Sponsor of HR 379 in the 114th Congress:
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson TX-30
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This past May RADM Susan Orsega was selected to become the 11th Chief Nurse Officer of the U.S. Public Health Service. According to a statement RADM Orsega issued shortly after her selection, she declared her vision to be leading the way to a healthier America and world. Her number one goal to accomplish this mission will be to promote prevention by putting it into practice. Supporters of the National Nurse Act who received RADM Ortega's announcement were quick to note how aligned her ambitions are with the vision of the National Nurse Act. This legislation would designate the same individual serving as the Chief Nurse Officer of the Public Health Service as the National Nurse for Public Health.
The National Nursing Network Organization commends and congratulates RADM Orsega. We wish her great success in her endeavors. On September 30, at 1300-1500 in the NIH Natcher Building, RADM Trent-Adams, the immediate past Chief Nurse will transfer command to RADM Orsega.
Thank you to Lisa Summers for recently highlighted the important issue of opioid addiction in her commentary, "ANA partners to address a challenging public health problem", published in February issue of The American Nurse. Nurses, regardless of their practice settings, encounter patients and families who have been deeply affected by the tragedy of addiction.
Summers noted that awareness campaigns and community action are important and must be included when addressing prescription drug and heroin abuse problems. We agree and want to take this one step further. There must be a visible national nurse leader recognized by nursing and the public to help lead this effort.
Many ANA members may not be aware of current legislation in Congress to designate the Chief Nurse Officer (CNO) of the U.S. Public Health Service as the National Nurse for Public Health. The National Nurse Act of 2015 (H.R. 379/S. 1205) incorporates an important duty for this nurse leader revealing a connection to what Summers proposes. The CNO/ National Nurse will conduct outreach and education, while providing guidance and leadership for activities to promote public health. Nurses and other health professionals will be encouraged to volunteer and develop projects that educate and engage the public in prevention practices.
As we continue to explore solutions to solve opioid addiction, Summers acknowledges that nurses are critical to the success of any program that is undertaken to address this growing problem. Nurses are poised to assist in this national movement to reduce opioid addiction. The National Nurse for Public Health would provide the uniting voice and leadership to do so. For more information and to find steps you can take to advance the National Nurse Act, please visit http://nationalnurse.org.
August 1, 2016
Dear Congresswoman Johnson:
The Texas Nurses Association (TNA) is pleased to support H.R. 379, the National Nurse Act of 2015. H.R. 379 would designate the same individual serving as the Chief Nurse Officer (CNO) of the Public Health Service as the National Nurse for Public Health.
The TNA is the only full-service professional organization representing the interests of Texas’ 290,000 registered nurses. Our members serve in a variety of capacities, providing general and specialty care as registered nurses and advanced practice nurses (APRNs), a group that includes certified nurse midwives, certified registered nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners. These nurses practice in a wide range of settings such as private practices, hospitals, and home health settings around Texas.
Thank you for your leadership in raising the visibility of nurses. The TNA appreciates that H.R. 379 provides for elevation in rank for the CNO, includes a report to Congress on the Commissioned Corps Nursing Category, and achieves a stronger focus on the role of the CNO in advocating for programs that address the health care demands of our nation.
We applaud the intention of H.R. 379 and look forward to working with you on legislation that strengthens America's health care system.
Jeff Watson, DNP, RN-BC, NEA-BC, NE-BC, CRRN President
Earlier this year Deans of Nursing from Northern Kentucky University, Frontier Nursing University, Murray State University, Morehead State University, and University of Kentucky met with Representative Brett Guthrie (KY-2-R) in his Washington DC office to advocate for H.R. 379, The National Nurse Act of 2015. Personal contact via a face-to-face meeting with an elected official is a very effective way to gain their support.
Meanwhile, students enrolled in the University of Texas Arlington graduate nursing program contacted the NNNO via the Contact Us form at http://nationalnurse.org. They are exploring current nursing legislation in their health policy and leadership course and decided to focus their group presentation on the National Nurse Act. Students plan an interactive class discussion and a letter writing campaign to many U.S. members of Congress representing districts in Texas.
All of this activity is making a difference. If you are interested in meeting with your U.S. Representative or Senator to urge their co sponsorship for the National Nurse Act, please email the NNNO Board for materials and talking points. We are here to help make your request a success.
Pictured: Tammy Franqueiro, BSN, RN-BC
Advocates from every corner of the country continue to garner support for the National Nurse Act of 2015 (H.R. 379 and S. 1205). Here is a summary of actions taken during the past several months:
*Students at King University in Tennessee collected signatures on sign on letters that was delivered to four TN U.S. Representatives.
*Nursing faculty at all seven campuses of Indiana University NW wrote letters to U.S. Representatives from Indiana and Illinois urging their co sponsorship for H.R. 379. Letters to the editor of local newspapers and nursing journals are also being sent to engage nursing colleagues and the public in the campaign for a National Nurse for Public Health. Thank you to NNNO Advocacy Team member Evalyn Gossett MSN, RN for her time and dedication on behalf of this campaign.
*Students enrolled in Nursing and Health Care Policy: Issues and Analysis at the University of Texas – Arlington College of Nursing taught by Joy Don Baker, PhD, RN-BC, CNOR, CNE, NEA-BC have shared the National Nurse Campaign Facebook Page with over 4,000 friends. They wrote dozens of letters to members of Congress representing districts in Florida, Georgia, California, Hawaii, Kentucky and South Carolina. Students also sent letters to the editor to nursing websites and peer- reviewed journals. Special thanks to Catherine Huber BSN, RN, CEN and Tammy Franqueiro BSN, RN-BC for their guidance and leadership in promoting this legislation.
Please contact the NNNO if you are a nursing or graduate student and wish to promote the National Nurse Act in a class project.