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.
Thank you to the many Case Management Society of America’s (CMSA) nurse members who visited Capitol Hill last month in support of S.1475, the National Nurse Act of 2013. The National Nursing Network Organization appreciates the leadership and guidance provided by CMSA Public Policy Chairman Carol A. Gleason, MM, RN, CRRN, CCM, LRC, BCPC for these appointments. Ms. Gleason states CMSA is in strong support of S. 1475, the National Nurse Act of 2013 because of their belief that this bill would give a greater voice to nursing issues and increase health awareness educating everyone to improve their own health and that of others. Gleason states this certainly is one of the main goals of case management.
S. 1475, introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley, amends the Public Health Service Act to establish the position of National Nurse for Public Health within the Office of the Surgeon General. It requires the individual serving as the National Nurse for Public Health to serve also as the Chief Nurse Officer of the Public Health Service. The bill includes among the duties of such position providing leadership and coordination of Public Health Service nursing professional affairs for the Office of the Surgeon General and other agencies of the Public Health Service, conducting media campaigns, and providing guidance and leadership for activities that will increase public safety and emergency preparedness.
S. 1475 also requires the National Nurse for Public Health to:
(1) participate in identification of national health priorities, (2) encourage volunteerism of nurses and strengthen the relationship between government agencies and health-related national organizations, and (3) promote the dissemination of evidence-based practice in educating the public on health promotion and disease prevention activities. According to the information left with Senators and their staff, 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.”
Katie DeSoato RN, CCM; Joanna Malcolm RN, BSN, CCM; JulieMartin, RN, BSN, CCM; Connie Sunderhaus RN-BC, CCM
Katie Desiato RN CCM representing CMSA Chicago reports:
“I really enjoyed being on Capitol Hill. Not only was great information provided, but time was also set aside for a role play demonstration to help attendees who had never made a visit to a lawmaker’s office. This activity showed participants how to conduct a meeting, helping to put all of us at ease with the process.
I felt privileged to have been sent by the Chicago Chapter of CMSA to represent our organization. The National Nurse Act of 2013 could give nursing a voice in the well being of our country. I truly hope that legislation will pass soon. I am planning to continue to speak with my U.S. Representatives and Senators on this issue and others that impact case management.”
The LA Times (March 4, 2013) reported on an interesting recent survey conducted by health policy experts at Harvard. The findings overwhelmingly public support for the “new frontier” prevention initiatives of the CDC’s public health agenda, for example, those that focus on changing the health behaviors responsible for the three leading causes of death (tobacco 18.1%, inactivity/poor nutrition 16.6%, and alcohol use 3.5%).
Seventy percent or more of the 1800 respondents supported efforts to change behaviors to reduce cancer, heart disease, childhood obesity, tobacco use, and alcohol consumption. More than 80% were positive about legislation to require calorie counts of items on menus and restrict sales of super-size sodas, making fruits and vegetables more affordable, teaching children about health risks of obesity, and requiring 45 minutes of physical education daily. Seventy-three percent also said the government should make nicotine patches available at no cost. Respondents were less supportive of measures seen as coercive or punitive such as charging a $50 insurance penalty for obese persons and/or measuring body mass index of school students.
These findings indicate a high potential for acceptance of more community education and behavioral change interventions focused to improve health outcomes. This data would support increased use of health messengers in all communities such as would be implemented by volunteer health professionals guided by a National Nurse for Public Health.
Using the democratic process, the University of Texas at Arlington’s MSN students voted to select one current legislative bill that they wished to advocate for and support. This assignment was designed for them to create an effectual class legacy. Thirty-one students from across the country participated and collaborated efficiently to find meaningful ways they could support The National Nurse Act of 2013 (S. 1475 and H.R. 485).
The graduate students adopted measurable goals to positively impact these bills. The “divide and conquer” approach was applied as they worked in groups to meet them. They feverishly added members to the FACEBOOK Group, The National Nurse Campaign that now has over 3,400 members. Several students have or are planning to meet in the district offices of their U.S. Representatives and Senators. Some have emailed or called their U.S. Legislators requesting endorsement on Capitol Hill. One group incorporated research that has been collected and composed a brief. That brief was distributed to many nursing organizations and stakeholders by several of the students. Additionally, this brief has been posted on hospital units' bulletin boards to educate others about the bill. Presentations are planned by some for upcoming local chapter meetings of national organizations to increase support of The National Nurse Act of 2013.
The National Nursing Network Organization is grateful for this level of support. We would like to hear from you if your class is studying this proposal. Please email the NNNO Board for information and ways we can help.
Thank you to registered nurse and Massachusetts State Representative Christine Canavan, elected to serve the 10th Plymouth District, for introducing the following resolution into the Massachusetts General Court. We are pleased to report that this resolution in support of H.R. 485, The National Nurse Act of 2013 passed unanimously.
Representative Canavan states, ““As a Registered Nurse in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I was deeply honored when then National Nursing Networking Organization came to me requesting a resolution urging support for H.R. 485, The National Nurse Act of 2013. Nurses are so vital to every community, no matter where you live and it is time we have a voice for all our needs. I know there is much work to be done, but if we all work together I have faith that we can make progress in our goals.”
Resolution urging the Massachusetts Congressional delegation to support H.R. 485, The National Nurse Act of 2013, or similar legislation, designating the Chief Nurse Officer of the U.S. Public Health Service as the National Nurse for Public Health
WHEREAS, Our nation continues to face an epidemic of preventable conditions and chronic diseases that are soaring to alarming rates; and
WHEREAS, Nurses are crucial to the promotion of preventive care and the caring of the whole person; and
WHEREAS, Nurses are highly valued and trusted by the public, and are often in a position to deliver educational messages to the public about ways to improve their health and prevent disease; and
WHERAS, the Institute of Medicine's Future of Nursing report has called for the nursing profession to optimize its contribution to better meet the needs of all patients for quality health care; and
WHEREAS, nurses help inform and educate the public to improve the practice of all nurses and, more importantly, the health and safety of the patients they care for;
WHEREAS, The National Nurse for Public Health would act to raise awareness of health issues and promote good health through education and community outreach; and
WHEREAS, The National Nurse for Public Health would serve as an effective partner to the existing United States Office of the Surgeon General; and
WHEREAS, The National Nurse for Public Health will participate in the identification of health priorities; enhance recruitment to combat the still serious nursing shortage; play a role when necessary to mobilize large numbers of nurse volunteers to respond to emergencies; engage practicing nurses and other health professionals, students and retirees to participate in health promotion activities and replicate successful health promotion programs; and
WHEREAS, This Legislative Body represents many thousands of nurses and nurse educators across the State; and
WHEREAS, H.R. 485 was introduced on February 4, 2013, in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, a nurse representing the 30th District of Texas and co-led by Representative Peter King representing the 2nd District of New York; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the Massachusetts State Congressional delegation be and hereby is respectfully memorialized by this Legislative Body to support H.R.485 known as The National Nurse Act of 2013, or similar legislation, designating the CNO of the US Public Health Service as the National Nurse for Public Health; and be it further
RESOLVED, That copies of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be transmitted to each member of the Congress of the United States from the State of Massachusetts.
Adopted August 15, 2013
Recently, The Guardian Express published a news story about H.R. 485, The National Nurse Act of 2013. The piece, Prevention is the Key to Wellness, National Nurse Act 2013 Proposed discusses the bill now in Congress that will help promote prevention with a national advocate at the helm, the Chief Nurse Officer of the Public Health Service.
Besides designating the Chief Nurse Officer to be the National Nurse for Public Health, the reporter writing this article thoroughly discusses the duties of this nurse leader that include providing leadership, serving as a national spokesperson, and promoting volunteerism. Cranfield identifies that the health of Americans is on the decline, and the key could be prevention in many cases. She provides many examples of preventible conditions such as smoking and tobacco use, tanning beds, and obesity.
The article ends on a positive note, crediting the effective leadership of the bill's chief sponsor, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30). Cranfield states, "Widely recognized as one of the most effective legislators in Congress, Congresswoman Johnson is an advocate for children and families. She is credited with authoring and co-authoring more than 150 bills passed into law."
H.R. 485 is clearly gaining momentum as noted by the recent support of the West Virginia Nurses Association Nurses Association along with 136 organizations and prominent individuals who have endorsed the Act.