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January 30, 2015
The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson
U.S. House of Representatives
2468 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington DC 20515
The Honorable Pete King
US House of Representatives
339 Cannon House Office Building
Washington DC 20515
Dear Representatives Johnson and King:
On behalf of the more than thirty-five thousand Registered Nurses of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Nurse Alliance of California, thank you for co- introducing the National Nurse Act of 2015 (H.R. 379). Designating the current Chief Nurse Officer of the Public Health Service as the National Nurse for Public Health would strengthen efforts by nurses in every community to assist in initiating a nationwide shift to prevention to yield improved health outcomes. The National Nurse for Public Health’s support for the Surgeon General’s focus on prevention, developing nurses as community health advocates, and promoting professional nursing is key to the role nursing plays in our nation’s healthcare infrastructure.
The National Nurse Act of 2015 is of particular significance to our 35,000 Registered Nurses who work in multiple care settings, including public health nursing. The members of the Nurse Alliance Steering Committee, the governing body of SEIU’s Nurse Alliance of California, unanimously support this legislation.
Our nurses are on the front lines of our healthcare system. There is a projection of severe nursing shortages in our country that is expected to continue. By elevating the contributions of nurses and enhancing nursing recruitment and education throughout all communities, the National Nurse for Public Health would help address this crisis.
The U.S. currently ranks 19th worldwide in preventable deaths, and current estimates predict a 42% increase in 7 chronic diseases. By promoting health awareness, increasing health literacy, and reducing health disparities, the National Nurse for Public Health would plan an important role in improving our nation’s health.
SEIU Nurse Alliance of California commends you for your leadership and urges other Members of Congress to co sponsor this important legislation.
Ingela A. Dahlgren RN
Executive Director, SEIU Nurse Alliance of California