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Monday, April 14, 2014

Vermont State Legislature Supports The National Nurse Act!

Pictured June Schulte, NNNO Advocacy Team Member and Proud Grammie

NNNO Advocacy Team Member June M. Schulte from Jericho, Vermont reports,

“On March 18th, the Vermont House and Senate passed Joint Resolution 15, urging Congress to support H.R. 485, The National Nurse Act of 2013. Support was so strong in Vermont’s citizen legislature that the Resolution passed before supporters even began to request to testify about it! Having supported the National Nurse initiative since its inception, this Vermont grandmother is jubilant! There may already be a Chief Nursing Officer in the USPHS, but I am not a nurse. I am a grandmother and my family needs a National Nurse for Public Health. I need someone who can be a strong advocate and supporter of our nurses who work on the front lines of healthcare, while also focusing our whole nation, average citizens included, on prevention! I have long known about our Surgeon General but had never heard of us having a Chief Nursing Officer. I am proud and so grateful that the Vermont State Legislature voted overwhelmingly to support the National Nurse Act of 2013. Having a visible, trusted nurse spokesperson who will encourage us to live a healthier life style will benefit us now, and my grandchildren in the years ahead.”

VT State Representative Kathleen Keenan RN

Thank you to Vermont State Representative Kathleen Keenan (Franklin-3) who introduced and led the passage of a joint resolution in Vermont in support of the National Nurse Act of 2013. Representative Keenan, a registered nurse, graduated from the Jeanne Mance School of Nursing in Burlington, Vermont, (Diploma, 1963); and from the University of Vermont for the Family Nurse Practitioner Program in 1976.

This resolution was first adopted in the Vermont State House and passage in the Vermont State Senate quickly followed.

Joint resolution urging Congress to support H.R. 485, The National Nurse Act of 2013 Offered by: Representatives Keenan of St. Albans City, Dakin of Chester, O’Brien of Richmond, Spengler of Colchester, and Till of Jericho

Whereas, every day, nurses provide critical health care services to individuals in hospitals, clinics, nursing facilities, and doctors’ offices, and as nurse practitioners, and

Whereas, our nation continues to face an epidemic of preventable conditions and chronic diseases, and

Whereas, nurses are crucial to the promotion of preventative care by helping to inform and educate the public, and

Whereas, thousands of nurses and nurse educators live and work in Vermont, and

Whereas, U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas introduced H.R. 485, also known as “The National Nurse Act of 2013,” on February 4, 2013, and

Whereas, H.R. 485 designates the Chief Nurse Officer of the U.S. Public Health Services as the National Nurse for Public Health, and

Whereas, under H.R. 485, the National Nurse for Public Health shall perform the following duties:

“(1) Provide leadership and coordination of Public Health Service nursing professional affairs for the Office of the Surgeon General and other agencies of the Public Health Service, including providing representation for the Government of the United States at the Global Forum for Government Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officers and serving as a member of the Federal Nursing Service Council.

“(2) Represent the Surgeon General and the agencies of Public Health Service in communications with groups and societies concerned with nursing issues at the local, State, national, and international levels.

“(3) Provide guidance and advice to the Surgeon General and the Nurse Professional Advisory Committee on matters such as standards, recruitment, retention, readiness, and career development of nurses employed by and contracted with agencies of the Public Health Service.

“(4) Conduct media campaigns and make personal appearances for purposes of paragraphs (5) through (7).

“(5) Provide guidance and leadership for activities to promote the public health, including encouraging nurses and other health professionals to be volunteers and developing projects that educate the public about and engage the public in prevention practices to achieve better health.

“(6) Provide guidance and leadership to encourage nurses to engage in furthering their education in order to conduct nursing research, increase the awareness of evidence-based practice, and educate future nurses.

“(7) Provide guidance and leadership for activities that will increase public safety and emergency preparedness,” and

Whereas, the National Nurse for Public Health will act to raise awareness of health issues, encourage volunteerism of nurses and other individuals, strengthen the relationship between government agencies and health-related national organizations, and participate in the identification of health priorities, thus raising the status and drawing attention to the importance of the nursing profession, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly urges Congress to support H.R. 485, known as “The National Nurse Act of 2013,” or similar legislation, designating the Chief Nurse Officer of the U.S. Public Health Service as the National Nurse for Public Health, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation.

The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Monday, April 14, 2014  

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