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AACN's Washington Weekly

Published November 18, 2020

AACN Sends Letter to Biden-Harris Transition Team

On November 16, AACN sent a letter to President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris expressing interest in working with them and offering our expertise and resources as they address the realities of COVID-19 and other healthcare and higher education issues impacting our nation. AACN highlighted that schools of nursing, deans, faculty, and students are an integral force in the ongoing efforts to address this pandemic, particularly in the development, distribution, and administration of a vaccine, as well as preparing for public health issues yet to come. While encouraged that one of the first acts of the transition was the establishment of a taskforce to address COVID-19, AACN urged the incoming Administration to seek the expertise of nurse educators as the COVID-19 taskforce expands its efforts and as future opportunities for engagement arise.

As they prepare for the Biden administration, the transition team continues its work, including announcing members of their Agency Review Teams who are tasked with ensuring a responsible and efficient transfer of power within federal agencies and departments. AACN looks forward to working with the incoming Administration to tackle the most pressing issues facing our country. To view the Biden-Harris plan to beat COVID-19, click here. For the full Biden-Harris Transition website, click here.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update: Two Vaccine Candidates Show Promise 

On November 9, pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced promising phase three trial results showing a vaccine that has been 90% effective. A week later, on November 16, Moderna also released promising phase three trial results with a vaccine considered 94.5% effective. Both vaccines are based on delivering strands of genetic material into an individual’s system that builds immunity to fight COVID-19. Results are preliminary, with more data expected in the coming weeks. Once the FDA approves the Emergency Use Authorization for the vaccines, the White House initiative Operation Warp Speed will begin the distribution process with initial priority to essential workforce and high-risk communities. AACN continues to monitor this process and will provide updates as available.

Join Us in Celebrating National Rural Health Day

Thursday, November 19, 2020 is National Rural Health Day. To mark this occasion, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is hosting several events. First started in 2010, National Rural Health Day highlights ongoing rural health-related issues and challenges and recognizes collaborative efforts to improve health care for millions of Americans living in rural communities. Currently, roughly 62 million Americans live in rural areas, where they have less access to care and are more likely to die prematurely from heart disease, cancer, stroke, and chronic lower respiratory disease. From November 16-20, the public can attend virtual rural health seminars, recruiting events, and panels on the rural response to COVID-19 and other health challenges. Sign up to attend National Rural Health events here.

National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) Announces Development of New Strategic Plan

On November 17, NINR Director, Dr. Shannon Zenk, announced the development of NINR’s next strategic plan, which they are hoping to release in late 2021 or early 2022. Drawing from nursing’s holistic perspective, NINR is requesting ideas, input, and other suggestions for the direction of future research be submitted at For more information, visit the NINR strategic plan webpage. AACN will continue to engage with NINR as they look to the future and translate nursing science into tomorrow's cures.

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