Pictured: Representative Pete Stark (CA)
Representative Pete Stark (CA) is a member of the House Nursing Caucus and released this statement about the National Nurse Act of 2006:
I am pleased to join my colleague Lois Capps in support of H.R. 4903. Her leadership is vital on this issue because, in addition to being a respected Member of Congress, she is a nurse. You could not have a better spokesperson for this legislation.
Creating an office of the national nurse is an important endeavor. Such a designation would increase the visibility of nursing as an esteemed career choice and would help us try to repopulate our schools of nursing with trained educators.
But H.R. 4903 is only one of the many steps needed to improve the nursing profession in our country. I have also been working to enact legislation to strictly limit the use of mandatory overtime for nurses. H.R. 3861, the Safe Nursing and Patient Care Act, would prohibit the use of mandatory nurse overtime unless a local, state or federal government declared a state of emergency.
We have more than 500,000 trained nurses in this country who are not practicing their profession. Many of them tell me that the main reason is that they can no longer feel they practice safe nursing. Being forced to work hours beyond what they believe is appropriate for them to provide quality care is dangerous for nurses and patients alike.
Again, I am pleased to support HR 4903 and I encourage you to work for its passage as well as the enactment of other needed legislation to improve the nursing environment in our nation.
The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Friday, June 16, 2006