Sponsor of HR 379 in the 114th Congress:
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson TX-30
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Thank you to NNNO Advocacy Team member Lisa Hoffman BSN, RN, MS for coordinating a meeting with Congresswoman Martha McSally (AZ-2). Many nurse constituents attended and all enthusiastically discussed merits of H.R. 379 The National Nurse Act and also answered questions. The meeting was a great success as Congresswoman McSally decided to join the list of co sponsors for the bill. We are all grateful for her support!
Thank you to the following members of the U.S. House of Representatives for joining the now 95 co sponsors for H.R. 379 The National Nurse Act of 2016. It's exciting to see the progress being made for this bill.
Representative Peter DeFazio (OR-4-D) is now the longest serving House member in Oregon’s history. Rep. DeFazio is committed to reining in the escalating costs of health care and ensuring access to quality health care for all Americans. He is a member of the House Nursing Caucus.
In June 2008, Representative Donna Edwards (MD-4-D) became the first African American woman elected to Congress. Rep. Edwards has enjoyed a diverse career as a nonprofit public interest advocate and in the private sector on NASA’s Spacelab project. In 1994, as co-founder and executive director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, she led the effort to pass the Violence Against Women Act that was signed into law by President Clinton.
Representative Scott Garrett (NJ-5-R) serves as a senior member of the House Budget Committee. Rep. Garrett believes we need meaningful health care reform that decreases costs, increases accessibility and improves on what is already the best health care system in the world.
In the House of Representatives, Representative Gregg Harper (MS-3-R) serves on the influential House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Mississippi’s senior House Republican also sits on the select Committee on House Administration, a special appointment made by former House Speaker John Boehner.
On April 29th, 2016 upon the urging of her constituents, Representative Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-1-D) signed on as a co sponsor to H.R. 379. Representative Kirkpatrick serves on many health-related caucuses including the Healthcare Innovation Task Force, Youth Drug Prevention Caucus, the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, and the Mental Health Caucus.
The family of Representative Rick Larsen (WA-2-D) has been building a legacy in the Second Congressional District for more than a century. Throughout Representative Larsen’s tenure in Congress he has advocated for health care that fits Northwest Washington’s specific needs, including funding for critical access hospitals, better health services for veterans and Medicare beneficiaries, and health care that fits families’ budgets.
Representative David McKinley (WV-1-R) has represented the First District of West Virginia since January 3, 2011. As one of two professional engineers in Congress, he has a seat on the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Representative McKinley’s wife is a nurse and he is a member of the House Nursing Caucus.
Representative Martha McSally (AZ-2-R) proudly represents the people of Arizona’s Second Congressional District. Prior to serving in Congress, Representative McSally served 26 years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring in 2010 as a full Colonel. She is the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat and first to command a fighter squadron in combat in United States history.
Currently serving his third term in Congress, Representative Patrick Meehan (PA-7-R) serves on the influential House Ways and Means Committee, as well as the Committee on Ethics. Representative Meehan is the husband of a nurse practitioner and is well aware of the need for quality care and access to our health care system.
According to The Lowell Sun, Representative Niki Tsongas (MA-3-D) has convinced constituents of a core common goal: “As long as she is in Congress, the best interests of constituents will always come ahead of party politics. Since 2010, Tsongas has proven she is one of the more independent lawmakers in Massachusetts’ 9-member House delegation. She has shown a willingness to work with Republicans to advance the cause of a stronger economy and military defense system.”
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