National Nurse for Public Health

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National Nurse for Public Health

New bill tries (again) as the ANA signs on

By Working Nurse
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For years, many have advocated for a national nurse for public health. The goal is to bring more visibility to the critical role nursing fills in maintaining the public health. A bill recently introduced in the House of Representatives seeks to continue that effort.

H.R. 379

The new bill, H.R. 379, is sponsored by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, RN, BSN, MPA (D-Texas), who currently is the ranking member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, and is herself a nurse.

The bill, entitled the National Nurse Act of 2015, would designate the chief nurse officer of the Public Health Service as the national nurse for public health. This nurse leader would function alongside the surgeon general and focus on the priorities of health promotion, improving health literacy and decreasing health disparities.

Organizations Say Yes

In the past, several national nursing organizations, including the ANA, have opposed similar measures. However, H.R. 379 is winning the support of major organizations, including the ANA.

“There is overwhelming evidence supporting the critical need to boost health promotion and prevention efforts as well as answer the public demand for increased leadership in nursing,” says proponent Teri Mills, RN, MSN, CNE, president of the National Nursing Network Organization.

The campaign working to advance this legislation is led by an all-volunteer group of working nurses and retirees. To learn more or become involved, visit www.nationalnurse.org and follow the Take Action links. 

This article is from workingnurse.com.

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