Pictured: Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther
Thank you Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther who introduced K367, memorializing the Congress of the United States to encourage the effort to create an Office of the National Nurse, into the New York State Assembly on March 26, 2007. The bill amassed 50 sponsors before it was sent to the floor of the Assembly and adopted unanimously by all voting members.
The National Nursing Network Organization and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther's office has put out the following press release:
New York Assemblywoman Brings Oregon Nurse’s Vision For National Nurse One Big Step Forward
The New York Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution Wednesday encouraging the Congress of the United States to create an Office of the National Nurse.
New York Assemblywoman and nurse Aileen Gunther (District 98) brought Oregon nurse Teri Mills’ vision to create the office a big step forward with Resolution K367.
"Nurses work to keep patients healthy through preventive, proactive care," Gunther said. "A National Nurse would serve as a valuable counterpart to the U.S. Surgeon General to help raise awareness of preventive health issues while providing community outreach. In addition, there is currently a shortage of nurses in the U.S. and a National Nurse would inspire more young Americans to enter the nursing profession."
Efforts to create an Office of the National Nurse began on May 20, 2005, the day the New York Times published America’s Nurse, authored by Mills. The intent of the Office of the National Nurse is to focus Americans on health rather than sickness. Working with state-level coordinators and teams of nurse volunteers from around the nation, a recognized and trusted National Nurse will regularly deliver messages about key health issues to the public and serve as an effective complement to the Office of the Surgeon General.
“This grassroots campaign has energized nurses to become involved in the political process for the first time," Mills said. "Creating a National Nurse is a goal that has united all nurses regardless of specialty, educational background or experience.”
Thus far, the campaign has led to the introduction in 2006 of a National Nurse bill in the House of Representatives by Rep. Lois Capps (CA-23), and a great deal of interest among elected legislators. At the close of the 2006 legislative session, the bill had bipartisan support with 42 members of Congress signing on as cosponsors, a remarkable achievement for legislation introduced for the first time.
The Office of the National Nurse would improve the nation’s health through education designed to reduce risks posed by preventable conditions such as poor diet and sedentary lifestyle.
“Who better than nurses to step into this void and educate Americans about unhealthy behaviors in a manner that is more immediate, accessible, and comprehensible than ever before,” Mills said. “With Nurses Week right around the corner (May 6-12) Assemblywoman Gunther has given nurses a booster shot, acknowledging that what we do is indeed valued by the American public. A National Nurse will not only be a leader for prevention, this individual will also serve to elevate the nursing profession and attract others at a time when our country is facing a dire shortage of nurses.”
Assembly Resolution No. 367
BY: M. of A. Gunther
MEMORIALIZING the Congress of the United States to encourage the effort to create an Office of the National Nurse
WHEREAS, Nurses are crucial to the promotion of preventive care and the caring of the whole person; and
WHEREAS, Nurses are highly valued and trusted by the public, and are often in a position to deliver educational messages to the public about ways to improve their health and prevent disease; and
WHEREAS, There is a serious effort to create an Office of the National Nurse; and
WHEREAS, The National Nurse would act to raise awareness of health issues and promote good health through education and community outreach; and
WHEREAS, The National Nurse would serve as an effective complement to the existing United States Office of the Surgeon General; and
WHEREAS, The Office of the National Nurse would also provide input at the public policy table on a number of valuable initiatives, such as: providing weekly broadcasts for the media and the internet to promote health; increasing the number of nurse educators; facilitating the deployment of nurses to under-served areas; creating a National Nurse Corps to deliver nursing assistance and education to communities, particularly communities in crisis; and
WHEREAS, The New York State Assembly represents many thousands of nurses and nurse educators across the State; and
WHEREAS, HR 4903 was introduced on March 8th, 2006, in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Lois Capps, a nurse representing the 23rd district of California following the publication of America’s Nurse authored by Teri Mills in the New York Times; and
WHEREAS, HR 4903 gained bi-partisan support with 42 members of the House of Representatives signed on to the bill; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the Congress of the United States be and hereby is respectfully memorialized by the Legislative Body to encourage the effort to create an Office of the National Nurse embodied in legislation such as HR 4903 and help promote passage of legislation such as HR 4903; and be it further
RESOLVED, That copies of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be transmitted to the President of the Senate of the United States, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and to each member of the Congress of the United States from the State of New York.