Contact Your Legislator

Taken at an AMSN Annual Convention.
Taken at an AMSN Annual Convention.

Contacting an elected official can be a great way to turn from someone who just complains about an issue to someone who actually makes a difference. As nurses, we must advocate for our profession. After all, who else is going to do it for us?

Writing Congress

The letter is the most popular choice of communication with a congressional office. If you decide to write a letter, this list of helpful suggestions will improve the effectiveness of the letter:

Your purpose for writing should be stated in the first paragraph of the letter. If your letter pertains to a specific piece of legislation, identify it accordingly, e.g., House bill: H. R. ____, Senate bill: S.____.

Be courteous, to the point, and include key information, using examples to support your position. Address only one issue in each letter and, if possible, keep the letter to one page.

Addressing Correspondence

To a Senator

The Honorable (full name)
__(Rm.#)__(name of)Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator: (letter)

To a Representative

The Honorable (full name)
__(Rm.#)__(name of)House Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative: (letter)

Note: When writing to the Chair of a Committee or the Speaker of the House, it is proper to address them as:

  • Dear Mr. Chairman or Madam Chairwoman:
  • Dear Madam Speaker or Mr. Speaker:

Emailing Congress

Generally, the same guidelines apply as with writing letters to Congress.

You may find and e-mail your senators and representative directly from this website.

Calling Congress

You may use this searchable online congressional directory to find your senators' and representatives’ phone numbers [], or call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your senator’s or representative's office.

Remember that telephone calls are usually taken by a staff member, not the member of Congress. Ask to speak with the aide who handles the issue about which you wish to comment.

After identifying yourself, tell the aide you would like to leave a brief message, such as: "Please tell Senator/Representative (Name) that I support/oppose (S.___/H.R.___).”

You will also want to state reasons for your support or opposition to the bill. Ask for your senator’s or representative's position on the bill. You may also request a written response to your telephone call.

Good luck, and remember that we can all make a difference - one letter or phone call at a time!