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Dear Representative Johnson:
The Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates (SGNA) is pleased to announce its support for H.R. 485, The National Nurse Act of 2013. As a professional organization of over 8,000 members dedicated to the safe and effective practice of gastroenterology and endoscopy nursing, SGNA recognizes the importance of this bill in focusing national attention on the role of the National Nurse. Designating the Chief Nurse Officer as the National Nurse for Public Health would elevate the authority and visibility of this position, in turn spotlighting the importance of preventative efforts such as cancer screening.
An issue which this elevated position would highlight, that especially resonates with SGNA members, is the opportunity to increase awareness of colorectal cancer screenings. While colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer related cause of death in the United States, over 90% of all cases of colorectal cancer can be prevented with a thorough, widespread screening and education program. H.R. 485 will help to keep screening programs like this in the forefront by identifying a visible, credible nurse leader to advocate for enhanced prevention efforts in our communities.
We thank you for your support of this legislation and for continuing to advocate for the improvement of our nation's health.
Betty McGinty, MS, HSA, BS, RN, CGRN
Earlier this month, Medscape for Nurses published a firsthand report of the Congressional Briefing on H.R. 485 / S. 1475, The National Nurse Act of 2013 that took place on Capitol Hill February 27, 2014. Author Laura Stokowski MS, RN highlighted comments made by NNNO Director Elizabeth McPhee RN who incorporated the theme, “America is the patient and the patient is in critical condition. McPhee stresses that chronic preventable conditions, poor health literacy, and continued health disparities must be addressed. Stokowski provides an overview of the legislation concluding with her thoughts on whether the bill will succeed.
Reaction to this article has proven to be compelling as evidenced by the many comments that have been posted. Here is a small sampling of what nurses are saying:
“We have a National Doctor (Surgeon General) and even a National Poet (Poet Laureate) so why not a National Nurse? The power a designated leader of 3 million strong will have a tremendous impact on public policy and opinion and help get our nation onto a healthier track.”
“While we are singularly advocating for our patients, for our patient's health and for healthcare itself, shouldn't we also have an advocate, a representative, a leader to elevate our voice?”
“The public can identify with a “National Nurse for Public Health”. This title will help increase public awareness and understanding of the role of public health nurses, who are rapidly becoming a scarcity in our communities.”
“Preventive care is a must if we are to change the health status of our nation for the better. The National Nurse will be in the best position to encourage our nation's nurses to become involved in community health activities promoting health and wellness.”
“The public clearly considers nurses trustworthy. Nurses and the public at large would be more likely to identify with a National Nurse for Public Health. I agree with other posters who have commented on the "under the radar" status of the Chief Nurse Officer (CNO). Reframing that role would bring more visibility to the nursing focus of caring for the whole person, including health promotion and disease prevention. Of course, it is not a blanket solution to the huge health problems that our nation is facing, but it is certainly a step in the right direction! As a member of the nursing profession, a nurse educator, and a member of both the Washington State Nurses Association and the American Nurses Association, this legislation has my full support.”
Back Row: Anne Llewellyn RN-BC, BHSA, CCM, CRRN; Sheri Malstrom BSN, RN, PHN; Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE Front Row: Shevaun German BSN, RN; Robin Kimmel BSN, RN, CCM; Katie Roy SN
Thank you to Dorland Health’s Editor in Chief, Anne Llewellyn RN-BC, MS, BHSA, CCM, CRRN for writing an up to date and accurate account of her participation in the National Nursing Network Organization’s March trip to Washington DC. The article, National Nurse Initiative Gains Steam on Capitol Hill, is well worth taking a look at, as it includes strong rationale as to why this legislation is timely and needed. Here is an excerpt from this article:
“Today, with the focus on prevention, education, consumer empowerment and engagement as the keys to containing escalating healthcare costs, all eyes are turning to nurses. Why, you ask? Because nurses are the most trusted and largest segment of the healthcare workforce, numbering 3.1 million registered nurses throughout the United States.
Currently, there is a growing grassroots effort that will provide leadership and strengthen efforts by nurses in every community to assist in the nationwide paradigm shift to prevention and wellness, which will empower consumers to be active in their care and contain escalating healthcare costs. The National Nurse for Public Health campaign is being spearheaded by the National Nursing Network Organization, a volunteer advocacy group whose members have worked since 2006 to spread the word on the effort and gain support from consumers, healthcare professionals, national organizations and members of Congress.”
Returning to Capitol Hill This September
The support the National Nursing Network Organization received for the most recent trip to Washington DC was tremendous and greatly appreciated. It is because of your financial support that we are now planning a return trip this September.
We cannot do this without you!
Please consider making a recurring donation on line or emailing the NNNO Board of Directors to learn where to mail a check. For contributions of $20 or more, the team will place a certificate in your honor inside an informational packet that will be hand delivered to the offices of your U.S. Representative or Senators when our team returns to Capitol Hill.
*The NNNO is a 501c4 non-profit organization, but is not tax exempt (because our purpose is to advocate for the initiative) and therefore your contributions are NOT tax deductible.
The National Nurse Team will be returning to Washington DC this September and your help is needed! Airfares from the West to the East Coast have skyrocketed, and your contribution will help to ensure that this trip is equally as successful to those taken in the past.
There are three ways that you can make a donation. Visit the National Nurse PayPal Page and consider making a one time or monthly donation. Small recurring donations help immensely as these add up and make a difference.
Pictured: NNNO Board Members Elizabeth McPhee RN, Katie Hall MSN, RN, and Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE
Another option has been made available via an NNNO Advocacy Team member, Tara Candela, who has set up a page on Go Fund Me, with a goal of raising $3,000. This is the cost of two hotel rooms that will each sleep three supporters for three nights and three air tickets.
You also may contact the NNNO Board if you prefer to mail a check. For contributions of $20 or more, the team will place a certificate in your honor inside an informational packet that will be hand delivered to the offices of your U.S. Representative or Senators while we are on Capitol Hill. Thank you to those who have sent in donations from California, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oregon, Wisconsin, Vermont, and Virginia.
*The NNNO is a 501c4 non-profit organization, but is not tax exempt (because our purpose is to lobby for the initiative) and therefore your contributions are NOT tax deductible.
Thank you to NJ State Representative Joseph Cryan for introducing the companion bill to SR16, a resolution urging Congress and the President of the United States to enact the National Nurse Act of 2013. http://legiscan.com/NJ/bill/AR85/2014 was introduced February 24th and unanimously reported out of the New Jersey Assembly Regulated Professions Committee on May 8th.
Many nurses and nursing organizations sent in testimony in favor of AR85 because they see the merit in The National Nurse Act of 2013, legislation that this resolution is promoting. Below are a few of the clauses contained within AR85:
“WHEREAS, the National Nurse for Public Health would elevate and enhance the critical role nursing occupies in promoting, protecting and advancing the nation's health, and will assist the Surgeon General in promoting a nationwide shift in healthcare prevention and wellness; and
WHEREAS, The National Nurse for Public Health will identify national health priorities, provide guidance and leadership for activities to promote public health, encourage volunteerism among nurses and other health professionals, develop projects that educate the public in prevention practices to achieve better health, encourage nurses to further their education in order to conduct nursing research, increase awareness of evidence-based practice, educate future nurses, and enhance recruitment in order to combat the serious nursing shortage; and
WHEREAS, It is in the best interest of the residents of New Jersey for Congress to enact and the President to sign this legislation to elevate the position of the Chief Nurse Officer of the United States Public Health Service in order to bring more visibility to the critical role nursing occupies in promoting, protecting, and advancing the mental and physical health of the nation's citizens.
BE IT RESOLVED by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
The United States Congress and the President of the United States are respectfully urged to enact the "National Nurse Act of 2013."
Nurses from New Jersey were present at the state capitol on June 16th when AR85 came before the NJ State House of Representatives for an overwhelming vote of 71-2 in support. Special thanks to Assemblywomen Mila Jasey (D-27), Nancy Munoz (R-21), and Nancy Pinkin (D-28), the three nurses serving in the NJ State House, for their backing.