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Rounds with Leadership - Policy in Motion: The Lame-Duck Session and the New Administration

Published November 16, 2016

Welcome to Rounds with Leadership, a new forum for AACN’s Board Chair and President/CEO to offer commentary on issues and trends impacting academic nursing.


As academic nursing leaders, we are mindful of the magnitude elected officials have on changing policies that directly impact the health of our nation. At AACN, our policy and advocacy priorities are developed with the patient in mind. To achieve forward progress, we must hone our messaging and evaluate timing to align with Congress and the Administration.

As you saw on Monday, AACN and our partners took a critical step forward in the lame-duck session when the House of Representatives passed the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act and the Improving Access to Maternity Care Act. AACN is pleased to see these bills advance, and we sincerely thank the members of our Grassroots Network who sent 1,554 messages to Congress in support of this legislation.  While the wheels are in motion, more work must be done. These measures will need Senate action, and your support is imperative to ensure they cross the finish line.

Another top priority for AACN and our colleagues in the biomedical and healthcare research community is to pass the 21st Century Cures Act. The Cures legislation promises to accelerate the time it takes to turn new evidence into practice innovations and expand the pipeline of new researchers. This legislation has garnered tremendous bipartisan support and is being considered as a top priority during this lame-duck session. You can voice your support for this legislation via social media by using #CuresNow. In addition, AACN continues to closely monitor the appropriations process, as funding legislation must be passed by December 9 to ensure the federal government programs that invest in nursing, higher education, healthcare, and research remain robust.

AACN prides itself on bipartisan government affairs/policy efforts and outreach. It is this comprehensive approach that our members, staff, and strategic partners have always embraced, regardless of the politics. As the new Administration and 115th Congress commence, AACN’s commitment to this bicameral, bipartisan, and interagency approach remains steadfast.

For months, AACN’s Government Affairs Committee and Health Policy Advisory Council have been working to prepare the association’s 2017-2018 Federal Policy Agenda. This agenda outlines core principles and values for the full breadth and depth of our advocacy work: appropriations, authorization, and regulation. The AACN Board of Directors will review this document in January and move to approve a strong, yet nimble, platform that will insert the voice of academic nursing in the policy discussions of the new Congress and Administration.

This week, we are launching AACN’s Washington Weekly (formerly known as AACN Policy Beat) for members and stakeholders who want quick, real-time information on our top priorities, and the efforts needed to see them move. We hope you will take advantage of this timely resource, and we encourage all members to join with us to help advance sound policy that strengthens nursing education, research, and practice.


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