The Power of Prevention and the Role of Nurses
National Public Health Week (NPHW) is coming up April 2 to April 8; do you know what's happening in your community?
NPHW, which began in 1995, will focus on prevention with events centered on the theme, "A Healthier America Begins Today: Join the Movement." Each day of the week will highlight different preventive measures that support healthier, longer lives. The daily themes include: active living and healthy eating, living tobacco- and drug-free and preventing alcohol abuse, preventing communicable diseases, reproductive and sexual health, and mental and emotional well-being.
Just before NPHW begins, the issue of prevention and public health will be taken to Washington, DC, by a volunteer delegation of the National Nursing Network Organization, to raise awareness and gain support for HR 3679: The National Nurse Act of 2011. The legislation calls for the appointment of a National Nurse for Public Health.
Who would fill this position? According to the bill's website, "Congress will designate that the existing chief nurse officer of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), who also serves as the Assistant Surgeon General, be elevated to become a full-time position within the Office of the Surgeon General and be officially titled the ‘National Nurse for Public Health.'"
The responsibilities of this position would include: promoting prevention and healthy living nationwide, supporting the Surgeon General, encouraging nurses to promote prevention in their communities, increasing public awareness on the role of nursing and its contributions, and enhancing nursing education, to name a few.
Do you think the nursing profession and the nation as a whole would benefit from a National Nurse for Public Health?