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National Nurses Week, May 6-12th, is a great time to bring recognition to H.R. 485, The National Nurse Act of 2013 as well as to urge your U.S. Representative to sign on as a co-sponsor to this bill. One way to accomplish this is to write a letter to the editor of your local and/or state newspaper. Below is a template to get you started:
To The Editor:
As a nurse who has worked in our community for __ years, I am writing today to ask that you join me in supporting H.R. 485, The National Nurse Act of 2013. H.R. 485 will help generate a stronger focus on prevention. And it will bring more recognition to the Chief Nurse Officer of the PHS by having this existing position be additionally designated as the National Nurse for Public Health.
There is a wealth evidence that the health of our country can be dramatically advanced by deploying our largest and most trusted national health resource, America's nurses. An important role of the National Nurse will be to encourage willing nurses and other health professionals to work with their local community health programs to improve health.
This bill deserves the full support of Representative ________. Nurses and other health professionals can take an active part in curbing the epidemic of chronic conditions that continue to drain our health care dollars. Leadership from a National Nurse for Public Health will encourage their involvement and guide them to be successful. I urge that Representative ____ sign on to H.R. 485 as a co-sponsor to demonstrate that he/she stands by his/her values as a champion for both nursing and public health.
NAME AND CREDENTIALS
On Monday, May 6th at 9 pm EST, in celebration of National Nurses Week, Susan Sullivan, the Secretary of the National Nursing Network Organization (NNNO), will be a guest on RN.FM Radio, the most popular Internet radio station by, for and about nurses and nursing!
On this live broadcast, Susan will be speaking in depth about the National Nurse campaign, the bill now before Congress (HR 485, the National Nurse Act of 2013),and how you can become involved and support this exciting campaign!
If you'd like to tune in live, visit this link (http://bit.ly/Yl7Cyt) to listen on your computer, or call (347) 308-8064 to listen over the phone. RN.FM Radio welcomes callers, and also has a live Tweetchat during the show where listeners can interact with one another and post questions or comments to the hosts and guest. Using Twitter, please insert the hashtag #rnfmradio in your tweets, or follow the chat at http://tweetchat.com/room/rnfmradio.
This will be an exciting event, and if you miss the live broadcast, it is available immediately for archived listening at http://bit.ly/Yl7Cyt, or as a free podcast on iTunes.
Thank you to the many bloggers who have written posts about H.R. 485 The National Nurse Act of 2013 to help get the word out about this important legislation.
Keith Carlson BSN, RN who is the lead blogger for Digital Doorway, with permission re-published the National Nursing Network Organization's press release. This includes quotes from the bill's lead sponsor, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30) that highlight her dedication to nursing and improving public health. Click here to read more.
Nursetogether.com published a post, National Nurse Act of 2013 Needs Your Support. "If Congress approves, a visible National Nurse for Public Health/CNO, respected and recognized by the nation, will be an impetus to promote local interventions, strengthen the Medical Reserve Corps, and bolster public health infrastructure by mobilizing willing nurses and other health care professionals to work with their local community programs to increase prevention. More information is available at The National Nurse for Public Health".
Finally, Jamie Davis, host of The Nursing Show, accurately and concisely writes New Bill for National Nurse for Public Health. Davis states, "Nurses have a long history of taking the lead in public health initiatives, often working behind the scenes. This would allow Nesseler to help set policy and improve nurses reach to increase health literacy and reach underserved communities, reducing health disparities in the country."
He goes on to say, "I urge you to support this movement which pushes nurses to the forefront of public health policy in this country. You can also contact your congressman or woman and tell them you support this bill to create a national nurse for public health position. It will not create a new position which is important in this time of budget cuts and spending oversight. It merely re-designates the current chief nursing officer position. I hope you’ll support this initiative."
The campaign for a National Nurse for Public Health in many ways resembles a favorite childhood story, “The Little Engine That Could”. In this book, a stranded train is unable to find an engine willing to take it on over difficult terrain to its destination. Only the little blue engine is willing to try and, while repeating the mantra "I think I can, I think I can," overcomes a seemingly impossible task. Using that same stance, “I think I can”, many individuals and organizations are finding unique ways to support The National Nurse Act of 2013. Here are some examples:
When the leadership of the Greater Passaic Valley Public Health Nurses Association learned that nurses would be traveling to Capitol Hill to advocate for HR 485, they sent out a “Save The Date” announcement to all twelve members of the New Jersey Congressional Delegation. This prompted two US Representatives to sign on to co-sponsor the bill before the team even arrived in Washington DC!
NNNO Advocacy Team Member Pat Van Betten RN, M.Ed sent out an overview of the legislation to colleagues in Nevada. This letter explained the crux of the bill from a historical perspective and asked nurses to consider making $20 contributions and also requested that they call their U.S. Representatives to ask for their support. A recipient of Pat’s letter sent it to the Nevada Nurses Association, an endorsing organization, and the leadership then distributed it to the entire NNA email list.
Many organizations and nurse writers have posted excerpts from the National Nurse Newsletter in their newsletters and blogs, including the Florida Nurse Practitioner Network and Digitaldoorway.blogspot.com.
Kathy Quan BSN, RN has sent out numerous tweets providing important updates about the campaign. Over 760 are now following at @NationalNurse.
The Oregon Nurses Association sends an electronic “Friday News” to several thousand nurses in Oregon and included this link to the podcast, A National Nurse, to better inform their members about the bill.
Kathy Anne Mancusi RN, Esq. presented a PowerPoint on The National Nurse Act at a membership meeting of the Baltimore Chapter of the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants.
Leaders from the Nutrition Support Nurses Practice Section of A.S.P.E.N. included information about HR 485 during their legislative visits on the Hill in March to garner support.
Numerous organizations have written individual letters of support including the National Black Nurses Association, the National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association, and MammaCare.
The Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates (SGNA) wrote to explore ways to get their 63 regional societies involved in supporting the National Nurse for Public Health bill.
Many individuals made contributions that allowed supporters to travel to Washington DC. We are enormously grateful to all who have helped and want you to know that as a result of these activities and many more, there are now ___ members of Congress who have signed on to The National Nurse Act of 2013!
Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE, President of the National Nursing Network Organization was interviewed recently for Oregon NurseCast, a podcast series designed to celebrate innovative, promising practices relevant in Oregon; provide tools and resources to facilitate the professional practice of nursing; and encourage conversation among nursing professionals.
Teri discussed rationale and evidence as to why this legislation is needed. She also shared her experience at advocating for legislation to improve public health. Teri reinforced that HR 485, The National Nurse Act of 2013 has been carefully worded to clarify the intent of the legislation. Strong support continues to mount for positioning the Chief Nurse Officer (CNO) of the USPHS to more prominently serve as a widely recognized National Nurse for Public Health.
Teri stated, “Those expressing concerns about "duplicating the duties" of the CNO apparently do not realize that the CNO and the National Nurse for Public Health are one and the same person. There is no basis for such concern as there is no duplication of the position or the responsibilities of the CNO”. Additionally and equally important, there is no title change being requested in the National Nurse Act of 2013. The CNO will remain the CNO with the additional designation as the National Nurse for Public Health. HR 485 places the CNO, an experienced public health nurse leader, in a more visible and authoritative status to carry out existing duties and promote widespread prevention efforts.
Key to the success of this approach to improve health status of all persons are these two facts: 1) the ACA strongly promotes prevention and 2) many trusted capable nurses are willing to take part in local community efforts.
Persons interested in learning more on the latest information about HR 485 can listen to an archived tape of this informative interview by clicking here.