Looking forward to this year’s #ANAHillDay


In just under three weeks ANA members and registered nurses from across the country will gather on Capitol Hill to demonstrate the power of nurse advocacy firsthand. As we prepare for our annual #ANAHillDay on June 20th, we wanted to offer some helpful tips and reminders for those attending and encourage those who might still be on the fence to register before it’s too late. With momentum building around a number of bills in Congress that will help advance the nursing profession, now is the perfect time to join us for our biggest advocacy event of the year.

Prior to arriving in Washington for the big day, please take some time to get to know the lawmakers with whom you’ll be meeting (your federal representative and both Senators). In particular, determine whether they’re already supportive of the legislation we’ll be discussing in our in-person meetings. That includes:

  • Workplace violence legislation in the House and Senate;
  • Title VIII nursing workforce development reauthorization in the House and Senate, and;
  • Home health legislation for APRNs in the House and Senate.

For additional background on these bills, please visit our RNAction issues page. If you’re unsure who represents you in the House, please find out here. Rest assured, we’ll be going into greater detail on all these bills at our morning breakfast briefing before you head up to Capitol Hill for your meetings. We’ll also be hearing from ANA leadership as well as the newest nurse in Congress, Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14).

Once you’re on the Hill, you and members of your state delegation with whom you’ll be paired will have the unique opportunity to share your professional perspective on why each of these bills matters to you. While it’s important to know what these bills are working to accomplish and how they would do so, it’s just as important for your representatives and their staff to hear your firsthand account on how you’ve encountered these issues in your job. Representatives and staff will always respond better when you are able to make a personal attachment to the issue at hand. Please spend some time thinking about if and how these issues have impacted your work, and decide which ones you feel most confident speaking to during your meetings.

And if you can’t join us here in our nation’s capital, rest assured you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to join through our virtual Hill Day campaign. To ensure you’re getting these and other timely nurse advocate updates, please sign up for our RNAction updates.

To watch our Facebook briefing with additional information on everything Hill Day-related, please click here. And if you’re interested in attending but still haven’t registered, please do so here

A Life Changing Event Leads to Nurse Advocacy



I am very excited to announce that I recently joined the Policy and Government Affairs team at the American Nurses Association. By way of getting to know me and my background, my career started on Capitol Hill where I worked in the House of Representatives for several years, and most recently, I had the privilege of working at the American Physical Therapy Association.

I do not think landing at ANA is purely coincidental. Just a couple of years ago my family went through a deeply terrifying time. One day my mother was healthy and happy and overnight everything changed. She developed hematomas on her brain and wound up in a weeks-long coma. As readers of this blog uniquely know, my family was terrified. We were in ICU for a very long time and developed relationships with many hospital workers.

We would not have made it through each day without the nurses we met. When we didn’t understand something (which happened frequently!), the nurses would break it down and explain what it meant. When we needed something for my mother, they would get it as soon as they could. Of course, there were also the moments where we didn’t see hope, and as busy as ICU nurses are, they would take a moment and were there for us.

This fall my family celebrates three years since that time. I couldn’t be happier to share that my mother is awake, at home, and she recently went to Orlando with her children and grandkids and had the vacation of a lifetime.

While we are so grateful to be past that stage, we are forever thankful to those nurses who not only helped my mom but helped our entire family. We have even gone back to the hospital to see the team and show off how well their former patient is doing!

Working in this role is what I can do to try and repay all of the nurses around the country that have done so much.

Here at ANA I am leading our legislative efforts on issues that include: Title VIII funding; safe staffing; workplace violence; health care transformation; and U.S. Nurse Cadet Corp. legislation. I encourage you to get in touch with your Members of Congress and tell them your stories about why it is so important they support these issues.

I look forward to working together to move forward sound policy that helps advance the nursing profession across the country.

Ending HIV/AIDS – Nurses on the Frontline as Administration Ramps Up New Initiative


Nurses are indispensable to ending HIV/AIDS in the U.S., the ANA reminded a federal stakeholder group advising the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Administration has ramped up HIV prevention efforts, announcing plans to reduce the number of new HIV infections by 90 percent in the next decade. HHS will need nurses, including APRNs, to reach that target and improve the lives of people who are now living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).

In a letter to the CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STD Prevention and Treatment, ANA made the case to ensure nurses’ participation in new HIV initiatives. Lead agencies include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) within HHS. HHS is seeking an HIV budget increase of $291 million, for CDC and HRSA to invest in local HealthForces that will target communities where HIV cases are the fastest growing.

Since the early 1980s when the U.S. health care system began to confront HIV and its enormous impact, nurses have been on the frontlines on many levels – creating new patient care models, conducting research, educating the community, and addressing workplace safety. Now, and over the decades since life-saving anti-retroviral therapies (ART) have been available, nurses are central to the care coordination that supports many PLWHA in life-saving treatment to stay virally suppressed.

Viral suppression, when viral load is no longer detectable, also significantly reduces risks of HIV transmission, so much so that advocates have coined the phrase “U=U”: Undetectable means untransmittable. Effective HIV treatment, then, is also critical to HIV prevention.

In the President’s 2019 State of the Union address and following months, the Administration has made bold commitments to dramatically reduce new HIV infections. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the U.S. lags other comparable countries in HIV suppression rates, at 54 percent compared to 84 percent in the United Kingdom, for example. And while HIV incidence had been falling in the United States in the early part of this decade, that progress has slowed in recent years.

Research and epidemiology clearly show that HIV incidence in the U.S. is now highly concentrated in a relatively small number of geographic areas. HIV in those areas is especially prevalent in Black/African-American communities, which have historically confronted negative social determinants of health and inequitable barriers to health care. Of all PLWHA in the U.S., 50 percent live in five states, primarily southern states.

The Administration has proposed a response that would invest in new HIV prevention in the geographic areas where infection rates continue to be among the highest. At the local level, health departments and other stakeholders would be given more resources to identify new HIV cases. Community health centers would play a lead role in delivering appropriate care so that PLWHA achieve viral suppression. There would also be an emphasis on reaching people who are at high risk of becoming HIV positive, and encouraging use of ART prophylactically for prevention.

ANA will continue advocating for nurses as the Administration pursues its agenda to prevent HIV. For more information about this effort, visit the CDC’s resources for providers in the Act Against AIDS campaign. To learn more about ANA’s advocacy, read our comments on updates to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, and our letter to the CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee.