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Sponsor of HR 379 in the 114th Congress:
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson TX-30
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Thank you to Jamie Davis RN, NRP, BACFO, MedicCast Productions, LLC for featuring Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE in a special podcast for National Nurses Week. By doing so, Jamie was able to provide an audience of nurses with an update on The National Nurse Act of 2015 (H.R. 379). This eleven minute YouTube video accurately describes the current legislation, including revisions made from the bill in the 113th Congress, and what supporters are doing to promote it on Capitol Hill and beyond. Also included are ways for listeners to take action and get involved. Please listen and share widely on your own social media outlets. This is a great way to educate others about why this bill is needed.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Honoring National Nurses Day, Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) today introduced the bipartisan National Nurse Act of 2015, legislation that would elevate the role of nurses in America’s public health by designating a National Nurse for Public Health.
The National Nurse position would be created by transforming and elevating an existing position within the U.S. Public Health Service, the Chief Nurse Officer. Similarly to the Surgeon General, the National Nurse for Public Health would help raise awareness among the American public about disease prevention and healthy living. The position would provide a publicly-visible nurse leader who would collaborate with other health care leaders to address health disparities and set goals for improved public health.
“As the husband of a nurse, I know first hand the hard work that nurses put into caring for their patients and helping them live healthy lives. As we celebrate National Nurses Day, it is important to recognize the essential role of nurses in our health care system. It’s time we had a National Nurse for Public Health who is empowered to act as a national leader in improving our public health.”—Senator Merkley
“Nurses play vital role in the healthcare industry and the overall health and well-being of our communities. The designation of a National Nurse for Public Health will not only create more awareness about the important services nurses provide, it will lead to a healthier society. I am proud to join Senator Merkley to introduce this bipartisan legislation recognizing the compassion, commitment and contributions of our hard-working nurses,”—Senator Capito
Nurses represent the largest single component of the health care profession with approximately 3,100,000 registered nurses. With a National Nurse for Public Health providing a uniting voice and national leadership, American nurses’ power to transform their patients’ lives and to improve public health outcomes would be even greater.
Chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and obesity pose the single greatest threat to the health of Americans and a serious threat to our nation's economy. Nurses provide key services for the prevention and management of these conditions. The National Nurse for Public Health will promote prevention, help improve outcomes, and guide national, state and local efforts in addressing the nation's health.
The National Nurse Act provides an opportunity to:
National Nurses Week (May 6-12th) is held each year to celebrate nursing and the many contributions that nurses make each day to promote the health and well being of society. Thank you to these supportive members of Congress for taking the opportunity to personally commemorate Nurses Week.
“Nurses heal us when we’re sick, comfort us when we’re afraid, and provide high-quality care to all. I am proud to support our nurses, and I will continue to support policies that allow them to practice to the full scope of their licensure and work in a safe environment.”
“Nurses are an essential part of our health care system. As we continue to place greater value on prevention, nurses will play a greater role in care. I am proud to support the National Nurse Act (H.R. 379), common sense legislation that will create a National Nurse for Public Health. This position will enhance the role of nurses in promoting healthy living, managing chronic conditions, and preventing illnesses in their communities.”
“My Northern Missouri district covers 36 counties – the majority of which are rural and significantly underserved by the medical community. Without the dedication and expertise of nurses across our communities, hundreds of thousands of my constituents would be at serious risk anytime a medical emergency struck. Dangerous shortages like these led me to introduce the Veterans’ Access to Quality Care Act (HR 1472), which will allow advanced and experienced nurses to independently care for veterans across the country.”
“During National Nurses Week, we must recognize and celebrate the nursing profession. Whether in a hospital, school, nursing home, industry, or any other care setting, nurses are the glue that holds health professionals and patients together. For this reason, I reintroduced the National Nurse Act (H.R. 379) in the 114th Congress in order to make the existing Chief Nurse Officer within the United States Public Health Service a visible, vocal, and focused nurse leader by giving her a dual title of ‘National Nurse for Public Health.’ I firmly believe that a nurse leader would help to reduce health disparities, increase health literacy, and bring health promotion to the forefront. At a time when chronic and avoidable diseases plague our healthcare system and cost our taxpayers billions of dollars each year, and especially during National Nurses Week, we must turn our focus to health prevention.”
“Nurses play a vital role in the prevention and management of chronic diseases. In honor of National Nursing Week, I express my commitment to passage of the National Nurse Act, common-sense legislation to designate the Chief Nurse Officer of the U.S. Public Health Service as the National Nurse for Public Health and demonstrate a commitment toward improving America’s health outcomes.”
“National Nurses Week highlights the dedicated service of nurses across the country. Every day, but especially during National Nurses Week, we thank and celebrate nurses, their selfless devotion to their patients and their commitment to delivering high quality care. Patients and their loved ones value their strong commitment, compassion and care and the professionalism displayed in times of need. Thank you to the nurses who serve our Nation.”
“From our biggest cities to our most rural communities, America’s nurses provide tireless, compassionate care to those in need. On National Nurses Week, I want to thank our nurses for the crucial role they play in delivering high-quality care to patients and their dedication to the betterment of public health.”
This year’s theme for National Nurses Week is “Ethical Practice, Quality Care”. Please help support H.R. 379, The National Nurse Act of 2015 by purchasing a button, mug, or bumper-sticker at Café Press.
Even though just a small amount of proceeds from sales of merchandise purchased go towards establishing a National Nurse for Public Health, this is a great way to let others know about the campaign and celebrate Nurses Week!
One of the most direct ways of impacting an elected official’s viewpoints is through a letter writing campaign, particularly if this communication comes directly from their constituents. Government officials, particularly legislators, are becoming increasingly responsive and rely on your feedback in their decision making process. The more letters they receive on a particular issue, the more important this matter becomes.
This has been the case with the campaign for a National Nurse for Public Health. Recently, leaders and advocacy team members have received feedback that their letters were received.
Rep. Peter Welch (VT) wrote to NNNO Advocacy Team Member June Schulte, “You do the hard work. Thank you. Glad to co-sponsor H.R. 379”.
A supporter from Menlo Park received a personal letter from Rep. Anna Eshoo (CA) who said, “Thank you for taking the time to contact me about H.R. 379, the National Nurse Act of 2015. I welcome your thoughts on this legislation and I appreciate you meeting with my staff in the past. Once again, I’m proud to co sponsor this legislation. H.R. 379 has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which I’m a member of. I will continue to do everything I can to see that this important bill is signed into law.”
Rep. Greg Walden (OR) thanked NFN President Stephen Rooney saying, “Thank you Thank you for contacting me about the National Nurse Act of 2015 (H.R. 379). I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this issue. I am proud to be a co-sponsor of this common sense legislation. H.R. 379 was referred to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health. I am not a member of this subcommittee but will fully support this legislation should it come before me in the full Energy and Commerce Committee or in the full U.S. House.”
The National Nursing Network Organization (NNNO) has put together several template letters that can be easily edited to send off to your U.S. Representative and Senators. Below is an example, but please do email the NNNO Board for tips and suggestions, as well as an email address that is best to send your letter to. We are here to help!
I want to begin by thanking Representative ______ for his/her leadership and service on behalf of his constituents here in (Your City). I am the (one sentence about yourself). I am writing today to request co sponsorship for HR 379, The National Nurse Act of 2015, legislation that is very important to nurses in (Your State) and the health of our state. I have been involved for decades in the struggle to improve health and reducing costs to our healthcare system by promoting preventive care. I believe the National Nurse Act of 2015 would be an important step forward in that effort.
We know that nurses are the most trusted and respected healthcare providers in America. By designating the existing position of the Chief Nurse Officer as the National Nurse for Public Health, we would be taking advantage of that status to help focus attention and educate the public on how to improve their health status. We would also be elevating the profession of nursing at a moment when the role of nurses in the healthcare system is becoming increasingly important.
As a national advocate for nursing actions to champion public health in our communities, a key role of the National Nurse for Public Health would be to encourage nurses and all health professionals to work within successful health promotion programs, increasing public safety and emergency preparedness.
I hope that Representative ______ agrees to the importance of H.R. 379 and will soon sign on as a co-sponsor.
Thank you for your assistance and I look forward to your response.