Sponsor of H.R. 1597 in the 116th Congress:
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson TX-30
Sponsor of S. 696 in the 116th Congress:
Jeff Merkley (OR-D)
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Don't miss NNNO Board member Anne Llewellyn’s up close and personal view from her day on Capitol Hill, meeting with key policy staff of US Senators and Representatives. Anne’s first-hand account includes information about how these visits are set up and what transpired during her meetings. She concludes by identifying these 10 tips to support the National Nurse Act:
1. Get to know the National Nursing Network Organization and the National Nurse Act of 2019.
2. Visit the website and click around to the various pages so you can see what the Bill is about and how you can support this legislation with your members of Congress.
3. Under the Take Action Tab, you can find how to contact your U.S. Representative and Senators.
4. There are also sample letters and scripts you can use when you reach out to your Representative and Senators to let them know you support the National Nurse Act.
5. Your voice is critical to getting members of Congress to support the Bill. They are more likely to support the bill when they hear from YOU, their constituents.
6. It only takes a few minutes to call your Representative/Senator.
7. When you call the office of a member of Congress be aware the person who answers the phone will ask you for your name and what you are calling about. They have to have this information as they need to record all calls and what they are about. Give them your name, your phone number and that you want to let the member know you support the National Nurse Act and that you are asking for their boss to cosponsor it.
8. If you are calling a member in the House of Representatives, the bill you will refer to is H.R. 1597.
9. When you call your U.S. Senator’s office, refer to the bill as S. 696.
10. The House and Senate bills are identical. This is bipartisan legislation so we are looking for Democrats and Republicans in both the House of Representatives and the Senate to cosponsor the Bill.
The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) recently showcased the progress of the National Nurse for Public Health in a webinar featuring NNNO president Teri Mills. During this short video, Mills shares an overview of the progress being made for the National Nurse Act of 2019 while emphasizing the critical importance of nurse advocacy is to advancing public health.
Check out this compelling webinar today to learn more about the National Nurse Act and please share this information with your colleagues.
The National Nurse Act of 2019 continues to gain strong momentum and is a testament to the strong grassroots, bipartisan support from across the nation. H.R. 1597 currently has 103 cosponsors from both sides of the political aisle. Congressional members from 33 states, the District of Columbia, and the Northern Mariana Islands have signed on in support. The Senate companion bill, S. 696 has 9 cosponsors.
Endorsers now include 111 national and state nursing organizations, labor, and key stakeholders. Many have written to the NNNO Board and told us that their decisions are often unanimous. One organization to recently endorse the National Nurse Act is the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations (NCEMNA), a unified body advocating for equity and justice in healthcare. NCEMNA is composed of five national ethnic nurse associations; all five have endorsed the National Nurse Act. NCEMNA’s collaboration gives voice to 350,000 minority nurses and to the lived health experience of a constituency marginalized from mainstream health delivery systems. The NNNO is proud to have the support of this esteemed and highly regarded organization.
Those supporting the National Nurse Act realize that with a base of over 4 million professionals in the US, nurses are well positioned to lead improved public health and well-being. The National Nurse for Public Health would provide the visible leadership to guide this momentum in health advocacy. Health conditions linked to high rates of maternal mortality, opioid use disorders, Type 2 diabetes, and outbreaks of previously contained illnesses such as measles pose a threat to the health of Americans and to the financial stability of this county. A National Nurse for Public Health would help pave a clear path toward improved health for our nation.
Every voice makes a difference in supporting a National Nurse for Public Health!
The National Nursing Network Organization's Board and Advocacy Team includes over 70 members from diverse backgrounds and geographic regions. In addition to nurses, the team also includes elected state officials and healthcare advocates.
We would like to recognize the following exciting changes to our Board of Directors: Toni DiChiacchio DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, FAANP of West Virginia joined recently the Board and Holly Herrera BSN, RN, CHFN became Secretary. Cathy Lodico MS, RN, CCM from New Hampshire and Joan Westgor MSN, RN, CCM from Texas transitioned to the Board following prolonged service on our Advocacy Team.
We are thrilled to welcome the following new Advocacy Team members: Robin Cogan MEd, RN, NCSN from New Jersey; Beth Baldwin MSN, RN, PNP-BC of Delaware; Carol King MSN, RN-BC of Arizona; Travis Nelson RN, BSN, RN-BC from Oregon; Maria Luisa Gutierrez, BSN, RN, CMCN, PHN of California; Amy Heithoff BSN, RN of Missouri; Alene Nitzky PhD, RN, OCN of Colorado; Vanessa Shields-Haas MA, BSN, ACRN of Louisiana; and Adrienne Wald EdD, MBA, BSN, MCHES, CNE from New York.
We would like to thank outgoing Board and Advocacy Team members for their generous contributions: Susan Sullivan, MSN, RN; Debbie Orre MSN, RN, and Katie Hall MSN, RN-BC for their years of service on the NNNO Board of Directors. Transitioning off the Advocacy team, we thank Kathleen Bartholomew, MSN, RN; Beth Barranco RN, BSN and Phillip Bautista BSN, RN, PHN.
These past few months have been extremely busy for our Board and Advocacy Team. Thank you to team members Anne Llewellyn RN-BC, MS, BHSA, CCM, CRRN; Nicole Barnett, RN, MBA, DHSc, CNL and Diane Hart, President National Association for Health and Fitness for their visits to Capitol Hill. Their advocacy has helped move forward the National Nurse Act of 2019.
Our team has also been very active in the media. In an article, titled How to Advocate for the National Nurse Act of 2019, published in ”Oncology Nurse News,” Advocacy Team member Alene Nitzky, Ph.D., RN, OCN highlighted the critical role of a National Nurse for Public Health in advancing high-quality, equitable cancer care. Speaking to the value of oncology nurses in supporting the National Nurse Act, Nitzky notes “Our role in supporting this bill as oncology nurses is crucial to its success.”
Writing for the online publication Radical Nurses, Vanessa Shields-Haas, MA, BSN, ACRN, another Advocacy Team, member emphasized the National Nurse Act as a key piece of legislation posed to enhance the health and well-being of Americans.
Advocacy team member spotlight: Janet Coulter, MSN, MS, RN is a certified case manager in Cincinnati, Ohio and a passionate advocate for organ transplants. Janet’s current work explores how a revised liver organ distribution policy might disparately impact recipients from economically disadvantaged and rural communities. Through this lens, Janet has connected with the importance of a National Nurse for Public Health.
Advocacy Team member Savannah Jensen, BSN, RN, PHN, CMSRN created an infographic demonstrating the potential cost savings of $9 billion in preventing only 1% of the 84 million at risk from developing Type 2 Diabetes. Email the NNNO Board if you are interested in receiving a copy.
Congratulations to Advocacy Team member, Dr. Mary Beth Koslap-Petraco, DNP, PNP-BC, CPNP, FAANP for her recent recognition as the American Association of Nurse Practitioner’s, Nurse Practitioner of the Year for New York state award.
We cannot thank the NNNO Advocacy Team and Board enough for all that they do!
Just like any piece of legislation, the National Nurse Act is not immune to the spread of misinformation. The NNNO would like to address one misinterpretation that we have heard.
Myth: The focus on addressing social determinants of health as described within the proposed bill is conceptually confined to health education and individual behavior (downstream measures), which a preponderance of research has demonstrated is insufficient for achieving health equity.
Facts: The current duties and responsibilities of the Chief Nurse Officer are retained in the bill language. The USPHS Chief Nurse Officer is currently involved in initiatives that include focus on up-stream measures to address social determinants of health, partnerships and collaboration, health promotion and prevention, and disaster response and readiness. This will not change.
Further, the bill language highlights the National Prevention Strategy for identifying and addressing, implementing, and evaluating national health priorities. The National Nurse Act further states the encouragement of replication of successful health promotion/prevention programs and that evidence based practice will be used when educating the public on health promotion and disease prevention activities.
The National Prevention Strategy, released June 16, 2011, aims to guide our nation in the most effective and achievable means for improving health and well-being.
The Strategy prioritizes prevention by integrating recommendations and actions across multiple settings to improve health and save lives. The seven priorities listed include these social health determinants: tobacco free living; preventing drug abuse and excessive alcohol use; healthy eating; active living; injury and violence free living; reproductive and sexual health; and mental and emotional well-being.
Nurses base their practice and decision making on facts and evidence rather than hearsay or innuendo. This is because this integration of knowledge and experience allows us to deliver safer, more efficient, and effective care that leads to better outcomes for the patients, families, and communities we serve. If you would like to ask a question about the National Nurse Act or have feedback you would like shared, please contact the NNNO Board of Directors.