better
advocate for reducing the legal requirement for postural screening for students in 5 grades to students in 1 grade annually.

MA Legislation – June 2020
  • Postural Screening.
    Senate Bill #1233, An Act to update postural screening in schools, is still under consideration by legislators in the Joint Committee on Health Care Finance, chaired by Senator Cindy Friedman and Representative Dan Cullinane.  The deadline for review was extended until June 19, 2020.  Please call your legislators to ask them to request this bill move favorably out of this committee.  See MSNO letter [linked] sent to the Committee Chairs with talking points about why MSNO is supporting the reduced frequency of annual postural screening from 5 grades to 1 grade.
  • School-Based Medicaid Reimbursement for school nursing services.
    The House and Senate Bills went to study in early 2020, meaning they are no longer being considered by legislators, and MSNO can consider filing again in the next legislative session, which starts in January 2021.

MSNO request Postural Screen bill move favorably out of HCF 6.12.2020

MA Legislation – May 2019

MSNO Bills Assigned to Committees for Review

  • Return school nursing billed Medicaid funds directly back to School Health Services programming, including behavioral health assessment, case management, health education, social emotional learning and health support, and other related school health services. The House and Senate version language is the same; only the title is different.
  • Update the MA postural screening law to decrease the frequency of postural screening in public school from all students in grades 5-9 every year to all students in one of the following grades every year: 6, 7, 8 or 9. The House and Senate version language is the same.

PDF of Summary of Bills

MA Legislation – February 2019

Thank You to our MA Legislators in support of co-sponsoring our bills of concern!

For the list of legislator support please click the link:

Legislature Co-Sponsorship

MA Legislation – January 2019

Action Needed on 2 Bills Filed in the MA House & Senate

Medicaid bills

  • Senate bill #1966, An Act relative to MassHealth provider reimbursement, filed by Sen. deMacedo
  • House bill #2904, A Act Relative to the reimbursement of school-based care, filed by Rep. Garlick

Postural Screening bills

  • Senate bill #1995, An Act to update postural screening requirements in schools, filed by Sen Cyr
  • House bill # 2899, An Act to update postural screening requirements in schools, filed by Rep Khan
Strategic Sample Co-Sponsorship Request Letters and Script

All letters can be copied and pasted to MS Word or Google Docs and changed for your needs

Federal Legislation – 2018
NURSE ACT:

  • Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) and Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) introduced the Nurses for Under-Resourced Schools Everywhere (NURSE) Act in both the Senate and House.
  • The bills numbers respectively are S 2532 and HR 5251.

More info on the NURSE Act

Bill Search / Find Your Legislator
MA Legislation – June 2020
  • Postural Screening.
    Senate Bill #1233, An Act to update postural screening in schools, is still under consideration by legislators in the Joint Committee on Health Care Finance, chaired by Senator Cindy Friedman and Representative Dan Cullinane.  The deadline for review was extended until June 19, 2020.  Please call your legislators to ask them to request this bill move favorably out of this committee.  See MSNO letter [linked] sent to the Committee Chairs with talking points about why MSNO is supporting the reduced frequency of annual postural screening from 5 grades to 1 grade.
  • School-Based Medicaid Reimbursement for school nursing services.
    The House and Senate Bills went to study in early 2020, meaning they are no longer being considered by legislators, and MSNO can consider filing again in the next legislative session, which starts in January 2021.

MSNO request Postural Screen bill move favorably out of HCF 6.12.2020

MA Legislation – May 2019

MSNO Bills Assigned to Committees for Review

  • Return school nursing billed Medicaid funds directly back to School Health Services programming, including behavioral health assessment, case management, health education, social emotional learning and health support, and other related school health services. The House and Senate version language is the same; only the title is different.
  • Update the MA postural screening law to decrease the frequency of postural screening in public school from all students in grades 5-9 every year to all students in one of the following grades every year: 6, 7, 8 or 9. The House and Senate version language is the same.

PDF of Summary of Bills

MA Legislation – February 2019

Thank You to our MA Legislators in support of co-sponsoring our bills of concern!

For the list of legislator support please click the link:

Legislature Co-Sponsorship

MA Legislation – January 2019

Action Needed on 2 Bills Filed in the MA House & Senate

Medicaid bills

  • Senate bill #1966, An Act relative to MassHealth provider reimbursement, filed by Sen. deMacedo
  • House bill #2904, A Act Relative to the reimbursement of school-based care, filed by Rep. Garlick

Postural Screening bills

  • Senate bill #1995, An Act to update postural screening requirements in schools, filed by Sen Cyr
  • House bill # 2899, An Act to update postural screening requirements in schools, filed by Rep Khan
Strategic Sample Co-Sponsorship Request Letters and Script

All letters can be copied and pasted to MS Word or Google Docs and changed for your needs

Federal Legislation – 2018
NURSE ACT:

  • Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) and Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) introduced the Nurses for Under-Resourced Schools Everywhere (NURSE) Act in both the Senate and House.
  • The bills numbers respectively are S 2532 and HR 5251.

More info on the NURSE Act