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.
The NNNO joins the American Nurses Association (ANA) and a host of other nursing organizations nationwide in celebrating the health and wellness of nurses during National Nurses Week from May 6–12, 2017. In recognition of 2017 as ANA's "Year of the Healthy Nurse," National Nurses Week highlights the vital role for a National Nurse for Public Health as a leader for health and wellbeing among nurses.
Annually, National Nurses Week honors the life and legacy of Florence Nightingale's around her birthday. This year, we reflect on Nightingale's foundational work by recognizing that care for others starts with self-care for nurses. The ANA provides a comprehensive National Nurses Week 2017 Toolkit for recognizing nurses and elevating self-care.
In the words of clinical psychologist Christopher Germer: "Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others." During this Nurses Week, let's stop to celebrate that the amazing, life-changing work we perform as nurses begins with cultivating joy, balance and restoration for ourselves.
Over 115 national and state organizations endorsed the National Nurse Act of 2015 and their support is expected to continue for H.R. 1651 National Nurse Act of 2017. The NNNO has contacted the Executive Director and/or President of each supporting organization, sending a copy of the new bill and the Section by Section explanation. A request was made to ask permission for the NNNO to add their organization to a new Signatory Letter addressed to Congress that reflects the current legislation.
Here are a few comments from responders who granted permission to continue support: “National Association of Directors of Nursing (NADONA) would be a proud co signer!!” Sherrie Dornberger, Executive Director and Amanda Kistler, President
“Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association (ASTNA) would be proud to help support this.” Brian Solada RN, CFRN, CMTE, ASTNA President
“American Association of Women in Community Colleges supports this important Act.” Beverly Walker-Griffea, Ph.D. AAWCC President
"Please add support for the American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination (AANAC) and the American Association of Directors of Nursing Services (AADNS), our new organization. Thanks again for your work on this important issue.” Diane Carter, RN, MSN, FAAN President and CEO
"NANDA International, Inc. is proud to be a signatory on the letter supporting the National Nurse Act of 2017.” T. Heather Herdman PhD, RN, FNI CEO/Executive Director
“OCAP (Oregon Council of Associate Degree Nursing Programs) has voted unanimously in support of the National Nurse Act of 2017. I have attached a letter officially stating this. Thank you for your tireless efforts and leadership in this effort!” Doris Jepson MSN, RN President Oregon Council of Associate Degree Nursing Programs
Although there were some minor made to H.R. 1651, all parties involved believe these revisions strengthen the bill language and will help in assuring its passage. Organizations are urged to please email the NNNO Board to receive a copy of the signatory letter if you are interested in supporting The National Nurse Act of 2017. We find when organizations take the time to review and study the legislation they overwhelmingly decide to endorse it.
Here are some additional ways organizations are leading the way to promote the National Nurse Act of 2017:
The Case Management Society of America (CMSA) has retained this bill as one of their top issues to pass in the 115th Congress. Recently NNNO President Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE provided an update in a policy focused webinar that all members were invited to. Thank you to Pat Noonan, CMSA Public Policy Chair, who sent a take action email to all regional leaders urging them to reach out to chapter members asking them to call and write to U.S. Representatives urging them to co sponsor the National Nurse Act of 2017.
Also, thank you to the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses who put at an “all hands on deck” to their Illinois state group, also asking for calls and emails be sent to the Illinois Congressional Delegation.
Special gratitude to the Association for Radiologic and Imaging Nursing, another endorsing body, requested a synopsis of the National Nurse Act with a theme of legislative action. It is found on Page 13 of the ARIN March Newsletter.
Thank you also to Jeffery Smith, M.P.P. Vice President, Public Policy AMIA - Informatics Professionals for requesting a timeline for introduction of the National Nurse Act of 2017 so as not to miss an opportunity to make a splash with this in their press when the bill was dropped.
All of these actions help to make a tremendous difference in this grassroots, all volunteer campaign.
H.R. 1651 National Nurse Act of 2017 Moving Forward
Thank you to these original co sponsors who agreed to be listed in the actual text of the bill at the time of introduction, providing an extra boost of validation as to the importance of this legislation:
In addition we say thank you to the following members who are now co sponsoring H.R. 1651:
The success of the National Nurse Act depends on supporters and key stakeholders including the readers of this newsletter. Several nurses have already had person-to-person visits with their own elected officials to encourage their co sponsorship for H.R.
Rep. King was very touched when these nurse practitioner leaders thanked him for his support of the National Nurse Act. He told them this was something that we need to do!
Also stopping by to thank Rep. King last month was Melody Butler, the Executive Director and Founder of Nurses Who Vaccinate, a supporting organization for the National Nurse Act.
Congressman McKinley signed on as an original co-sponsor to H.R. 1651. It is great to have his support!
Take Five!! Each of you can make a difference in helping to pass H.R. 1651 National Nurse Act of 2017. Take 5 minutes to call or write to your elected Representative this week.
You can do this very easily by visiting the Take Action link on the National Nurse website. There is a great deal of helpful information to ensure your success. Please urge your elected member of Congress to sign on as a co-sponsor to H.R. 1651. The more calls, letters, and emails the elected officials receive from their own constituents, the more likely they are to join the growing list of co-sponsors.
If you are interested in making a personal appointment at your U.S. Representative’s district office please contact the NNNO Board for handouts and advice.
Written By Kathy Quan BSN, RN, PHN (and posted with permission)
Nurses were once again voted the Most Trusted Professionals in the 2016 Gallup Poll. This marked the 15th year in a row that nurses have topped the list. It’s indeed an honor to call ourselves nurses and to be able to impart our knowledge on our patients to improve their quality of life and health status.
Today we face uncertainties with the new administration who promises to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act as soon as possible. We need to stand strong together in a bipartisan effort to ensure Americans continue to receive the very best health care. This starts with prevention and nurses are in a unique position to lead the way. With chronic conditions on the rise that continue to bankrupt our federal and personal healthcare dollars, educating patients about their life style, health issues, chronic illness conditions and how to PREVENT complications become even more important today.
Nurses Advance Wellness As nurses we have long been charged with the responsibility of patient education. Now more than ever before we need to advocate for our patients, ourselves and the health status of our country. The American Nurses Association too recognizes the important role nurses serve in advancing wellness and at the beginning of 2017 kicked off its “Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation” campaign. The vision is to create a healthier nation by maintaining the well being of America’s 3.6 million nurses.
Dream Becomes Grass Roots Effort In 2005, a nurse educator and patient advocate from Oregon named Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE had a dream and wrote an Op-ed in the New York Times calling for unification of the nursing profession in America with a National Nurse. In early 2015, the National Nurse Act (HR 379) was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson (a nurse) (D-TX) and Peter King (R-NY). The Senate companion bill (S 1205) was co-led by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). The beauty of this non-controversial legislation is that it required NO additional funding for implementation.
The National Nurse Act of 2015 received strong bi-partisan co-sponsor support from 97 Representatives and 5 Senators in addition to 119 nursing organizations including the American Nurses Association, the National Federation of Nurses, and the Federation of Healthcare Professionals. Five state legislative bodies (MA, OR, NJ, NY and VT) overwhelmingly passed resolutions urging Congress to enact this bill.
H.R. 1651 The National Nurse Act of 2017 Introduced Twelve years later the legislation that grew from that grass roots effort known as H.R. 1651 The National Nurse Act of 2017 was reintroduced to the 2017 Congress. This legislation designates the Chief Nurse Officer of the U.S. Public Health Service as the National Nurse for Public Health to raise visibility and increase public and nursing support for health promotion and disease prevention.
The CNO/National Nurse for Public Health would:
1. Function alongside of the Surgeon General and focus on priorities of promoting health, improving health literacy, and decreasing health disparities
2. Serve as a visible national spokesperson for engaging nurses in Leadership, Policy and Prevention efforts
3. Encourage health professionals work and/or volunteer with community programs to improve health
4. Provide guidance and leadership for activities that will increase public safety and emergency preparedness
The National Nurse Act of 2015 came very close to passing. It is hoped 2017 will be year it passes so that the office of the Chief Nursing Officer/National Nurse for Public Health will be better able to guide the nursing profession in promoting, protecting and advancing the nation’s health.
YOU Can Help A small action on your part can go a long way in helping to bring the National Nurse Act to fruition. Please take a moment to contact your elected officials and request that they sign on NOW to support and co sponsor HR 1651. To create the change we want and need, it is imperative that nurses stand together to advocate for health promotion and prevention via a National Nurse for Public Health.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 21, 2017
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson Releases Statement After Introducing National Nurse Act of 2017
Washington D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Johnson introduced the National Nurse Act of 2017, which would designate the Chief Nurse Officer position of the U.S. Public Health Service as “The National Nurse for Public Health.” Congresswoman Johnson released the following statement describing the importance of the bill:
“The National Nurse Act of 2017 is a common-sense, cost-effective way to improve the health and wellness of all Americans. As a registered non-practicing nurse whose political career began in nursing, I know firsthand how national policy can sometimes fail or inhibit nurses working in the field,” said Congresswoman Johnson. “Therefore, establishing a National Nurse, who would work alongside the Surgeon General, would help advocate for nurses and in turn advance health care for the many Americans who see nurses every day.”
“The National Nurse could focus on the important issues of health promotion, improving health literacy, and decreasing health disparities. Nurses play a critical role in the prevention and management of our nation’s deadliest conditions like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and opioid addiction. It is my firm belief that establishing a National Nurse for Public Health in America would save so many lives- it is a shame that we have not done so already.”
Key Responsibilities of the National Nurse:
U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson is the ranking member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. In addition to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, she is also a current member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. She has served on this committee since being elected to Congress in 1992 making her the highest- ranking Texan on the committee. As a longtime advocate for improved psychiatric treatment, Congresswoman Johnson co-lead and co-authored H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015, provisions of which were included in the 21st Century Cures Act that was signed into law in December of 2016.
A link to the National Nurse Act of 2017 will be posted at http://nationalnurse.org as soon as this is available. If you would like to receive a copy of the final draft of The National Nurse Act of 2017, please email the NNNO Board.