N.J. Nurses Advocate on Capitol Hill for Safe Staffing, Access to Care

 In Nurses Weekly

The New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA) joined a national coalition on Capitol Hill this week to advocate for a better health care system.

The top issues discussed in Washington, D.C. included:

  • Addressing the nurse staffing crisis
  • Removing barriers to APRN full practice authority
  • Building a sustainable nursing workforce
  • Understanding the value of nurses and burnout

“We are committed to making our voices heard and contributing to shaping healthcare policies that affect both nurses and patients,” said NJSNA President Sandra Foley, DNP, MSN, RN. “Nurses are always ready to support others in crisis—and now we find ourselves in the middle of one. As the backbone of the healthcare system, we remain resourceful and resilient despite the challenges.”

Along with the American Nurses Association (ANA), NJSNA advocated for four public policy issues that include the nurse staffing crisis, Improving Care for Access to Nurses Act, also known as ICAN (H.R. 2713), Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 2663/S. 1176) and the National Nursing Workforce Center Act (S. 1150/H.R. 2411).

NJSNA, which supports acuity and setting-specific nurse ratios, urged lawmakers to improve nurse staffing to 1) prohibit mandatory overtime, 2) require OSHA to issue a national healthcare workplace violence standard and 3) implement nurse staffing standards to ensure they have the resources to deliver quality care and positive patient outcomes.

NJSNA also supported patient access to healthcare services delivered by their provider of choice and expanded authority of the Health Resources and Services Administration to establish health workforce research centers with one focused on nursing and new occupational safety and health standards from the U.S. Department of Labor that require employers to take action to protect nurses and other healthcare works from workplace violence.

Later in the week, the ANA Membership Assembly gathered and discussed the ANA Dialogue Forums. The ANA Dialogue Forums provide an opportunity for nurses to come together, exchange ideas and discuss matters that impact the nursing profession across the nation, including Virtual Nursing as a Practice Model Innovation, The Role of Nurses in Promoting Gun Safety and Preventing Violence and Addressing Nursing Documentation during a time of Crisis. The ANA Membership Assembly provides a platform for nurses to share their perspectives, experiences, and expertise on these topics, contributing to the advancement of nursing practice and the improvement of patient care across the nation.

NJSNA ended its legislative week with a Day at the New Jersey State House, discussing the APRN and Title bills and the ongoing nursing crisis. Attendees also built relationships with elected officials and listened to updates on nursing bills currently in the N.J. Legislature.


NJSNA, established in 1901, is a constituent member of the American Nurses Association. The NJSNA represents the interests of more than 173,000 registered nurses and advanced practice nurses as an advocate for the nursing profession. NJSNA’s lobbying arm continues to protect the nursing profession through legislative victories. Its nonprofit foundation, the Institute For Nursing, helps nurses further their careers by providing continuing education, scholarships and research grants, in addition to invaluable networking opportunities. For more information, visit www.njsna.org, contact NJSNA at njsna@njsna.org, or call 609-883-5335.

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