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The National Nursing Network Organization’s Advocacy Team is very creative, and our newest member, Frances C. Hodgkins BSN, RN, PMHN-BC, VHA-CM is no different. Frances is completing her Master’s Degree in Nursing Informatics and she is a social media guru. Upon her suggestion a petition has been created at We the People Your Voice in Our Government, to alert the administration of our desire for a National Nurse for Public Health.
Endorse the National Nurse Act-we need a National Nurse for Public Health to raise awareness for wellness and prevention now.
Passage of the Affordable Care Act provides a unique window of opportunity to strengthen the delivery of prevention education and highlight the nurse’s role in our healthcare system. Low health literacy, coupled with increasing numbers of chronic preventable conditions, demonstrate current efforts are insufficient. Based on the ubiquitous presence of nurses in all communities and the high degree of trust bestowed on them, an adequate nursing workforce can play a major role in prevention, thus reducing both morbidity and costs related to chronic disease. HR 3679, the National Nurse Act of 2011 designates the Chief Nurse Officer of the USPHS to engage nurses to replicate successful prevention programs. Visit http://nationalnurse.org for more information and get involved.
Please visit We the People Your Voice in Our Government and sign the petition. Follow these steps to create your account and begin using We the People.
You are encouraged to share this link on your Facebook wall/timeline and also via Twitter so that your friends and colleagues can join this effort. Remember, you have the power. Using social media enhances nursing power. Nurses can make a difference!
Pictured: Congressman David Cicilline (RI-1); Sharon Wollschlager RN, C (NNNO Advocacy Team Member); and Lucie Guillemette Burdick Clinical Training Specialist, RI Department of Health and Human Services
Why I support HR 3679, The National Nurse Act:
As an RN for 30 plus years, I have worked in many and interesting settings, including a walk-in clinic, a hospital emergency department, and most recently, as a community health nurse, working in the office of Infectious Disease and Epidemiology for the State of Rhode Island. I retired this past November 2011. In these positions I have cared for and counseled many people, knowing that their illnesses may have been prevented if they had been privy to prevention and wellness programs.
Therefore, I believe that nurses play a vital role in educating members of the general public regarding wellness and the prevention of disease. The passage of the National Nurse Act would bring more visibility to our part in this key element of disease prevention and promote programs that focus on prevention and wellness. I had the opportunity to speak to my Congressman, David Cicilline, regarding this bill and I explained the importance of its passage, from my perspective. After he read the bill, he agreed and informed me that he has signed on as a co-sponsor!
Sharon Morrow Wollschlager RN, C
Thank you to Assemblywoman Gunther for putting out the following press release about the passage of Resolution K957:
Albany, NY - With leadership provided by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, the NY Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution memorializing the NY Congressional delegation to support HR 3679, The National Nurse Act of 2011, HR 3679, introduced last year by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and co-led by Congressman Peter King (R-NY), would designate the existing position of the Chief Nurse Officer of the US Public Health Service to additionally be recognized as the National Nurse for Public Health to address national priorities of health promotion and disease prevention.
“Nurses already incorporate teaching as a cornerstone of nursing care no matter where that care is being delivered. In addition, nursing interventions that promote health are powerful tools for prevention in community settings,” said Assemblywoman Gunther. “Furthermore, the Gallup poll indicates year after year that Americans listen to nurses about their health. We believe the nursing profession has the expertise, the skills and the commitment needed to shift the tide towards prevention and begin to improve our nation's health at a time when chronic preventable conditions are occurring at astronomical rates.”
Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE who serves as President of the National Nursing Network Organization introduced the concept for a National Nurse in an op/ed, America's Nurse, published in the New York Times (May 20, 2005). "There is overwhelming evidence supporting the critical need to boost health promotion and prevention efforts as well as answer the public demand for increased leadership in nursing. HR 3679 will bring forth the significant and trusted voice of the nurse to the ongoing conversation about health and health care in America," said Mills. "We are delighted to have the support of the New York Assembly for this effort.”
Elizabeth McPhee RN (Board Member, National Nursing Network Organization) holding embossed copy of the NY Resolution
More importantly, the National Nurse for Public Health would accurately portray nursing leadership, enhance the image of nursing, and improve public awareness of the many roles nurses fulfill in protecting public health. 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. This legislation demonstrates how a nurse leader can contribute to health policy and planning decisions to meet the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine’s 2010 report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.
Currently HR 3679, The National Nurse Act of 2011 has the support of 44 co-sponsors as well as 110 organizations and prominent individuals who have endorsed this bill. For more information, visit the National Nurse website.