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Archived post

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What We Are Asking For

Create an Office of the National Nurse to Advocate for, Educate and Empower American Health Care Consumers

Request: Create an Office of the National Nurse to focus on providing all Americans with preventive health care resources.
The office is necessary to acknowledge the critical role nurses play in hands-on patient care and education. The Office of the National Nurse would provide Americans with the tools to prevent disease and effectively manage chronic illness thereby reducing utilization of health care resources. The National Nurse will oversee state coordinators who will assemble nurse teams to provide screening, education and referral services in their communities.

Nurses treat people in their response to wellness, disease or injury and do this through collaboration with physicians and other health care service providers. The Office of the National Nurse will function similarly in a complementary role with the Office of the Surgeon General and other current agencies providing health care services.

Background: There are 44 million uninsured Americans and millions more are underinsured, leaving large gaps in people's access to primary and preventive care services. Americans who are insured may have limited understanding of the importance of primary or preventive health care services. Nurses know the importance of outreach and integrating patient and family education into their care for every patient. Studies demonstrate that when nurses provide early intervention, educate and work closely with patients, patients require fewer hospital and emergency care visits. (Palmer, Appleton, Rodrigues, 2003; Cherry, Moffatt, Rodriguez & Dryden, 2002) Nurses overseeing and promoting preventative care will decrease the need for hospitalizations, thereby reducing utilization of Medicare and Medicaid dollars. (Collins & Wadhwa, 2005) Ultimately, fewer nurses would be needed to provide "sick care" at the hospital or nursing home bedside, thus lessening the impact of the current nursing shortage.

Community based nurse led health services focusing on identification and early intervention have been shown to prevent unnecessary admissions to hospitals, reduce length of stay of necessary hospital admissions, and improve patients' ability to function while enjoying a higher quality of life. (Young, 2005)

There are 2.7 million nurses who work on the front lines in the United States health care system. Even though they are one of the largest groups of health care service providers in the nation, nurses hold too few positions of influence to have a national large-scale impact on the nation's health. The Office of the National Nurse integrates Nursing's Agenda for the Future (2002) as proposed by nineteen national nursing associations and organizations that call for an improvement of the image and value of the nursing profession. The activities of the Office, as well as the National Nurse, will fulfill this objective by portraying nursing as a nationally respected and valued career.

Also in Nursing's Agenda for the Future (2002)one of the objectives calls for achieving nursing's desired future state by creating "a process that provides for ongoing communication, collaboration, support and monitoring of the overall plan activities within the nursing community and among other health professions, the health care industry, and health care consumers."(p.9)

Plan: Create an Office of the National Nurse to promote and coordinate opportunities for the nation's registered nurses and licensed practical nurses to collaborate in community-based Nurse Teams. Nurse Teams will utilize the traditional nursing approach that focuses on assessing the individual's overall physical and mental state of health and working with the patient to achieve a positive outcome in accessing health services.

The Nurse Teams will be responsible for the implementation of four educational programs per year which have been identified by the National Nurse through collaboration with the Surgeon General's office and other members of the health professions, including but not limited to members of the nursing and medical professions, pharmacists, nutritionists, health educators, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, pharmaceutical companies and hospital associations.

These programs will occur nationwide simultaneously to raise awareness and increase participation. For instance, if obesity/diabetes screening is the top national health priority, then the National Nurse would direct the State Coordinators who would direct their Nursing Teams in presenting the educational program in churches, supermarkets, schools, senior centers, libraries and other accessible locations in their communities. Any licensed nurse in the country would be allowed to receive training to participate and these educational programs will be designed to reach every American instead of a targeted population.

State Nurse Teams will include nurses prepared at all educational levels and will represent diverse populations. Programs will foremost focus on keeping Americans healthy by providing education about how identify their individual wellness needs, understand how to access available health services, and how to navigate the myriad of choices to better care for themselves.

Programs will improve quality of care by helping identify the special needs of communities including but not limited to geriatric and culturally diverse populations. As members of their community, nurses are better able to identify and target the diverse needs of the patients they serve.

The Office of the National Nurse, as a center, will share and disseminate information and collect data from the Nursing Teams to assist government agencies such as the CDC with their ongoing research. The Nurse Teams will focus on educating Americans using "best practices" to improve their health while reducing costs.

Nurses identified as "experts" from the National Nurse Teams will present one health education topic to the American people each week. The expert is defined as a nurse who has the educational background and practice experience to represent the health topic information to be delivered. These weekly educational pieces will be available for broadcast and on the Internet in different languages to reach America's diverse population. The goal is to create the most massive community outreach ever conducted by nurses.


The National Nurse will serve as spokesperson, publicizing the distinct role of nursing, and encouraging nurses to become involved in grassroots activities and educating the American public about the services provided by the Office. Educating the public about nursing's pivotal role in health care will be basic to involving nurses in health care policy formulation and in key business decisions that affect nursing's future." (Nursing's Agenda for the Future, 2002, p 10)

The National Nurse will be responsible for collaborating with members of the nursing community and other health care providers to determine priorities for the National Nurse Teams' community-based programs.

The National Nurse will identify state coordinators for each of the states that will be responsible for ensuring the volunteer activity is disseminated to the grassroots level.

Through the Office of the National Nurse, nurses from around the country will sign up indicating the state they are licensed from and their willingness to serve on a Nurse Team in their community.

The National Nurse will choose an expert nurse to address the nation via a public service announcement on pertinent health care topics.

The National Nurse will actively recruit qualified individuals into the profession and encourage nurses to become nurse educators through media campaigns and public appearances.

The National Nurse will work with other interested persons and departments to promote policy that would improve the nation's health.

The Office of the National Nurse will collect data to demonstrate the success of the National Nurse Team activities.

The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Wednesday, November 16, 2005   Post only 

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Blogger listener 
Hurrah! I support National Nurses!
Anonymous Anonymous 
I completely support the idea of an Office of the National Nurse.

As Tennessee's next U.S. Senator, I will sign-on immediately to sponsor this legislation in the Senate.

We need more nurses at the forefront of national healthcare policy.

That's one of the reasons I'm running.

Find out more about my campaign at

--Rosalind Kurita,
Candidate for U.S. Senate
Anonymous Anonymous 
Why do we need another government department drawing funds from the taxpayer. We have a Surgeon General, we have tons of organizations promoting good health, we do not need another government feel good agency.

Why doesn't one of the professional associations allied with nursing take some of this on...then you can get a grant and do it on your own.
Anonymous Anonymous 
It is unfortunate to hear that we have 40 million which lack health insurance. Health coverage is a great importance to many and we need to help resolve these issues.

Archived post

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Please Sign Up For Our Newsletter

The National Nurse Team would like to encourage all website visitors to sign up to receive our newsletter. This is a way you can find out the very latest news about pending legislation, new supporters, and published articles.

For those of you new to the website, here is a short list of what the Office of the National Nurse will accomplish:

* Collaborate with members of the health care team to determine the health care agenda for America.
* Participate each week with an expert nurse to address the entire nation, not just a targeted population, on ways to prevent disease and promote health (for instance, how to have a healthy heart or strategies to prevent diabetes).
* Utilize the Internet to make the above information available in multiple languages to reach our diverse population.
* Encourage every nurse licensed in the U.S. (there are presently 2.7 million nurses) to volunteer to be a member of a National Nurse Team in their own community.
* Organize and promote four nationwide health education days per year that will be coordinated and delivered by the National Nurse Teams in every city and town across America.
* Build an infrastructure of ready available nursing teams that could assist during the time of a national disaster/epidemic.
* Give public recognition to the work nurses do every day and help stem the nursing shortage by attracting others to the profession.

The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Tuesday, November 08, 2005   Post only 

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Archived post

Friday, November 04, 2005

Be Aware and Prepared

Last Wednesday, Portland Community College nursing faculty and students participated in the Washington County Public Health preparedness exercise. The objective was to practice dispensing medications/vaccinations to community members as efficiently and quickly as possible. Should there ever be any type of communicable disease event where this action would be warranted, the public would then be notified (TV, radio, internet) with instructions of where to go to receive treatment. The county health department along with first responders ran this event. M n Ms were dispensed, either plain or peanut. Again, one wonders if real vaccinations were needed, would there be enough nurses ready in a very short period of time to help? This is another reason why we need an Office of the National Nurse, with National Nurse Team members in every community who could immediately respond to provide the best possible care to all Americans

The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Friday, November 04, 2005   Post only 

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Archived post

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Special Announcement

The National Nurse Team supports the extraordinary efforts of the Center for Nursing Advocacy in their plight to have released from prison five Bulgarian nurses and one Palestinian physician. These healthcare providers have been wrongfully accused and imprisoned. If they are not released by November 15, they face execution by firing squad. Please learn the details of this travesty and join Center for Nursing Advocacy's letter writing campaign to free these innocent victims of political pandemonium. Visit for more details.

The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Wednesday, November 02, 2005   Post only 

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