First off in the news this week is a look at the movement for the U.S. Federal Government to appoint a “National Nurse” officer in the public health field. Texas Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, who is also the first nurse elected to Congress, has introduced a bill in Congress that would designate the position of Chief Nurse Officer of the U.S. Public Health Service as the “National Nurse for Public Health.”
Chief Nursing Officer as National Nurse
This change would allow this individual in the surgeon general’s office to have more authority to promote health across the country. Currently, the national Chief Nursing Officer is Rear Admiral Kerry Paige Nesseler. Other countries have this officially designated position and I think it’s high time we have a National public health nurse here in the United States, too.
Nurses have a long history of taking the lead in public health initiatives, often working behind the scenes. This would allow Nesseler to help set policy and improve nurses reach to increase health literacy and reach underserved communities, reducing health disparities in the country. I’ve interviewed the grass roots leader of this movement, Susan Sullivan, on the our sister program Insights in Nursing and I will make sure there is a link to their web page and Facebook page in the show notes for this episode.
Support the National Nurse Movement
I urge you to support this movement which pushes nurses to the forefront of public health policy in this country. You can also contact your congressman or woman and tell them you support this bill to create a national nurse for public health position. It will not create a new position which is important in this time of budget cuts and spending oversight. It merely re-designates the current chief nursing officer position. I hope you’ll support this initiative.
You’ll find the link for this news item as well as all of the other news items and resource links for this week’s episode of the Nursing Show in the episode show notes — Nursing Continuing Education Part 2 and Episode 234.