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Monday, May 05, 2008

National Nurses Week-May 6-12, 2008

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Here is the press release sent out by the National Nursing Network Organization in celebration of National Nurses Week:

Nation’s Nurses Affirm Support for Office of National Nurse

National Nurses Week – May 6-12th, 2008

Portland, Oregon – As National Nurses Week approaches (an annual observance intended to honor Florence Nightingale and celebrate the contributions of our nation’s 2.9 million nurses), Oregon nurse educators Teri Mills MS, RN, ANP, CNE and Alisa Schneider MSN, RN continue to be amazed at the growing support for their grassroots effort to establish an Office of the National Nurse. The Massachusetts General Court, New York State Assembly, and the Vermont State Legislature all recently passed unanimous resolutions introduced by nurse state legislators urging Congress to enact legislation for a National Nurse. Dozens of national and state nursing organizations have also signed on their support.

“Nurses see daily that healthcare is in crisis with soaring costs and rising epidemics of preventable diseases. Nurses find it unacceptable that the United States ranks 19th in preventable deaths, with seven out of ten Americans dying each year from a preventable chronic condition. We are calling for change led by leadership provided through an Office of the National Nurse to strengthen efforts for a nationwide shift toward prevention that will improve health outcomes,” states Mills. The National Nurse would play a vital role by complementing the work of the Surgeon General to promote health awareness, increase health literacy and reduce health disparities.

“Delivering prevention messages through social marketing and mass media combined with locally designed interventions worked well when C. Everett Koop was Surgeon General. We need to bring that model back especially during a time when Americans are facing preventable conditions of epidemic proportions,” claims Schneider.

Schneider adds, “Another important component of the Office of the National Nurse initiative is to enhance visibility and public recognition of nursing.” Over the next five years, 45% of the nation’s public health nursing workforce is expected to retire. The Association of Schools of Public Health recently announced the country needs an additional 250,000 public health workers by 2020 to avert a public health crisis. “A highly visible National Nurse will increase the public’s understanding of the important role nurses play in health care and encourage youth to explore careers in nursing and healthcare.”

“We’ve come a long way since the initial bill to establish the Office of the National Nurse, HR 4903, was introduced by Congresswoman Lois Capps (CA-23 who is a nurse herself) and supported by 42 legislators. "Although HR 4903 did not pass that first year," Mills says “We hear every day how remarkable it is that nurses alone (without the assistance of professional lobbyists and virtually no budget) have been able to continue to inspire so many others to join this effort, and plans to reintroduce legislation remain underway."

For more information on the current proposal, be sure to visit our current website.

The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Monday, May 05, 2008  

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