H.R. 3679 The Office of the National Nurse

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H.R. 3679 The Office of the National Nurse

Is your rep onboard?

By Elizabeth Hanink, RN, BSN, PHN
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It has been a long haul, but the National Nurse effort continues with the recent introduction of H.R. 3679 by Rep. Eddie Johnson (D-Texas). So far, 24 congressmen have signed on as co-sponsors. Also known as the National Nurse Act of 2011, H.R. 3679 would amend the Public Service Act to create the new position of National Nurse for Public Health.

Is Your Rep Onboard?

Representatives listed as co-sponsors include Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Eleanor Norton (D-D.C.), Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), Earl Blumenauer (D-Wash.), Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), John Olver (D-Mass.), Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Peter Defazio (D-Ore.) and Ben Lujan (D-N.M.). The legislations now resides in the House Energy and Commerce-Health subcommittee.

The bill would elevate the Chief Nurse Officer to a full-time leadership position that will address national priorities of health promotion and disease prevention. Major efforts would be directed at improving health literacy and decreasing health disparities in America.     Proponents also claim that the new position would more accurately represent nursing leadership and promote greater public awareness of the many roles nurses fulfill in protecting the public health.

An Ounce of Prevention

Elizabeth McPhee, RN, is a board member of the National Nursing Network Organization. She says, “the Gallup Poll indicates year after year that Americans listen to nurses about their health.” She feels that nurses have a special role to play in moving the healthcare focus from crisis treatment to prevention. “Chronic preventable conditions are occurring at astronomical rates,” she notes.

Previous bills have not made it to the full House, but the fight continues.

This article is from workingnurse.com.

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