Letter to House and Senate Leadership Urging Pass of Nursing Community Coalition Priorities
The Honorable Charles Schumer
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Mitch McConnell
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, and Leader McCarthy,
On behalf of the 62 undersigned organizations representing the Nursing Community Coalition (NCC), we urge you to pass the below priorities and include them in any end of the year package. The NCC is a cross section of education, practice, research, and regulation within the nursing profession representing Registered Nurses (RNs), Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs),1 nurse leaders, students, faculty, and researchers who are foundational to the health of the nation. Our members care for patients in all communities, including rural and underserved areas, are at the frontlines of public health challenges, and lead the way to ensure today’s science translates to tomorrow’s cures. We recognize how vital our current and future nurses are to the fabric of America’s health care system.
As we near the end of the 117th Congress, we strongly support consideration and passage of the following legislative priorities that directly impact nursing education, workforce, and research.
Invest in Nursing Education Pathways- Cosponsor and Pass the Future Advancement of Academic Nursing (FAAN) Act (S.246/H.R.851): To ensure a robust and diverse nursing workforce, investing in the education pathways of our future RNs and APRNs is imperative. The FAAN Act would provide those vital resources to support the needs of nursing students, help retain and hire diverse faculty, modernize nursing education infrastructure, and create and expand clinical education opportunities. These efforts are essential and will help prepare nursing students as they transition from the classroom to the frontlines in communities across the country.
Make Waivers that have Supported our Nation’s Health during this Public Health Emergency Permanent: The models of care implemented during these unprecedented times helps inform and improve healthcare throughout the nation. Therefore, we urge Congress to take legislative action to make permanent various waivers so nurses and APRNs can continue to provide high quality health care to patients in all communities, including in rural and underserved areas, now and into the future.
Ensure Parity within Federal Programs- Cosponsor and Pass the Nurse Corps Tax Parity Act (S.3505): Unlike other programs, such as the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), the Nurse Corps is subject to federal taxes. S.3505 would change this and aims for parity in the Nurse Corps programs.
Invest in Maternal Health- Cosponsor and Pass the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act (H.R.959/S.346) and the Midwives for MOMs Act (H.R.3352/S.1697): From growing and diversifying the perinatal workforce and investing in social determinants of health to supporting mom’s mental health and the nurses who are caring for these patients, these bills provide a multipronged approach to addressing the maternal health needs in the United States.
Support our Nation’s Federal Employees- Pass the Improving Access to Workers’ Compensation for Injured Federal Workers Act (H.R.6087): This bipartisan bill would retire outdated barriers in the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) that limit the ability of Nurse Practitioners (NPs) to diagnose and oversee the care and treatment of federal employees who are injured or become ill in the course of their employment. This would improve access to health care for injured or ill federal employees, particularly in rural and underserved communities, and align the federal workers’ compensation program with state law.
Institute Safety Measures for the Current and Future Nursing Workforce: A culture of safety in care delivery settings, including violence prevention, is an indispensable aspect of a highperforming, high-quality health care system. Resources and investments are needed to build and sustain safe work environments and preventive practices. Funding should be directed toward concrete violence prevention efforts such as abatement of known risks (e.g., with respect to building exteriors and interiors) and establishment of robust ongoing prevention programs.
Support the Mental Health and Healthy Working Environments for Nurses: Caring for the caretaker has become even more important as we witness the mental stress COVID-19 has had on our frontline workers. In fact, an American Nurses Foundation survey found that 59% of nurses continue to feel exhausted and 52% report feeling overwhelmed.
2 Part of this exhaustion among nurses can be attributed to the staffing shortage. In the January 2022 American Nurses Foundation’s Pulse on the Nation’s Nurses Two-Year Impact Assessment found that, “nine-outof-ten nurses indicated their organization was experiencing a staffing shortage, with 90% classifying it as a serious problem.”3 We appreciate the resources dedicated to health providers
mental health in the American Rescue Plan Act and through other legislative efforts, but more must be done. We strongly recommend Congress includes mental health resources and funding, specifically for our nation’s nursing students, nurses, and APRNs, in any legislative package moving forward.
Invest in our Public Health Infrastructure: According to a national profile of local health departments, “the estimated number of registered nurses decreased by 36% from 2008 to 2019.”4 This drastic shortage of nurses within our public health system has been brought into stark reality during the COVID-19 pandemic. We must ensure nurses are at the table as we plan for tomorrow’s challenges and create a more equitable system. This includes ensuring nursing students, nurses, and APRNs are incorporated into all aspects of public health infrastructure needs and that our public health departments have at least one nurse or APRN on staff.
With over four million licensed RNs, APRNs, and nursing students, the profession embodies the drive and passion to ensure the health of patients, families, and our country continues to improve.5 We urge Congress to take legislative action to support the current and future nursing workforce and honor the essential work they provide to our healthcare system and to the public health of our nation. As these conversations continue, and if our organizations can be of any assistance or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the coalition’s Executive Director, Rachel Stevenson, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 202-463- 6930, ext. 271.
Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses
Academy of Neonatal Nursing
American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing
American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners
American Academy of Nursing
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
American Association of Heart Failure Nurses
American Association of Neuroscience Nurses
American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology
American Association of Nurse Practitioners
American Association of Occupational Health Nurses
American Association of Post-Acute Care Nursing
American College of Nurse-Midwives
American Nephrology Nurses Association
American Nurses Association
American Nursing Informatics Association
American Organization for Nursing Leadership
American Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association, Inc.
American Public Health Association, Public Health Nursing Section
American Psychiatric Nurses Association
American Society for Pain Management Nursing
American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses
Association for Radiologic and Imaging Nursing
Association of Community Health Nursing Educators
Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses
Association of periOperative Registered Nurses
Association of Public Health Nurses
Association of Rehabilitation Nurses
Association of Veterans Affairs Nurse Anesthetists
Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service
Dermatology Nurses’ Association
Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research
Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association
Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association
Infusion Nurses Society
International Association of Forensic Nurses
International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses
National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
National Association of Hispanic Nurses
National Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners
National Association of Neonatal Nurses
National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Association of School Nurses
National Black Nurses Association
National Council of State Boards of Nursing
National Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers
National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence
National League for Nursing
National Nurse-Led Care Consortium
National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties
Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs
Oncology Nursing Society
Organization for Associate Degree Nursing
Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing Society
Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association
Society of Pediatric Nurses
Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates
Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society
CC: All members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate
1 APRNs include certified nurse-midwives (CNMs), certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), clinical nurse
specialists (CNSs) and nurse practitioners (NPs).
2 American Nurses Foundation. (2022). COVID-19 Survey Series: 2022 Workplace Survey. Retrieved from: https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/work-environment/health-safety/disasterpreparedness/coronavirus/what-you-need-to-know/covid-19-survey-series-anf-2022-workplace-survey/
3 American Nurses Foundation. (2022). Pulse on the Nation’s Nurses Survey Series: 2022 Workplace Survey Nurses Not Feeling Heard, Ongoing Staffing and Workplace Issues Contributing to Unhealthy Work Environment. Page 2. August 2, 2022. Retrieved from: https://www.nursingworld.org/~4a209f/globalassets/covid19/anf-2022-workforce-writtenreport-final.pdf
4 National Association of County & City Health Officials. National Profile of Local Health Departments. Page 60. 2019.
Retrieved from: https://www.naccho.org/uploads/downloadable-resources/Programs/Public-HealthInfrastructure/NACCHO_2019_Profile_final.pdf
5 National Council of State Boards of Nursing. (2022). Active RN Licenses: A profile of nursing licensure in the U.S. as of September 12, 2022. Retrieved from: https://www.ncsbn.org/6161.htm.
Promoting America’s Health Through Nursing Care
www.thenursingcommunity.org · 202-463-6930 ext. 272