©2008 by Kathy Quan RN BSN
All Rights Reserved
NOTE: the National Nurse Act has been revised several times since this article was first written. For the Latest information please see the National Nurse Website.
Teri Mills is a nurse educator in Portland, Oregon at Portland Community College. She wrote a guest opinion editorial (op-ed) which was published in the New York Times (5/20/05) calling for a National Nurse position to be created by the U.S. Congress. This op-ed was the third most e-mailed story the day it was published!
National Nurse Could Ease Health Care Crisis
This position would serve to aide in the current health care crisis in several ways. A National Nurse would draw attention to the nursing profession, and help to raise the level of professionalism. Hopefully this would encourage more women and men to become nurses. This would help to ease the nursing shortage.
National Nurse Corps
The Office of the National Nurse would also serve to promote health education. Mills proposes the formation of a National Nurse Corps who would work in their communities to organize events to promote health care. This would also serve to bring access to health education and information to everyone regardless of insurance.
Weekly Education Broadcasts
Through a series of weekly 15-minute broadcasts through television and radio media as well as on the Internet, the Nation Nurse would provide information to the public. This information would be aimed at prevention of disease and promotion of healthy living. Prevention is one of the best ways to lower health care costs.
Nurses are the core of the patient education system, and an Office of a National Nurse would help to raise awareness. As doctors have less and less time to spend with patients, nurses assume more responsibility to ensure patients understand their diseases and treatment modalities.
Educate Yourself and Form Your Own Opinion
Whatever your opinion, the idea has merits that deserve consideration and debate. Learn more about Ms. Mills and the National Nurse campaign and form your own opinion. If you decide to support the National Nurse campaign you can make a donation and write to your legislators.
Ms. Mills is NOT campaigning to become the National Nurse herself. She states, "if anything, I would LOVE to volunteer for the National Nurse corps in my own community."
The National Nurse Act of 2017