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Monday, March 29, 2010

Let's Move and HR 4601 The National Nurse Act of 2010

"Let's Move"" and HR 4601 The National Nurse Act of 2010 have potential to become a very productive partnership! Engaging volunteer nurses in "Let's Move" will be facilitated with passage of HR 4601, calling for the Chief Nurse of the US Public Health Service to be known as the National Nurse to provide guidance for prevention efforts in local communities.

Supporters of HR 4601 seek a National Nurse to raise visibility of nursing and tap into the existing skills and expertise of our nation's nurse workforce to address the rising epidemics of preventable conditions. Many nurses (including students and retirees) indicate willingness to be involved in their community's prevention efforts, but see authoritative leadership, social marketing and national emphasis are needed.

Nurses know resources, have key knowledge, value evidence based interventions and can implement ongoing evaluation. Nurses are also present in all cultural communities and are repeatedly voted the "most trusted" profession. They can be strong advocates for "Let's Move" and other health promotion programs. Leadership and guidance provided by the National Nurse will enable a ready pool of skilled and qualified advocates to hit the ground running and implement evidence based interventions.

The public, including youth and parents, will better understand roles of community and public health nursing, thus recruitment to nursing and other health professions will be enhanced. Student nurses will find valuable opportunities for community service and learning experiences. Retirees can remain active in their profession and utilize their skills and experiences advantageously. The Medical Reserve Corps, the American Heart Association and many other existing networks for health promotion will gain skilled manpower and their programs will be strengthened by participation of local health professionals.

This concept is cost effective as it utilizes an existing position and avoids duplication. Local grants can be sought to fund local efforts. Many nurses and stake holders see the potential for a productive partnership here. They would welcome an opportunity to discuss this legislation with the First Lady. Nurses also want to thank Michelle Obama for adopting this worthy cause, wish her much success, and visualize a National Nurse at her side to offer guidance and expertise.

The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Monday, March 29, 2010  

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