Nurses are speaking and Congress is listening as August recess wraps up

  

After a very busy spring and summer, Congress has left Washington, D.C. for a few weeks and all eyes now look ahead to what is gearing up to be an active fall.

It is clear that lawmakers and staff are listening to the nurses. Many key priorities of ANA have progressed during the last few months.

It was met with great news when the House Education and Labor Committee passed the Workplace Violence and Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1309) with a bipartisan vote during the week of Hill Day and Membership Assembly. This bill directs the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue a standard requiring health care and social service employers to develop and implement a comprehensive violence prevention plan tailored to the facility and services with the intention to protect employees from violence incidents in the workplace.

In July, the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously passed the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act (H.R. 728). This legislation would reauthorize nursing workforce development programs through Fiscal Year 2024. That means two of ANA’s key bills are ready for a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Additionally, it is appropriations season in the House of Representatives and the nurses received two wins in the House-passed Labor-HHS appropriations legislation. It included a $30 million increase in Title VIII funding and language to direct CMS to provide information for evaluating appropriate nurse staffing. ANA staff is working with the Senate to ensure they are aware of the provisions in the House-passed text.

Lastly, ANA has been working closely with the Nursing Community Coalition and the coalition was able to include an amendment to the House passed National Defense Authorization Act. This amendment would recognize the nurses who served as members of the United States Cadet Nurse Corps during World War II and provide them with honorable discharges, medal privileges, and burial benefits for cemeteries administered under the Department of Veterans Affairs. We are hopeful this amendment will be in the final legislation!

In order to keep up the great progress that has been made, we urge you to keep calling upon your members of Congress to ensure we can keep moving the ball during the upcoming months!

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