The National Nurse Act of 2019

Summary
The National Nurse Act of 2019 (H.R. 1597, S. 696) would designate the Chief Nurse Officer (CNO) of the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) as the "National Nurse for Public Health" to elevate the authority and visibility of this position. Conditions such as heart disease, cancer, obesity, and opioid addiction pose the single greatest threat to the health of Americans and our nation's economy. Nurses provide key services for the prevention and management of these conditions and this legislation is necessary to support further work needed to promote prevention, improve outcomes, and guide national, state, and local efforts in addressing the nation's health.

Designating the CNO of the PHS to be uniquely known as the National Nurse for Public Health would be a practical, cost-effective step forward in publicly acknowledging the need for a focus on wellness and prevention. There is convincing evidence that the health of our country can be dramatically advanced by deploying our greatest and most trusted national health resource-America’s 4 million nurses. This legislation would provide the nation with a trusted, professional nursing leadership position to enhance the nation’s health prevention efforts.