Congressman Anthony Weiner (NY-09)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2011 Every American Needs a Nurse!
Washington D.C.--Congressman Anthony Weiner (NY-9), on behalf of nurses across the country including AFT-Oregon members and Portland Community College (Oregon) nurse educators Teri Mills and Alisa Schneider, introduced HR 1119
into Congress to establish a National Nurse for Public Health on March 16, 2011. The National Nurse Act of 2011 will designate the existing position of the Chief Nurse Officer of the US Public Health Service to serve as the National Nurse for Public Health. This nurse will continue to work along side the Surgeon General and focus on the priorities of health promotion, disease prevention, improving health literacy, and decreasing health disparities.
“Nurses play a vital role in the well-being of our country and their contributions should be recognized accordingly,” Rep. Anthony Weiner (D – Queens and Brooklyn) said. “It’s important that we create a National Nurse for Public Health to help better organize our efforts to combat the many pressing health issues we face today.”
Mills, who serves as President of the National Nursing Network Organization (NNNO) introduced the concept for a National Nurse in an op/ed, America's Nurse
, published in The New York Times (May 20, 2005), and reprinted later that month in The Oregonian.
"Agreement abounds on the nation's need for more emphasis on prevention in our quest for social justice and improved health outcomes, and the concept of having a publicly recognized nurse leader for prevention is the basis for the movement to create a National Nurse for Public Health," said Mills. "Members of Congress agree and already ten US Representatives have agreed to co-sponsor this legislation."
A January, 2010 Gallup Poll, conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation revealed that 86 percent of those surveyed stated they would like to see nurses have more influence in promoting wellness and expanding preventive care. According to the Institute of Medicine and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report, The Future of Nursing : Leading Change, Advancing Health
, more nurse leaders are needed throughout healthcare. “The National Nurse Act of 2011
provides an innovative, pragmatic, and cost effective solution and one that augments many prevention components in the Patient Affordability and Protection Act of 2010,” says Mills.
Schneider, Vice President of the NNNO said the National Nurse could be instrumental in the fight against obesity. "Americans across the country and of all ages are struggling with obesity and its complications. With the cost of obesity projected at $300 billion per year, prevention must continue as a priority for this country. A National Nurse for Public Health would add an important voice in this discussion."
The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Friday, April 01, 2011