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
- 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.