National Nurse Act of 2013

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I support this bill and encourage you to do the same. It is a powerful opportunity to promote and facilitate what nurses do best: health education and promotion, wellness coaching, and chronic disease management and prevention.

Contact your politicians and encourage them to support the bill. Let your voice be heard.

National Nurse Act of 2013


Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE  503-320-2385

Robin Kimmel BSN, RN  503-648-5212

H.R. 485-National Nurse Act of 2013 Gaining Traction In Congress

Nurses across the country continue their quest to slow rates of chronic disease and thus reduce Medicare and Medicaid costs. Their solution: Involve more nurses in PREVENTION through a visible prominent nurse leader. Legislation is now in both chambers of Congress that will designate an existing position, the Chief Nurse Officer of the U.S. Public Health Service, as the National Nurse for Public Health. This action will provide more impetus to promote the Medical Reserve Corps, strengthen existing public health infrastructure, and mobilize available resources of willing nurses and other healthcare workers within each community to deliver and reinforce messages of disease prevention.

Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Peter King (R-NY)  began the effort on February 4, 2013, introducing H.R. 485 The National Nurse Act of 2013. Already, H.R. 485 has garnered bipartisan support from 85 members, prompting Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) to introduce a companion bill, S. 1475 in the Senate on August 1, 2013.  Merkley established the Senate Nursing Caucus in 2010 to provide a forum for senators to advance the important role of nurses in the delivery of high quality healthcare.

As a national advocate for nursing actions to champion public health in all communities, the National Nurse for Public Health would collaborate with the Office of the Surgeon General to identify and address national health priorities; serve as a visible national spokesperson for engaging nurses in leadership, policy, and prevention efforts; and encourage health professionals to work with their local community programs to improve health.

Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE, Portland Community College Nurse Educator who serves as the President of the National Nursing Network Organization (NNNO) states, “We are delighted to have support from both chambers of Congress, and because this legislation does not require any appropriation of funds, we hope members will agree to pass this bill soon. As Congress and the President continue to tackle the country’s budget crisis, it would be wise to consider the financial impact that the seven most common chronic diseases have on our economy.

Diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, and underlying causes such as obesity and tobacco use, affect more than 130 million Americans and contribute greatly to our out-of-control healthcare costs. According to the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, these conditions cost more than $1 trillion a year, and if there is no change, could balloon to nearly $6 trillion by 2050. Preventable and highly manageable chronic diseases account for 75 cents of every dollar we spend on healthcare in the U.S, every day, every year. Even more daunting, chronic disease costs consumers more than 90 cents of every dollar spent on Medicare and Medicaid. In contrast, the U.S. spends less than 5 cents on prevention.

NNNO Advocacy Team Member Robin Kimmel BSN, RN states,  “The quandaries of obesity, healthcare illiteracy, and unhealthy life styles will not solve themselves.  It is time for nurses to have support from a National Nurse for Public Health who will be a full time, publicly recognized nursing leader who represents and empowers nurses on a national level.

For more information and for a list of the 137 endorsers, visit or email the National Nursing Network Organization’s Board of Directors: teri @ nationalnurse . org.

17 thoughts on “National Nurse Act of 2013”

  1. Nurses are such an important part of providing healthcare. They are the hands on, frontline, dose of reality the healthcare professionals need to protect our communities. Let’s empower them to empower the rest of us!!!! Support the National Nurses Act of 2013!!! Call today!!!

  2. Paula Mulqueen RN

    As a nurse, I understand the need for public education as it relates to the prevention of disease and the promotion of wellness. To promote and support this process having a visible prominent nurse leader is imperative.
    I encourage all nurses to act now and become familiar with and support the National Nurses Act 2013. The General Court in the state of Massachusetts, under the leadership of Rep. Christine Canavan, overwhelmingly passed a resolution urging Congress to enact this legislation.
    Nurses, this is our opportunity to support and promote legislation that will impact the positive promotion of health and wellness. How exciting it will be to have National Nurse for Public Health!
    Please act now.

  3. Ellen Biglin Hufnell

    Nursing CAN NOT be placed on the background of healthcare! This bill will make our presence and visibility obvious in the healthcare arena as a voice for the patients, the families and the communities we care for!

  4. This is an important step forward for the health and wellbeing of our country. PLEASE support in any way you can.

  5. This bill represents a needed change in the direction of healthcare policy and implementation, as well as the nursing profession. It is widely known that chronic disease is an incredible healthcare burden which must be lessened through health promotion and disease prevention. As a member of the Oregon Nurses Association, I am extremely pleased at the action taken at the 2012 House of Delegates meeting, to unanimously support this bill.

  6. Thanks Donna for promoting this worthy bill. You say it so concisely. Supporting what nurses do best: educate and collaborate to maintain healthy productive lives. Let’s make 2014 the Year of the National Nurse!

  7. I support this bill and encourage everyone to contact their Senators and Representatives. I first learned of this effort two years in a legislative health policy class while working on my Master degree. I am encouraged that it is making such progress this year. A National Nurse is needed to help guide the upcoming changes in America’s health care system.

  8. As a RN who works on an acute care mental health unit, I fully support this bill as I see first hand the high prevelance of chronic preventable illness. Chronic preventable physical illness all too often go under treated in the mentally ill for many reasons. A National Nurse will engage and lead nurses nationwide in organizing, implementing, and advocating for programs of wellness, disease management and prevention in our communities. A National Nurse will raise awareness of preventative measures that can be taken, decrease health disparities, as well as increase visibility and recognition of the invaluble role we fill as nurses.

  9. As a mother of five and grandmother of four, I have seen many times first hand that nurses are the front line of healthcare. As a former chaplain in a medical center, I have seen people turn to nurses for help and information when they feel most vulnerable, as nurses are the most trusted of healthcare professionals. As we work to improve healthcare in our country, we certainly must to all we can to support nurses, highlight their efforts to educate the people about prevention, as well as to prepare nurses for any future epidemics, etc.
    I believe that a National Nurse would best highlight the vital role of nurses in ways visible to the average citizen. I have been following this legislation since its conception and ask those in Congress to pass this now! Thanks so much!

  10. I strongly support this bill because I believe that nurses are in the best position to promote health in the community with the personal touch they have with their patients. The changes that are taking place in the health care environment require nurses to come to the forefront and provide preventative care. The National Nurse position aims to facilitate this by providing the tools and resources necessary for nurses to promote the health of US citizens. It is an important step to promote health and wellness in the country, and it promises to reduce the rising healthcare costs.

  11. A nurses scope of practice is holistic. To have a national nurse would improve our national health care and resolve many of the issues we face as a nation today. I fully endorce this bill and hope you will also!

  12. As an RN for over 35 years I strongly support this bill. One of our most important roles is patient education. Through education we will begin to control the costs of health care. With a National Nurse we can achieve the goals of preventative care and wellness. Thank you so much Donna for supporting the bill and helping to spread the word. You are such a well respected voice in the nursing community. I urge everyone to contact their legislators to make this bill a reality in 2014!

  13. Frances Hodgkins RN MSN

    Please support the National Nurse Act, the landscape of healthcare in America is changing rapidly, and along with the change is the need for health education from Registered Nurses! We need a Registered Nurse leading at the National Level!!

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