What would our country be like without its safety officers? We have great police, fire and military personnel securing our townships, counties and cities all over the United States. These heroes go recognized for the contributions they make for protecting our citizens across the nation.
As a public sector registered nurse for more than twenty five years I can tell you from experience that nurses are also safety officers. We play a significant role in saving and maintaining law and order, safety and security in populations that are connected by health. We can put up walls and fences but without the implementation of basic health standards there are no boundaries to the disease and despair that rakes through a nation that skimps on prevention and education of healthcare.
Nurses are essential to changing our nation to a culture of prevention because of our sheer numbers, our presence in every cultural community, and because we are so trusted by the public. The fact that a school nurse must be shared between institutions and have been cut so drastically across our nation is an appalling example of how the low number of nurses in proportion to a population can produce devastating effects. Our nation is leading in childhood obesity and teenage pregnancy when this statistic could be redirected if an ample number of nurses were employed by each school.
But alas the significant contributions made by nurses are neither encouraged nor widely recognized. This is why I am now a supporter of HR1119 The National Nurse Act of 2011. This legislation will elevate the Chief Nurse Officer of the US Public Health Service to a prominent position with the unique title of the National Nurse. From this vantage point, a National Nurse will be able to raise awareness of public health issues, offer authoritative guidance on implementing evidence-based prevention, and encourage nurses everywhere to become involved in their community’s prevention programs.
With healthcare reform on the horizon, now is the time for all nurses to become activists to help our nation shift to preventative medicine. HR 1119 will be a way to get this process started, and it will raise the importance of public health and recruit youth into community nursing careers. I hope I can count on your support for HR1119. We need articulate nurses with a passion for improving our society to become advocates for this initiative. If you have not already done so, please visit the website: www.nationalnurse.org and contact your area Representative to urge support of HR1119. This grassroots movement continues to grow because nurses like you get involved.
Remember: ignorance and disease can invade and destroy any nation that is unwilling to bring awareness and action into power. A National Nurse is a homeland security measure that is a necesarry matter of fact.