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Left to Right: Debbie Orre MSN, RN; Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE; Susan Sullivan MSN, RN, PHN; Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak; CNO RADM Sylvia Trent-Adams; Susan Sullivan MSN, RN, PHN; Audrey Bayer BSN, RN, PCCN-C; Elizabeth McPhee RN
The Board of Directors of the National Nursing Network Organization had the privilege to meet with U.S. Public Health Service leadership while in Washington D.C. It was a thrill and an honor to have a conversation with Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak, Chief Nurse Officer (CNO) Sylvia Trent-Adams, and Special Assistant to the Chief Nurse, LT Chandra E. Jolley.
Rear Admiral Trent-Adams was promoted to her position last January, succeeding RADM Kerry Nesseler. In her role as CNO, RADM Trent-Adams is responsible for leading the Commissioned Corps of the USPHS (Corps) Nurse Professional Affairs and also serves as an Assistant Surgeon General. The USPHS Corps is an organization that includes a group of nearly 6,800 public health professionals dedicated to helping the underserved and vulnerable population. RADM Trent-Adams, a former Army nurse, also maintains a dual position as Deputy Associate Administrator in the HIV/AIDS Bureau within Heath Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
We were very impressed by the caliber of these three leaders and left feeling inspired and energized. We are proud to recognize the work they do on a daily basis to promote, protect, and advance the health of our nation.
National organizations are stepping up and partnering with the NNNO to secure passage of the National Nurse Act of 2013. On September 10, 2014, the Case Management Society of America (CMSA) Leadership, Board of Directors, and Public Policy Committee, along with nearly 60 members of the CMSA case management community from various states across the country, met once again on Capitol Hill with House and Senate members of Congress.
Coincidentally, this was the same day that NNNO advocates were on the Hill.
During their appointments, CMSA delivered an important message regarding the critical value professional case managers add to the health care system to ensure safe transitions and quality, efficient care for the populations being served across the health care continuum. Overall, CMSA reported they had a very successful day on the Hill.
They advocated for the clients they serve and brought several bills to the attention of legislators including the National Nurse Act of 2013. CMSA believes this bill would give a greater voice to issues important to nurses and nursing, as well as increasing health awareness, improving healthcare literacy, and reducing health disparities. The National Nurse for Public Health would raise awareness about what everyone can do to prevent illness while improving our own health and that of our families.
Elizabeth McPhee RN and Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE
Thanks to the generous financial support of many individuals, nurses from California, Florida, Oregon, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Virginia returned to Washington DC earlier this month to advocate for S. 1475 and H.R. 485, The National Nurse Act of 2013. Supporters were energized following their visits to over 60 Congressional offices during their two days on the Hill. The leadership of the National Nursing Network Organization is more committed than ever to bringing the National Nurse Act to passage.
It was rewarding to hear so many positive comments from members and staff:
“I had a nice meeting with the National Nurse group today. I spoke with my boss and she would like to support elevation of public health, prevention, and nursing. Please sign her on to the bill, thanks!”
“It was my pleasure to meet with you all. I wanted to let you know the good news—I had a chance to speak to the Congressman about H.R. 485 and he has agreed to become a cosponsor. I just received confirmation that we were added yesterday. Really appreciate your advocacy and for originally bringing this to our attention. Hopefully this important bill will get consideration before the end of the year!”
“In all my years working on Capitol Hill, the National Nursing Network Organization is by far the best advocacy group I have ever worked with.”
“Your handouts and ability to answer questions demonstrates how well prepared you are to advocate for The National Nurse Act.”
As nurses we share common goals in reducing the burden of chronic preventable conditions; decreasing soaring healthcare costs, ending needless suffering, and working towards a more healthy society. Many have asked about the cost benefit ratio of S.1475, The National Nurse Act of 2013. The potential return on investment that could result with passage of this legislation is tremendous.
Take Type 2 diabetes as an example of one preventable disease. The CDC website (released in 2014) reports that in 2014, the most recent year that statistics were collected 28.9 million Americans who were diagnosed with diabetes cost $245 billion for the care they received. This is an average cost of $7,900 per patient. Given that there are 86 million people at risk for diabetes even if only half of them eventually develop the disease, additional cost for treatment would be 43 million times $7900, an increase of over $339 billion! If the National Nurse for Public Health could engage others in delivering proven successful programs that work to prevent Type 2 DM, and could prevent 1% of those at-risk from developing diabetes, this would represent a savings of 1% of 86 million times $7900, or about $6.8 BILLION.
The most exciting news to report is that plans are already underway for early introduction of the National Nurse Act in the 114th Congress in both the House and the Senate!
Thank you to Barbara C. Phillips NP, FAANP founder of SAGEClinician and a nurse practitioner business owner who interviewed NNNO President Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE for National Nurses Week. Barbara’s desire to learn more about the National Nurse Act of 2013 is commendable. She states, “This legislation is one that I didn’t quite understand and apparently I’m not alone on this. You’ll hear some of my confusion, learn something that apparently several of us are unaware of, and hear Teri’s question. Can you answer it?”
Tune in to this 20 minute podcast and hear some of the common misconceptions about the National Nurse Act.
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