NY State Assembly Urges Congressional Delegation to Back HR 3679, The National Nurse Act of 2011.

Albany, NY - With leadership provided by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, the NY Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution memorializing the NY Congressional delegation to support HR 3679, The National Nurse Act of 2011, HR 3679, introduced last year by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and co-led by Congressman Peter King (R-NY), would designate the existing position of the Chief Nurse Officer of the US Public Health Service to additionally be recognized as the National Nurse for Public Health to address national priorities of health promotion and disease prevention.

“Nurses already incorporate teaching as a cornerstone of nursing care no matter where that care is being delivered. In addition, nursing interventions that promote health are powerful tools for prevention in community settings,” said Assemblywoman Gunther. “Furthermore, the Gallup poll indicates year after year that Americans listen to nurses about their health. We believe the nursing profession has the expertise, the skills and the commitment needed to shift the tide towards prevention and begin to improve our nation's health at a time when chronic preventable conditions are occurring at astronomical rates.”

Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE who serves as President of the National Nursing Network Organization introduced the concept for a National Nurse in an op/ed, America's Nurse, published in the New York Times (May 20, 2005). "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. HR 3679 will bring forth the significant and trusted voice of the nurse to the ongoing conversation about health and health care in America," said Mills. "We are delighted to have the support of the New York Assembly for this effort.”

More importantly, the National Nurse for Public Health would accurately portray nursing leadership, enhance the image of nursing, and improve public awareness of the many roles nurses fulfill in protecting public health. A January 2010 Gallup Poll conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation revealed that 86 percent of those surveyed stated they would like to see nurses have more influence in promoting wellness and expanding preventive care. This legislation demonstrates how a nurse leader can contribute to health policy and planning decisions to meet the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine’s 2010 report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.

Currently HR 3679, The National Nurse Act of 2011 has the support of 41 co-sponsors as well as 110 organizations and prominent individuals who have endorsed this bill. For more information, visit the National Nurse website.