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Monday, June 21, 2010

Part 1-Students Write about HR 4601 The National Nurse Act of 2010

Undergraduate and graduate nursing students continue to enthusiastically study and write about HR 4601 The National Nurse Act of 2010 for their policy, leadership, and political coursework. We wanted to share with you a few paragraphs from each paper that highlight the need for this legislation.

The first paper comes from Karen Reynolds BSN, MSN, RN who is in her third semester at the University of Florida pursuing her DNP. Karen served in the United States Air Force as a Nurse/Commissioned Officer from 1988-91 and was stationed at Keesler AFB in Biloxi. Karen wrote to us that she is passionate about this legislation.

Karen's paper, "Influencing Political Process" begins with this paragraph:

"The immediate impact of nurses speaking out and being visible at the Capitol cannot be overstated (Abood, 2007). The only way to impact health care policy is to be right in the midst of policy development. Three nurses have recently served in Congress (Abood, 2007). The best advocate for the patient is a nurse; the best advocate for a nurse is a fellow nursing professional. The politically active and savvy nurse can speak to both the legislative and professional nursing arena as well as to the American public."

Karen goes on to state:

"Stakeholders exist in three domains in relationship to this policy initiative. The first stakeholder is the American public. Support through this bill will provide an infrastructure within communities for health promotion and disease prevention. The link between public health and nursing is strong and easily identifiable. The American people need a system that comes to them in their communities, where they live, work, and play.

The second significant stakeholder is the nursing profession. Schnieder explains that this role is not intended to be the “nurse over all nurses” just as the Surgeon General is not the leader of all physicians (as cited in Stowkowski, 2010, March 22). This will be a highly visible position. With the increased visibility, the nursing profession is able to show the vital role that nurses partipate in with regards to the health of our nation. Many professional organizations have already endorsed this national initiative.

The third significant stakeholder is the federal government infrastructure to support health promotion and disease prevention. With a strong public health initiative and collaborative, that the National Nurse Act will provide, the quality of health care in America can benefit and improve. In turn, cost of health care can decrease, due to emphasis on health promotion and prevention."


Abood, S. (2007). Influencing health care in the legislative arena. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 12(1). Retrieved from

Stokowski, L. A. (2010, March 22). Will we have a national nurse? Interview with Alisa Schnieder, MSN, RN. Retrieved from

The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Monday, June 21, 2010  

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