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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Thank You To Representative Kathleen Keenan, Representative Bill Frank, Constituent June Schulte, and the Vermont State Legislature

Pictured: Representative Bill Frank (VT) and Vermont Constituent June Schulte

Joining Massachusetts and New York, the Vermont State Legislature passed Joint Resolution 52 on a voice vote thanks to Representative Kathleen Keenan, Representative Bill Frank and their 24 original sponsors! Here is a copy of their resolution, and although it is based on HR 4903, legislation that expired in the 109th Congress, they included in their whereas clause that this is an issue that warrants further Congressional examination.

House of Representatives
Montpelier, Vermont
Joint House Resolution
J.R.H. 52

Joint resolution urging Congress to enact legislation establishing an Office of the National Nurse

Offered by: Representatives Keenan of St. Albans City, Andrews of Rutland City, Browning of Arlington, Fisher of Lincoln, Frank of Underhill, French of Randolph, Gervais of Enosburg, Haas of Rochester, Head of S. Burlington, Keogh of Burlington, Leriche of Hardwick, Maier of Middlebury, McCormack of Rutland City, Milkey of Brattleboro, Morrissey of Bennington, Mrowicki of Putney, Nuovo of Middlebury, O'Donnell of Vernon, Ojibway of Hartford, Orr of Charlotte, Pearson of Burlington, Perry of Richford, Pugh of S. Burlington, Spengler of Colchester, Symington of Jericho, Wheeler of Derby and Zenie of Colchester

Whereas, everyday, nurses provide critical health care services to individuals in hospitals, clinics, nursing facilities, and doctors’ offices, and as nurse practitioners, and

Whereas, there is a severe shortage of nurses throughout the United States, including Vermont, and

Whereas, during the 109th Congress, Representative Lois Capps of California introduced HR 4903, also known as the “National Nurse Act of 2006,” that would have established an Office of the National Nurse within the U.S. Office of Public Health and Science, and

Whereas, the legislation required the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to appoint a registered nurse to head the Office of the National Nurse, and

Whereas, under this bill, the National Nurse was directed to:
“(1) carry out activities to encourage individuals to enter the nursing
profession, including providing education on the distinct role of nurses in the health professions and examining nursing issues that would increase public safety, such as issues relating to staff levels, working conditions, and patient input;
“(2) carry out activities to encourage nurses to become educators in schools of nursing;
“(3) carry out activities to promote the public health, including encouraging nurses to be volunteers to projects that educate the public on achieving better health; and
“(4) conduct media campaigns and make personal appearances for purposes of paragraphs (1) through (3)”, and
Whereas, in accordance with the proposed HR 4903, on an annual basis, the National Nurse was instructed to designate four methods of achieving better health, and

Whereas, the National Nurse was also assigned the responsibility of making grants to nonprofit organizations for the purpose of developing and implementing community-based public health information programs in conjunction with designated state coordinators who would establish volunteer teams of nurses to serve as the onsite community educators, and

Whereas, this legislation would also have authorized appropriations, for a period of five years, to implement its provisions, and

Whereas, HR 4903 as introduced in the 109th Congress merits further congressional examination, and its provisions should be reintroduced in new legislation during the 110th Congress, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly urges Congress to enact legislation establishing an Office of the National Nurse, and be it further

Resolved: That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Peggy Sharpe, president of the Vermont State Nurses Association in South Burlington, to U.S. Representative Lois Capps, and to the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation.

The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Thursday, May 08, 2008  

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