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NO. R-349.  JOINT RESOLUTION urging Congress to enact legislation establishing an Office of the National Nurse.


Offered by:  Representatives Keenan of St. Albans City, Andrews of Rutland City, Browning of Arlington, Fisher of Lincoln, Frank of Underhill, French of Randolph, Gervais of Enosburg, Haas of Rochester, Head of S. Burlington, Keogh of Burlington, Leriche of Hardwick, Maier of Middlebury, McCormack of Rutland City, Milkey of Brattleboro, Morrissey of Bennington, Mrowicki of Putney, Nuovo of Middlebury, O'Donnell of Vernon, Ojibway of Hartford, Orr of Charlotte, Pearson of Burlington, Perry of Richford, Pugh of S. Burlington, Spengler of Colchester, Symington of Jericho, Wheeler of Derby and Zenie of Colchester

Whereas, everyday, nurses provide critical health care services to individuals in hospitals, clinics, nursing facilities, and doctors’ offices, and as nurse practitioners, and

Whereas, there is a severe shortage of nurses throughout the United States, including Vermont, and

Whereas, during the 109th Congress, Representative Lois Capps of California introduced HR 4903, also known as the “National Nurse Act of 2006,” that would have established an Office of the National Nurse within the U.S. Office of Public Health and Science, and

Whereas, the legislation required the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to appoint a registered nurse to head the Office of the National Nurse, and

Whereas, under this bill, the National Nurse was directed to:

“(1)  carry out activities to encourage individuals to enter the nursing

profession, including providing education on the distinct role of nurses in the health professions and examining nursing issues that would increase public safety, such as issues relating to staff levels, working conditions, and patient input;

“(2)  carry out activities to encourage nurses to become educators in schools of nursing;

“(3)  carry out activities to promote the public health, including encouraging nurses to be volunteers to projects that educate the public on achieving better health; and

“(4)  conduct media campaigns and make personal appearances for purposes of paragraphs (1) through (3)”, and

Whereas, in accordance with the proposed HR 4903, on an annual basis, the National Nurse was instructed to designate four methods of achieving better health, and

Whereas, the National Nurse was also assigned the responsibility of making grants to nonprofit organizations for the purpose of developing and implementing community-based public health information programs in conjunction with designated state coordinators who would establish volunteer teams of nurses to serve as the onsite community educators, and

Whereas, this legislation would also have authorized appropriations, for a period of five years, to implement its provisions, and

Whereas, HR 4903 as introduced in the 109th Congress merits further congressional examination, and its provisions should be reintroduced in new legislation during the 110th Congress, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly urges Congress to enact legislation establishing an Office of the National Nurse, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Peggy Sharpe, president of the Vermont State Nurses Association in South Burlington, to U.S. Representative Lois Capps, and to the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation.


Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont