Sponsor of H.R. 1651 in the 115th Congress:
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson TX-30
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H.R. 1651 National Nurse Act of 2017 Moving Forward
Thank you to these original co sponsors who agreed to be listed in the actual text of the bill at the time of introduction, providing an extra boost of validation as to the importance of this legislation:
In addition we say thank you to the following members who are now co sponsoring H.R. 1651:
The success of the National Nurse Act depends on supporters and key stakeholders including the readers of this newsletter. Several nurses have already had person-to-person visits with their own elected officials to encourage their co sponsorship for H.R.
Rep. King was very touched when these nurse practitioner leaders thanked him for his support of the National Nurse Act. He told them this was something that we need to do!
Also stopping by to thank Rep. King last month was Melody Butler, the Executive Director and Founder of Nurses Who Vaccinate, a supporting organization for the National Nurse Act.
Congressman McKinley signed on as an original co-sponsor to H.R. 1651. It is great to have his support!
Take Five!! Each of you can make a difference in helping to pass H.R. 1651 National Nurse Act of 2017. Take 5 minutes to call or write to your elected Representative this week.
You can do this very easily by visiting the Take Action link on the National Nurse website. There is a great deal of helpful information to ensure your success. Please urge your elected member of Congress to sign on as a co-sponsor to H.R. 1651. The more calls, letters, and emails the elected officials receive from their own constituents, the more likely they are to join the growing list of co-sponsors.
If you are interested in making a personal appointment at your U.S. Representative’s district office please contact the NNNO Board for handouts and advice.
Written By Kathy Quan BSN, RN, PHN (and posted with permission)
Nurses were once again voted the Most Trusted Professionals in the 2016 Gallup Poll. This marked the 15th year in a row that nurses have topped the list. It’s indeed an honor to call ourselves nurses and to be able to impart our knowledge on our patients to improve their quality of life and health status.
Today we face uncertainties with the new administration who promises to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act as soon as possible. We need to stand strong together in a bipartisan effort to ensure Americans continue to receive the very best health care. This starts with prevention and nurses are in a unique position to lead the way. With chronic conditions on the rise that continue to bankrupt our federal and personal healthcare dollars, educating patients about their life style, health issues, chronic illness conditions and how to PREVENT complications become even more important today.
Nurses Advance Wellness As nurses we have long been charged with the responsibility of patient education. Now more than ever before we need to advocate for our patients, ourselves and the health status of our country. The American Nurses Association too recognizes the important role nurses serve in advancing wellness and at the beginning of 2017 kicked off its “Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation” campaign. The vision is to create a healthier nation by maintaining the well being of America’s 3.6 million nurses.
Dream Becomes Grass Roots Effort In 2005, a nurse educator and patient advocate from Oregon named Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE had a dream and wrote an Op-ed in the New York Times calling for unification of the nursing profession in America with a National Nurse. In early 2015, the National Nurse Act (HR 379) was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson (a nurse) (D-TX) and Peter King (R-NY). The Senate companion bill (S 1205) was co-led by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). The beauty of this non-controversial legislation is that it required NO additional funding for implementation.
The National Nurse Act of 2015 received strong bi-partisan co-sponsor support from 97 Representatives and 5 Senators in addition to 119 nursing organizations including the American Nurses Association, the National Federation of Nurses, and the Federation of Healthcare Professionals. Five state legislative bodies (MA, OR, NJ, NY and VT) overwhelmingly passed resolutions urging Congress to enact this bill.
H.R. 1651 The National Nurse Act of 2017 Introduced Twelve years later the legislation that grew from that grass roots effort known as H.R. 1651 The National Nurse Act of 2017 was reintroduced to the 2017 Congress. This legislation designates the Chief Nurse Officer of the U.S. Public Health Service as the National Nurse for Public Health to raise visibility and increase public and nursing support for health promotion and disease prevention.
The CNO/National Nurse for Public Health would:
1. Function alongside of the Surgeon General and focus on priorities of promoting health, improving health literacy, and decreasing health disparities
2. Serve as a visible national spokesperson for engaging nurses in Leadership, Policy and Prevention efforts
3. Encourage health professionals work and/or volunteer with community programs to improve health
4. Provide guidance and leadership for activities that will increase public safety and emergency preparedness
The National Nurse Act of 2015 came very close to passing. It is hoped 2017 will be year it passes so that the office of the Chief Nursing Officer/National Nurse for Public Health will be better able to guide the nursing profession in promoting, protecting and advancing the nation’s health.
YOU Can Help A small action on your part can go a long way in helping to bring the National Nurse Act to fruition. Please take a moment to contact your elected officials and request that they sign on NOW to support and co sponsor HR 1651. To create the change we want and need, it is imperative that nurses stand together to advocate for health promotion and prevention via a National Nurse for Public Health.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 21, 2017
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson Releases Statement After Introducing National Nurse Act of 2017
Washington D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Johnson introduced the National Nurse Act of 2017, which would designate the Chief Nurse Officer position of the U.S. Public Health Service as “The National Nurse for Public Health.” Congresswoman Johnson released the following statement describing the importance of the bill:
“The National Nurse Act of 2017 is a common-sense, cost-effective way to improve the health and wellness of all Americans. As a registered non-practicing nurse whose political career began in nursing, I know firsthand how national policy can sometimes fail or inhibit nurses working in the field,” said Congresswoman Johnson. “Therefore, establishing a National Nurse, who would work alongside the Surgeon General, would help advocate for nurses and in turn advance health care for the many Americans who see nurses every day.”
“The National Nurse could focus on the important issues of health promotion, improving health literacy, and decreasing health disparities. Nurses play a critical role in the prevention and management of our nation’s deadliest conditions like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and opioid addiction. It is my firm belief that establishing a National Nurse for Public Health in America would save so many lives- it is a shame that we have not done so already.”
Key Responsibilities of the National Nurse:
U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson is the ranking member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. In addition to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, she is also a current member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. She has served on this committee since being elected to Congress in 1992 making her the highest- ranking Texan on the committee. As a longtime advocate for improved psychiatric treatment, Congresswoman Johnson co-lead and co-authored H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015, provisions of which were included in the 21st Century Cures Act that was signed into law in December of 2016.
A link to the National Nurse Act of 2017 will be posted at http://nationalnurse.org as soon as this is available. If you would like to receive a copy of the final draft of The National Nurse Act of 2017, please email the NNNO Board.
NNNO President Teri Mills MS, CNE, RN and Vice President Elizabeth McPhee, RN are excited to share the National Nurse Act at the 27th Annual Medical-Surgical Nursing Conference April 7th, 2017 in San Francisco. They will be delivering closing remarks entitled “A National Nurse for Public Health – Trusted Leadership for a Healthier America.” The conference draws participants nationally and internationally.
Are you looking for a speaker at a conference or event? Members of the National Nursing Network organization are available to deliver keynote addresses or present at conferences to share the vital and timely role of a National Nurse for Public Health. For more information, please contact the NNNO Board.
The National Nursing Network Organization (NNNO) would like to honor Alisa Schneider PhD, MS, RN, a founding member of the NNNO, for her leadership and vision. Alisa recently stepped down from her role as NNNO Vice President after greater than 12 years of visionary leadership. Alisa’s countless hours of work engaging in advocacy, education, lobbying and research have shaped the NNNO. Alisa helped to build the strong, grassroots organization that endures today.
Congratulations to Elizabeth (Liz) McPhee RN, who will transition from the Board to become Vice President of the NNNO. Liz has been actively involved with the NNNO and National Nurse campaign since her student days at Portland Community College (PCC) when she served as President of the PCC NSNA Chapter. Liz has presented the bill during two Congressional Briefings on Capitol Hill; she has been instrumental in the day-to-day operations of the NNNO; and she has authored multiple publications on the legislation.
The NNNO would also like to recognize the valuable contributions of Terri Polick RN, also a founding member of the organization who served on the Executive Board for 10 years before transitioning to the Advocacy Team. Terri has been a passionate advocate and formative member of NNNO. Terri’s skillful writing and persuasive community engagement helped to build and grow the organization. Many thanks to Terri for her leadership and support.
Sadly in 2016 we lost two of our beloved members of the Advocacy team. Sally Jean Cadman DNP from New Hampshire first wrote to us in February 2010. She had chosen the National Nurse Act as the topic for her health policy paper and just a few short months after initially contacting the NNNO, eagerly joined the team. She advocated strongly for the National Nurse Act until her death on May 30, 2016. Our sincere condolences go out to her family and friends.
Also, NNNO Advocacy team member State Representative Marcia Moody of New Hampshire passed away on May 25, 2016. Rep. Moody’s contributions were endless in her efforts to bring the National Nurse Act to fruition. She was a trusted confidante, with a great deal of experience in the political arena. Rep. Moody spoke at conferences and political gatherings about the bill and she traveled to Washington DC over a dozen times to meet with Congressional members. We all miss her presence tremendously.
The National Nursing Network Organization is excited to welcome Holly Herrera BSN, RN as a new executive board member. With a background in primary care and HIV nursing, Holly resides in Oregon and has a passion for public health, education and organizational leadership. She currently works as Lead RN at a large university-affiliated federally qualified health center. She has experienced the vital role that nurses play in helping to manage chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart failure, and is excited to support a National Nurse for Public Health to improve the well-being of our nation.
Also, joining the NNNO Advocacy Team is Joan Westgor MSN, RN, CCM from Texas. Joan serves on the Alamo Chapter Case Management Society of America (CMSA) Board Member and Public Policy Chair. She is a chapter liaison to CMSA National Public Policy Committee and also is on the Advisory Board of The Patient Institute in San Antonio, Texas.