The National Nursing Network Organization
The National Nursing Network Organization
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April 11, 2019

The National Nursing Network Organization - "Promoting wellness and disease prevention through a National Nurse for Public Health."

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National Nurse Act Soars Since Introduction

Thanks to the sheer determination of the leaders and supporters of the National Nurse Act of 2019, H.R. 1597 and S. 696, is off to a fabulous start. As one Congressional staffer noted, “This bill is flying since its introduction on March 7th!” The intent of the National Nurse Act is to strengthen the influence of the Chief Nurse Officer (CNO) of the USPHS to address public health initiatives with emphasis on being a leading voice for public health for nurses and to encourage greater involvement of nurses, without any additional economic or time burden on the existing role. Advocates strongly believe the designation of National Nurse for Public Health will increase awareness among nurses and the public so that it becomes well established this nurse leader already contributes a vital role in public health, particularly focused on health promotion and prevention.

Health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, e-cigarette vaping, opioid addiction, and the measles outbreak pose threats to the health of Americans, young and old, as well as to their economic burden bankrupting our healthcare dollars. Nurses provide key services for the management of these conditions. The public views nurses as the trusted, credible messengers. As the largest sector of the healthcare workforce, our nation’s 4 million nurses are poised to lead in a national movement towards improved public health. The National Nurse for Public Health would provide the uniting voice and leadership necessary to do so.

Currently, the National Nurse Act of 2019 boasts the bipartisan support of 84 House cosponsors, 5 Senate cosponsors, and 100 endorsing nursing and healthcare organizations.


Pictured inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Building: Beth Baldwin, MSN, RN, PNP-BC (NNNO Advocacy Team Member), Savannah Jensen, BSN, RN, PHN, CMSRN (NNNO Advocacy Team Member), Toni DiChiacchio, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, FAANP (NNNO Board Member), Anne Llewellyn, RN-BC, MS, BHSA, CCM, CRRN (NNNO Board Member), Becky Bowers-Lanier EdD, MSN, MPH, RN (NNNO Advocacy Team Member),and Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE-Ret. (NNNO President)

An Insider's View on the NNNO Visit to Capitol Hill

A critical part of the work of the NNNO Board and Advocacy Team is visiting Capitol Hill. Last month those pictured above took time from their busy work schedules to gather in Washington DC to meet with Congressional staff. This year’s group traveled from Florida, Maryland, Oregon, Virginia and West Virginia. Our team visited over 50 House and Senate offices. Armed with informational packets containing a one page explanation of the bill, a Dear Colleague letter, a Section by Section Summary, and the signatory letter listing all endorsing organizations, we split into two groups and were thrilled by how well our information and message was received.

This Trip’s Takeaways:

  • Overall, the meetings went very well. The National Nurse Act continues to gain bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate.
  • Each of the offices we visited were receptive and could see the bill’s value.
  • Staffers were working on a variety of health projects that were important to their states and could see how this legislation could help address those problems.
  • Aides shared many of the concerns we are hear and read about: the measles outbreak, the Opioid Epidemic, and challenges constituents report regarding cost and access to healthcare.
  • Staff value the important role nurses serve in the health promotion and prevention arena, including but not limited to education, volunteering at immunization clinics, participating and replicating successful programs such as the Family-Nurse Partnership.
  • We were encouraged to stay the course. The legislative process is never easy and takes perseverance, the ability to stay focused, and constant dialogue to dispel myths and misinformation about the bill that comes up from time to time.

How You Can Help:

  • Please contact the NNNO Board The NNNO has a very involved Advocacy Team and are looking for others to join.
  • Email your US Representative and Senators to cosponsor H.R. 1597 and S. 696.
  • Sign up to receive the National Nurse newsletter - There is a link at the very top of the NEWS LINK. Spread the word about this exciting grassroots campaign by sharing the website and newsletter with others.
  • Follow Twitter @aNationalNurse for updates or you can find us on Facebook - National Nurse Campaign.
  • Small donations are greatly appreciated as they help pay for travel, websites, and printing costs.
  • Let us know if you are available to help with “rapid response” — this may be as easy as sending a template letter to your elected official or attending their town halls led by their elected officials in your community to inform them that you and/or your organization supports the National Nurse Act.
Abe Lincoln

I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.

Myths and Facts About National Nurse Act

Just like any piece of legislation, the National Nurse Act is not immune to the spread of misinformation. The NNNO would like to address one misinterpretation that we have heard.

Myth: The focus on addressing social determinants of health as described within the proposed bill is conceptually confined to health education and individual behavior (downstream measures), which a preponderance of research has demonstrated is insufficient for achieving health equity.

Facts: The current duties and responsibilities of the Chief Nurse Officer are retained in the bill language. The USPHS Chief Nurse Officer is currently involved in initiatives that include focus on up-stream measures to address social determinants of health, partnerships and collaboration, health promotion and prevention, and disaster response and readiness. This will not change.

Further, the bill language highlights the National Prevention Strategy for identifying and addressing, implementing, and evaluating national health priorities. The National Nurse Act further states the encouragement of replication of successful health promotion/prevention programs and that evidence based practice will be used when educating the public on health promotion and disease prevention activities.

The National Prevention Strategy, released June 16, 2011, aims to guide our nation in the most effective and achievable means for improving health and well-being.

The Strategy prioritizes prevention by integrating recommendations and actions across multiple settings to improve health and save lives. The seven priorities listed include these social health determinants: tobacco free living; preventing drug abuse and excessive alcohol use; healthy eating; active living; injury and violence free living; reproductive and sexual health; and mental and emotional well-being.

Nurses base their practice and decision making on facts and evidence rather than hearsay or innuendo. This is because this integration of knowledge and experience allows us to deliver safer, more efficient, and effective care that leads to better outcomes for the patients, families, and communities we serve. If you would like to ask a question about the National Nurse Act or have feedback you would like shared, please contact the NNNO Board of Directors.

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NNNO Board and Advocacy Team Updates & Achievements

The National Nursing Network Organization's Board and Advocacy Team includes over 70 members from diverse backgrounds and geographic regions. In addition to nurses, the team also includes elected state officials and healthcare advocates.

We would like to recognize the following exciting changes to our Board of Directors: Toni DiChiacchio DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, FAANP of West Virginia joined recently the Board and Holly Herrera BSN, RN, CHFN became Secretary. Cathy Lodico MS, RN, CCM from New Hampshire and Joan Westgor MSN, RN, CCM from Texas transitioned to the Board following prolonged service on our Advocacy Team.

We are thrilled to welcome the following new Advocacy Team members: Robin Cogan MEd, RN, NCSN from New Jersey; Beth Baldwin MSN, RN, PNP-BC of Delaware; Carol King MSN, RN-BC of Arizona; Travis Nelson RN, BSN, RN-BC from Oregon; Maria Luisa Gutierrez, BSN, RN, CMCN, PHN of California; Amy Heithoff BSN, RN of Missouri; Alene Nitzky PhD, RN, OCN of Colorado; Vanessa Shields-Haas MA, BSN, ACRN of Louisiana; and Adrienne Wald EdD, MBA, BSN, MCHES, CNE from New York.

We would like to thank outgoing Board and Advocacy Team members for their generous contributions: Susan Sullivan, MSN, RN; Debbie Orre MSN, RN, and Katie Hall MSN, RN-BC for their years of service on the NNNO Board of Directors. Transitioning off the Advocacy team, we thank Kathleen Bartholomew, MSN, RN; Beth Barranco RN, BSN and Phillip Bautista BSN, RN, PHN.

Nicole Barnett

Nicole Barnett, RN, MBA, DHSc, CNL

Diane Hart

Diane Hart, President National Association for Health and Fitness

Anne Taylor

Taylor Hittle, Legislative Aide for Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) and Anne Llewellyn RN-BC, MS, BHSA, CCM, CRRN

These past few months have been extremely busy for our Board and Advocacy Team. Thank you to team members Anne Llewellyn RN-BC, MS, BHSA, CCM, CRRN; Nicole Barnett, RN, MBA, DHSc, CNL and Diane Hart, President National Association for Health and Fitness for their visits to Capitol Hill. Their advocacy has helped move forward the National Nurse Act of 2019.

Alene Nitzky

Alene Nitzky, Ph.D., RN, OCN

Our team has also been very active in the media. In an article, titled How to Advocate for the National Nurse Act of 2019, published in ”Oncology Nurse News,” Advocacy Team member Alene Nitzky, Ph.D., RN, OCN highlighted the critical role of a National Nurse for Public Health in advancing high-quality, equitable cancer care. Speaking to the value of oncology nurses in supporting the National Nurse Act, Nitzky notes “Our role in supporting this bill as oncology nurses is crucial to its success.”

Vanessa Shields Haas

Vanessa Shields-Haas, MA, BSN, ACRN

Writing for the online publication Radical Nurses, Vanessa Shields-Haas, MA, BSN, ACRN, another Advocacy Team, member emphasized the National Nurse Act as a key piece of legislation posed to enhance the health and wellbeing of Americans

Janet Coulter

Janet Coulter, MSN, MS, RN

Advocacy team member spotlight: Janet Coulter, MSN, MS, RN is a certified case manager in Cincinnati, Ohio and a passionate advocate for organ transplants. Janet’s current work explores how a revised liver organ distribution policy might disparately impact recipients from economically disadvantaged and rural communities. Through this lens, Janet has connected with the importance of a National Nurse for Public Health.

Savannah Jensen

Savannah Jensen BSN, RN, PHN, CMSRN

Advocacy Team member Savannah Jensen, BSN, RN, PHN, CMSRN created an infographic demonstrating the potential cost savings of $9 billion in preventing only 1% of the 84 million at risk from developing Type 2 Diabetes. Email the NNNO Board if you are interested in receiving a copy.

Dr. Mary Beth Koslap-Petraco

Dr. Mary Beth Koslap-Petraco, DNP, PNP-BC, CPNP, FAANP

Congratulations to Advocacy Team member, Dr. Mary Beth Koslap-Petraco, DNP, PNP-BC, CPNP, FAANP for her recent recognition as the American Association of Nurse Practitioner’s, Nurse Practitioner of the Year for New York state award.

We cannot thank the NNNO Advocacy Team and Board enough for all that they do!

No Vaping logo

Surgeon General Highlights Risks of E-Cigarette Use Among Youth

U.S. Surgeon General VADM Jerome Adams has highlighted the explosive increase in use of e-cigarettes and similar products among young people in the U.S. From 2011-2015, e-cigarette use among middle and high school students increased by 900%. Use of e-cigarettes and other aerosolized inhalants relates to a host of negative outcomes. Risks include damage to the brain, and exposure to a host of harmful toxins. As a nation, we must unite to curb this expanding epidemic.

Nurses are well positioned to collaboratively lead efforts to curb e-cigarette use. According to the 2018 Gallup survey, nurses were named the most trusted professional in the U.S. for the 17th year in a row.

The American public looks to nurses for leadership in public health on issues such as curbing e-cigarette use among adolescents. A National Nurse for Public Health would help to amplify the trusted voice of nursing, working alongside other public health leaders to protect young people from the harmful effects of e-cigarettes.

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Support the National Nursing Network Organization

The National Nursing Network Organization is a non-profit advocacy organization founded and run by volunteers. The campaign for a National Nurse for Public Health is possible thanks to your generous support. A donation of $5 per month (slightly more than the cost of a latte) helps to advance support for a National Nurse for Public Health to improve the health of our nation. We can’t express enough gratitude to each of you for the support through this journey. Make your secure donation today at the NNNO website, or email the NNNO board for information on where to send a check. A recurring donation of $5 per month makes a monumental difference in this grassroots movement.

*Please note, the NNNO is a non-profit organization. The organization lobbies and cannot be tax exempt. Therefore, your contributions are not tax deductible.

Top Nurse Blog logo

NNNO Website Featured Among Top Nursing Blogs

The National Nursing Network Organization (NNNO) is excited to be featured as a Top Nurse Blog in the area of “community, non-profit and advocacy” at We’re proud to be highlighted among best blogs at Nurse Recruiter Top Blogs written by and for nurses.

The NNNO blog shares the momentum of the National Nurse Act, celebrates nursing leadership in public health, and features news exploring the health and wellbeing of our nation. We’re especially proud that NNNO blog posts come from our all-volunteer grassroots Board and Advocacy Team.

Please join us in support of a National Nurse for Public Health. Check out our blog follow us on Facebook at “National Nurse Campaign” and on Twitter @aNationalNurse, and don’t forget to share our social media with your friends and nurse colleagues.

Thanks to Nurse Recruiter for highlighting the work of the NNNO and nurses across our communities in Top Nurse Blogs.

Quote of the Day

Oh, the healthy things you can do.

In good health,
Anne, Cathy, Joan, Holly, Liz, Teri, and Toni

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Copyright 2019 by The National Nursing Network Organization

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