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Each of us has our own way of defining success. Some say the measures of success are the criteria that we believe show the impact of our work.hese can be quantifiable or qualitative, but they are observable in some way. Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success”.
Left to right: RADM Sylvia Trent-Adams (Chief Nurse Officer USPHS) and Katie Hall MSN, RNBC (NNNO Board Director)
There have been significant highlights and accomplishments in 2014. Chronologically, these began in the first month of the year when the NNNO was invited by leaders within the U.S. Public Health Service to attend the Change of Command Ceremony for the Chief Nurse Officer. Special thanks to Ruth Blevins RN, Executive Director of the WV State Nurses Association and Katie Hall MSN, RNBC who attended this memorable event and witnessed RADM Sylvia Trent-Adams succeed RADM Kerry Nesseler. RADM Trent-Adams is the nation’s 10th Chief Nurse Officer.
February was a particularly significant month. Under the leadership of New Jersey State Senator Shirley K. Turner, SR16, a Senate resolution urging the United States Congress to enact The National Nurse Act of 2013 overwhelmingly passed. This resolution was then introduced into the New Jersey State Assembly and it too passed on May 8th, just in time for National Nurses Week.
New Jersey joins the State Houses of Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Vermont who have also passed similar resolutions. Special thanks to NNNO Advocacy Team members Audrey Bayer, BSN, RN, PCCN-C and Leslie Leonard, BSN, RN (Immediate Past President Greater Passaic Valley Public Health Nurses Association) who brought the idea to her attention and provided testimony to ensure passage.
Also in February Advocacy Team members and key supporters traveled to Washington DC to attend a Congressional Briefing on H.R. 485 The National Nurse Act of 2013 hosted by the Office of Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson and the National Nursing Network Organization. NNNO President Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE and NNNO Director Elizabeth (Liz) McPhee RN were the featured presenters. The briefing was reported in Medscape for Nurses. Author Laura Stokowski MS, RN reviewed comments made by McPhee who incorporated the theme, “America is the patient and the patient is in critical condition. McPhee stressed that chronic preventable conditions, poor health literacy, and continued health disparities must be addressed. Nurses: Your Patient is America also provides a synopsis of the legislation and concludes with thoughts on whether the bill will succeed.
The National Nurse website continues to be highly touted as a top nursing blog. Throughout 2014, many groups within the nursing community have recognized this website as an important source for health promotion and disease prevention news and have chosen to include a link on their own web pages.
Nurses clearly led the way advocating for the National Nurse Act of 2013 during National Nurses Week, May 6th-12th. Thank you to Nursetogether.com and reporter Katie Morales for writing a story, Nurses Leading the Way: Then and Now, that was republished in August as Reasons Why We Need a National Nurse. Morales writes, “As modern nurses, we have big shoes to fill. We have a responsibility to follow in the footsteps of our nursing pioneers and an opportunity to lead the way in this historic movement.”
Thank you to Barbara C. Phillips and Dr. Johnetta Miner, PhD, RN, NP, AHN-BC for including podcasts about The National Act on their shows. The Health Practitioner and Sage Clinician interviews provide useful and informative facts about the legislation as well as ways listeners can get involved and make a difference.
Members of the NNNO Board and Advocacy Team returned to Washington DC in September. Often they are joined by members of other nursing organizations who are also stepping up and partnering with the NNNO to secure passage of the National Nurse Act of 2013. On September 10, 2014, the Case Management Society of America (CMSA) Leadership, Board of Directors, and Public Policy Committee, along with nearly 60 members of the CMSA case management community from various states across the country, met once again on Capitol Hill with House and Senate members of Congress. In addition to advocating for the National Nurse Act, CMSA delivered an important message regarding the critical value professional case managers add to the health care system to ensure safe transitions and quality, efficient care for the populations being served across the health care continuum.
Pictured Left to Right: Elizabeth McPhee RN (NNNO Board Director); Shevaun German BSN, RN (NNNO Advocacy Team); and Representative Pete King (NY-2)
Also during their September trip, the NNNO had the privilege of having face-to-face meetings with Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30) and Pete King (NY-2), the sponsors of the H.R. 485, The National Nurse Act of 2013. Additionally, it was an honor to meet with Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak, RADM Sylvia Trent-Adams (Chief Nurse Officer), and LT Chandra E. Jolley (Special Assistant to the CNO) to gain further perspective on the U.S. Public Health Service.
Thank you to Theresa Brown, nurse and author, for her provocative op/ed, Ebola will elevate respect for nurses that was published in October on CNN. Brown writes, “Nurses' work is often under-recognized. But one way that the health care community could solidify nurses' integral role would be to pass the "National Nurse Act of 2013." This bill establishes the position of a "National Nurse" who would work with and complement the surgeon general in public health campaigns, including Ebola transmission, the need for flu shots, or worries about enterovirus.
For our patients and our system to be as healthy as possible, nurses need to take that chair we're now allowed to always sit in, and be welcomed with everyone else at the health care table.”
Pictured: Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE (President NNNO)
Also in October, Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE was recognized by The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (TANNA) for the work being done to designate the Chief Nurse Officer of the USPHS as the National Nurse for Public Health. Teri was chosen as the recipient of TAANA’s Humanitarian Award for 2014.