ANA’s Advocacy: Your Voice Matters, Make it Heard

ANA members at last year’s Hill Day.

Congress is on a short break, but the American Nurses Association (ANA) is always advocating for nurses.  

During this 118th session of Congress, we have worked with our nursing champions to introduce several key pieces of legislation. These bills cover both work environment and workforce development issues, such as preventing workplace violence, recruiting nurse faculty, and addressing mandatory overtime.

ANA believes that advocacy is a pillar of nursing. Nurses advocate for their patients daily to ensure they receive the quality care they deserve and that nurses are proud to provide. Political and legislative advocacy are equally important to shaping a future where the nursing profession and patient care are prioritized.  

Our advocacy is most effective when it is imbued with nurses’ voices and perspectives. Simply put, no one better understands the day-to-day struggles and triumphs of being a nurse than nurses themselves. Thus, to truly grasp the depth of these issues, Congress needs to hear directly from nurses. Contacting one’s federal representatives is a powerful way to make your voice heard and influence policy at the national level. 

Below, you will find our most recent grassroots campaigns that provide the language and information needed to easily contact your representatives. 

Take action today: 

Check out all of our grassroots campaigns and learn more about the bills by visiting our RNAction Center!

The National Provider Identifier – Help Us Show the Value of Nursing


The American Nurses Association (ANA) is constantly working to transform health care payment and delivery to foster a system that supports and advances the nursing profession, which is vital to patient-centered care and health outcomes. By registering for an NPI, you can help us advocate for nurse pay transparency.  

The National Provider Identifier (NPI) campaign is integral to pushing these systems to truly value nursing care. ANA is encouraging all nurses to obtain an NPI to enable them to show up and be counted as clinicians providing vital services to patients. It is beyond time to push health care financing systems to pull nursing services out from behind physician and other charges.  

The NPI is a unique provider number assigned by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). An NPI is required to bill Medicare, Medicaid, and many private insurers. Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) can use an NPI to bill directly. Even if you are an APRN who bills through their employer, you can still register for an individual NPI. 

While RNs generally cannot bill for services, they can register for an NPI. RNs are integral to the health care team and spend significant time with patients providing clinical services. In the current health care financing system, this work is generally not accounted for or specifically linked back to the value of a nurse. The lack of a unique nurse identifier, such as an NPI number, makes it extremely difficult to record, measure, and value the services RNs provide and their impact in health care delivery.   

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) ID is another unique identifier number automatically assigned to every nurse upon licensure. This number also helps us change health systems by providing data that shows the impact of nursing practice on outcomes. With the NPI targeting pay transparency and NCSBN ID targeting outcomes, together these numbers can help us create the health care industry nurses and their patients deserve. 

We need you to join the NPI campaign today by registering for your NPI at the CMS website! Visit our NPI page on for more information and instructions on how to register. 


ANA on Capitol Hill – Federal Legislative Update


UPDATE: Since this blog was posted, Congress passed a new continuing resolution that funds the first four appropriations bills (Ag-FDA, Energy-Water, MilCon-VA, and T-HUD) until March 1 and the remaining eight bills (including Labor-HHS) until March 8.

The last quarter of 2023 was a doozy in Congress. Speaker McCarthy (R-CA) was removed by his own caucus and replaced with Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), taking weeks out of the Congressional schedule. It happened because conservatives in his own party didn’t think Mr. McCarthy had negotiated tough enough on the debt limit deal with the Biden Administration. To keep the government from shutting down, Speaker Johnson negotiated a 2-step continuing resolution with government funding for certain agencies expiring on January 19 and funding for others ending on February 2. The February 2 deadline applies to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which oversees federal agencies and programs that are relevant to the nursing profession. 

As leaders in both chambers continue to negotiate government spending, ANA will continue to advocate for robust funding for the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Program and the Minority Fellowship Program. We have held several meetings with Congressional staff and worked with coalition partners to ensure the best possible outcome for nurses and patients.  

ANA Responds to Congressional Request Relating to Rural Health Access to Care 

In October, ANA submitted a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee in response to a request for information on how Congress can improve healthcare in rural and underserved areas. The committee sought comments on several topic areas, including how Congress can revitalize the healthcare workforce and advance innovative care models and technology. In its letter, ANA called on Congress to invest in education and training for nurses, fund mobile health units, and expand home visiting programs that operate in rural and medically underserved communities. The letter also urged lawmakers to support legislative proposals that remove barriers to in-person and telemedicine services for patients in these settings. 

Emerging Nurse Leaders go to Capitol Hill to Advocate on Nursing Priorities 

Prior to Halloween, ANA convened its American Nurses Advocacy Institute (ANAI) in the nation’s capital. This event gave emerging nurse leaders from 21 states an opportunity to meet with their congressional lawmakers and nursing colleagues to discuss critical issues for the nursing community. Participants received federal legislative and regulatory updates from ANA staff, engaged in open dialogue about nursing priorities, and learned what they can expect while meeting with congressional offices. Then, nurse advocates embarked on Capitol Hill to meet with their lawmakers and staff to advocate for Title XIII appropriations funding to rebuild the nursing workforce, the Improving Care and Access to Nurses (ICAN) Act (H.R. 2713/S. 2418) to remove existing barriers to care of APRNs, and the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 2663/S. 1176) to address workplace violence in healthcare settings. 

ANA Endorses Federal Legislation Establishing Minimum Staffing Standards 

In November, ANA formally endorsed the Nurse Staffing Standards for Hospital Patient Safety and Quality Care Act (H.R. 2530 and S. 1113). This bill would establish minimum nurse-to-patient ratios for every hospital, examine best practices for nurse staffing, and provide whistleblower protections for nurses who choose to advocate for the safety of their patients. In its press release, ANA stressed that the adoption of safe staffing levels is just one way to address work environment issues that also include workplace violence, mandatory overtime, and reimbursement/compensation issues. 

ANA Participates in Healthcare Workforce Roundtable on Capitol Hill 

Prior to the holiday break, ANA participated in a healthcare workforce roundtable event hosted by Representatives Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Kathy Manning (D-NC). This event brought representatives from several healthcare associations together to discuss workforce challenges facing the healthcare sector and potential solutions. In her testimony, ANA’s Dr. Katie Boston-Leary called on lawmakers to support passage of legislation that would address workplace violence, establish safe staffing levels, prohibit mandatory overtime for nurses, address the nurse faculty shortage, and invest in training and education for new nurses. 

New Bill to Address Nursing Faculty Shortage Introduced 

In September, Sens. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the Nurse Faculty Shortage Reduction Act (S. 2815). ANA worked with these offices to write and introduce the bill for several months. At the time of publication, the bill was just introduced in the House with bipartisan support by Reps. Dave Joyce (R-OH) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR). If passed, the bill would establish a 5-year demonstration project that would allow accredited schools of nursing to apply for grants to supplement the difference between what they can pay nurse faculty and what nurses with similar education and experience could expect to earn in critical care settings in those same geographic areas. The shortage of nursing faculty is one of the largest chokeholds on accepting more nursing students into nursing schools. A companion bill was previously introduced in the Senate.