Coalitions Cement Nursing’s—and ONS’s—Position in Health Policy
Through two letters (https://www.thenursingcommunity.org/news)—one to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris (https://131a058d-9186-c34a-b6f8-7f4cb1fce3f0.filesusr.com/ugd/148923_d225a5e37a9e45f58538a548abefe06d.pdf) and another to U.S. Senate and House leaders (https://131a058d-9186-c34a-b6f8-7f4cb1fce3f0.filesusr.com/ugd/148923_d2809e178a624e3299ab35b753594e7f.pdf)—the Nursing Community Coalition (NCC), on whose steering committee (https://www.thenursingcommunity.org/steering-committee) ONS sits, congratulated policymakers while outlining the need for continued support of nurses in health care.
Of course, many in the new administration are familiar with the top nursing legislative and regulatory issues (https://voice.ons.org/advocacy/health-care-reunites-a-divided-nation) like scope of practice, Title VIII funding (https://voice.ons.org/advocacy/title-viii-nursing-workforce-funding-included-in-cares-act), and nursing research, but during a transitional time, white papers and policy positions help legislative staff review topics and determine how best to support potential bills.
Each letter directs their respective leadership to consider broad and specific policies that center around the nursing community.
“As you continue to chart a path forward, we strongly encourage you to include nurses at every step of the process, in all possible conversations, and among all future taskforces, commissions, committees, councils, and federal boards,” NCC’s 63 member organizations (https://www.thenursingcommunity.org/members) wrote in the letter to Biden and Harris.
NCC also urged legislators (https://131a058d-9186-c34a-b6f8-7f4cb1fce3f0.filesusr.com/ugd/148923_d2809e178a624e3299ab35b753594e7f.pdf) to include the Future Advancement of Academic Nursing Act in the next COVID-19 coronavirus legislative package and in the next stimulus relief legislation.
Providers have a crucial responsibility to educate newly elected officials about health policy efforts and organizational agendas. With 2020, and now 2021 (https://www.elsevier.com/health/nursing/journals/2021-year-of-the-nurse), designated as the Year of the Nurse, it’s imperative that decision makers and political leaders understand the power of advocacy (https://voice.ons.org/advocacy/get-involved-in-onss-health-policy-advocacy) from the nation’s more than 3.4 million nurses (https://www.aacnnursing.org/news-Information/fact-sheets/nursing-fact-sheet).