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The National Nurses' Act is getting very close to gaining a hearing and we need Maryland congressmen to push it over the threshold

Posted almost 3 years ago

Beth Baldwin, MSN, APRN, PNP,BC MAAPC Member-at-Large is spearheading this call to action in MD:
We are very close to getting a hearing on this bill and need about 40 more US Representatives to cosponsor the bill. Three members of the MD Congressional Delegation have now signed on including Reps. Raskin, Cummings, Ruppersburg  and Trone. Rep. Steny Hoyer has committed to vote but does not cosponsor bills in his leadership position. We need to contact:
#1  John Sarbane who is on the committee of jurisdiction the bill will be heard in. He is also one of only 2 dems on the committee that have not yet signed on
State District In Congress
Maryland 3 House: 110th-116th (2007-Present)
Website Contact Party
2370 Rayburn House Office Building
(202) 225-4016
 2. Rep Brown
State District In Congress
Maryland 4 House: 115th-116th (2017-Present)
Website Contact Party
1323 Longworth House Office Building
(202) 225-8699

3. Rep Harris 
State District In Congress
Maryland 1 House: 112th-116th (2011-Present)
Website Contact Party
2334 Rayburn House Office Building
(202) 225-5311
Below is a script and a follow up email: 
 RE: National Nurse Act  HR 1597
1. Thank them first for taking the time to speak with you.
2. Introductions so they can know a little about you and vice versa
3. The Intent of the National Nurse Act:
To strengthen the influence of the Chief Nurse Officer 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.  The nation has a Surgeon General— with the rise in chronic conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes, measles, and opioid addiction the nation needs a National Nurse For Public Health
*****Chronic conditions are largely preventable. Nurses are trusted credible messengers.
Having a more visible and recognizable Chief Nurse Officer of the USPHS will help in getting important messages about health promotion whether it be tobacco cessation or importance of immunizations to the 4 million nurses who can then disseminate these in their local communities
4. Review the bill see attached...
PAGE 1- DESIGNATES the Chief Nurse as the National Nurse for Public Health
No title change. Same person.
Duties and Responsibilities are essentially what the Chief Nurse performs currently
NO restructuring of the USPHS… simply increasing visibility and illuminating the great work they do.
5. Please cosponsor and support for the bill and join 
113 endorsing  organizations, including the MAAPC
What does USPHS and Chief Nurse think about the bill…  can’t give an opinion as they work for the government BUT a now retired acting
Surgeon General has provided a strong endorsement letter which we can send to her if she would like
email script: 
 Signature line : Please cosponsor National Nurse Act  HR 1597 for Maryland 
 Please cosponsor National Nurse Act  HR 1597
I am                                  a nurse practicing in        and a resident of Maryland. Myself , my profession and my Maryland  family and friends need you help by cosponsor The National Nurse Act of 2019.  
This bill was introduced on 3/7/2019. H.R. 1597 is co led in the House by Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Peter King (R-NY). Its companion bill, S. 696 is co led by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).

Bill designates Chief Nurse Officer (CNO) of Public Health Service (PHS) as the National Nurse for Public Health.

The intent of the National Nurse Act is to strengthen the influence of the Chief Nurse Officer 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.CNO position is currently a dual appointment and is shared with the branch of the Health and Human Services that CNO worked in prior to appointment.

Duties and responsibilities currently held by CNO are retained.

CNO/National Nurse for Public Health will:

1. Function alongside Surgeon General and focus on priorities of health promotion, improving health literacy, and decreasing health disparities;

2. Serve as a visible national spokesperson for engaging nurses in leadership, policy, and prevention efforts; and

3. Encourage health professionals to work and/or volunteer with community programs to improve health.

4. Provide guidance and leadership for activities that will increase public safety and emergency preparedness.

Conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and opioid addiction pose the greatest threat to the health of Americans and to our nation’s economy. Nurses play a critical role in prevention and management of these conditions and the work of the CNO/National Nurse for Public Health focusing on prevention will help reduce the occurrence of illness and contain health care costs.

The National Nurse Act of 2019 is simple, pragmatic, and can be implemented as it is written without the request of additional allocations.

This bill has strong bipartisan support in the 116th Congress with 175 co-sponsors (52 original) for H.R. 1597. Currently, 12 Senators are co-sponsoring S. 696. There are 113 endorsing organizations that include nursing, labor, key stakeholders and six state legislative bodies (MA, OR, NJ, NY and VT) that previously passed resolutions with overwhelming support urging Congress to enact this legislation.

For more information, visit

Thanks for your consideration


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