May 09, 2023

Members of Congress Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Resolution Celebrating National Nurses Week

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) joined Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) with Representatives Dave Joyce (R-Ohio-14), Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.-01), Jen Kiggans (R-Va.-02), and Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.-14) to introduce a bipartisan, bicameral resolution recognizing National Nurses Week.

The resolution honors and celebrates the important contributions of America’s nurses to safe, high-quality care and the invaluable role that nurses play in patient care every day—and particularly in treating injured and sick patients during wartime, natural disasters, and public health emergencies.  

Nurses represent the single largest component of the health care professions, with an estimated 4.5 million registered nurses in the United States. Our country needs nurses, yet the reality of our nursing workforce demands our immediate attention and appreciation. With nearly a third of the nation’s nursing workforce stating they plan on leaving the profession, today’s resolution comes at a critical time and recognizes the importance of nurses in providing quality care, conducting medical research, tailoring care to each community and individual, eliminating public health disparities, promoting healthy lifestyles, and more. 

The resolution recognizes the need to strengthen nursing workforce development and education, and calls upon all Americans to recognize and celebrate National Nurses Week this year, and to support our nursing workforce today and every day. 

In addition to Senators Merkley, Wicker, and Van Hollen, this resolution is also cosponsored by Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), John Fetterman (D-Pa.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Ben Luján (D-N.M.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Peter Welch (D-Vt.).

In addition to Representatives Joyce, Bonamici, Kiggans, and Underwood, this resolution is also cosponsored by Representatives Donald Payne (D-N.J.-10), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.-07), Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.-08), Lisa Blunt-Rochester (D-Del.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.-01), Brian Higgins (D-N.Y., 26), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.-09), Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.-05), Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.-09), and Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.).

Full text of the resolution can be found here and below.

Supporting the goals and ideals of National Nurses Week, to be observed from May 6 through May 12, 2023.

Whereas, beginning in 1991, National Nurses Week has been celebrated annually from May 6, also known as ‘‘National Recognition Day for Nurses’’, through May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing;

Whereas National Nurses Week is a time of year to reflect on the important contributions that nurses make to provide safe, high-quality health care;

Whereas nurses serve on the front lines, risking their lives treating the injured and sick during wartime, natural disasters, and public health emergencies;

Whereas nurses are known to be patient advocates, acting to protect the lives of individuals under their care;

Whereas nurses represent the largest single component of the health care profession, with an estimated population of more than 4,500,000 registered nurses in the United States;

Whereas nurses are leading in the delivery of quality care in a transformed health care system that improves patient outcomes and safety;

Whereas the Future of Nursing report of the Institute of Medicine has highlighted the need for the nursing profession to meet the call for leadership in a team-based delivery model;

Whereas, when nurse staffing levels increase, the risk of patient complications and lengthy hospital stays decreases, resulting in cost savings;

Whereas nurses are experienced researchers, and the work of nurses encompasses a wide scope of scientific inquiry, including clinical research, health systems and outcomes research, and nursing education research;

Whereas nurses provide care that is sensitive to the cultures and customs of individuals across the United States;

Whereas nurses are well-positioned to provide leadership to eliminate health care disparities that exist in the United States;

Whereas nurses are the cornerstone of the public health infrastructure, promoting healthy lifestyles and educating communities on disease prevention and health promotion;

Whereas nurses help inform, educate, and work closely with legislators to improve—

(1) the education, retention, recruitment, and practice of all nurses; and

(2) the health and safety of the patients for whom the nurses care;

Whereas there is a need—

(1) to strengthen nursing workforce development programs at all levels, including the number of doctorally prepared faculty members; and

(2) to provide education to the nurse research sci- entists who can develop new nursing care models to im- prove the health status of the diverse population of the United States;

Whereas nurses impact the lives of the people of the United States through every stage of life; and

Whereas nursing has been voted the most honest and ethical profession in the United States: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) supports the goals and ideals of National Nurses Week, as founded by the American Nurses Association;

(2) recognizes the significant contributions of nurses to the health care system in the United States; and

(3) encourages the people of the United States to observe National Nurses Week with appropriate recognition, ceremonies, activities, and programs to demonstrate the importance of nurses to the everyday lives of patients.