Pictured: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky
I am proud to be a cosponsor of H.R. 4903, the National Nurse Act, introduced by my colleague Representative Lois Capps. As a nurse, Rep. Capps has brought her expertise and commitment to quality and comprehensive patient care with her to Congress and to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where we serve together.
Our health care system is broken. Too many Americans cannot afford the care they need, and too often the care is of poor quality. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), 98,000 Americans die every year in hospitals from preventable causes. The IOM has also said that nurses are critical to success in quality improvement initiatives, that how we are cared for by nurses affects our health, and sometimes can be a matter of life and death--- nurses are indispensable to our safety.
There is no question that nurses will play an increasing role in health care delivery in the future. And well they should. Nurses provide expert, compassionate, and cost-effective care to their patients.
We must attract more students to nursing and expand the faculties needed to train them. We need to address understaffing, mandatory overtime, workplace injury rates and other problems that result in nurses leaving the profession. We should create the Office of the National Nurse so that we have an established mechanism to address those issues, to mobilize nurses around public health needs, and to incorporate the views of nurses in health care reform efforts. That is why I support the National Nurse Act and will work with Rep. Capps to win its enactment.
The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Thursday, November 09, 2006