Sponsor of H.R. 1651 in the 115th Congress:
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson TX-30
Symbols and logos shown on this page may be copyrighted or trademarked by their respective owners. You must have the owner’s permission to copy any copyrighted material or a trademark.
This September over a dozen nurses from Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia came together to advocate for H.R. 1651 and S. 1106 The National Nurse Act. These advocates stormed Capitol Hill, making over 50 Congressional office visits in just 2.5 days! Thanks to these dedicated advocates’ continued perseverance and hard work, there are now 60 co-sponsors for H.R. 1651 and 3 co-sponsors for S. 1106. Both bills are equally supported by Republicans and Democrats.
Below are some pictures that illustrate the tremendous progress achieved for this important and timely legislation.
The meeting with Representative Evan Jenkins (WV-3-R) was a smashing success thanks to the teamwork of NNNO Advocacy Team members Joan Westgor MSN, RN, CCM and Michelle Berkley Brown MSN, CNP who joined NNNO Vice President Elizabeth McPhee RN and Beth Baldwin APRN, PNP, BC Immediate Past President of the West Virginia Nurses Association. The entire West Virginia House Congressional delegation are now co-sponsors of H.R. 1651, The National Nurse Act. Thank-you Rep. Jenkins for supporting nurses.
NNNO Advocacy Team Member Betsy Konrad MSN, RN-BC, CNL, PHN and daughter Callista visited the Congressional district office of Representative Jackie Speier (CA-14-D) on a hot August day to advocate for the National Nurse Act. Thank-you Rep. Speier for your continued support!
Pictured outside of Senator Sanders DC office are NNNO Advocacy Team Member Becky Bowers Lanier EdD, MSN, MPH, RN and NNNO President Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE
Our entire team is extremely proud to announce the co-sponsorship of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). His health aides have worked alongside our team for several years, providing suggestions and assistance that have advanced the National Nurse Act. Senator Sanders is a leader of the Senate HELP Committee. We are grateful to Senator Sanders for his support.
A May 2017 collaboration between NPR and ProPublica highlighted the prevalence of death and serious illness related to pregnancy and childbirth in the United States. In fact, the U.S. has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the industrialized world. Annually, 700 to 900 women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes, and about 65,000 experience life-threatening complications.
Women living in the United States are three times more likely than those living in Canada to die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Considerable racial disparities in pregnancy related mortality exist. From 2011-2013 African American women in the United States were nearly at 3.5 times greater risk to experience pregnancy related mortality.
As a nation with access to some of the best technology and medical expertise in the world, the United States is capable of doing more to improve pre-and post-natal care for all women. Nurses occupy a vital role in the perinatal education, assessment and care. Let’s unite behind legislation that designates the Chief Nurse Officer of the USPHS as the National Nurse for Public Health who will advocate for improved care across the lifespan, including maternal and child care.
Across the United States and Puerto Rico, natural disasters from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria to massive wildfires burning across the West Coast underscore the need to strengthen disaster preparedness and response. A National Nurse for Public Health would bring the leadership skills, policy background and clinical expertise to work collaboratively to support disaster response.
Hurricane Harvey struck Houston and surrounding southeast Texas on August 25, 2017, delivering nearly two feet of rain triggering catastrophic flooding. These floods resulted in nearly 70 deaths, countless additional injuries, tens of thousands of individuals displaced from their homes, and an estimated $80-$100 billion dollars of property damage. Nurses throughout our country have stepped up to respond to Hurricane Harvey. The American Nurses Association has compiled a resource guide to aid nurses in responding to Hurricane Harvey through donations and support.
The effects of Hurricane Maria are still being felt in Puerto Rico where officials continue to describe apocalyptic conditions. Many have died due to the total collapse of infrastructure. The situation is gradually improving thanks in part to the National Disaster Medical System. RNRN is currently asking for donations in support of an upcoming delegation to Puerto Rico. Any excess funds will be used to support future missions to Puerto Rico and elsewhere, making it possible for RN’s to be on the ground faster, with more aid, and more volunteers. Donations are secure, and tax-deductible to the extent of the law.
At the same time that Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, and other southern states have been coping with hurricane winds and massive flooding, the western United States has been engulfed with raging wildfires. Montana has experienced nearly one million acres of forest fires in the last three months. In Washington and Oregon dozens of fires blaze, resulting in declarations of states of emergency. Further south, a large fire recently burnt through Los Angeles County, threatening swaths of the densely population area.
Nurses have a long history of participation in disaster relief. As the largest sector of the healthcare workforce, we can act as powerful community organizers, educators, and advocates in times of greatest need. Strong nursing leadership through a National Nurse for Public Health would help to guide continued efforts in improved disaster preparedness and relief.
Earlier this year, leaders and members of the West Virginia Nurses Association met to thank Congressman David McKinley (WV-1-R) for co-sponsoring of H.R. 1651 The National Nurse of 2017. Congressman McKinley, whose wife Mary is a nurse, serves on the House Nursing Caucus. He is also a long-time member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
The National Nursing Network Organization is a grassroots non-profit advocacy organization comprised entirely of volunteers. Our all-volunteer Advocacy Team boasts 65 members with diverse backgrounds in education, culture, professional experience, gender and residence. Advocacy team members hail from 24 states to represent the broad bipartisan support for a National Nurse for Public Health. Team members’ areas of nursing professional practice include nursing education, critical care, leadership, public health, case management, and more. In additional to nursing professionals, the team is strengthened by the presence of one state representative and one state senator, as well as scientists, educators and labor professionals. Our Advocacy Team members mobilize support for a National Nurse on the ground: from writing letters, to speaking with local elected officials, to networking within professional organizations. We can’t thank the team enough for all that they do.
Contact the NNNO Board to learn more about joining the Advocacy Team. There is no cost to participate. Involvement provides a unique opportunity to advocate for public health, engage in positive social change and participate in our nation’s legislative process.