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Sponsor of HR 379 in the 114th Congress:
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson TX-30
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Pictured: Elizabeth McPhee RN (Director, NNNO Board); Congressman Richard Hanna (R-NY-22); and Shevaun German BSN, RN
Nurses from Oregon, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia returned to Capitol Hill last month for to advocate for the National Nurse Act of 2015. During their two and a half day stay, these supporters visited directly with 36 staff members and dropped off packets of information to an additional 40 House and Senate offices. It was by far, one of the most ambitious trips yet to Washington DC and the NNNO is grateful to all who participated.
Pictured: Elizabeth McPhee RN; Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1); Shevaun German BSN, RN; and Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE
Pictured: Shevaun German BSN, RN; Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-7); and Elizabeth McPhee RN
The NNNO heard these comments frequently repeated during our meetings with Congressional staff:
1. “We appreciate that the bill is cost neutral.”
2. “Having the Chief Nurse Officer/National Nurse for Public Health prepare a biennial report on the activities of the Nurse Category of the PHS Commissioned Corps is a good idea.”
3. “This bill is non-partisan and easy to implement”.
4. “Your advocacy team is one of the most prepared and organized on Capitol Hill.”
5. “The recent Ebola epidemic and measles outbreak are examples of why a National Nurse for Public Health is timely and overdue.”
In Our Congressional Priorities recently published in the North Dallas Gazette, Congresswoman Johnson writes, “The new session of Congress provides an exciting opportunity to renew the focus on resolving the numerous challenges we face in our Congressional district, and in our nation. In addition to improving the types of treatment and availability of healthcare, I will reintroduce the National Nurse Act. This critical piece of legislation will designate the Chief Nurse Officer, an existing position in the U.S. Public Health Service, as the National Nurse for Public Health. The person who assumes this role will work with healthcare officials to address health disparities and establish goals for improving our nation’s public health.”
The National Nurse Act of 2015 currently has bipartisan support from 9 co-sponsors. This list includes Congressmen Leonard Lance (R-NJ-7), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3), Don Young (R-AK-At Large), Richard Hanna (R-NY-22), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM-3), Bobby Rush (D-IL-1), and Congresswomen Janice Schakowsky (D-IL-9), and Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-WA-3).
Use the Take Action links found at http://nationalnurse.org to locate your U.S. Representative. There you will find a template letter and phone script that can be easily edited to help you to contact your elected official. Please encourage them to sign on as a co sponsor to the National Nurse Act of 2015, so that we can keep the momentum growing for this legislation.
Thank you to National Nursing Network Organization's Advocacy Team member Vivien Mudgett RNC, MA, MSN who wrote A National Voice for Nurses.
This article passionately describes H.R. 379, The National Nurse Act of 2015 and explains why a National Nurse for Public Health would benefit nursing and improve public health. Mudgett states there are only five nurses in Congress, yet there are over 3.1 million registered nurses work in the United States. The expertise and voice of a pubic health nurse is needed in the public policy arena. Mudgett concludes, “It is time to raise public awareness of the value that nurses bring to the table, isn’t it?” The NNNO and supporters of the National Nurse Act of 2015 agree!
On Wednesday, February 25, from 2:30-4:00 pm in Rayburn Office Building Room 2325, Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson and Peter King will be hosting a Congressional Briefing to provide more information about HR 379, The National Nurse Act of 2015.
Kelly Trautner, AFT Director of Nurses and Healthcare Professionals, Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE (NNNO President) and Elizabeth McPhee RN (NNNO Director) are announced speakers with more to be determined. Space is limited but if you are interested in attending, please contact the NNNO.
Over 145 organizations and prominent individuals endorsed the National Nurse Act of 2013 and their support is expected to continue for H.R. 379, The National Nurse Act of 2015. The NNNO has contacted each supporter, sending each a copy of the new bill. A request was made to ask permission for the NNNO to add their organization to a new Signatory Letter addressed to Congress that reflects the current legislation. Although there were some changes made to H.R. 379, all parties involved believe these revisions strengthen the bill language and will help in assuring its passage.
Organizations are urged to please email the NNNO Board to receive a copy of the signatory letter if you are interested in supporting The National Nurse Act of 2015. We find when organizations take the time to review and study the legislation they overwhelmingly decide to endorse it.
Please inform the nursing organizations you belong to know that you would like them to share this effort with constituent members so that all nurses can join in the discussion and have an opportunity to participate.