Public & Legislative Affairs

AAOHN Public & Legislative Affairs provides a voice for our professional nursing organization as we promote legislation, regulatory, and workplace policies and advocate to safeguard the health and safety of workers, their families, and the work environment. AAOHN Public Affairs includes three components: the Legislative Affairs Advisory Group, the AAOHN Public Policy Platform and Communication by AAOHN about Public Policy. Each of these components has specific functions and activities for AAOHN to accomplish the overall goal of being recognized within the public policy arena as advocates for worker health and safety and the occupational health nursing workforce. Occupational and environmental health nurses (OHNs) work individually and collectively at the local, state, national and international levels to promote health and protect workers from illness and injury.

The goal of Public Affairs is to a) communicate the collective advocacy efforts taken by the AAOHN Legislative Affairs Advisory Group and b) provide tools to individual members and AAOHN chapters. All advocacy efforts endorsed by AAOHN are approved by the Board of Directors and then communicated to members. The following diagram demonstrates the corresponding functions and activities for each component.

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Legislative Affairs Advisory Group

AAOHN strives to represent the varied interests of its members through advocacy and public policy decisions that affect occupational and environmental health and safety. Members of AAOHN’s Legislative Affairs Advisory Group help support legislation, regulations and health policy to positively impact the nursing profession as well as create hazard-free work and community environments to protect the health and safety of workers, their families and the public. Information in the Legislative Toolkit (see attachments below) is aimed toward equipping AAOHN members to participate in the advocacy and public policy process.

Legislative Affairs Chapter Networking Group

The AAOHN Legislative Affairs Chapter Networking Group, an extension of the AAOHN Legislative Affairs Advisory Group, meets every other month, focused on chapter outreach for legislative issues of interest at the state level. For additional information or to verify meeting dates and times, contact AAOHN Headquarters at 312-321-5173 or info@aaohn.org.

Public Policy Platform

The AAOHN Legislative Affairs Advisory Group works to advocate on behalf of AAOHN members with a focus on the following topic areas, approved by the AAOHN Board of Directors:

  1. Support for OSHA
    1. Susan Harwood Grants
    2. Occupational Health Nurse in Office of Occupational Medicine of Nursing
    3. Permissible exposure limits (PEL)
  2. Support for NIOSH
    1. Reduced funding for NIOSH under current budget
    2. ERC funding
  3. Support for the EPA
    1. Possible cut of 1/3 of EPA budget
  4. Support the ANA Legislative Agenda
  5. Multi-State Licensure

Public Affairs Communications

Click here to read the latest press releases and communications from AAOHN and partnering organizations.

Click here to access a copy of the AAOHN endorsed advocacy efforts (January 2017 – present).

Click here to access a copy of the public comments and advocacy efforts submitted on behalf of AAOHN by the Legislative Affairs Advisory Group (January 2017-present).

Nurse in Washington Internship (NIWI)

The AAOHN Nurse in Washington Internship (NIWI) grant supports member participation and learning about the legislative process. AAOHN supports a member’s participation in this program annually. This grant is to provide assistance to offset the costs associated with attending NIWI. 

The program, which provides participants the opportunity to learn from health policy experts, members of Congress and other government officials and to network with nurses from around the country, is sponsored by the Nursing Organizations Alliance, an umbrella group of national nursing organizations, including AAOHN.

Learn more about the NIWI grant and download the application on the Awards and Recognition page.

Legislative Toolkit

Information within the AAOHN Legislative Toolkit will help you take action and advocate for issues of significance to occupational and environmental health nursing. Your voice will make a difference in the policy-making process to help protect workers, their families, and the community residents and environment around a worksite. Get involved and help shape our nation’s and your state’s action on occupational and environmental health and safety issues!