Heading into November, the nursing profession—ranked as America's most trusted for the 18th consecutive year1—finds itself at a juncture between the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, and a presidential election. As frontline caregivers and the largest sector of U.S. health care workers,2 nurses are positioned to engage with policymakers on nursing practice, education, and research—and to promote a culture of health for all Americans. The following resources are available to empower nurses, regardless of political affiliation or nursing role, to be informed about key issues and to make their voices heard.
FEDERAL RESOURCES AND ELECTION INFORMATION
The White House: Health Care
Read the Trump administration's positions and statements on health care.
United States Congress
- Information on current legislation and congressional activity.
- www.house.gov and www.senate.gov
- Learn about your representatives, watch proceedings, and track recent votes.
Updated daily, this site allows users to search, view, and comment on federal government activities.
House and Senate Nursing Caucuses
The Congressional Nursing Caucuses aim to educate legislators on issues important to nurses and public health.
Check your voter registration status and find your polling place.
LEGISLATION OF RELEVANCE TO NURSING
HR 728: Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2019
Expands and reauthorizes nursing workforce development programs through fiscal year 2024, including loan repayment and scholarships for nurses; loans for nursing faculty development; advanced education nursing grants; grants to increase nursing workforce diversity; and nurse education, practice, quality, and retention grants.
HR 1309: Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act
Directs the Department of Labor to establish standards requiring health care employers to implement workplace violence prevention plans.
HR 2150: Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2019
Enables more timely services for Medicare beneficiaries by allowing Medicare payment for home health services ordered by advanced practice nurses—without physician certification required.
HR 2482: Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act of 2019
Simplifies the process for prescribing buprenorphine for substance use disorder treatment.
HR 5717: Gun Violence Prevention and Community Safety Act of 2020
Aims to curtail gun violence by making changes to federal firearms laws, establishing a community violence intervention grant program, and supporting research on gun violence prevention.
HR 6139: COVID-19 Health Care Worker Protection Act of 2020
Requires the Department of Labor to issue both emergency temporary and permanent standards to protect health care workers from occupational exposure to COVID-19.
S 1129: Medicare for All Act of 2019
Establishes a national health insurance program for all Americans.
RESOURCES FROM PROFESSIONAL NURSING ORGANIZATIONS
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
- Nursing Voices, Nursing Votes
- A nonpartisan initiative to encourage and empower students and faculty to participate in the voting process.
- Federal Policy Agenda for Academic Nursing 2019-2020
- This agenda focuses on advancing higher education, pursuing transformational research, developing a robust nursing workforce, and redefining models of care.
American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)
- AACN Legislation/Regulatory Action
- The latest on the AACN's advocacy work, including statements, calls to action, and letters to Congress.
- Policy and Advocacy
- Learn about the AACN's areas of policy focus: COVID-19 advocacy; equity, diversity, and inclusion; healthy work environments; staffing; scope of practice; patient and professional advocacy; and legislative and regulatory matters.
American Nurses Association (ANA)
- ANA Political Action Committee (PAC)
- Information on the ANA-PAC's efforts to ensure that nurses have a voice in Washington.
- Capitol Beat
- Subscribe to this blog to stay current on health policy and election developments.
- An overview of the ANA's work on issues that affect nursing and patient care, such as health care reform, safe staffing, and nursing workforce development.
- Nurses Vote 2020
- This ANA initiative promotes political engagement among nurses. Its resource pages includea summary of the presidential candidates' positions on health care; actions nurses can take to be politically active; and a close look at the ANA's areas of advocacy focus, plus proposed policy solutions.
- Access an advocacy toolkit and read advocates' stories.
- RNAction Center
- Facilitates action in support of key federal policy priorities that impact nursing, such as ending nurse abuse, preventing gun violence, and protecting nursing licensure.
- State Government Affairs Program
- Information on state trends in nursing-related legislation.
- What's at Stake for Nurses and Patients Without the Affordable Care Act
- This infographic illustrates how repeal of the Affordable Care Act would affect health care access, cost, and quality.
National League for Nursing (NLN)
The NLN's 2019-2020 public policy agenda prioritizes education, access, workforce, and diversity.
Nursing Community Coalition (NCC)
The NCC, which comprises 63 national nursing organizations, advocates for issues related to nursing practice, education, research, and regulation.
- Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations (as of July 13, 2020)
- Review the budget appropriations as related to the Nursing Workforce Development Programs (Title VIII) and the National Institutes of Health.
- Nursing Community Coalition Opposes President's Cuts to Nursing Workforce and Research in FY 2021 Budget Proposal
- Read the NCC's position on the Trump administration's proposed cuts to health care.
Oncology Nursing Society (ONS)
- ONS coverage of current health policy issues.
- ONS Legislative and Regulatory Health Policy Agenda
- Highlights current ONS policy priorities.
1. Reinhart RJ. Nurses continue to rate highest in honesty, ethics. Gallup
2020 Jan 6. https://news.gallup.com/poll/274673/nurses-continue-rate-highest-honesty-ethics.aspx
2. Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing, at the Institute of Medicine. The future of nursing: leading change, advancing health
. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2011.