Policy & Advocacy

The Academy serves the public and the nursing profession by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of nursing knowledge. Fellows leverage their expertise to provide the critical knowledge, and analysis, summary, and integration for transforming health policy and practice. The Academy advances evidence based innovations in health care delivery to address the health needs of populations, including diverse, at-risk, and disenfranchised populations.

In 2006, the Academy established a Washington, DC, office in keeping with the Academy's strategic goals and recognizing the pivotal role of public policy in reforming American health care. The Washington office is the focal point for identifying key policy issues in which the Academy can mobilize its Fellows along with strategic partner organizations to support the Academy's policy agenda and affect change.

Outreach to policymakers in Congress and the Administration and collaboration with key national stakeholders shape policy and ensures that nurses' solutions are integrated into a quality health care system. 

Academy Letters & Testimony on Key Policy Issues

2018

  • September 21: The Academy signed on as a lead 'Amici curiae' (friend of the court) in a new brief filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in the case Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, et al. At issue are the two Interim Final Rules (IFR) that threaten to take away the no-cost contraceptive coverage required under the Affordable Care Act from countless women.  The IFRs would allow any employer or health insurance provider to exclude contraceptive coverage by invoking religious or moral objections. The amicus brief argues that overwhelming evidence establishes that access to the full range of FDA-approved prescription contraceptives is an essential component of effective health care for women. Read the brief here
  • September 11: The Academy Joined more than 90 other organizations in signing on to a letter criticizing CVS Caremark's decision to incorporate the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review’s value-based drug pricing analyses in some of its coverage choices. The letter to CVS President and CEO Larry J. Merlo states in part: “Policy decisions based on cost-effectiveness ignore important differences among patients and instead rely on a single, one-size-fits-all assessment. Further, cost-effectiveness analysis discriminates against the chronically ill, the elderly and people with disabilities, using algorithms that calculate their lives as ‘worth less’ than people who are younger or non-disabled.” (Read the letter.)
  • August 30: he Academy joined with 44 other Nursing Community Coalition organizations in signing on to a welcome letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie asking for a meeting to discuss certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) full practice authority within VA facilities. Three APRNs (nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse-midwives) were included in a recent rule granting full practice authority within VA health facilities, but CRNAs were not included. Read the letter here.
  • August 22: The Academy was pleased to endorse Senator Kamala Harris’ Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies (CARE) Act, which she introduced on August 22. The bill would create two grant programs that aim to reduce maternal mortality rates, with a focus on addressing the racial disparities in maternal mortality. Read more here.
  • Auugust 16: The Academy signed on to a letter organized by the National Partnership for Women & Families expressing concern for what Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court would mean for women and girls with pre-existing conditions. The letter, delivered to the US Senate on August 21, read in part: “Cases involving the ACA's  prohibition on discrimination based on preexisting conditions are working their way through the court system and may, ultimately, end up at the Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh already expressed his opposition to the ACA…We urge the Senate to stand with the millions of women and girls who would be left without affordable, comprehensive, quality care and to reject Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.”
  • July 26: The Academy submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services in response to the proposed rule entitled Compliance with Statutory Program Integrity Requirements, which would significantly and detrimentally alter the Title X Family Planning Program, the only federal program dedicated to providing low ­income patients with access to family planning and preventive health services and information. (Read the letter)  
  • June 19:: The Academy issued a statement strongly urging DHS Secretary Nielsen and Attorney General Sessions to reverse the policy guidance on “Zero Tolerance Immigration Prosecutions” that separates immigrant refugee children from their parents upon crossing the U.S. border. Studies support that forcibly separating children from their parents increases the likelihood of toxic stress levels for these children, and may have long-lasting negative effects on their health and psychological wellbeing.  The Academy has long supported the reduction of toxic stress associated with adverse childhood experiences to improve the health of the nation. (Read the statement.)
  • June 19: In addition to its own statement (see above), the Academy was one of 33 Nursing Community Coalition organizations that signed on to a letter to DHS Secretary   Nielsen imploring the Administration to protect the health and wellness of immigrant children. In the letter, the Coalition, representing a cross section of nursing education, research, practice, and regulation, requested that immediate action be taken to reverse the policy guidance on “Zero Tolerance Immigration Prosecutions” that separates immigrant children from their parents. (Read the letter)
  • May 23: The Academy issued a statement urging the Trump-Pence Administration to remove the “gag” rule on Title X -- one of the nation’s primary birth control and reproductive health care programs.  The gag rule removes the guarantee that a Title X patient receives full and accurate information about their health care from their providers. (Read the statement.) 
  • May 14: The Academy co-signed a letter with FamiliesUSA and other organizations to congressional leadership urging Congress to reject changes to the 340B program that would limit access to affordable, clinically appropriate, pharmaceuticals for low-income, uninsured, underinsured, and other vulnerable patients. (Read the letter.)
  • May 9: The Academy was pleased to co-sign a letter with FamiliesUSA and other organizations to DHHS Secretary Alex Azar expressing deep concerns regarding the ineffectiveness of Medicaid demonstration waiver evaluations as documented by the GAO that indicated "CMS has not released available evaluation results from the multi-state evaluation nor set time frames for making these and future federal evaluation findings public."  (Read the letter.)
  • April 18: The Academy provided official comments on a proposed rule of the DHHS, DOL, and IRS that would expand short-term limited-duration insurance plans. The Academy urged that the rule not be finalized because many individuals who rely on comprehensive coverage - including women, older adults, and people with chronic conditions - would be left without affordable, comprehensive options. The proposed rule rescinds restrictions on short-term plans, allowing insurers to offer inadequate policies to millions of consumers. These plans exclude coverage for important health care services and pre-existing conditions; vary premium rates by gender, health status, and age; and put individuals and families at significant financial risk. (Read the comments.)
  • April 11: The Academy was pleased to co-sign a letter with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and the Center for Reproductive Rights, ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the Women's Refugee Commission to ICE Deputy Director Thomas Homan calling on ICE to refrain from detaining pregnant individualsand reinstitute a presumption of release. (Read the letter.) 
  • April 11: Anticipating the introduction of the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2018,  the Academy was pleased to co-sign a letter to the Congressional Health Task Force Co-Chairs in support of the legislation. Introduced every Congress by leaders of the Congressional Black, Hispanic and Asian and Pacific American Caucuses concerned with health equity, the HEAA addresses through enhanced reporting, technology infrastructure, workforce diversity, and culturally appropriate health care the intersections of race and ethnicity with age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, language, immigration status, and socio-economic status. 
  • April 11: The Academy was pleased to join with the Nursing Community Coalition to co-sign a letter to the Chair of the Senate Health, Labor, Education & Pensions Committee offering comments in response to draft legislation, The Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, urging the Committee to use provider-neutral language and incorporate all APRN roles in the legislation to expand access to care for patients with opioid addictions. (Read the letter.) 
  • March 28: The Academy was pleased to join with Families USA and other organizations to co-sign a letter urging Congress to take a step towards addressing the public health emergency of gun violence and formally repeal the "Dickey Amendment" to allow federal health agencies to conduct research into the causes, effects, and evidence-based prevention of gun violence. (Read the letter.) 
  • March 27: The ANA and the Academy submitted a joint letter to the U.S. DHHS on the Conscience Note of Proposed Rule Making (RIN 0945-ZA03) urging that the Office of Civil Rights proposed rules be rescinded. The comments urge that the Office of Civil Rights create a standard for health systems and individual practices to ensure prompt, easy access to critical health care services if an individual provider has a moral or ethical objection to certain health care services. The comment letter states that in health care practice, patients come first, and DHHS must strike an equitable balance between conscientious objections and patients’ rights. (Read the letter.
  • March 2: Working with the Nursing Community Coalition, the Academy co-signed a letter to Representative Stephanie Murphy thanking her for introducing the Gun Violence Research Act (H.R. 1478), which would enable researchers to study gun violence to create a safer future and to share the research publicly. Previously, the Academy joined the March for Science and American Psychological Association in an open letter to Congress calling for increased funding for gun violence research. (Read the letter)
  • February 27: The American Academy of Nursing delivered a letter to Congressional leadership urging them to launch a bipartisan National Commission on Mass Shootings. The letter was cosigned by 96 organizations,  (Read the letter.)
  • January 8: The American Academy of Nursing was pleased to co-sign letters to Senate and House leadership urging Congress to fund the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and its critical research at a level equal to or higher than the Senate mark of $324 million in the FY 2018 omnibus. AHRQ is an essential element of the nation’s health care system, charged with improving the quality and delivery of health care. Funding AHRQ will help to ensure that our health care system becomes the most efficient for both patients and taxpayers. (Read Letters

2017 

  • December 15: The Academy is joining with 40 members of the Nursing Community Coalition in cosigning a statement reinforcing the focus on the patient in response to the AMA's House of Delegates Interim Meeting at which the delegates adopted an amended resolution to urge the AMA to convene an in-person meeting of stakeholders to initiate a national strategy to address the APRN Compact. The Nursing Community's statement noted that the AMA's action has the potential to impede access to care by qualified providers and complicates aspects of an interprofessional, team-based approach. (Read the statement.) 
  • September 25: The Academy was pleased to join the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Health Law Program, the National Partnership for Women & Families, and 233 other organizations urging the Senate to oppose the Graham-Cassidy proposal. This proposal will eliminate affordable quality health care for millions of Americans by gutting the Affordable Care Act; slash federal funding and destroy Medicaid by turning its funding into per capita caps; eliminate the Medicaid expansion; and defund Planned Parenthood health centers. Graham-Cassidy would leave tens of millions of people in the US significantly worse off than under current law. (Read Letter)
  • November 21: The Academy supports the bipartisan resolution made by Sens. Warren (D-MA) & Perdue (R-GA) recognizing the seriousness of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and expressing support for designating September 2018 as PCOS Awareness Month. PCOS affects 5-10 million women in the United States, is the most common endocrine disorder among women and is a leading cause of infertility. (Read press release)
  • September 20: The Academy was pleased to co-sign a letter with the National Health Collaborative on Violence and Abuse to Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Schumer in opposition to the Graham-Cassidy amendment that is being considered in the Senate and to lay out principles for any health reform proposals.(Read Letter)
  • August 8: The Academy wrote a letter to US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis supporting existing US Department of Defense policy on transgender service members serving in the military.  The letter underscored the Academy's commitment to ensuring dignified and respectful health care for all persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. (Read letter)
  • July 24: The Academy joined with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Health Law Program, the National Partnership for Women & Families, and 162 other organizations urging Congress to oppose the motion to proceed on the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which would eliminate affordable quality health care for millions of Americans by gutting the Affordable Care Act,  slashing federal funding, and transforming Medicaid into a block grant or per capita cap. In addition, the letter urges Senators to support the Parliamentarian's ruling excluding the defunding of Planned Parenthood health centers from the reconciliation bill. (Read letter)
  • June 21: With other health organizations, the Academy endorsed the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s policy brief advocating for the reduction of smoking disparities in the LGBT community. (Read policy brief).
  • June 14: The Academy joined with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Health Law Program, and the National Partnership for Women & Families among numerous other organizations in co-signing a letter to Senators urging opposition to repealing the affordable Care Act, slashing federal funding and transforming Medicaid into a block grant or per capita cap; eliminating the Medicaid expansion, and defunding Planned Parenthood health centers. (Read letter.)
  • May 31: The Academy was pleased to co-sign a letter to Members of Congress with the National Women's Law Center expressing support for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. This bipartisan legislation promotes healthy pregnancies and economic security for pregnant women and their families and strengthens the economy.(Read letter.)
  • May 23: The Academy co-signed with the Nursing Community a strong statement opposing President Trump’s FY 2018 Budget Proposal, which calls for steep cuts to DHHS programs including the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development programs; and eliminating funding for other Title VIII programs. In addition, the President recommends a 24% reduction to NINR. (Read the statement here.) 
  • May 1: The Academy joined with AcademyHealth and other national organizations in co-signing letters to U.S. House of Representatives and Senate Leadership of Appropriations Committees and Subcommittees urging a FY18 appropriations request of $302 million for the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). This request is an increase of $21 million over the FY16 level and is consistent with the FY17 request. The NIMHD serves as the lead scientific agency dedicated to improving minority health, reducing health disparities, and training a diverse research workforce. (Read both letters)
  • April 7: The Academy was pleased to send a letter to the new director of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services urging the inclusion of military service criteria in electronic health records to focus on the unique needs and strengths of Americans who have served in the Armed Forces and their families. (Read letter)
  • April 5: The Academy joined with 150 organizations as Friends of AHRQ in co-signing letters to House and Senate Congressional leadership requesting $364 million in budget authority for AHRQ, consistent with the FY2015 level. (Read both letters)
  • March 17: Co-signed with the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities a letter to Members of Congress urging opposition to the American Health Care Act.  Serious concerns were raised over the proposed legislation that will put the health and well being of people with disabilities at significant risk including sections to repeal the Medicaid expansion, to eliminate the requirement that Medicaid cover the Essential Health Benefits including crucial services for people with disabilities, to end the Prevention and Public Health Fund that provides crucial financial support for public health services and other services that assist people with disabilities, and to repeal the Community First Choice option that allows individuals with disabilities to receive needed supports to remain at home, with states receiving extra Medicaid federal matching funds to cover the services. (Read letter)
  • March 16:  Co-signed a letter with the Nursing Community to the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies requesting $244 million for the HRSA Nursing Workforce Development programs and $160 million for the NINR. (Read letter)
  • March 8: Co-signed with the Nursing Community testimony delivered before the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies advocating for appropriations for FY 2018 of $244 million for the HRSA Nursing Workforce Development programs and $160 million for the National Institute of Nursing Research.  (Read testimony)
  • March 7: Co-signed a letter with the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and 14 other organizations to Speaker Ryan, Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Pelosi, & Minority Leader Schumer urging Congressional leadership to reject efforts to condition payment for health care services on factors other than medical and legal qualifications and standards. (Read letter) 
  • March 6: Co-signed a letter with the National Partnership of Women & Families and 99 other organizations to Speaker Ryan, Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Pelosi, and Minority Leader Schumer expressing opposition to repealing the Affordable Care Act and defunding Planned Parenthood. (Read letter)
  • March 2: Co-signed with numerous national and state organizations including the National Partnership for Women and Families a letter to President Trump identifying six core domestic policy priorities that will help ensure that all women in the United States have the opportunity to succeed and thrive. These priorities include creating workplaces that work for women and their families;securing quality health care and reproductive rights for women; ensuring income security for all families; addressing violence and mass incarceration; building a quality, affordable and equitable education system; and securing women’s equality under law. (Read letter)
  • February 24: Co-signed a letter with the Nursing Community thanking the sponsors for their introduction of the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act to reauthorize the HRSA 's Nursing Workforce Development programs through FY2022. (Read letter)
  • February 3:  Co-signed a letter to the Speaker and Minority leaders of the House and Majority and Minority leaders of the Senate strongly opposing efforts to prevent Planned Parenthood health centers from participating in federal health programs including Medicaid and the Title X family planning program. (Read letter)