By Laurie Dohnalek, DNP, MBA, RN, NE-BC, CENP

On September 12, 2018, I had the honor of attending the Nursing Community Coalition’s (NCC’s) 10th Anniversary Celebration as an ONS representative, joining members of ONS’s health policy staff. NCC is a 61-member coalition, working to further nursing education, training, and support through united advocacy efforts.

As part of the celebration, our group made visits to Capitol Hill to educate lawmakers and advocate for nursing legislative requests associated with the Title VIII Reauthorization Act, the Opioid Package, and recognition of the Cadet Nurse Corps.

Alongside my colleagues, I met with congressional staff from the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee to recommend:

  • Bolstering all aspects of the nursing workforce, including education, practice, recruitment and retention
  • Section 3003 of H.R. 6 (Support for Patients and Communities Act) to allow advance practice nursing roles to prescribe medication-assisted treatments
  • Honorable discharges for those who served in the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps, the largest federal nurse training program during World War II. This agreement would make them eligible for veteran benefits like the GI Bill. 

The event included a half day of training, educational sessions, legislative updates, federal outreach, and an end-of-the-day congressional reception with many members of Congress receiving recognition for their support of nurses. This was another opportunity for ONS to be a powerful voice for nursing.