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The National Nursing Network Organization was recently highlighted in a public policy interview “Meet the Leaders: Interviews with Clinicians Acting in Policy” hosted by Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) – ElevatingHome. The broadcast features the work of Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and NNNO President Teri Mills, MS, RN, CNE-Retired in a policy dialogue that underscores the critical role of nurses in public health.
Check out this engaging webinar and share with it with your colleagues and peers.
As the first registered nurse elected to Congress, Representative Johnson notes “The nurse’s place is to make sure that they have input on the policy that affects them or any patient. Her work as a nurse and public servant has led Representative Johnson to cosponsor the National Nurse Act of 2019 – H.R. 1597, S. 696 . Representative Johnson notes that the National Nurse Act offers the perfect outlet for strengthening the voice of nurses in public policy.
Reiterating the critical need for the bill, NNNO President Teri Mills sites the growing prevalence and burden of health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, mental health illness, opioid usage, measles outbreaks, and the ever growing e-cigarette epidemic in America today. There is well documented evidence that shows there is unequal burden across racial and economic lines. These types of preventable conditions are only expected to rise, with accompanying astronomical costs.
America’s health remains in crisis. Fortunately, nurses are well positioned to improve our nation’s well-being through prevention. The National Nurse Act seeks to designate the Chief Nurse Officer (CNO) of the U.S. Public Health Service as the National Nurse for Public Health to elevate the role of nursing in leading health promotion and prevention. With 4 million members, the nursing profession is the largest segment of the nation’s healthcare workforce; nurses outnumber physicians by more than four-to-one. Public polls have ranked nurses in first place for trust and ethics for seventeen consecutive years. When nurses speak, the public listens. Nurses are skilled at assessing needs and encouraging behaviors that promote health and slow disease progression. Many nurses are bilingual and bicultural, and able to translate medical jargon into culturally sensitive messages that can be better understood. This will improve health literacy and reduce health disparities at the same time. Nurses are familiar with existing resources, and can encourage collaborative partnerships with other healthcare disciplines, public health departments, and community based organizations.
But the most important reason that nurses are prepared to lead is that health promotion and prevention is the cornerstone of every nurses practice regardless of their specialty or practice setting.
Join Representative Johnson, VNAA and nurses across the nation in support of a National Nurse for Public Health today. Visit the National Nursing Network Organization's website for simple ways to join the movement.