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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Board of Directors Respond To Nursing Spectrum

Nursing Spectrum and Nurse Week continue to run a story about the Office of the National Nurse. The article accurately reflected parts of the August 2007 National Nursing Network Organization’s (NNNO) working draft of the initiative found at It was, however, apparent to those who have contacted us that the nursing leaders interviewed continue to react to legislation that died in the 109th Congress. Here is the
link to this article.
We want to reassure our supporters that the NNNO Board of Directors has reached out on numerous occasions to the Quad Council (this body represents the APHA, ACHNE, ASTDN, and ANA) and many others who signed on to the opposition letter. We have contacted them through phone calls, emails, mailed letters, newsletters, and the website to share with them the current proposal, and will continue to do so.

Here is the letter to that was sent by the National Nursing Network Board of Directors in response to the article:

To The Editor,

As Debra Anscombe Wood, RN states in National Nurse Debate Fuels Concerns the proposal to establish an Office of the National Nurse "has resonated with the public" including thousands of nurses. The article states the original bill did not make it out of committee, but failed to mention it did garner significant support and was co-sponsored by 42 members of the US House of Representatives.

It is difficult to grasp that nursing organizations that champion use of evidence based practice, would fail to examine the most current language, adopted in August 2007, before drafting objections to the National Nurse proposal. Even a quick visit to would have revealed that their three “deep concerns” described in the Oct 2 letter had already been addressed.

The unresolved issue remaining is that of actually re-titling the position of the CNO of the USPHS to be designated the Office of the National Nurse. This is considered crucial because there are so many existing “chief nursing officers.” We seek the title "National Nurse" because it will be unique and recognizable with national prevention efforts. At the same time the National Nurse would serve to inspire others to enter nursing and portray a “real” nurse, not what the entertainment industry chooses. A National Nurse could help to address Webb’s concerns about the “chronic, looming, increasingly severe nursing shortage”, especially in health promotion roles of the Public Health and school nurse.

Traditionally, nurses work in teams and collaborate with others to reach the best patient outcomes. The National Nursing Network Organization is committed to continuing our efforts to reach out to the national nursing leaders to collaborate on moving nursing into a leadership role in health promotion and illness prevention in every aspect of our society from the rural community to the national level.

For more information and to learn how you can make a difference, visit

Ruth Amos RN, JD; Edie Brous MSN, MPH, RN, JD; Teri Mills MS, RN, ANP, CNE; Terri Polick RN; Alisa Schneider MSN, RN; Susan Sullivan MSN, PHN

The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Thursday, November 15, 2007  

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