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 ensure that nurses' solutions are integrated into a quality health care system.
Academy Letters, Comments, & Testimony on Key Policy Issues
- February 5: The Academy sent a letter to Congresswoman Lauren Underwood supporting her bill, the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021 (Momnibus). The Momnibus is a set of 12 individual bills that aim to improve maternal health outcomes in the United States, particularly among Black mothers. The bills address issues such as COVID-19, climate change, mental health, female veteran care, and vaccines. Read more.
- February 3: Statement: The American Academy (Academy) of Nursing strongly supports President Biden’s recent Executive Order on the Establishment of an Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families. The Academy has consistently urged the deployment of all measures that would reunify families and find the parents of the children who remain separated from them at the southern border. The Academy applauds the functions of this Task Force, as outlined in Section 4 of the Executive Order, and will continue to push for a robust, actionable response to this crisis.
- January 18: Statement: Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, the Academy remains committed to taking a stand against all forms of racism, discrimination, and bias through its mission to improve health and achieve health equity. As nurses, we work directly with individuals in times of calm, crisis, and chaos. We provide care, innovate, and conduct research to protect the most vulnerable in our communities. We must continue to use our voice and our evidence, as the most trusted profession, to educate and unify. It is my hope that we can begin to heal by working with the new Administration to implement policies for a truly equitable future. - Academy President Eileen Sullivan-Marx
- January 13: The Academy, along with other healthcare organizations, signed onto a memo with policy recommendations to the Biden Administration regarding the Title X Family Planning Program. Read the recommendations.
- January 4: The Academy signed onto an amicus brief with other healthcare organizations regarding the public charge rule from the Department of Homeland Security (HHS) that would deter immigrants from enrolling in essential healthcare programs and services. Read more.
- December 14: The Academy sent a letter to President-Elect Joe Biden, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, and their Administration outlining ways in which the Academy can assist the Administration on a number of healthcare issues including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, gun violence, etc. Read more.
- December 10: Statement: In order to keep our country secure, we must also secure the safety and well-being of our armed forces. Military sexual trauma is a continuing and urgent issue among military service members. Individuals must be able to report acts of violence, sexual assault, and harassment without fear of retribution. The disturbing findings from the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee show more must be done to combat the unacceptable actions and lack of appropriate measure to address the existing culture. The Academy encourages sufficient resources and multipronged approaches be immediately employed for the prevention of, intervention in, and recovery from military sexual trauma.
- December 9: The Academy, along with other healthcare organizations, signed on to an amicus brief supporting New York state’s challenge to the Trump Administration withdrawing certain nondiscrimination protections in health care from LGBTQ people. Read more.
- December 2: The Academy signed onto a letter urging Members of Congress on the House Appropriations Committee to fund the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office on Smoking and Health at the House-passed funding level of $240 million. Read more.
- November 9: The Academy, along with other health organizations, signed onto a letter urging the Food and Drug Administration to grant the pending Citizen Petition Urging Prohibition of Menthol as Characterizing Flavor in Cigarettes (FDA-2013-P-0435-0001). Read more.
- November 2: The Academy sent comments to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding the proposed rule to establish a Medicare coverage pathway to provide Medicare beneficiaries fast access to new, innovative medical devices designated as breakthrough by the Food and Drug Administration. Read more.
- October 30: Statement: As a nursing profession, we will not stand silently as the President of the United States makes remarks that assault the science, evidence, and compassion that embody not only our work, but that of healthcare colleagues. We will continue to push against comments that jeopardize the integrity of healthcare professionals. Healthcare providers have given their own lives fighting this pandemic every day. Even now as cases surge in the United States, they are coming to work because of their oath to keep people well and safe. Our public health, acute care, and community infrastructures have been challenged on multiple levels. Now is not the time for attacks. Now is the time for unity, evidence, and humanity as we fight this deadly violence.
- October 23: Statement: The inhumane outcome of a horrific policy, enacted by the current Administration, to separate children at the southern border from their families has become a heightened act of cruelty that epitomizes negligence at the highest-level and is wholly unacceptable given the latest report that the Administration cannot find the parents of 545 children.
- October 14: The Academy submitted comments to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in response to a request for information regarding a national elastomeric half mask respirator (EHMR) strategy for use in healthcare settings during an infectious disease outbreak/pandemic. Read more.
- October 5: The Academy submitted comments in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) regarding the FY 2021 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule. The Academy's comments focused on the telehealth, scope of practice, and comprehensive screenings for older adult provisions within the proposed rule. Read more.
- September 11: The Academy signed onto a letter from the Nursing Community Coalition to leaders of the Senate and House Veterans' Affairs Committee urging them to include and pass the bipartisan United States Cadet Nurse Corps Service Recognition Act of 2019 (S.997/H.R. 2056) in any legislative package honoring our nation’s veterans before the end of the 116th Congress. Read the Senate letter and the House letter.
- September 4: The Academy submitted comments to the National Academy of Medicine’s (NAM) Committee on Equitable Allocation of Vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus regarding the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Children, Adolescents, and Families as well as the Emerging Infectious Diseases Expert Panels contributed to these comments. Read more. Read more.
- August 18: The Academy submitted comments in response to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) final 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 will weaken or eliminate protections for our most vulnerable populations. The Acute & Critical Care, Global Nursing & Health; LGBTQ Health; Nursing Theory Guided Practice; Psychiatric, Mental Health & Substance Abuse; and Women’s Health Expert Panels as well as the Academy’s Jonas Policy Scholars contributed to this letter. Read the full comments here.
- August 10: The Academy signed onto a letter with other healthcare organizations to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recommending that they adopt the NCQA postpartum depression screening and follow up measure and the prenatal depression depression screening measure. Read more.
- July 30: The Academy sent a letter to congressional leaders asking them to support at least $6 million in funding for a longstanding and effective program that promotes the health and wellness of our nation’s military, the TriService Nursing Research Program (TSNRP), in HR 6935, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2021. Read more.
- July 10: The Academy signed onto a letter supporting H.R. 7286, the Quit Because of COVID-19 Act. This legislation that will ensure that all Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program enrollees have access to the full array of evidence-based tobacco cessation treatments at this critical time. Read more.
- July 9: The Academy signed onto a letter requesting Congress to add maternal and infant health components to the Cures 2.0 Act. The letter stressed that issues of access to maternity care, workforce shortages, and outcome disparities must be addressed as part of the pandemic response. Read more.
- July 8: The Academy released a statement that the United States must remain a member of the World Health Organization. Read more.
- July 6: The Academy discussed recommendations regarding policy solutions that make meaningful improvements to the detection, education, treatment, and support for patients and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias with the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health. Read More about the Academy's Recommendations.
- June 26: The Academy sent comments to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee with recommendations on how the country should prepare for the next pandemic. Some of the recommendations in the letter included accelerating research, improving disease surveillance, rebuilding and maintaining state and federal stockpiles, improving public health capabilities, and streamlining coordination between states and the federal government. Read more.
- June 9: The Academy, along with other health organizations, sent a letter to House and Senate Appropriations leaders voicing strong support of a Health Defense Operations budget designation to increase investments in public health and pandemic preparedness before the next pandemic occurs. Read more.
- June 8: The Academy signed onto a letter along with other health care organizations supporting the Access to Contraception for Servicemembers and Dependents Act of 2019 and any effort to include the legislation in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 This bill would ensure that all servicemembers and their dependents who rely on the military for health care have improved access to comprehensive contraception coverage and family planning care. Read more.
- June 2: The Academy released a statement arguing US membership in the World Health Organization must remain a priority for global health. Read more.
- May 30: The Academy submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding opportunities to improve health care access, quality, and outcomes for women and infants in rural communities before, during, and after pregnancy. Read more.
- May 18: The Academy along with other health care organizations sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence and others in the Administration supporting the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ Directive 1899 to remove barriers to practice and allow for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists to practice to the full extent of their education and abilities. Read more.
- May 13: The Academy, along with other health care organizations, deans, chairs, and scholars, signed on to an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court urging the Court to protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA).The brief noted that if the individual mandate is found unconstitutional, it should be severed from the rest of the law instead of repealing the ACA in its entirety. Repealing the ACA completely would have a devastating impact on Americans and the American healthcare system. Read more.
- May: The Academy signed onto a letter with other healthcare organizations urging Members of Congress to support $10 million in supplemental funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for infant and young child feeding in emergencies in the next COVID-19 relief package.This $10 million in funding would provide immediate trauma-informed infant and young child feeding relief for these families and communities.
- April 30: The Academy sent a letter to House and Senate leaders with recommendations on further actions that Congress should take in order to address the coronavirus pandemic. Academy staff collated, synthesized, and summarized input and recommendations from our 24 Expert Panels under 3 major themes in the letter: (1) protect our most vulnerable populations, (2) support nurses and healthcare providers, and (3) increase access, scale, speed and accuracy of testing. Read the full letter.
- April 30: The Academy released a position statement on the importance of immunizations to eliminate vaccine-preventable diseases during the World Health Organization's World Immunization Week. Read more.
- April 24: The Academy, along with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other health care organizations, signed on to an amicus brief to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit challenging the state of Tennessee’s efforts to ban abortions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.
- April 21: The Academy signed on to an amicus brief along with American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the American Medical Association (AMA), and other health care organizations challenging the state of Alabama's efforts to restrict access to abortion during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.
- April 18: The Academy signed on to an amicus brief along with American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the American Medical Association (AMA), and other health care organizations challenging the state of Arkansas' efforts to restrict access to abortion during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.
- April 17: The Academy signed on to an amicus brief along with American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the American Medical Association (AMA), and other health care organizations challenging the state of Ohio's efforts to restrict access to abortion during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.
- April 10: The Academy signed on to an amicus brief along with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Medical Association, and other health care organizations challenging the state of Oklahoma's efforts to ban abortions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.
- April 9: The Academy signed on to an amicus brief along with the American Nurses Association, the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, and other health care organizations to the Supreme Court of the United States stating our support for the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act. Read more.
April 3: The Academy submitted comments to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology regarding the Department of Health and Human Services' 2020-2025 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan
. Read more
- April 2: The Academy signed on to an amicus brief along with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Medical Association, and other health care organizations challenging the state of Texas' efforts to ban abortions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.
- March 31: The Academy, along with the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science (CANS), submitted recommendations and comments to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) regarding its Strategic Plan for the fiscal years of 2021 to 2025. The Academy and CANS applauded the broad, cross-cutting themes included in the plan while highlighting the need for eliminating health disparities, and maternal mortality in particular. The Academy and CANS also suggested rewording some of the language in the Strategic Plan. Read the letter sent to NIH here.
- March 30: The Academy, along with other health care organizations, sent a letter to House and Senate Appropriations Committee leaders urging them to increase funding to the CDC and NIH for firearm morbidity and mortality prevention research to a total of $50 million as part of Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations. Read the House / Senate letters.
- March 23: The Academy sent a letter requesting Congress work quickly and pass critical legislation with increased resources needed for nurses, healthcare providers, hospitals, as well as the public health and research infrastructures to combat the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Read more.
- March 22: Academy sent a letter to the President urging for heightened federal action and calling for immediate use of his authority under the Defense Production Act (DPA) to increase production of critically needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and supplies for nurses and healthcare workers as the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic becomes increasingly dire.
- March 20: The Academy, along with other health organizations, signed onto a letter to Vice President Pence, Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Leader McCarthy, and Leader Schumer to urge the Administration and Congress to make Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) available to all health care systems, facilities, and providers to ensure safe working environments during the current COVID-19 pandemic and any future crisis. Read more.
- March 13: The Academy sent a letter to the Senate Finance Health Subcommittee sharing recommendations regarding policy solutions that make meaningful improvements to the detection, education, treatment, and support for patients and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Read More.
- March 13: The Academy sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in response to a request for comments on guidance for regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) applications for executive departments and agencies. Read more.
- March 9: The Academy, along with other public health organizations, signed onto letters to Members of the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Subcommittee requesting increased funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) by $80 million, for a total of $310 million. House/Senate.
- February 28: The Academy, along with other health organizations, signed onto a letter to Members of Congress expressing concern for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) public health emergency. The letter also urged congressional appropriators to act swiftly and decisively to provide robust support for key domestic public health and healthcare programs, medical countermeasure development, global preparedness programs and response mechanisms, and international partnerships, in order to mitigate the impacts of the virus. Read more.
- February 28: The Academy signed onto a letter with our colleagues in the Nursing Community Coalition urging Members of Congress to consider and advance S. 997, the United States Cadet Nurse Corps Service Recognition Act of 2019. 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 burial benefits for cemeteries administered under the Department of Veterans Affairs. Read more.
- February 12: The Academy submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency regarding a proposed rule pertaining to the National Drinking Water Regulation for lead and copper under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Read more.
- January 24: The Academy signed on to a letter, along with other health organizations and research groups, urging Members of Congress to co-sponsor and pass the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act. This law would strengthen the current Break Time law by closing the coverage gap, providing employers clarity on when pumping time must be pain and when it may be unpaid and providing remedies for nursing mothers. Read more.
- January 17: The Academy sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to express our strong support for full practice authority in Section 5 of the President’s Executive Order #13890 on Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nation’s Seniors. The Academy also joined our colleagues in the Nursing Community Coalition and the APRN Workgroup in support of full practice authority in the Medicare Program. Read here.