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Many thanks to the Cleveland Clinic's Clinical Nurse Specialists for inviting NNNO President Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE to keynote their annual conference, Celebrating CNS Practice: The CNS as a Bridge Builder. The hospitality extended by the host committee was amazing. Even after spending a short period of time with this group of nurse leaders, it is evident why the Cleveland Clinic is recognized for its hard work ethic and excellence in the healthcare arena. Innovation and new ideas are encouraged and supported, especially when they are focused on improving the health of our country.
How do we become a healthier nation? As Mills pointed out in her presentation, Building the Bridge to a Healthier Tomorrow, the United States spent $7,960 on healthcare per person in 2009, the most of 13 industrialized nations, and almost three times the amount spent in Japan, which has the lowest expenses of these countries. However, many medical care expenditures can be curbed through more concentrated efforts in health promotion and disease prevention.
As we begin an unprecedented federal plan to shift the nation from its present sick-care system to one based on prevention and wellness, it is critical that our nation has strong visible nursing leadership. HR 3679, The National Nurse Act of 2011 designates the Chief Nurse Officer position within the USPHS to be uniquely known as the National Nurse for Public Health to increase visibility of this nurse. The National Nurse for Public Health will be a prominent advocate for nursing involvement in health policy and will provide leadership to generate an active and much needed community wide focus on prevention. This position will promote prevention, generate pride, stimulate interest, and sanction volunteerism by health professionals.
Americans are wise to the fact that prevention saves money and it improves the quality of their lives. Nursing is calling for more visible leadership within its own profession for health promotion and disease prevention. HR 3679 is the answer!
Pictured left to right: Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE (National Nursing Network Organization President); Elizabeth McPhee RN (National Nursing Network Organization Board Member) Sandy Summers RN, MSN, MPH (Founder and Executive Director The Truth About Nursing)
Supporters from coast to coast returned to Capitol Hill late August to advocate that members of Congress support HR 3679, The National Nurse Act of 2011. The team made over 40 visits to legislator's offices during their three-day stay in DC!
We are thrilled to report that the National Nurse Act will be reintroduced in 2013! Many staffers reported that the Representatives and Senators they work with believe that prevention is key to curbing the rise in cost related to chronic preventable conditions. They understand how a visible nurse leader promoting health and engaging nurses and health professionals to do the same in their local community could make a positive difference.
We are also pleased to report that while the team was in Washington meeting with staffers, supporters who could not make the trip to DC also took the time to schedule face-to-face meetings with their own Representatives. One of these meetings has already proven to be very successful thanks to the efforts of Catherine Farnham, a public health nurse from San Benito County (CA), who used her lunch hour to meet with Congressman Sam Farr (CA-17). We are proud to announce that Congressman Farr became the 43rd co-sponsor of HR 3679 last month!
Other visits with members of Congress are in the works. Why not plan to meet with your Representative? The NNNO Board is available to assist your with talking points and packet materials. Please don't hesitate to contact us for assistance.
Please know that this trip to Washington DC would not be possible without your support. We sincerely thank each and every one of you who have provided us with financial assistance. If you would like to make a contribution today or in the near future, please visit this PayPal Link. You may also email the NNNO Board for information on where to send a check.
It is important to acknowledge that while the NNNO is a non-profit organization, it cannot be tax exempt because we do lobby, and therefore, your contributions are not tax deductible.