Pictured: Jacqueline Walus-Wigle RN, CPHQ, Esq.; Teri Mills RN, MS, CNE; Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30); Alisa Schneider RN, MS; and Anne Llewellyn RN-BC, MS, BHSA, CCM, CRRN
Recently, members of the National Nursing Network Organization
visited Capitol Hill to educate members of Congress about HR 3679, The National Nurse Act of 2011
. Anne Llewellyn RN-BC, MS, BHSA, CCM, CRRN participated in several meetings and the following are her reactions.
What did you learn?
"I learned that even if this bill is a ‘no brainer’, Representatives want to hear from their constituents before they will sign on and support this legislation. Many people don’t believe their individual voice is needed, but it is, and can make or break a project."
What was your favorite part of the trip?
"Being in DC…it is the pulse of the country. Also, walking through the halls of the US Congress and seeing the names of all of the Representatives on their doors was exciting as they are all responsible for how our country is being run."
What would you say to another nurse who was considering going on a future trip?
"GO! It is an incredible opportunity to be part of the process."
What surprised you the most?
"The realization that nothing will get done in this Country by the House or Senate until after the Presidential and State elections in November. Everyone is focused on their own re-election which seems like an incredibly lost opportunity since so much work needs to be done in our country."
What was the most challenging part of the visit?
"Hearing that we need to have constituents send in more letter vs. just having the Representative support this simple Bill."
Why do you think this bill is so important?
"Having the USPHS Chief Nurse Officer in a full time position of leadership would provide a common sense opportunity to recognize the value nurses across the country can bring in educating and empowering the average consumer to understand the importance of changing behavior to prevent chronic illnesses. Having the Chief Nurse Officer set an agenda that nurses in the community can follow is important for the health of our country."
The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Monday, May 14, 2012