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Thank you to Senator Jeff Merkley (OR-D) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (WV-R) for introducing S. 1106 The National Nurse Act of 2017on May 11, 2017. Supporters of this legislation were particularly thrilled because the timing of introduction fell during National Nurses Week!
We are excited to begin making progress for this bill in the Senate. The NNNO Board and Advocacy Team looks forward to hearing from individuals who wish to request co-sponsorship from both of their U.S. Senators. Email the Board for information.
The NNNO joins the American Nurses Association (ANA) and a host of other nursing organizations nationwide in celebrating the health and wellness of nurses during National Nurses Week from May 6–12, 2017. In recognition of 2017 as ANA's "Year of the Healthy Nurse," National Nurses Week highlights the vital role for a National Nurse for Public Health as a leader for health and wellbeing among nurses.
Annually, National Nurses Week honors the life and legacy of Florence Nightingale's around her birthday. This year, we reflect on Nightingale's foundational work by recognizing that care for others starts with self-care for nurses. The ANA provides a comprehensive National Nurses Week 2017 Toolkit for recognizing nurses and elevating self-care.
In the words of clinical psychologist Christopher Germer: "Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others." During this Nurses Week, let's stop to celebrate that the amazing, life-changing work we perform as nurses begins with cultivating joy, balance and restoration for ourselves.
Over 115 national and state organizations endorsed the National Nurse Act of 2015 and their support is expected to continue for H.R. 1651 National Nurse Act of 2017. The NNNO has contacted the Executive Director and/or President of each supporting organization, sending a copy of the new bill and the Section by Section explanation. A request was made to ask permission for the NNNO to add their organization to a new Signatory Letter addressed to Congress that reflects the current legislation.
Here are a few comments from responders who granted permission to continue support: “National Association of Directors of Nursing (NADONA) would be a proud co signer!!” Sherrie Dornberger, Executive Director and Amanda Kistler, President
“Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association (ASTNA) would be proud to help support this.” Brian Solada RN, CFRN, CMTE, ASTNA President
“American Association of Women in Community Colleges supports this important Act.” Beverly Walker-Griffea, Ph.D. AAWCC President
"Please add support for the American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination (AANAC) and the American Association of Directors of Nursing Services (AADNS), our new organization. Thanks again for your work on this important issue.” Diane Carter, RN, MSN, FAAN President and CEO
"NANDA International, Inc. is proud to be a signatory on the letter supporting the National Nurse Act of 2017.” T. Heather Herdman PhD, RN, FNI CEO/Executive Director
“OCAP (Oregon Council of Associate Degree Nursing Programs) has voted unanimously in support of the National Nurse Act of 2017. I have attached a letter officially stating this. Thank you for your tireless efforts and leadership in this effort!” Doris Jepson MSN, RN President Oregon Council of Associate Degree Nursing Programs
Although there were some minor made to H.R. 1651, all parties involved believe these revisions strengthen the bill language and will help in assuring its passage. Organizations are urged to please email the NNNO Board to receive a copy of the signatory letter if you are interested in supporting The National Nurse Act of 2017. We find when organizations take the time to review and study the legislation they overwhelmingly decide to endorse it.
Here are some additional ways organizations are leading the way to promote the National Nurse Act of 2017:
The Case Management Society of America (CMSA) has retained this bill as one of their top issues to pass in the 115th Congress. Recently NNNO President Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE provided an update in a policy focused webinar that all members were invited to. Thank you to Pat Noonan, CMSA Public Policy Chair, who sent a take action email to all regional leaders urging them to reach out to chapter members asking them to call and write to U.S. Representatives urging them to co sponsor the National Nurse Act of 2017.
Also, thank you to the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses who put at an “all hands on deck” to their Illinois state group, also asking for calls and emails be sent to the Illinois Congressional Delegation.
Special gratitude to the Association for Radiologic and Imaging Nursing, another endorsing body, requested a synopsis of the National Nurse Act with a theme of legislative action. It is found on Page 13 of the ARIN March Newsletter.
Thank you also to Jeffery Smith, M.P.P. Vice President, Public Policy AMIA - Informatics Professionals for requesting a timeline for introduction of the National Nurse Act of 2017 so as not to miss an opportunity to make a splash with this in their press when the bill was dropped.
All of these actions help to make a tremendous difference in this grassroots, all volunteer campaign.