Left to right: Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson (Chair of Health and Veteran's Affair Senate Committee), Teri Mills MS, RN, ANP, CNE (President NNNO and AFT OR Member); Sheryl Oakes Caddy JD, RN (Nurse Educator and ONA Member); Alisa Schneider MSN, RN (Secretary NNNO and AFT OR Member); and Shelly Johnson RN (ONA Member)Senate Joint Memorial 5
, a resolution urging the United States Congress to enact legislation to create an Office of the National Nurse passed unanimously out of the Health and Veteran's Affairs Senate Committee on February 19, 2009 before it was sent to the House Health Committee, with final passage late last month.
Five nurses (pictured and named above) testified in favor of the resolution. There was no opposition present at the hearing. Here is part of Alisa Schneider's testimony that she presented before the committee:
"The establishment of the Office of the National Nurse would set a new standard for a more accurate and realistic recognition of nursing's importance to health and healthcare in the United States. If the federal government enthusiastically and publicly embraced nursing, making its crucial contributions crystal clear, perhaps the public, the media and the private sector would all then have a greater understanding of, and appreciation for, the multitudinous ways in which nursing impacts the health of millions of Americans.
Most importantly, however, the establishment of this office would certainly bring an important voice even more strongly to the ongoing conversation about health and health care in America. A National Nurse could, in effect, deliver a unified message of preventive health at a time when millions of Americans---including millions of children---live without health insurance or access to regular primary care. At a time of crisis and uncertainty for the health of the country, the Office of the National Nurse could very well be a stabilizing and empowering voice of reason and prevention."
The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Monday, April 06, 2009