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Monday, July 09, 2018

Action Alert – Contact Your Legislators Today

You can have a powerful impact in supporting a National Nurse for Public Health by writing a letter to your elected official to encourage their support.

The National Nurse Act now boasts 7 co-sponsors for S. 1106 and 100 co-sponsors for H.R. 1651. With National Nurses Week just around the corner, supporting this legislation is an excellent way to elevate the role of nurses in public health and disease prevention.

Further, a National Nurse for Public Health would be a helpful resource in reducing the health disparities that continue to plague our nation. Researchers discovered in 2002 that people of color are at much greater risk of developing complications from chronic health conditions and also receive care that puts them at risk. The report, “Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care” published by the Institute of Medicine, found that people of color received inadequate medication for heart disease; were less likely to receive needed surgery such as coronary bypass and transplants; and they failed to receive adequate kidney dialysis. Amputations were 3.6 times higher in black people than white with all other factors being equal. Nurses are ubiquitous and present in every community. The nursing profession continues to be recognized for being able to translate medical jargon into culturally sensitive messages. A National Nurse for Public Health would provide a uniting voice and leadership to begin reducing these shocking health disparities.

The following letter template makes reaching out to your elected official quick and easy:

Dear ______________________________(Legislator or Editor)

As a nurse, concerned about the health of our nation, I work daily with patients and members of the public who would benefit from the expertise of a National Nurse for Public Health. Congress is taking notice by supporting The National Nurse Act (H.R. 1651 and S. 1106) that will provide this unique designation to an existing nursing position, the Chief Nurse Officer (CNO) of the Public Health Service (PHS). The goal is to create a more visible identity for the CNO to lead improvements in Americans’ health and raise the profile of the entire USPHS.

Why is this action critically important? Chronic diseases, many which are preventable, are the most prevalent of all health problems. As the nation grapples with an opioid epidemic and escalating rates a mental illness, nursing leadership is critical. The potential of the nursing workforce to improve our nation’s health is too great a resource to waste. Nurses are more trusted and spend more time with patients than any other healthcare provider. Year after year, Gallup polls affirm that Americans respect and listen to nurses on health issues. The National Nurse Act of 2017 will highlight and expand nurses’ important roles and will maximize contributions that nurses can make daily to promote wellness and disease prevention. May 6-12th is National Nurses Week. The theme this year is “Nurses: Inspire, Innovate, Influence.”

There is no better time to validate the contributions of nurses, provide respect and express genuine appreciation for our valuable nursing workforce. I hope you feel the same and will sign up to co-sponsor this important legislation.

Thank you for your consideration.

For additional tips on how to locate your legislator, communicate with an elected official and engage in grassroots activism, please visit the National Nursing Network Organization’s Take Action link.

The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Monday, July 09, 2018   Post only 

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