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, Comments, & Testimony on Key Policy Issues
- October 11: The Academy signed on to a USBC letter thanking Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-MI) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) for their upcoming introduction of the Friendly Airports for Mothers Expansion (FAME) Act. This is the Senate companion bill to the Small Airports Mothers' Room Act (H.R. 3362), introduced in the House in June and which the Academy has also supported.
- October 8: The Academy signed on to a United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) letter to Senators Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Representatives Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Kay Granger (R-TX) supporting the increase of funding levels for the WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program for Fiscal Year 2020 to its fully authorized amount of $90 million. Read more here.
- September 26: Academy President Karen Cox spoke at the House of Representatives' Gun Violence Prevention Task Force's press conference, hosted by Representatives Lauren Underwood (D-IL), Mike Thompson (D-CA, Chair), Lucy McBath (D-GA), and Jahana Hayes (D-CT). Read more here.
- September 12: The Academy joined the American Public Health Association and several public health, health policy, medicine, and nursing deans, chairs, and scholars in an amicus brief for the case Make the Road New York, et. al. v. Ken Cuccinelli, et. al. The case questions the legality of a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and Department of Homeland Security policy that bars admission and lawful residence to people determined "likely to become a public charge." The brief argues the policy threatens public health on a national scale. Read the brief here.
- September 5: The Academy, along with 61 members of the Nursing Community Coalition, sent a letter to Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) urging the Senate HELP Committee to advance the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2019. Read the letter here.
- August 13: The Academy submitted comments in response to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed rule "Nondiscrimination in Health and Health Education Programs or Activities" expressing concern regarding the significant implications it will have on individuals' timely access to comprehensive health care services. This rule as proposed would weaken or eliminate protections for our most vulnerable populations. Read the full comments here.
- August 12: The Academy submitted comments in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services's (CMS) request for information on "Reducing Administrative Burden to Put Patients Over Paperwork." The Academy's comments applaud CMS's current efforts to reduce provider burden and offer recommendations to address barriers specific to the nursing profession, including removing credentialing and privileging barriers, removing costly physician supervision requirements, and reducing data entry and documentation burdens. Read the full comments here.
- August 5: In the wake of two mass shootings less than 24 hours of each other, the Academy sent a letter to Congressional leadership, including Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), calling on them to act to prevent future gun violence. Specifically, the letter calls on the Senate to pass the Background Check Expansion Act (S. 42), a version of which has already passed the House. Read the full letter here.
- August 5: The Academy sent a letter to Representative Raul Ruiz (D-CA) and to Senators Tom Udall (D-NM), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in support of the Humanitarian Standards to Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act (H.R. 3239 / S. 2135). This legislation will ensure the health and safety of those detained at our southern border. Read the House and Senate letters. The Academy also sent a letter to Representative Lauren Underwood (D-IL) in support of the U.S. Border Patrol Medical Screening Standards Act (H.R. 3525) that would require an efficient medical screening upon detention at the border. Read the letter here.
- July 11: The Academy participated in the House of Representatives Black Maternal Health Caucus's Stakeholder Summit on black maternal care. The Academy offered several broad-based recommendations to improve maternal infant health overall, including heightened data collection and research on maternal mortality and preterm births. Read more here.
- July 9: The Academy signed on to a United States Breastfeeding Committee letter thanking Representative Carol Miller (R-WV) for introducing the Small Airports Mothers' Rooms Act of 2019 (H.R. 3362). This legislation would extend provisions of the Friendly Airports for Mothers Act to require small hub airports to provide a private, non-bathroom space in each terminal for breastfeeding. Read the letter here.
- July 8: The Academy has joined close to 100 stakeholder groups in signing on to Climate Health Action's policy action agenda calling on government, business, and civil society leaders, elected officials, and candidates, to recognize climate change as a health emergency. Read more here.
- July 2: The Academy sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan expressing extreme concerns regarding the conditions and treatment of immigrants at our southern border. The Academy calls on the Administration to take meaningful, immediate action to improve access to appropriate health care for these individuals. Read the letter here.
- June 27: The Academy sent a letter to Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) in support of the Equality Act (S. 788). This legislation, which currently has 46 bipartisan cosponsors, is an important step towards eliminating sex-based discrimination and to achieving health equity. Read the letter here.
- June 25: The Academy signed on to a letter, along with home health advocates led by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, in support of the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2019 (H.R. 2150/S. 296).
- June 12: The Academy has joined the American Nurses Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Physicians for Reproductive Health in filing a amici curiae brief in a case, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, et. all v. Donald J. Trump, et al, questioning the ability of employers to claim religious or moral exemptions to the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate.
- June 5: The Academy joined the Nursing Community Coalition in sending a letter thanking Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Richard Burr (R-NC) for introducing S. 1399, the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2019.
- June 3: The Academy signed on to the Oral Contraceptives (OCs) Over-the-Counter (OTC) Working Group's Statement of Purpose. The OCOTC is a coalition of reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations, nonprofit research and advocacy groups, university-based researchers, and prominent clinicians who share a commitment to providing all women of reproductive age easier access to safe, effective, acceptable, and affordable contraceptives. Read the statement here.
- May 30: The Academy joined 59 national nursing organizations of the Nursing Community Coalition in submitting testimony to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. The testimony included the coalition's funding requests of $266 million for the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs and $173 for the National Institute for Nursing Research for Fiscal Year 2020. Read the testimony here.
- May 14: The Academy joined 37 national nursing organizations of the Nursing Community Coalition in sending letters of support to the House and Senate original cosponsors of the United States Cadet Nurse Corps Service Recognition Act(H.R. 2056/S.997). This legislation recognizes the nurses who served as members of the United States Cadet Nurse Corps during World War II and provides them with honorable discharges, medal privileges, and veteran burial benefits. Read the letters here.
- May 3: The Academy and ANA coordinated communications in response to a Department of Health and Human Services final rule, "Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care; Delegations of Authority." Read more here.
- April 15: The Academy sent a press release on the new policy brief, "Pregnant and Parenting Women with a Substance Use Disorder: Actions and Policy for Enduring Therapeutic Practice." Read the press release here.
- April 1: The Academy submitted comments on to the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force in response to their Draft Report on Pain Management Best Practices: Updates, Gaps, Inconsistencies, and Recommendations. The Academy offered comments on where the report could be more inclusive of the whole healthcare team and urged for the Task Force's report to incorporate the unique care nurses and APRNs provide by using provider-neutral language. Read the comments here.
- March 27: The Academy sent a letter to Representative David Cicillinie (D-RI) in support of the Equality Act (H.R. 5). This legislation, which currently has over 240 bipartisan cosponsors, is an important step towards eliminating discrimination based on one's sex, including their sexual orientation or gender identity, and towards health equity. Read the letter here.
- March 12: The Academy and the American Nurses Association sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar in response to HHS's final rule on Title X Family Planning programs. The letter outlined concerns that this "gag" rule, which prohibits providers receiving Title X funding from referring their patients for safe and legal abortion services, threatens the patient-provider relationship centered on honesty and transparency. Read the letter here.
- February 22: The Academy, along with the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science, submitted comments to the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) within the National Institutes of Health in response to their Request for Information regarding their working definitions of "behavioral" and "social." The comments requested the definitions be broadened to ensure potential "behavioral" and "social" variables are not excluded within the definitions and that OBSSR will be able to conduct comprehensive research. Read the comments here.
- February 21: The Academy, along with 165 other national, state, and local medical, public health, and research organizations, signed on to a letters sent to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees requesting $50 million be provided to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct public health research into firearm morbidity and mortality prevention as a part of Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations. This funding request reflects the Academy's position that robust research is needed in order to prevent and reduce unintended firearm injuries and fatalities. Read the letter here.
- February 13: The Academy joined over 630 organizations in signing on to a letter supporting the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act (H.R. 1185/S. 463). This legislation would create a national family and medical leave insurance program to help ensure people who work can take the time they need to address serious health and caregiving needs. Read the letter here.
- February 12: The Academy submitted comments to the Office for Civil Rights(OCR), within the Department of Health and Human Services, in response to their request for information on Modifying HIPAA Rules to Improve Coordinated Care. The Academy's comments put forth five recommendations for the OCR: improve methods to identify and match individuals across care settings; establish a harmonized, nationwide approach to the protection of protected health information; establish a harmonized, nationwide approach to patient consent for Health Information Exchange, with the preferred model being "opt out"; and provide guidance for privacy and security in electronic patient-provider communications beyond patient-portals (eHealth). The Academy urged OCR to make modifications to HIPAA rules to reduce existing barriers to effective care coordination while protecting patients' privacy. Read the comments here.
- February 8: The Academy and the American Nurses Association sent a letter to Chairwoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Ranking Member Brett Guthrie (R-KY), of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, in response to the hearing yesterday regarding the Trump Administration’s family separation policy. In the letter, the Academy and ANA implore Congress to take measurable action to address the health and well-being of children and families separated at the border. Read the letter here.
- February 7: The Academy joined 33 nursing organizations in signing on to a Nursing Community Coalition letter sent to the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. The letter, written in response to the subcommittee's hearing on the Trump Administration's family separation policy, outlined the coalition's concerns over the health and well-being of immigrant children. Read the letter here.
- January 31: The Academy joined 41 nursing organizations in signing on to a Nursing Community Coalition letter sent to Representatives David Joyce (R-OH), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), David McKinley (R-WV), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Kathy Castor (D-FL), and Lauren Underwood (D-IL), thanking them for introducing the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 728). Read the letter here.
- January 28: The Academy submitted comments to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in response to their draft Strategy on Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burden Relating to the Use of Health IT and EHRs. The Academy's comments applauded ONC for their strategies to reduce burden while encouraging them to use provider-neutral language, where applicable, to fully encompass the interprofessional nature of the health care team. Read the comments here.
- January 8: The Academy submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in response to their proposed rule titled "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Exchange Program Integrity" expressing concern that provisions within the rule would be overly burdensome to patients. Specifically, the Academy was concerned about a proposal that would require qualified health plans to bill and invoice consumers for non-Hyde Amendment abortion premiums separately from their premiums for the remainder of their healthcare coverage. Read the comments here.