Nursing & Healthcare News
National Nurse Act of 2019
Legislation reintroduced in the House and Senate with bipartisan support
It’s back: the National Nurse Act, a bill that would create a national nurse for public health, comparable to the U.S. surgeon general.
National Nurse for Public Health
Under current law, the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) already has a chief nurse officer, who advises the Department of Health and Human Services and the surgeon general about USPHS nursing services. Since 2016, that officer has been Rear Adm. Susan Orsega, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN. If enacted, the National Nurse Act of 2019 would give Orsega and her eventual successors new responsibilities and an additional title: national nurse for public health.
As the title suggests, the role would focus on health outreach and education, including promoting evidence-based practice for disease prevention, identifying national health priorities and “encouraging nurses and other health professionals to be volunteers.”